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Playaway + Health Journeys = Warrior Wellness

15 Mar

Hello again.

Well, the official rollout is here, people!  This week, PLAYAWAY is introducing our guided imagery to libraries, hospitals and our troops overseas - any place where a durable, reusable, preloaded, (sterilizable, even!) all-in-one audio player comes in handy.

We’re delighted that hundreds of our Healthful Sleep and Relieve Stress audios are on their way to Iraq and Afghanistan, to help our troops get some restful, restorative sleep and to train them in some simple but powerful relaxation techniques, to keep their stress levels and biochemistry under good, manual self-control.

So, if you’ve got a soldier over there, tell him or her to keep an eye out for these freebies - it’s our fondest hope and desire to prevent as much combat-related mental health fallout as possible.  

Playaway happily cites some of the research from the past 6 years that indeed shows the positive impact of guided imagery on acute stress and posttraumatic stress. Check it out here.

Additionally, PLAYAWAY is helping us bring guided imagery to hospitals and healthcare as never before.  And because these potent little widgets are sterilizable and super-durable, they can be re-used for surgery, dialysis, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and any of your basic, yucky, scary medical procedures (our Relaxed & Awake is a perennial favorite to mitigate terror of the ever-dreaded colonoscopy, people!).  

This adds up to a very sensible solution for hospitals and HMO’s - especially because, again, they can point to our research showing how guided imagery saves money while providing a far more comfortable and satisfying patient experience.

Now, on another note entirely, you may have noted that a lot of people have been posting of late about the difficulties of being an aging woman in this culture. Some of you have even asked for imagery that might remediate some of the negative messages that come to all of us, but especially to women, after middle age and on to old age.

The best thing I’ve ever seen written on this topic came from a talk that literary critic, professor, feminist and mystery writer Carolyn Heilbrun gave to alumnae at Smith College back in 1990.  

I kept this prized article, called Naming a New Rite of Passage, in a file for years, passing it around regularly whenever the topic came up, which was a lot.  But it somehow got lost when I moved.  I went looking for it again after a conversation at NICABM where one of the speakers expressed puzzlement and discomfort about why I didn’t dye my hair.  

After much internet research and the intercession of a diligent friend, I got a new copy from the librarian at Smith College, from the archives of their Alumnae Quarterly.  Whew.  It would have been a terrible shame to have lost that piece. Reading it over again, I find it even better and smarter than I remembered. 

So, to ensure it won’t get lost again, we’ve posted the whole thing here.

Do check it out if you have a minute, regardless of your gender.  I’d love to know what you think about it.  I promise it will get you thinking, no matter what your views are about this.  

Okay, take care and be well.

All best,

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award