A man who witnessed a suicide bombing in Jerusalem wonders if his jaw clenching, irritable bowel syndrome and quasi-addiction to pot is related to this traumatic experience, and what guided imagery would be the most helpful to him.. Hi there. I heard your interview on New Dimensions and it really rang true that I have had issues with post traumatic stress. I was witness to a suicide bomb in Jerusalem a few years ago. I think that my jaw clenching, irritable bowel syndrome and possibly my quasi-addiction to pot is related to this incident. What CDs would you recommend besides the post traumatic package that I am planning to get? Likewise, I just wanted to thank you for your work.
Take care,

Dear Curtis,
Yes, it is certainly true that the jaw clenching, IBS and pot-smoking could be part of a general posttraumatic stress reaction from witnessing the carnage of a suicide bombing. You may have some of these other, more obvious PTSD symptoms as well: flashbacks, nightmares, intrusive thoughts, sleep and concentration problems, anxiety, panic attacks, emotional and even physical numbness, mental confusion, memory impairment, (sometimes amnesia), shame, grief, anguish, irritability, temper, estrangement, alienation and loneliness.

Certainly any regular practice to restore your body’s self-regulating ability is all to the good, whether it’s general relaxation, exercise, meditation, massage therapy, journaling or one or more of the "Alphabet Therapies" I talk about in my book, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal. (Your single-incident trauma is very suitable for EMDR, EFT, SE and other short-term methods.) Of particular value is guided imagery, and for this either the Trauma Pack or our new 3-CD set Guided Imagery for the Three Stages of Healing Trauma: Nine Meditations for PTSD would be just the ticket, but you don’t need both, at least not to start.

When you have a minute, take a look at our PTSD page, where a lot of this information is summarized and where I recommend some terrific resources by other practitioners as well.

Take care and good luck to you. I wish you a complete recovery.