“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”
~ Henry David Thoreau
Guided Imagery involves the use of relaxation and imagination/visualization, utilizing all the senses (sight, sound, taste, smell, and feeling) for healing and making desired changes. Imagery as a healing tool has been used throughout the ages and in all parts of the world.
Assisting others to direct their inner imagery to a greater awareness of their overall health and well-being has been increasingly established by research to demonstrate a positive impact in various healing processes. It may be used to help clients cope with their disease, regain a sense of control, and find the strength to make necessary changes in their lifestyle and health practices.
Imagery is a highly relaxing, natural, and safe modality that guides clients to trust their inner experiences and imagination to be a source of insight, healing, and personal growth.
Imagery and Healing:
The body and the mind communicate in images. And each affects the other. Then, how is the connection made between the two and how does imagery work in this context?
Images which emerge from the subconscious are thought forms which are connected with the entire body and mind. These thought forms transport information to and from every cell via neurotransmitters. They carry messages from one neuron to the next through the synapse, the space between the neurons.
Hormones carry messages stimulated by neural and chemical activity in the hypothalamus (part of the brain that controls body temperature, hunger, thirst, and such) and pituitary gland and affect activity of all glands. Immunomodulators are chemicals of the immune system which communicate the nature of the immune defense throughout the body. Neuropeptides carry information throughout all bodily fluids and may be the key to understanding how emotions are felt throughout the body.
Controlled studies have shown that the more fully formed the perception on an image, the more real it is perceived by the brain and the stronger the information flows throughout the body and mind.
Visualization at work:
In my mind’s eye, I visualize how a particular… sight and feeling will appear on a print. If it excites me, there is a good chance it will make a good photograph. It is an intuitive sense, an ability that comes from a lot of practice.
~ Ansel Adams (famed American photographer)
I train myself mentally with visualization. The morning of a tournament, before I put my feet on the floor, I visualize myself making perfect runs with emphasis on technique, all the way through to what my personal best is in practice….
~ Camille Duvall (professional water skier)
This simple idea served to provide information on the geometrical shape of reacting molecules, and I was able to make the role of the frontier orbitals in chemical reactions more distinct through visualization, by drawing their diagrams.
~ Kenichi Fukui (Nobel Prize winning chemist)