Healing Through Guided Imagery
[NOTE: "Guided Imagery" is another
term for hypnosis.]
ScienceDaily (Jan. 7, 2008) ó Aristotle and Hippocrates believed in the power of
images in the brain to enliven the heart and body. Today, research shows they
were right. Guided imagery is helping patients use the full range of the bodyís
healing capacity, according to the January issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter.
Guided imagery is more than listening to relaxing sounds. Itís a learning
process to listen to someoneís voice, relax the breathing and consciously direct
the ability to imagine. The effect of guided vivid imagery sends a message to
the emotional control center of the brain.
From there, the message is passed along to the bodyís endocrine, immune and
autonomic nervous systems. These systems influence a wide range of bodily
functions, including heart and breathing rates and blood pressure.
Guided imagery has been shown to benefit patients by:
Reducing side effects from cancer treatment
Reducing fear and anxiety prior to surgery. Studies have shown that surgery
patients who participated in two to four guided imagery sessions required less
pain medication and left the hospital more quickly than those who hadnít used
Managing headaches. Studies have shown that guided imagery may aid in reducing
the frequency of migraine headaches as effectively as taking preventive
Adapted from materials provided by Mayo Clinic.