Salem Hypnosis Article at Empowered Within: Guided Imagery Healthcare
At Salem Hypnosis we offer several different guided imagery techniques. Guided imagery is a simple, effective low cost tool that has been demonstrated to increase a patient’s sense of self-healing and self-esteem by giving them hope and comfort. You can get this sense of independence from your dis-ease and sense of accomplishment. By utilizing the tools in guided imagery, you are taking an active role, as the patient, to be empowered, motivated and enthusiastic. You are simply participating in your own healing. Guided imagery is increasingly being used by hospitals and physicians as an additional tool to aid in the prevention and treatment of many illnesses.
Guided imagery is a way of purposely diverting and focusing the patient’s thoughts during a time of stress or overwhelming conditions. Initially, guided imagery begins by obtaining a level of peace and relaxation. The patient shifts their attention away from the “external environment” to the mind. This is done by way of a “soothing” yet compelling story.
Cancers have gone into remission, hearts have healed, immune systems have strengthened… are they due to the belief, the medicine or both? Only you can decide for yourself. Belief is a healer. Your own internal healer. Doesn’t it make sense to tap into that belief and strengthen your chances for healing?
Healing really comes down to this: Seek the advice of a medical specialist for what you are dealing with, get a second opinion if you have any doubts or concerns, and find within yourself your strength, your power of belief in your own healing.
Research Supports Guided Imagery
Current research supports the efficiency and power of imagery. Guided Imagery not only as a therapeutic intervention but a standard of care in many institutions nationally and internationally.
The use of guided imagery has been clinically shown to:
Assist with stroke rehabilitation and cardiac rehabilitation
Assist pre and post medical and surgical treatments
Assist patients during Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation
Assist children with ADD
Assist people coping with losses: (death, relationships, divorces, job)
Decrease stress and anxiety
Decrease blood pressure, chest pain and angina
Decrease the blood sugar for Diabetics
Decrease side effects of treatments
Decrease symptoms of asthma, allergies, emphysema and respiratory conditions
Decrease symptoms for conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s,
Strengthen the immune system
Guided Imagery Speeds Surgical Recovery – © David S. Sobel M.D.,
Salem Hypnosis Article
Patients undergoing surgery often experience a loss of control, feeling more like victims than participants. Anxiety, fear of the unknown, fear of pain, dependency, uncertainty, and helplessness are common emotions which can intensify the perception of pain associated with invasive medical procedures.
Physical and psychological stress can also contribute to prolonged postoperative recovery and a suppressed immune system.
To help retain a sense of control, patients can learn a range of positive skills including imagery, relaxation, self-talk, and positive outcome expectations.
Guided imagery is a technique that draws on the power of thought to influence psychological and physiological states. The patient listens to an audio tape to create mental images that bring about a state of focused concentration. This state, in turn, allows relaxation and produces a sense of physical and emotional well-being. Patients can use this technique to control their reactions to anxiety, depression, and stressful situations.
Guided imagery may also help patients strengthen their immune system and enhance their own healing.
A recent study at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation investigated the effect of guided imagery on 130 patients undergoing colorectal surgery. A control group received standard surgical care. Another group listened to a guided imagery tape to help them become calm and focused.
The guided imagery tape included soft, soothing music, and a story that brought patients to a “special place” in their mind – a place that was safe, secure, protected, supported, and relaxed. The imagery story encouraged patients to confront and work through any feelings of fear, anxiety, and negativity.
Patients were instructed to listen to the tape without interruption twice per day, once in the morning and once in evening, for three days before the operation and for six days after. During surgery and in the recovery room they listened to a tape with only the music.
Those who listened to guided imagery tapes fared much better–both before and after surgery. Before surgery, anxiety increased in the control group but decreased in the guided imagery group. After surgery, pain and anxiety levels were significantly lower for the imagery patients. They needed only about half the amount of narcotic pain medications as the control group and their bowel function also returned much more quickly.
The number of patients experiencing postoperative complications such as nausea, vomiting, or disrupted bowel function did not differ significantly in the two groups. Nor were there enough participants to detect a statistically significant difference in length of hospital stay.
But virtually all of the guided imagery patients reported that they appreciated using the tapes and attributed benefits including improved quality of sleep, speeded recovery, and reduced anxiety and pain after surgery. Most believed that all patients having major abdominal surgery should have the opportunity to use the guided imagery tapes.
How do the guided imagery tapes improve the surgical experience? The answer is not clear at this point. Using the tapes may increase patients’ sense of control and active participation, which in turn may reduce anxiety and change physiology. Music has been shown to influence mood and, perhaps, immune function. The tapes also provide a temporary escape, blocking out annoying noises, and distracting the patients from pain and anxious thoughts.
Guided imagery can help you relax, clear your mind, and engage physiologically and psychologically supportive images. Of course, you don’t have to be facing surgery to enjoy these benefits. Imagery tapes can be used for general relaxation and stress reduction as well as management of a variety of diseases.
Salem Hypnosis Article