Guided Imagery for Mental and Physical Health
The mind certainly has great influence on mental health, but the mind also has significant influence on our physical health. The placebo effect is probably the best known example of how the mind can heal human body. The fact is that imagining activates the senses, produces a physical or physiological effect, and in that way mind can facilitates an actual healing.
Guided imagery involves picturing a specific image or goal and imagining ourselves achieving that goal. Imagery is something what we mentally see, hear, taste, smell, touch, or feel. With guided imagery we produce active imagination where elements of the unconscious communicate with the conscious mind.
The principle of guided imagery indicates that thoughts, feelings and physiology are connected. Guided imagery provides a powerful psychological strategy and a therapeutic tool used to explore the potential for healing by utilizing the mind-body connection.
Brain scans have verified that picturing something and actually experiencing it are equivalent. Stimulating the brain with imagery can have a direct effect on the immune, nervous and endocrine systems. Guided imagery is used to open a dialogue between the body and mind.
Generally, we can use guided imagery to improve our mood and physical well-being. Guided imagery considers any of visualization techniques used to guide oneself or another person to reach a desired physical response. In order to guide a person's mind toward the goal of maintaining a calm and focused position, guided imagery can involves the use of audio/video records, writings or a training coach.
Our minds can help us manage about any health condition. According to recent scientific findings we can strategically use our mind as a healing force. There are many examples of mainstream medicine that show the potential of this mind body approaches.Guided imagery can be applied with patients at all levels of ability or disability.
Guided imagery has many uses. It can be used to resolve inner conflicts and retrieve psychological symptoms, but also can help with physical problems. Guided imagery has been clinically proven to help manage stress, anxiety, depression, pain relief, anger, sleep disorders, preparation for surgery, etc. Evidences and examples of medicine practice shows that patients whose use guided imagery have decreased need for pain medication, decreased side effects, reduced recovery time, strengthened immune system and increased self-confidence and self-control.
Guided imagery is most used to promote relaxation that can reduce stress, lower blood pressure and reduce other similar problems. Also it is very useful for losing weight and quitting smoking. Guided imagery promotes healing, but also can help us to prepare for some event or situation.
The practice of guided imagery is an ancient tradition; it is believed to have been used as a medical therapy for centuries. These techniques even go back to the ancient Babylonians, Greeks, and Romans. First recorded evidence is that Tibetan monks in the 13th and 14th centuries began meditating and imagining that Buddha would cure diseases.
Today, many hospitals have a newly established program that provides free guided imagery sessions to patients. We can say that guided imagery is accepted as a valid and important part of our health-care system.
One of the biggest benefits of using guided imagery is its availability. It can be used at home, anywhere, anytime.