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Concepts of Guided Imagery

The mind and body are deeply connected. You can’t heal one without attending to the other. Guided imagery is a great way to harness the power of your mind to improve or change your body.

The mind and body are deeply connected. You can’t heal one without attending to the other. Guided imagery is a great way to harness the power of your mind to improve or change your body.

The basic concept of this alternative healing treatment is that by thinking certain thoughts, you experience them in your imagination and mind, and then in your body. Did you know that when you think of a memory, in terms of brain function, this experience is exactly the same as actually having the experience? Your brain does not know the difference between the two kinds of input.

Here are some of the uses of this technique:

Relaxation. It’s common knowledge that feeling comfortable and relaxed is preferable to feeling stressed or worried. But did you know that you have the power to feel relaxed in any circumstance? Simply imagine yourself in your favorite place for relaxing. Fully envision all the details of the scene, using all of your senses. For example, you might imagine that you are sitting beside the ocean at sunrise, feeling the cool grains of sand beneath you in luxurious contrast to the warming rays of the sun. You can smell the fresh salt breeze, hear the gentle hiss of waves on the shore. Take a sip of your fresh squeezed orange juice, and enjoy the tangy citrus taste in your mouth.

Anger Management. While anger is definitely a part of being human, it is not the healthiest emotion to have. Anger can increase stress and blood pressure and even damage your heart. It is important to learn how to manage your anger effectively. Instead of reacting with unhealthy rage when things go wrong in your day, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and imagine yourself in a calmer situation. You might try imagining performing a soothing repetitive task, like caressing a favorite pet or putting one foot in front of the other on a tranquil walk in a quiet forest. Many people are able to calm their anger using this method. If you are really good at it, you can even make physical changes like lowering your heart rate and blood pressure.

Pain Management. Unfortunately, traditional medicine cannot always deal with pain. In some cases, doctors cannot even discover the source of pain, much less diagnose or treat it effectively. By imagining the pain lessening, you can often reduce the acute feeling of pain that you are experiencing. For example, when faced with a pain in your foot, you might imagine that your foot is wrapped in a soft, warm blanket. There is no pain there, only comfort, stillness, and peace.

Weight Loss. In many cases, people eat because of reasons other than hunger. You might be feeling sad or bored or compulsive. If you can convince your mind that food is not helping you overcome these problems, you will be able to better resist the temptation of overeating. Picture yourself in a happy place, where you feel content and fulfilled. You can also try imagining yourself stuffed with food to the point where you can’t eat another bite.

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