Humans have the capability to imagine different things and that can have great impact on real lives as well. It is commonly seen that people read a story and start imagining those characters or even feel as if they are a part of their lives. Guided imagery is such a technique based on imagination and the power hidden in it is used for healing the individual.
In guided imagery, the imagination is aimed at visualizing the positive side of the problem or in simple words imagining what the person expects to be. For example, in order to maintain good health, people actually need to visualize that they are healthy and the same will follow in reality.
The basic principle of guided imagery is to create positive images in the mind so as to make the body and the brain to react to it positively. This therapy is performed in a relaxed state in a calm environment where the individual is able to focus on the positive imagination. This can be done by listening to a guide or records that help to imagine the positivity. With just the thought of food, salivation can start; similarly a guided thought of a positive image makes the body to respond to it.
Scientifically, these positive images are known to stimulate the brain and the body and both harmoniously help the healing process. It is shown that by listening to a series of guided relaxing sounds helps a person to imagine the brighter side. These have an effect on the brain and the various body functions are influenced with it. Studies have shown that guided imagery can help to reduce the heart rate, lower blood pressure and can also help in treating insomnia and anxiety.
Guided imagery healing is known to have the following benefits:
- Reducing stress, anxiety and fear
- Managing sleep disorders and eating disorders
- Managing stress related disorders like headaches, indigestion or muscle aches
- Helps in preparation for surgery or medical treatment
- Helps in continuing weight loss, smoking or addiction cessation programs that require a strong will power
- Helps in treatment of cancer or other major chronic ailments
- Helps in regulating temper and maintaining inter personal relationships
- Maintaining general fitness and slowing the aging process
- Helps to improve patient compliance towards medical treatment and follow-ups