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23 Nov

Hello again.

I want to call your attention to this week's question from an oncologist asking for psychologically-oriented advice on what to tell patients undergoing treatment for cancer.

He was more interested in tips for the emotional and social challenges than general integrative medicine advice, because he's a Fellow at the Center of Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, and already has plenty of training in that particular wheelhouse. Check it out, if you have the time and interest.

16 Nov

I recently had to consult the stats on our best-selling guided imagery audios for another retailer. I was really surprised at how much people's preferences had shifted around – from even a few years ago, back when Weight Loss was king!

So, forgive me for sounding like Casey Kasem the American Top 40 Countdown of golden oldies on the radio, but this is kind of fun. See if you can guess, going from Number 10 down to the Number One Top Hit on the HJ charts.

09 Nov

Well, folks, among other things, it's National Caregiver Month. (Yes, I know, too many of these special, topic driven 'days', 'weeks' and 'months' can addle the brain. Who can keep up? Who even wants to?)

But sometimes – like this time, National Caregiver Month - it's a really good idea. I know so many people taking care of a loved one (and even a not-so-loved one, truth be told!) in rough circumstances. It's a mother, a spouse, a child or a friend – who's sick with acute or chronic disease; or who's disabled, demented, or depressed.

And these responsible, unstinting caregivers do the right thing and look after them, day after day, with kindness and care; and a lot of time, effort and energy. It's usually at considerable personal cost.

02 Nov

November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month. As it happens, I just led a retreat for the wonderful staff of Hospice of the Western Reserve a couple weeks ago. The setting was gorgeous, healing in its own right – Penitentiary Glen Reservation in Kirtland, Ohio.

I was asked to speak by Stephen Adams, a gifted, gentle pastor and Reiki practitioner I've known for years. He wanted to make sure everyone knew about the healing power of guided imagery for their patients and families, and also for themselves. The work these professional caregivers do can be incredibly gratifying and uplifting, but it's difficult, too, because, of course, they carry around a lot of their own accrued grief and loss.

26 Oct

I was stunned and saddened to learn that the sweet-natured, kind-hearted and very brilliant health writer and cancer guide, Henry Dreher, died last week.

I so liked knowing he was out there in the world somewhere, even when I couldn't always find him. (I think sometimes he had to hide from all of us, because his oversized generosity and world class empathy would bury him under way too much work and care.)

He helped my husband, my brother and countless friends and clients, not to mention all the people who asked for help on this blog, to sort through all the confusing options of cancer treatment and care. I got scores of thank you's from so many of you for recommending him.

19 Oct

As I mentioned last week, the most dangerous time for the abused partner is once she (or he) actually hits the road. That's when the offender has nothing to lose. Over 70% of the murders that happen in these relationships, happen then.

That's why it's imperative that this exit be carefully planned, highly tactical and very secret. So that's the general thrust here: be sneaky, crafty and wily – your life may depend on it.
So, this list may look totally paranoid to you – but it's not paranoia when your partner thinks they own you and feels that they have the right to retrieve you.... or worse, destroy you for committing the outrageous act of leaving them.

12 Oct

Hello. Well, here we are again, back at Domestic Violence Awareness Month. So I guess it's time to describe what it looks like. It can affect anyone. There is no one sociological profile of who this is likely to be, except that 4 times out of 5 it's a woman and she's most likely to be between the ages of 18-34.

But there is a pattern to an abusive relationship, and that's what I want to describe here, because, odd as it might sound, people don't always realize they're in one.

The sequence goes more or less like this:

First, the victim is seduced and charmed into thinking she (as I said, it's usually a she, although sometimes it's a he) is the most amazing, wonderful, special, heaven-sent person ever.

05 Oct

Hello again.

Just a reminder that Imagery International will be holding its 7th annual conference on the weekend of October 30-Nov 1st at the Vallombrosa Retreat Center in Menlo Park, CA. This meeting will also celebrate the association's 20th anniversary.

This conference offers 9 CEU contact hours for RN's, LCSW's and MFT's, focusing on the practical application of guided imagery for healing and personal growth.

It's geared for (but certainly not limited to) nurses, docs, social workers, psychologists, psychotherapists, marriage and family counselors, addiction specialists, massotherapists, pastors, teachers, hypnotherapists, yoga trainers and somatic workers.

28 Sep

Mental Illness Awareness Week is Oct 4-11th this year. That's a big topic, so we decided to focus on postpartum depression or PPD.

In keeping with this theme, we even asked a terrific PPD blogger named Kimberly to review our guided imagery for depression. You can find her conclusions here.

PPD can show up any time within the first couple of months after giving birth, and the CDC estimates that it hits about 15% of the population. And unlike the "baby blues", which can last a month or so, PPD goes deeper and sticks around longer.

21 Sep

September is TBI or Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month. Everyone here at Health Journeys salutes those coping in one way or other with this condition.

TBI's can take many forms, from brief, mild concussion, to an injury that requires a slow, arduous recovery. Sometimes it means catastrophic impairment with no end in sight.

It takes bucket loads of fortitude, resourcefulness and energy, in the patient, family and loved ones, to manage and cope with a mid-levelTBI.