Update from Belleruth
The New Hospital Reality: Checking Computer Screens over Patients | Print |  E-mail

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I spent most of last week in a brand new, state-of-the-art hospital, hovering over a friend who had undergone orthopedic surgery.  I was struck by how much hospital care has changed. I’m not sure when all this happened, but it has to have been pretty recently.  It wasn’t this way a few years ago.

For me, the biggest surprise was how much time nurses and other caregivers have to spend at their stations, looking at their computer screen.  They’ll came into a patient’s room to do a procedure, but then they go right back to their screens, I suppose to enter data before they forget it.  

When I needed to find somebody to help my friend, I rarely found her at the desk.  I took to looking for a lit screen on the dimly lit floor.

Even the most people-oriented nurse is either submitting or reading information.  It’s hard to yank them away. And you’d think this might result in better continuity of care, what with all this sharing of data, but from what I could observe, it doesn’t.  Care is as disjointed and fragmented as ever.  Probably there’s just too much information to keep straight. 

Back to School; It’s that time again! | Print |  E-mail

This week’s update is provided by the staff of Health Journeys.

Another school year is about to begin; bringing with it the all of the challenges and opportunities a new school term can create for kids and parents. Should some of those school-related challenges arise for you, we have some excellent guided imagery for kids and teens. This is especially true with the addition of new guided imagery by Mellisa Dormoy and Traci Stein.

Calm & Clarity: Guided Meditations for ADHD, Hyperactive or Busy Kids has two guided meditations, written for a wide range of younger, grade school aged kids, from those who could use a little help with focus and confidence, all the way to those struggling with ADD or ADHD (attention deficit disorder or attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder).  The imagery is designed to help with concentration, the channeling of extra energy and transforming negative self-talk into a boost for self-esteem. This is a popular title with parents, teachers and kids alike.

Healthy Self-Esteem combines Traci’s guided imagery and hypnotic techniques to help release self-doubt; cultivate feelings of personal mastery; envision a more empowered future self; and encourage present moment self-acceptance - all while embracing positive change.  

A Free Report on Guided Imagery and Diabetes | Print |  E-mail

Last week Jim Mosnot and I attended the 2013 AADE meeting (American Association of Diabetes Educators), where I gave one of the keynotes – talked about the impact guided imagery and other mind-body methods have on managing diabetes.

It was a great public health opportunity to put together a free report on diabetes and guided imagery for the attendees.  So we did.

The report summarizes the positive impacts on blood glucose, cholesterol & lipid profiles, hemoglobin A1c, blood pressure, peripheral circulation, neuropathy, motivation for self-care, body mass index, depression, anxiety and other psychological distress. It also offers several links to sample audio segments and a lot of practice tips, plus a bunch of research citations for ammunition with skeptics.

Learning More about What Guided Imagery Can Do for Diabetes | Print |  E-mail


I’m looking forward to seeing some of you in Philadelphia this week, at the AADE annual meeting.

In getting ready for my keynote for that Friday morning, the 9th, I happily indulged my geeky proclivities and buried myself in the latest research on the efficacy of various mind-body techniques for diabetes (guided imagery, hypnosis, breathwork, yoga, tai chi, autogenic training, relaxation, music therapy, biofeedback, meditation, acupressure, etc). 

There’s a whole spate of exciting new findings, showing significant improvements in blood glucose levels (in both the short and long term), hemoglobin A1C, lipid status, peripheral circulation, neuropathy, blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, post-prandial hypoglycemic levels, depression, anxiety and adherence to a difficult behavioral regimen.

Youtube Video Interview of Belleruth on Posttraumatic Stress | Print |  E-mail

A couple of summers ago, a talented MVTV broadcaster on Martha’s Vineyard named Ann Bassett, with the help of her video guy, Jonathan Revere, did an interview with me about posttraumatic stress for her show, placing some extra emphasis on the usefulness of guided imagery for our military.  

It was a good interview, with some new information in it at the time, so we got the footage and chopped it up into seven manageable video segments and just put it out there in YouTube Land.

Lately we’ve been hearing a lot from people who’ve watched parts or all of it, and we’re now doubly grateful to Anne for doing that show.  You can find the first segment here and just take it from there.

A New Report on Sleep; and a Word about Internet Marketing | Print |  E-mail

Hello, again.
Being a somewhat obsessive sort, I take undue pleasure pulling together information from disparate sources and organizing it into some semblance of coherence.   

Given the fact that we’ve been declared a nation of sleep deprived zombies by the CDC, I thought it would be time well spent to put together a Sleep Report, with all the latest recommendations and research-based interventions that we now know can help people get past their sleep insufficiency (yes, that’s the current term of choice for this).

We announced the report last week and got a terrific response, so I’m announcing it again for those of you who didn’t open that email. 

