The stress response in our body can switched to a relaxation response using the power of our imagination.
Imagination is a very powerful faculty that we all have. For an experience of this, imagine a lemon in your hand, smell it, feel the texture, the color, and continue to imagine the smell of the lemon, and then see yourself taking a bite of the lemon and feel the juice squirting into your mouth. Most of us salivate when we do this. Did you?
Our body and mind are so well connected that our body just responds to whatever our mind can imagine as real. Imagination is more powerful when we involve all of our senses. A mental image can be defined as “a thought with sensory qualities”. Just like any other faculty, people are different with their sense of imagination. Some of us see things, some of us hear, some of us feel and some of us have a sense of it as we imagine. All are ok and no one way is superior to the other.
In Guided Imagery relaxation program, you will be guided with words, suggestions to imagine your body and mind into a relaxed, focused state. Using most of your senses, your body seems to respond as though what you are imagining is real.
Remember the saying, a picture is worth a thousand words. It is very powerful to use images when we communicate with our unconscious mind, which actually operates with images. Mental images, formed long before we learn to understand and use words, lie at the core of who we think we are, what we believe the world is like, what we feel we deserve, what we think will happen to us, and how motivated we are to take care of ourselves. These images strongly influence our beliefs and attitudes about how we fall ill, and what will help us to get better. When we redirect or change some of these images that do not serve us well, with more healthful images, we make a profound shift.
Guided imagery can be used to promote relaxation, which can lower blood pressure and reduce other problems related to stress. You can also use it to help reach goals (such as losing weight or quitting smoking), manage pain, and promote healing. Using Guided imagery can even help you to prepare for an athletic event or for public speaking. It may help you feel more in control of your emotions and thought processes, which may improve your attitude, health, and sense of well-being. It can also be used to resolve conflicts. It is also used to help patients prepare for surgery and tolerate procedures more comfortably.
Guided imagery is safe. No known risks are associated with it. Guided imagery is most effective when the person teaching it has training in guided imagery techniques.
Always tell your doctor if you are using an alternative therapy or if you are thinking about combining an alternative therapy with your conventional medical treatment. It may not be safe to forgo your conventional medical treatment and rely only on an alternative therapy.