Hello again.

Exciting news, people!!  At long last, a gigundo batch of guided imagery audios is winging its way to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Several hundred Healthful Sleep and an equal number of Relieve Stress guided imagery recordings will be in the ears of our service people, thanks to the efforts of the DoD - extremely open to research-tested mind-body tools these days - and a new, durable, preloaded audio player with high quality sound that works in any environment, called Playaway.

Every month the Playaway people send mounds of spoken word audiobooks to our troops - fiction, self-help, the Bible, language lessons - to distract, entertain, teach and support them downrange.  Now, added to the mix, will be a big, blessed mess o’ calming, sleep-inducing, de-stressing and emotionally balancing guided imagery.

Would it be undignified to yell, “YIPPEEE” ?   Perhaps.  But who cares?  As many of you know, this is a dream come true, for all of us here at HJ.  I’ll spare you the eye-rolling drama, but it’s been frustrating to know we had research-tested resources that could help our troops, but no easy way to deliver them in any systematized way - just you guys sending them as gifts to the people you care about.  This changes all that and we are - to use a pet phrase of my idiom-infused mother - tickled pink.

And we have several other promising projects with active and transitioning troops, not to mention veterans, waiting in the wings.  Our goal is to spread around as quickly as possible the healing impact of this simple, effective, inexpensive, user-friendly, portable, scalable, self-administered mind-body intervention.

We’re also excited about this new method of delivery through these clever little 2-ounce Playaway widgets, no bigger than an iPod.  They come with AAA batteries and ear buds, so they’re ready to use anywhere (or you can plug in your own fancy schmancy Bose ear cans into the universal jack - that’s what I do - to get the full impact of the masterful sound quality).

And because these tough little players don’t take a USB port, you can’t mess with or degrade what’s in it.  (Mainstream publishers love that, thwarting bootlegs and all that.)  And since they’re so durable, they’re ideal for libraries and hospitals - any place where there’s repeated use of the same audio, over and over.  (They can be scrubbed and sterilized, people!)

We can totally see them attached to chemo and dialysis chairs, surgery gurneys, radiation tables… you get the picture. For procedures like that, this format is made to order.  And it’s a perfect marriage with guided imagery programs that are targeted to help patients tolerate and transcend scary, yucky or uncomfortable procedures, not to mention amp up their healing impact.
Also, the research geek in me loves this:  for a few more dollars, the Playaway can come equipped with a counter that shows how many times it’s been played - this, as you can imagine, is perfect for studies where there’s a need to track the “dosage”  (i.e., # times listened) of the audio intervention. And it’s a good “compliance” check, too, for those who need to track how on-board their patients, residents, prisoners or troops are with their audio homework.  (I know there’s a serious YUCK factor to the notion of compliance, and I’m not arguing with that. But value judgments aside, this functionality is a great adherence check, no question about it.)
So, if you’ve got family or friends over there in Iraq or Afghanistan, tell ‘em to grab up their free Playaway loaded with Healthful Sleep and/or Relieve Stress when the March shipment from MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation) gets tossed onto a free-for-all table for them to pick through! It’ll be the gift that keeps on giving, to help keep them stay calm, focused and alert when they need to be. And it can also be a way to start to train their own biochemistry to settle back down on command, a skill set, that will be of huge benefit after traumatic events happen that catalyze that oscillating biochemical cascade that can morph into PTSD.

If you want to order your own pre-loaded Playaway to either send as a gift or use in the hospital, please click here.  It’s not all our titles, but it’s a decent selection and, trust me, it will be growing in the weeks to come.
And, just for the record, one more time:  YIPPEEE!!

All best,