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Monthly Archives: December 2013

  1. Kinder, Gentler New Year’s Resolutions You Can Keep

    Kinder, Gentler New Year’s Resolutions You Can Keep

    People have been making New Year’s resolutions since the time of Julius Caesar, when January got its name from Janus, the two headed god. One head looked backward at the old year, and the other looked forward into the new one, making Janus the patron of bridges, doorways, beginnings and endings.

    To the people of that time, January seemed the perfect time for making resolutions to end old, destructive behaviors and initiate new, constructive ones. The practice of making yearly resolutions continued throughout centuries, often falling out of favor, only to be resurrected. The resolutions evolved through time, often taking on the religious and moral overtones of the current society, but the sentiment remained the same: a promise to oneself to end old, negative behaviors and begin new, positive ones.

    In the early 1700’s American philosopher and theologian Jonathan Edwards wrote 70 resolutions, some of them heavy-handed in nature, but not unlike the ones we make today. For example, Edwards resolved to live as he would have wished he lived when he came to die, an all-encompassing and difficult one to keep, day in and day out. He also resolved never to suffer the least motions of anger to irrational beings, an equally-daunting task, given the number of irrational beings one encounters on a regular basis, particularly if one is required to navigate the modern freeway system.

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  2. What to Do for Test Anxiety when You Have ADHD

    Dear Belleruth,

    I am preparing for my certification test in Rehabilitation Counseling.  I am ADHD and have some test anxiety.  I have used several of your guided imagery CDs and want to know which one might be of most benefit to me in my preparation for this exam.


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  3. Guided Imagery for Hiatal Hernia Surgery

    This exuberant email is from someone who had surgery for a hiatal hernia twelve years ago. She was told she’d be back for more repair after five years, but she hasn’t, and she gives imagery some of the credit…

    THIS is a huge THANK YOU note for Belleruth and Health Journeys.  It was 12 years ago (or will be--tomorrow ) that I had major surgery for a severe hiatal hernia-- Fortunately (the surgery) was postponed for three weeks --because of a chest cold I had -Therefore I was able to listen to The Surgery affirmation & visualization tapes so much longer--Halleliu!
    My doctor --PROMISED me I would be back in five years for a total re-do & if not that, a repair of sorts, for sure.
    WELL--as I said, it will be 12 HEALTHY years tomorrow, with minimal complaints --perhaps three times a year I have minor indigestion, where one or two Tums are sufficient (to take it away--)
    THANKS BELLERUTH and HJ ---I'm so appreciative of your very real assistance in my total rehab!
    [Ed. Note: Thank you, Doris.  I'm not sure how much credit belongs to us, but we're all delighted with your results, and wish you continued health, strength, joy and enjoyment! ]

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  4. Guided Imagery Stronger than Relaxation or Hypnosis for Surgery

    Researchers from the University of Melbourne and St Vincent's Hospital, in Melbourne, Australia, evaluated the efficacy of pre-operative mind-body based interventions on post-operative outcomes with elective surgical patients.

    A systematic review of the published literature was conducted using the electronic databases MEDLINE, CINAHL and PsychINFO. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with a prospective before-after surgery design were included.

    Twenty studies involving 1297 patients were included. Mind-body therapies were categorized into relaxation, guided imagery and hypnotic interventions. The majority of studies did not adequately account for the risk of bias thus undermining the quality of the evidence.
    Relaxation was assessed in eight studies, with partial support for improvements in psychological well-being measures, but a lack of evidence for beneficial effects for analgesic intake and length of hospital stay.

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  5. Heartfelt New Year Wishes!!!

    I want to wish everyone the happiest and most satisfying of new years!  

    Thanks for all the support, suggestions, encouragement, critiquing, good wishes and thoughtful feedback you gave us in 2013.  Please keep those indispensible comments coming in 2014.  We need them.  They keep us on track and remind us of what we’re all about.

