The power of the mind to influence the body is quite remarkable. Imagery is the most fundamental language we have. Everything you do the mind processes through images. When we recall events from our past or childhood, we think of pictures, images, sounds, pain, etc. It is hardly ever words. Advocates of imagery contend that the imagination is a potent healer that has long been overlooked by practitioners of Western medicine. Imagery can relieve pain; speed healing and help the body subdue hundreds of ailments, including depression, impotence, allergies and asthma.
Guided Imagery is a meditative technique, which involves focusing on a particular sensory image to create a specific physical reaction. This mind/body technique calls upon the power of suggestion by picturing a specific image in the mind’s eye, which is focused on intently enough to convince the subconscious that it is real. Many clinicians believe that the more fully something is imagined, the more “real” it seems to the brain and the greater is the amount of information sent to the nervous system.
During a typical session of imagery, the focus is on a predetermined image designed to help control a particular symptom (active imagery) or to allow the mind to conjure up images that give an insight into a particular problem (receptive imagery).
While we still wait for basic science research to inform us as to precisely how imagery works as a primary connector of mind/body/spirit, there is much clinical evidence that our images can effect our healing in our journey toward wellness. Studies demonstrating the positive effect of imagery on immune systems activity are exciting and encouraging. Imagery is often used for the purposes of enhancing performance (as in sports psychology), deepening connection with the core self, and reducing stress by creating a relaxed peaceful inner state.