Guided Imagery and Meditation Blog | Health Journeys

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01 May

You could say it’s a revolution in the delivery of adjuvant mental health services - a shift that sneaked up on all of us in plain sight.

Mind-body therapies such as guided imagery, breath work, mindfulness meditation and various relaxation therapies are now available to everyone, providing anonymous, respectful, timely, self-administered self-help, at low or no cost.

People who can’t find or afford a therapist; or who don’t like the idea of going to one; or who need more than a 50-minute session, once a week; or who crave the autonomy of self-administered therapies; or who have panic attacks at 2 am and need something right then to keep them company until the sun comes up - all these folks can now get help by pressing PLAY, on their smart phones, iPods and MP3’s. 

24 Apr

Adults and children on the autism spectrum differ broadly, but nearly all struggle with anxiety, especially at changes in routine. Other challenges they face include compulsive, repetitive behaviors, sleep problems, overstimulated nervous systems and social difficulties.

Our audio programs can help with all but the interpersonal challenges. They make the biggest contribution as a powerful anxiety reducer and mood balancer.

We have combined some of our most popular guided imagery programs, the particularly soothing, calming ones that are most popular with adults and kids on the autism spectrum, into three different packs. We created packs for adults, teens and kids, and specially priced them at a whopping 23% off, to celebrate Autism Awareness Month.

17 Apr

Here is some basic information on guided imagery. It was put together when we built California Community College students their own free guided imagery download page. The audios on that page are used to reduce stress, promote sleep, and improve concentration, among other things. 

This information may come in handy for yourself or, if you’re a health care or mental health professional, for people in your care. So if you’re looking for a quick but accurate way to explain guided imagery to yourself or others, check it out!

10 Apr

We’re posting some Hot Research about an imagery technique called GIM (Guided Imagery and Music) and what it can do for people on extended sick leave. The study finds that using GIM was associated with better mental health and an earlier return to the workplace.

GIM is a therapy technique created by psychotherapist and violinist, Helen Bonny. It’s a guided process that starts with playing classical music pieces and then prompting the client-listener to look inward and let whatever images or feelings evoked by the music come to the surface, so they can be explored in the context of whatever the client has been working on in therapy.

My first experience with GIM blew my mind, and it’s remained blown open ever since. At the very least, it speaks to the powerful, altered state this technique can take you to.

03 Apr

If you find yourself a magnet for the hopelessly self-centered, the most important question to ask is not, “Why are some people so toxic?” but, “How can I stop attracting toxic people and still love myself?”

There are reasons why many super-nice people are drawn to those who take advantage of them, even if they are not fully conscious of these reasons.

Of course, toxic behavior occurs on a continuum, from the person at work who always looks for someone else to do things for them, to the friend who constantly asks for favors but never reciprocates, to the person who is callous, lies, steals others’ intellectual or actual property, the partner who cheats, or the family member who is verbally abusive or worse.

Whatever form your toxic people tend to take, you’ll recognize your tendency to get involved with the liars, false friends, or takers of the world, because you’ll find yourself in the same types of frustrating, draining, or hurtful situations again and again.

27 Mar

We, at Health Journeys, are always moved by the sincerity of the people who call us to ask whether we have anything that could help their loved ones, who are grieving. We are equally moved when we get calls from people seeking help for their own grief.

When this happens, I often reflect on Belleruth’s recent post, titled Do’s and Don’ts for the Bereaved and Their Well-meaning Friends. This subject is rarely covered. Her suggestions could help people make peace with their own sorrow, and minimize confusion for those of us seeking to console our grieving friends.

20 Mar

Hello again.

I want to make sure you know about two brand new books, hot off the presses. 

Gestalt Coaching

First, for those of you in coaching and consulting, who are looking for greater self-mastery (and, really, people - who doesn’t want that?), check out Dorothy Siminovitch’s brand new book, A Gestalt Coaching Primer: The Path Toward Awareness IQ.

Dorothy, a successful and charismatic coach who is known for her ability to come up with creative solutions to remediate sticky issues, offers powerful ways to become more focused, agile, effective, and inspirational. She’s a dazzle.

13 Mar

I’m super excited to report that the California Community College system is initiating a cutting edge, pilot initiative to help its 2.1 million students in 113 colleges better manage stress, by giving its students free guided imagery downloads to support their emotional resilience, as they manage their very complicated, demanding lives. 

The web page, available through the Chancellor's Office and supported through the CCC Foundation, offers seven different guided imagery exercises for stress reduction, help with sleep, relief for the blues, help with concentration and overcoming procrastination. 

06 Mar

How could we not love social workers? This is the profession that does so much for the underserved, those without voices or power, who fall through safety nets, have little or no access to goods, services, influence, job networks, transportation access or fresh food…

We’re everywhere, and therefore sometimes nearly invisible. We’re the psychotherapy providers who are trained to see the whole person, in the context of his or her family and community. We’re in hospitals, adoption agencies, child protective services, family service organizations, private practices, charitable and welfare organizations, HMO’s, EAP’s, corporate wellness centers, hospices, community organizations, legal services and community centers. We write legislation and change public policy. Sometimes, we even run for office.

27 Feb

I’ve been happily noticing the uptick in Integrative Health Departments and holistic wellness centers, popping up in hospitals all over the U.S. It seems like a critical mass has been reached, and now they’re really proliferating. This is very good news for patients and for health care.

I hand the bulk of the credit to Andy Weil, MD and Victoria Maizes, MD, who’ve been transforming medicine, doc by doc, N.P. by N.P., P.A. by P.A., with their two-year, 1,000-hour Integrative Medicine Fellowship Program at the University of Arizona in Tucson.  Many of their graduates are now running those IM hospital departments you and I are visiting.

Speaking of which, I recently visited the very impressive Connor Integrative Health Network at University Hospitals of Cleveland.