Monthly Archives: January 2014
We loved reading this blog entry on how this sassy, resourceful woman got pregnant (with twins) after 3 years of struggle. It’s filled with attitude, excellent advice and smart pointers, laced with a nice, realistic dollop of hopefulness. And she used guided imagery! And Monica Morell’s Fertility Yoga! How smart was that??
The only thing we’d add to this wonderful list is reading Victoria Maizes’ terrific new book, Be Fruitful: The Essential Guide to Maximizing Fertility and Giving Birth to a Healthy Child.
Here it is, in her own words:
Listen to an audio sample of Healthful Sleep
A woman asks for instructions on what the recommended level of sound should be while listening to our guided imagery, and more specifically the audios for Healthful Sleep and some others. Belleruth provides an answer below.
How loud or soft should we be listening to the cd's?
I have the Healthful Sleep cd, and a couple others, no instructions as to what the recommended level of sound should be....loud, same voice as if I was talking to someone, soft, so soft that when you move or adjust you can't hear it??? Help.
Researchers from Stanford University investigated the effectiveness of MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) on Social Anxiety Disorder, as compared with aerobic exercise.
Fifty-six adults (52% female; 41% Caucasian; age mean [M] ± standard deviation [SD]: 32.8 ± 8.4) with SAD were randomized to either an MBSR condition or the active comparison condition of aerobic exercise (AE).
At baseline and post-intervention, participants completed measures of social anxiety , depression, stress and sense of well-being (Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale, Social Interaction Anxiety Scale, Beck Depression Inventory-II, and Perceived Stress Scale, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, Satisfaction with Life Scale, Self-Compassion Scale, and UCLA-8 Loneliness Scale).
Posted: January 31, 2014Categories: Update from Health Journeys
I’m struck by the windfall of guided imagery and hypnosis studies that drop weekly into my virtual cubby at the National Library of Medicine these days.
I remember when I was hard pressed to find even one new research citation a month for this blog, and I’d scour and email every source I could find to come up with something – anything – to post on our research page.
Now I can’t keep up with it all. I’m hard pressed to choose which abstracts to use. Entering the search terms “guided imagery, hypnosis, meditation, relaxation, visualization, biofeedback”, I’ll easily get a hundred studies each week to choose from.
We now have thousands of abstracts of mind-body studies for you to flip through, archived by topic, on our Hot Research pages.
Posted: January 26, 2014Categories: Resources
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Given the escalating price of a pound of cure these days, the adage, is tough to refute, particularly when you think in terms of smoke alarms and seat belts. When our grandparents said it, the phrase was usually prefaced or followed by sage advice, like, washing your hands often, brushing your teeth twice a day and eating your vegetables.
Today, it’s difficult to pick up a magazine or look at any news on TV or online without seeing this advice. We are told not only to brush twice daily, but also to floss. Numerous studies have shown that the best way to prevent flu, colds and food-borne illnesses from spreading is frequent hand-washing, and the jury has been in on the vegetable eating for some time. The recommendation to eat three servings of fruits or vegetables per day has gone up considerably, and most sources say we need at least seven servings daily.
A while back you posted a story by a corrections counselor, and this inspires me to share another story. I, too, am a social worker who works with incarcerated youth. They are all being tried as adults. The jail where they are being housed has started to let one inmate listen to an imagery recording on anger and forgiveness. He is on lockdown for fighting with another inmate who ruined his food.
He had only begun to listen to the audio, and maybe had heard it three times.
He became very angry about his situation and began pacing back and forth in his cell, trying to decide what to do. He wanted to charge his peer when his cell door was opened. He paced and paced, then he lay down on his bunk and continued to ruminate. (This alone was progress, as in the past he reacted so impulsively, he would not have ever thought about his actions and consequences before acting.)
Posted: January 26, 2014Categories: Ask Belleruth
I have enjoyed many of your CD's personally as well as professionally. I am a counselor and work with many stressed, depressed, trauma survivors, alcoholics and chronic pain patients. I find visualization very helpful to most of them once I get them involved.
I have a question along these same lines. I am dealing with a client with chronic pain, lots of anger and unresolved hostility, plus some mild PTSD symptoms. My problem is getting her to try visualization. She is very hard of hearing due to an injury. She never learned sign language, and is unable to enhance her hearing with hearing aids, plus she has a limited attention span with new topics.
Is there any other form of visualization that can work without music and being talked into the relaxed state that you are aware of?
Researchers from Plymouth University in the UK investigated whether brief guided imagery and body scanning exercises could reduce food cravings.
Elaborated Intrusion (EI) Theory proposes that cravings occur when involuntary thoughts about food are elaborated with affectively-charged imagery. It has been found that craving can be weakened or interrupted by working memory tasks that block the imagery or prevent the involuntary thoughts from being elaborated in the first place.
Research has found that imagery techniques such as body scanning and guided imagery can reduce the occurrence of food thoughts.
This study tested the prediction that body scanning and guided imagery can also reduce craving.
Posted: January 26, 2014Categories: Update from Health Journeys
For me personally, this past week has seen the death of three close friends – two expected and one a complete surprise.
All of this reminded me that January is a month that seems to appeal to the Grim Reaper – at least in colder climes, it does.
So I guess it’s once again time to post these tips. Some are for people who are grieving. Others are for friends, family and even random acquaintances.
So here goes:
If you’re grieving:
- Take care of your energy. Rest. Don’t overdo. You’ll be more tired
and more vulnerable to illness during this time if you don’t. So pick
and choose priorities, and treat yourself gently and well.
- Pay attention to what you feel like doing and what you don’t feel
like doing, and, if it’s not too outrageous or expensive, follow suit.
- Don’t be afraid of your sadness. It won’t kill you. It’s just a
feeling, after all, and you’ll feel better and more energized for
letting it move through you. Besides, you will use up tons of energy
avoiding it, and it will catch up to you and bite you on the butt
anyway. In the beginning it will come and go in waves, and, just like
labor contractions, there’s relief in the in-between times. Later on it
will be more like a flavoring that seeps into the day. This softens over
- Be patient. This takes longer than most of us think. Trust that people who think you should be over it already are clueless.
- Take care of your energy. Rest. Don’t overdo. You’ll be more tired and more vulnerable to illness during this time if you don’t. So pick and choose priorities, and treat yourself gently and well.
A woman who survived early childhood trauma writes about being able to sleep again. Here is what she emailed us:
“Belleruth - You are an important part of my life. I go to sleep to your voice each night! Really, I do. Your guided imagery has helped me move through troubled waters often as I have worked intensely with a therapist to heal from years of trauma beginning in early childhood. I began listening to Healthful Sleep several years ago as I struggled with persistent insomnia. It was wonderful! I was able to sleep. I was able to go to sleep and I was able to sleep without intrusive memories and flashbacks most nights.