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Why Are Dreams Important for Your Health?

Any time after you have a weird, emotional, or insightful dream, you may try to research what exactly those dreams mean.

Even though doctors have been studying dreams for years, there could be several different analyses for each kind of dream you have.

Many doctors also believe that by dreaming you can connect better with your emotional, mental, and spiritual health.

Why do you need to pay more attention to your dreams?

Founder and director of the Institute for Dream Studies, Justina Lasley, MA, explains why your dreams are so important and how you can start paying better attention to them.
Why Are Dreams Important for Your Health?
Featured Speaker:
Justina LasleyJustina Lasley, M.A., is founder and director of the Institute for Dream Studies, an internationally recognized program that promotes the understanding and value of dreams to help people reclaim their authenticity. Justina shares with clients her enthusiasm, keen insight, and talent for relating to others, facilitating their rapid movement toward a more authentic, spiritual, and fulfilling life.

Justina is the author of several books on dreams including her new book Wake Up!: Use Your Nighttime Dreams to Make Your Daytime Dreams Come True. She has been featured on television, radio and in numerous newspaper and magazine articles. Justina's more than 20 years of study and practical experience makes her an in-demand speaker, trainer, and coach throughout the U.S. and abroad at such venues as Omega Institute and the NY Open Center.

RadioMD Presents:Healthy Talk | Original Air Date: May 11, 2015
Host: Michael Smith, MD

Anti-aging and disease prevention radio is right here on RadioMD. Here is author, blogger, lecturer and national medical media personality, Dr. Michael Smith, MD, with Healthy Talk.

DR MIKE: Why dreams are important. I remember when I was in college, I took a course, well, it was a psychology course but there was a part of that course where we talked about dreams and dream analysis. It always fascinated me. So, my guest is Justina Lasley. She is the founder and director of the Institute for Dream Studies, an internationally recognized program that promotes the understanding and value of dreams to help people reclaim their authenticity.

Justina shares with clients her enthusiasm, keen insight and talent for relating to other facilitating the rapid movement toward a more authentic, spiritual and fulfilling life. She is the author of several books but the latest one is titled, Wake Up. Use Your Nighttime Dreams to Make Your Day Time Dreams Come True.

Justina, welcome to Healthy Talk.

JUSTINA: Thank you, so much Dr. Mike.

DR MIKE: Why don't you tell us, how did you get started in this field of dream analysis?

JUSTINA: Yes, it's one of those things that, speaking of college, I would never have imagined that I was going to be so passionate about a field that I really knew nothing about in education, but as a child I thought my dream were fascinating. I loved them. But growing up in more analytical, math-minded family, there really wasn't a place for dreams and this kind symbolic, metaphorical language.

So, they were always dismissed. So, I dismissed them in my life until, gosh, my children were in high school and I found out that someone came in Atlanta to our church and spoke on dreams and I was amazed. I had never known that people actually thought they were important enough to give time and energy, especially in the church, to speak to and so I joined the dream group that our interim minister started and the minute I started paying attention, remembering my dreams and using those for guidance in my life I was hooked.

So, I started. I got involved and then I went back to school to get my Master's in Transpersonal Psychology, with an emphasis in dreams, but I just see what it does for people's health and careers, relationships, all of this—what phenomenal guidance we have every night.

DR MIKE: So, I guess a simple question then, from my listeners. So, why do you think they are so important, dreams?

JUSTINA: Well I think we are born with this innate ability to really know so much more about ourselves and to really fulfill why we're here and what our skills, what are our talents, what our ability to really make this world a better place and to enjoy our time and we have sleep through it. We're dreaming five to six dreams a night and if this did not have importance in our lives, why is everyone doing it? Why we as human beings doing this? Often people will say they don't dream, meaning they don't remember their dreams but they will tell me about their dog dreaming. They're sure their dog dreams, which is true but they themselves don't accept that they have this 24/7 inner therapist, waiting to help and guide them in every aspect of their life.

DR MIKE: That's an interesting way to put it, Justina. It's an inner therapist. I've never heard somebody refer to the dreaming process like that it. Just going back to your story a little bit, Justina, is there a specific dream that you often like to use in your own life to help educate people about the importance of dreaming?

JUSTINA: Well, since this is a health program we'll focus on that aspect. That, really, dreams have guided in every aspect of my life, but I was going from doctor to doctor about trying to diagnose things. Things were just not going right with my body and everyone, was just sort of at the end of their rope in the medical community trying to figure out why I was having the problems I did. Fortunately, I was at a graduate school where there was a doctor who was a Native American. He found out I was studying dreams and immediately piqued his interest. He wanted to hear my dreams. And he would actually draw some of the images that I gave him on the examining sheet of the examining table.

One day, he said, "I know what test I'm going to order--some new bloodwork we haven't done before," and I had the doctors at Emory and Duke and all of these doctors who had been doing all kinds of tests on me, but just with that one test, he discovered something that people had missed and it was because in my dream I these amoeba-like, I don't know what you call them, but amoeba-like crawling up my childhood bedroom wall. I knew it was important when I waked up to know about this dream, but it was amazing and I couldn't believe myself even though I really respect the information that comes through dreams. I was like, "How can I know this? How can I know this and a medical community can't know it?"

But if you think about it, why wouldn't we know it first as, I'm sure, you talk to your listeners, our body is meant to be balanced and will correct and heal itself if given the right opportunities. So, we are going to know what's going on in our body and it will speak metaphorically. I had a dream where I had an injured hand in waking life and, again, I was going to Duke. Nobody could anything. I had been diagnosed with Lupus and so, that was sort of self-destructive disease and so when I got injured, instead of healing, my body starting taking it in the negative direction.

So, I don't know if you want to hear it and have time to hear the short dream but I would love to share it to give people an idea about how that....

DR MIKE: Let me ask something first, though. Maybe we'll have time to hear the dream specifically but let me back up for a moment because...


DR MIKE: Justina, I think most people would acknowledge and agree that dreams do maybe reflect a certain amount of the emotions we're dealing with. You know, if you're if you're under a lot of stress and you're anxious at a certain time period life, a lot of your dreams kind of reflect that type of emotion so I think a lot of people will give you that. They'll agree with you on that level but you're taking this to a totally different level. You're talking about dreams really speaking to our psyche and if we listen, we can we can direct our lives based on these dreams.


DR MIKE: How do you explain that to somebody? How do you convince somebody of that type of analysis?

JUSTINA: Okay. This was really hard for me. As I said before, I grew up in an analytical fact-oriented family and if you couldn't prove it, then it wasn't true. So, this really difficult for me. I was trying to grasp it. I was in a program that Robert Johnson was doing, who is an incredibly intuitive man, and he kept telling me that I knew these things that I did not know I knew. But, I couldn't get it and then one morning, I woke up and there was a bird chirping outside my window and with that one chirp, I thought, "I've got it." I grew up in a family that respected birds. They were ornithologists.

DR MIKE: I tell you what, Justina. Just hold that thought right there. I'm going to let you complete that thought. We've got to take a quick break. We'll complete that thought and then, we'll go into how we can remember dreams better.

This is Healthy Talk on RadioMD. I'm Dr. Mike. Dream better.