    Somehow I’d neglected to check my messages on Facebook for a while, so imagine my surprise when I came across a cache of 371 birthday wishes, many from trauma survivors, veterans, active duty service people, and folks battling anxiety and panic.  They were expressing their thanks for the help they’d gotten from guided imagery.  What a birthday present!  

    It’s so easy to lose touch with the impact we’re having on a day to day basis, especially when dealing with large, slow-moving organizations and unwieldy bureaucracies. Then you get a dose of heartfelt gratitude from a bunch of individual people, mostly strangers, and all the hard work makes sense. Wow!

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  6. Happy Holidays!

    Happy Holidays!

    P.S. Health Journeys will be closed December 24th & 25th.

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  7. Peace on Earth: Our Best Tips to Prevent Holiday Burn-out

    Peace on Earth: Our Best Tips to Prevent Holiday Burn-out

    We love all of our special holiday gift packs, but there is a good reason so many people are ordering our Holiday Self-Healing Gift Pack, with its soothing audio programs, Peaceful Mind Candle and Little Heartbeat Pillow. We are also experiencing increased interest in our Healthful Sleep and all the audio programs dedicated to relieving stress and soothing the psyche during this hectic time.

    While there are no hard statistics on the number of people who experience holiday burn-out, or the extent of the symptoms they experience, it is a fact that extreme stress from the additional burden of holiday chores alone is enough to send most people into a state of burn-out. Holiday burn-out is characterized by feelings of desperation, frustration, mental and physical exhaustion, even anxiety and depression, brought on by an inability to keep up with a frantic pace.  Additional responsibilities that complicate already overloaded schedules and impossibly high expectations often create an overwhelming sense of disappointment, rather than the joyous holiday spirit the season promises.

    Each year, between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, virtually every community in the nation experiences record numbers of incidents involving people who are pushed beyond their limits. For example, incidents of domestic disturbances, which include everything from family squabbles to domestic violence, are at least three times higher during the holidays, DUI offenses increase significantly, as well as reports of robbery, burglary and shoplifting, and the number of emergency admissions to mental health facilities (often due to drug or alcohol abuse) is sharply increased.

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  8. Horse Race Results In: Mindfulness v. Relaxation for Acute Pain

    Researchers from the University of Sydney in Australia, investigated the efficacy of mindfulness training in comparison with relaxation training on acute pain - threshold and tolerance - during a cold pressor task.

    Undergraduate psychology students (n = 140) were randomly assigned to receive reassuring or threatening information about the cold pressor.  Participants were then re-randomized to receive mindfulness or the control intervention- relaxation  training.

    Analyses confirmed that the threat manipulation was effective in increasing worry, fear of harm and expectations of pain, and reducing coping efficacy.

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  9. Bringing Hubby to a Yoga Retreat, Heart in Mouth

    I saw this story first on the awesome Debbie Phillips’ uber-nourishing website, Women on Fire.

    At least, that’s where I think I saw it.  Then I realized she found it in the New York Times, which has a lot of thought-provoking, touching stories about relationships in this feature.  But this particular one knocked me out. .. in a class by itself, I thought.

    And for our peeps – who have no small amount of experience with yoga and skeptical spouses who can be somewhat opaque – well, there’s just so much to identify with in this story… and be moved and inspired by.  (Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s written so beautifully, either by this gifted writer named Karen S. Schneider.) 

    I don’t know how I missed it the first time around, but delighted I got a second chance with it. Do treat yourself and click on this link to a gem of a personal story – you’ll be glad you did.

    A Warrior Learns a Different Pose


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  10. Is It Ethical to Make & Sell Guided Imagery Audios for Clients?

    A psychotherapist asks a great question about the ethical issues involved in making and selling professional quality guided imagery recordings for her clients.

    BR, I attended your conference a while back... wonderful... everything about it was inspiring, interesting, and fun.

    I'm interested in making a CD of guided imagery... I have the resources... from you! And also my husband is a musician, who can help me record it in a studio, etc.  It would require an investment of my time, effort, and finances.  

    My question is this: Is it ethical to charge a fee to my clients for them to purchase my CD? Or am I expected to give them one for free? Thank you very much!


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