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Cheryl Plotner – Daughter's Surgery

The value of Guided Imagery in my personal and professional life is inestimable. I listen to Guided Imagery myself as a daily practice, I share it with my friends and family, and as a life coach, I use it with clients to support them in achieving their desired outcomes.

One year after becoming a single mother, my 13 year old daughter was diagnosed with scoliosis. It seemed to have happened overnight, and the reality of it hit me like a boulder. I began listening to the audio for stress several times daily as I navigated through the learning journey and the path of trying non-surgical treatments for my daughter's spine.

After two years of trying many modalities, including: acupuncture, Bowen therapy, chiropractic treatments, hypnosis, massage, Rolfing, Schroth exercises and yoga, it became clear that surgery was going to be necessary to stabilize her spine.

Three weeks before her surgery date, I began playing the Guided Imagery track for my daughter, listening with her just before she went to sleep at night. I also played the music track in the car and at home as background to whatever quiet activity was happening.

In addition, I continued to use the stress audios as I processed the reality that my daughter would undergo a long, intense surgery and arduous recovery.

After more than twelve hours of surgery, my daughter did emerge safely, and for the ten days we spent in hospital and for a few weeks at home, I played the music track continuously.

In the hospital, the doctors, nurses and staff would often take a deep breath and pause after entering the room, saying how much they loved the soothing music. When friends came to visit our home, they also commented on how relaxed the music made them feel.

My daughter had zero complications from surgery and recovery, and now attends high school, living life as almost any teenager would.

In three months she'll be cleared to run, jump and recreate freely, even though a large part of her spine is fused. She's grateful for her stable, straight spine and rarely thinks of lost flexibility in her back.

It is truly remarkable to me as I now reflect on the past year, that I was able to move through the intensity of preparing myself for the trauma of my daughter's surgery with such grace, faith and trust in whatever the outcome would be. I know that using Guided Imagery in general, and specifically the voice of Belleruth Naparstek, has been a tremendous help.

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