What is imagery?
The mind is a powerful healing tool. Imagery or visualization has been used as a therapeutic
technique for centuries.
By creating images in your mind, you can reduce pain and other symptoms associated
with your condition. The more specific the visualization, the more therapeutic it
will likely be. People are taught to imagine sights, sounds, smells, tastes, or other
sensations to create a kind of daydream that "removes" them from or gives them control
over their present circumstances.
Imagery usually involves a program with set objectives and goals. You are guided to
visualize your goals and work toward them.
Two imagery techniques are widely used today:
Palming involves the visualization of color. You place your palms over your eyes and envision
the color associated with stress (usually the color red). Then, you change the
color to a more relaxing color, such as blue. It is thought that changing colors
in the mind induces relaxation.
Guided imagery involves envisioning a certain goal to help cope with health problems. Guided
imagery is most often used as a relaxation technique. It involves sitting or
lying quietly and imagining yourself in a favorite peaceful setting (maybe a
beach, meadow, or forest). Imagery may be guided by direct suggestion from a
qualified imagery practitioner. Another is the method in which a person with
cancer imagines Pac Men (from the old Pac Man video game) gobbling up bad cancer
Studies have shown that imagery can help the mind and body relax. It can help:
Manage anxiety, stress, and depression
Help reduce pain
Lower blood pressure
Give you a better sense of control and well-being