Breast Cancer Survivor: Guided Imagery Helps Reduce Stress

There are few things in life as scary and stressful as undergoing a cancer diagnosis and treatment. One woman, Laura Squillace, said guided imagery helps reduce stress and some of the anxiety she was feeling and keep her going as she underwent seven surgeries, 28 rounds of radiation and 6 rounds of chemotherapy.

After having a routine mammogram in 2011, Laura was called back to her doctor. She had a breast biopsy and was told she had cancer — although doctors could not tell where it was, exactly.

Just like that, her life changed and she was left with a fear of the unknown. How bad was it? Where was the cancer?

She got a second opinion and found out she had Stage 3 breast cancer. One month later, she underwent a double mastectomy at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak.

The day of her surgery, her sister gave her one of the hospital’s guided imagery CDs and she got the chance to listen to it a few days later.

“That CD changed everything. It put me in a quiet, peaceful place. It helped me manage my stress. It’s about mind and spirit,” she said.

The hospital has worked to offer many new methods for breast cancer patients, including guided imagery, which is provided in the hospital’s integrative medicine division along with massage and acupuncture.

Laura now says she’s a big believer in guided imagery, handing out CDs to friends and family. “I’m spreading the word.”

Guided imagery has been shown to be effective in reducing anxiety, pain and chemotherapy-induced nausea for cancer patients. Along with reducing stress and pain, guided visualization helps to provide positive imagery of the future to instill hope and promote health of the mind and the body.

If you or someone you know is preparing for the difficult journey of cancer treatment, this guided meditation for cancer healing may help. Clearing Cancer is a three-part guided meditation that covers each part of the recovery process to empower your immune system, clear your cells with love and gain the emotional support you need during healing.

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