Please check it out, print it out, email the link and discuss it with friends, colleagues and clients.  Even following a few of the recommendations (there are 27 of them) in it can make a big difference to someone, and it’s a good reference document to have handy.

Impact of Guided Imagery and Other Mind-Body Methods on Diabetes | Print |  E-mail

Hello again.

I’m very much looking forward to giving a talk next month to the annual meeting of the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) in Philadelphia, on August 9th at the Convention Center.

My keynote’s entitled Guided Imagery & the New Mind-Body Breakthroughs in Diabetes Care.

I’m especially happy and honored to be speaking to this particular group of professionals. I’ve met a lot of them over the years (special shoutout to Jane Seley and Ann Williams!!), and they’re so committed to empowering patients to manage their diabetes and take charge of their health. They’re a passionate bunch - really committed to educating people about critical lifestyle changes – kind of a cross between a nurse, a coach, a whip-cracker, a mom and a science brainiac.  

They make strong relationships with their patients and they make a huge difference.  Diabetes, we all know, is as frustrating and complicated a condition as it is prevalent and potentially destructive.  It can wreck organ functioning and cripple a person if it isn’t managed properly.  The stakes are high.  It takes persistence, ingenuity and expertise to get on top of it, and even more to stay there. 

Make Relaxation Part of Your Summer Vacation | Print |  E-mail
Belleruth is on her way to Martha’s Vineyard for the summer. This week’s update is presented by the staff of Health Journeys.

Summer is here and the time is ripe to head off for another great vacation. To help ease the challenges of summer travel, we offer these guided imagery resources to make sure you return calmed and rejuvenated.


 No matter what your vacation plan, we have created ways to bring imagery on your trip. Our Car Travel Pack will promote peace, support, safety and sanity. For those behind the wheel, Sylvia Boorstein’s Road Sage CD guides you to mindful peace, in spite of any provocation.

Our Travel Kit for Kids is just the thing to make long trips more pleasurable for the little ones, and those who travel with them. Shambala Kids Relaxed & In Control or Betty Mehling’s CD, Magic Island: Relaxation for Kids, can help children to relieve stress and enhance feelings of well-being.

Recording Imagery for Concentration Presents Challenges… Now, Where Was I? | Print |  E-mail

Hello again.

Well, for some reason I keep forgetting that summer is allergy time in Northeast Ohio and my throat gets scratchier, gunkier and froggier than usual, starting in May or thereabouts.  

So when I showed up at Bruce’s studio at the end of June to record the new imagery (Help with Concentration, Focus & Learning, Including ADD, ADHD & LD), I was a complete washout.  Not the first time.  Won’t be the last, either.  Oh well.

Note to self: Remember to record in winter or early spring.

In the meantime, we’ll see how it goes with the old ears, nose and throat here on Martha’s Vineyard, where I hole up and work through September.  If these sea breezes make things better, we may just have to import Bruce and his trusty microphone (he would like this), assuming we can find a seriously soundproof studio.  But the flora and fauna around here may be worse, not better – can’t remember…. We’ll see.  We’ll figure something out, one way or t’other, and there will be a new audio by fall.

Shoutout for Mayo Clinic, Early Adopter of Guided Imagery | Print |  E-mail

We recently got a spate of new orders for our Menopause, Surgery and Grief imagery, thanks to an article from the Mayo Clinic blog about the importance of mourning the loss of a woman’s breasts after a mastectomy.  Mayo has been way ahead of the curve as an early and strong supporter of guided imagery in general and our resources in particular, and we salute them for it. They have their general information about imagery here.

Oh, and remember “Franny”, the multiply traumatized client I featured in my last book, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal?  With her permission, I used “Franny” as an example of how not to do therapy with someone suffering from posttraumatic stress.

Well, I just heard from her, and posted her email message on this week’s Inspiring Story page.  The subject line of her email was: From Franny, Who Is No More.  Check it out if you have the time, especially if you’re a therapist or a trauma survivor.  She’s truly an inspiration.

Belleruth to Talk on Guided Imagery at Strongsville Public Library | Print |  E-mail

Well, it always happens in the Spring.  I go to the studio to record our new audio for ADHD, called Concentratiion, Focus and Learning, on Bruce Gigax’s impeccably tuned, super-pricey, new microphone, and for some reason or other, I find myself sounding like a baritone frog.  Chagrined to say I got sent home, having failed to execute my mission.  

Usually allergies are the culprit. This time, I’d caught a monster cold a few days earlier, or thought I had, in Boston Harbor, in an open boat taxi on a nasty, windy, rainy day.

On reliable advice, I started gulping 3 horse pills every 3 hours of Wellness Formula, an over the counter immune support supplement you can find in any natural food store, and amazingly, that seemingly inevitable cold – it felt like it was going to be a grand 3-weeker - just faded away.  Astonishing! 

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