Our Very First Tape!
The first hand-made tapes were created in 1988. At the time Belleruth was very happily employed as a full-time psychotherapist and part-time teacher at Case Western Reserve University's Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences.
One day, a new client showed up insisting that Belleruth make her a tape to help her through chemotherapy. She had advanced, metastasized breast cancer that had spread into her bones, brain and lungs. Bonnie was quite a character - very lovable but very bossy. When Belleruth protested that she didn't know enough to make such a tape, she was told, "Don't worry; I'll tell you what to do."
Belleruth checked with Bonnie's oncologist and was told to go ahead and give her whatever she wanted, being as how things couldn't get much worse and she wasn't expected to live beyond 6 months. So Belleruth and Bonnie collaborated on a guided imagery tape. They used Bonnie's memories of her walking as a little girl on the beach with her beloved father; of the waves washing through her body, taking all the cancer out with the tide; of her mother, a formidable cleaner of things, vacuuming the cancer cells out of her body with characteristic zealotry and gusto.
The tape was a hit. On the chemotherapy unit, the redoubtable Bonnie marched from cubicle to cubicle, extolling the virtues of guided imagery, and insisting that others try her tape. She took no prisoners. Soon the nurses were requesting tapes for the waiting room. Bonnie lasted 2 years longer than she was supposed to, with very little discomfort and great quality of life up until close to the end of her life.
Meanwhile, Belleruth had become intrigued by what this simple technique could apparently do. Other people started asking her for tapes for multiple sclerosis and heart disease, depression and HIV. Pretty soon she was buttonholing doctors, nurses and patients, digging into the guided imagery research, and making lots more tapes.
George Klein came along and sprung for the enterprise. Time Warner almost immediately started distributing them, and now there are nearly 50 Health Journeys titles, a host of fabulous, new practitioners, techniques and mind-body-spirit titles in our catalog, and some fabulous, cutting edge software, in the form of www.DesktopSpa.com.