By Aria Seligmann/ EUGENE WEEKLY JANUARY 24, 2002
Starting with simple deep-breathing exercises, Nancy Hopps, on her CDs and tapes, invites her listeners to relax. With soothing music playing in the background, Hopps’ smooth, mellow voice and her warm approach to the material quickly lulls the listener into a deep peaceful state.
Breathing, letting go, relaxing the body, emptying the mind of thoughts, and guided imagery are some of the processes in her newest wellness series: Relax into Healing. Two new CD Resource kits, Finding the Peaceful Place Within and Deep Healing Sleep, were both released in October, expanding this Eugenean’s library of offerings that already include Relaxation/Affirmation Techniques, Relax Quick! and theRelaxation Gift Set.
Each Resource Kit contains a 60-minute CD, reminder cards with affirmations for 28 days, and a 16-page booklet that describes how the relaxation processes can be most effective for this listener, with tips on diet, exercise, yoga, meditation and related approaches.
“My life is quite full, so finding ways to stay centered and maintain balance is essential for me on a personal level,” says Hopps, who balances motherhood, performing, counseling, teaching, leading workshops and public speaking. She uses her own techniques to “keep from going over the edge” when her life gets busy and says she’s seen “incredible changes in people’s lives as they’ve learned to integrate these techniques.”
Her Relax Into Healing series and other recordings were born out of a class Hopps taught at LCC and the UO in the 1980s in which students focused on a particular goal while learning how to integrate meditation and the creative power of thought, imagery and feeling into their everyday lives. The classes led to individuals coming to her for private counseling, and Hopps began working with clients on wellness, stress management, weight loss, smoking cessation, anorexia, depression, cancer and more.
Her client and students began asking for relaxation exercises to be recorded so they could use the guided visualizations she was using in class on their own time.
Now, Hopps’ CDs are distributed throughout the U.S. and Canada and recently Music Design catalog placed her CDs right next to Deepak Chopra’s in a rundown of top quality spoken word recordings.
Her CDs have been endorsed by leaders in the field of body/mind healing, including Bernie Siegel and Joan Borysenko. Jack Canfield, co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, says, “Nancy’s work is very impressive. Material of this quality and integrity is rare. I recommend it highly.”
Hopps is also a certified hypnotherapist and bioresonance therapist. Her work with so many clients has shown her over and over that what happens on an emotional level affects the physical plane.
“We all have an innate inner wisdom,” she says. My job is to help guide the person to that place.”
Using breath – “an incredibly powerful tool” – as the foundation, Hopps helps her clients find blockages and release that bottled up energy to restore balance. “The body/mind system wants to be in a state of health,” she says. “We need to get out of the way.”
A personal test came from Hopps in December 1998, when she was diagnosed with uterine cancer. She used her own techniques as well as diet, bioresonance, a partial hysterectomy, “incredible support systems and deep, inner spiritual work,” to come through what she calls her “cancer healing journey.”
During the year and a half she was dealing with cancer, she had to learn to let go of her many responsibilities. “That seemed to be one of my most important life lessons,” she says.
But that experience led her to wonder what she was really here to do. The answers seemed to come easily. Within months, her Relaxation Gift Set was off and running; a year later, she released the Relax Into Healing series.
She continues to work on new CDs, hold speaking engagements, and is beginning to write a book. Hopps is heartened to know her work, once seen as rather “woo-woo” is now accepted in the mainstream model. She has been involved in research projects funded by the National Institute of Health, the National Institute of Mental Health, and has presented at numerous national and state organizations.
But now she is ready to push the envelope a little further. “I call it ‘Coming out the God closet’—having the courage to speak in more direct spiritual terms,” she says. “I truly believe peace does begin within each one of us. And with the world events as they are, the time to create peace is now.”
Nancy Hopps will discuss her work and lead an evening of guided relaxation at the UO Bookstore on Jan 31st from 7:30 to 9 pm. The event is free.