How can Guided Imagery Help?
Guided imagery is a form of focused relaxation that helps create harmony between the mind and body. It is a way of focusing your imagination to create calm, peaceful
images in your mind, thereby providing a “mental escape” and apowerful psychological strategy that enhances a person’s coping skills. Imagery involves all the senses, as well as one’s whole
body and emotions. It is a way of viewing your ideas, feelings, experiences and interpretations. Imagery can stimulate changes in bodily functions such as heart rate, blood pressure and respiratory
patterns. It can help you tab inner strengths to find hope, courage and other qualities that can help you cope with a variety of conditions. Almost anyone can use this technique.
Benefits of Guided Imagery
Lifestyle changes or conditions that require medical or surgical interventions often cause patients to feel out of control, scared or overwhelmed. Fear of pain is a
commonly expressed concern. Clinical studies show that anxiety can effect pain, prolong recovery time and lower the immune system. Guided imagery can bring about the state of mind and body most
conducive to healing – deep relaxation and positive focus.
What is guided imagery?
Guided imagery is a program of directed thoughts and suggestions that guide your imagination toward a relaxed, focused state. You can use an instructor, tapes, or
scripts to help you through this process. It is based on the concept that your body and mind are connected. Using all of your senses, your body seems to respond as though what you are imagining is
real. An example often used is to imagine an orange or a lemon in great detail—the smell, the color, the texture of the peel. Continue to imagine the smell of the lemon, and then see yourself taking
a bite of the lemon and feel the juice squirting into your mouth. Many people salivate when they do this. This exercise demonstrates how your body can respond to what you are imagining.
You can achieve a relaxed state when you imagine all the details of a safe, comfortable place, such as a beach or a garden. This relaxed state may aid healing,
learning, creativity, and performance. It may help you feel more in control of your emotions and thought processes, which may improve your attitude, health, and sense of well-being.
How does guided imagery help?
Guided imagery has many uses. You can use it to promote relaxation, which can lower blood pressure and reduce other problems related tostress. You can also
use it to help reach goals (such as losing weight or quitting smoking), manage pain, and promote healing. Using guided imagery can even help you to prepare for an athletic event or for public
Is guided imagery safe?
Guided imagery is safe. No known risks are associated with it. Guided imagery is most effective when the person teaching it has training in guided imagery
techniques. Always tell your doctor if you are using an alternative therapy or if you are thinking about combining an alternative therapy with your conventional medical treatment. It may not be safe
to forgo your conventional medical treatment and rely only on an alternative therapy.