We got this query from a woman who had set up a guided imagery library in the Oncology Department of her hospital, and who is now looking for appropriate titles for the Neurology Department. Here it is:
Need your guidance Belleruth.
I've set up a guided imagery library @ my cancer hospital unit using your tapes, & now I've been asked by a neurologist for help bringing it to his practice to help migraine, neuropathy, brain tumor patients, etc.
Please provide any suggestions as to which tapes to get for him and his department, as my experience is strictly with cancer, since that is what I have.
And what a miracle your tapes have been in my life, by the way.
Thank you so much.
We’ve gotten half a dozen questions like this one in the last week alone, so we figured we’d best post this question and answer this question from a program manager of a Kingston, Ontario agency that provides community-based services to adults with brain injury:
Thank you for your efforts with producing a guided imagery for TBI. I am a Program Manager in Kingston, Ontario, providing community-based services to adults affected by brain injury. I have been an admirer of your work for many years and have been pleased with your more recent focus on brain injury.
You may remember I had hoped to have you come to Kingston for a conference on TBI, particularly from military service. Unfortunately, the government funding did not come through and we had to cancel your engagement. I still hope this can happen some day.
My question to you is about the TBI guided imagery. Do you think it would also be helpful to people with acquired brain injury? Our referral base is about 50% TBI and 50% ABI with the causes of ABI being infection, tumours, and stroke (with diffuse effects).
Researchers from the Oxford Brookes University in the United Kingdom investigated the feasibility of integrating a motor imagery program into a treatment regimen of physiotherapy and occupational therapy for patients diagnosed with stroke, brain injury or multiple sclerosis.
Thirty inpatients and outpatients in treatment at a neurologic rehabilitation center participated in the study. A parallel-group, phase II, assessor-blind randomized controlled trial compared motor imagery embedded in treatment as usual with treatment as usual only. Subjects were assessed at baseline, after 6 weeks (post-intervention), and after 12 weeks (follow-up).
A motor imagery strategy was developed and integrated into treatment as usual (physiotherapy and occupational therapy) which was tailored to individual goals, and applied to any activity. The control group received standard care (physiotherapy and occupational therapy).
I read your newsletters religiously and offer guided imagery in my practice as a Yoga Therapist. With a specialty in Parkinson's Disease and neurological disorders, I always refer your products to my students and clients.
When I engage in a guided imagery practice with my clients, leaving the setting and details to them, rather than make suggestions, they sometimes retreat to situations from the past that are no longer possible for them, such as playing golf, running or hiking alone.
I often wonder if this does not set the stage for more grief and possibly denial, and would like your thoughts on leaving them to their own images, or gently guiding them toward one that does not have potential for angst.
Thank you for all you do.
My wife was diagnosed with PD 14 years ago. For a long while before that we thought she was depressed. Now we know it was probably the beginnings of the Parkinsons. Our kids don’t live in town. I am her main care partner and do what I can to encourage and support her. I bring her to support group meetings when she’s willing to go. Sometimes I go without her anyway, because it helps me either way.
I’m extremely frustrated at the way she resists suggestions for help. I’ve brought home books, nutritional supplements, suggestions for physical therapy, chair yoga videos and, yes, even your guided imagery for PD. She mostly acts like a rebellious teenager or a passive resister. This has caused tension in the home and a lot of anger inside me.
I just don’t understand her attitude. When I had open heart surgery years ago, I fought hard to get well again, in spite of pain, weakness and depression. I tried all kinds of life style changes, many of which I still do today. I know this sounds foolish, but what can I do? Why can’t she be more like me?
John (who loves but wants to strangle his wife)
Researchers from the Department of Neurology at Rambam Hospital in Haifa, Israel examined whether a Parkinson’s Disease (PD) tremor, known to worsen with stress, could improve with what they refer to as “relaxation guided imagery” (RGI) and calming music.
Twenty PD patients with moderate to severe tremor participated in sessions where relaxation techniques were implemented. Tremor was objectively monitored using an accelerometer.
All 20 subjects in the imagery condition (RGI) had dramatically decreased tremor (baseline 270.38 +/- 85.82 vs. RGI 35.57 +/- 43.90 movements per minute P < 0.0001). Additionally, in 15 patients, the tremor was completely gone for 1-13 min.
We got this email recently:
I want to praise Carol Dickman’s Seated Yoga video and Belleruth’s Parkinson’s Disease imagery. My husband who has been disabled and depressed with his illness for several years responds well to these. He works with both each day. He is less depressed, sleeps better and we both think he has gotten somewhat better at getting himself to move when he is “stalled”, which is what we call it when there is a gap between when he wants to use his muscles and when they respond.
Posted: February 23, 2007Categories: Parkinson'sA nurse working with a 76 year old man who was recently diagnosed with Parkinsons and who is motivated to take an active role in his treatment, asks us when the PD imagery is scheduled to be completed..Read more »
Posted: May 18, 2006Categories: Parkinson's
Guided Motor Imagery Helps with Athletic Performance, Neurological Conditions
Investigators at the University of Haifa in Israel reviewed the literature to determine the positive effects of guided motor imagery practice on motor performance. There is abundant evidence that motor performance is improved in athletes, people who are healthy, and people with neurological conditions, such as stroke, spinal cord injury and Parkinson’s disease. This article discusses how to integrate motor imagery into a physical therapy practice and goes into particulars of visual and kinesthetic motor imagery, factors that modify motor imagery practice, the design of motor imagery protocols, and potential applications of motor imagery.
Citation: Dickstein R, Deutsch JE. Motor imagery in physical therapist practice. Physical Therapy. 2007 Jul; 87 (7): pages 942-53. Epub 2007 May 1 [email protected].