Salem Hypnosis: What is guided imagery and how does it work

Salem Hypnosis Article at Empowered Within: “What is guided imagery and how does it work?”

Salem Hypnosis Article at Empowered Within

Guided imagery is a technique, which has been used for centuries. It is being used in personal, professional and healthcare settings as a powerful tool for rapid healing, stress reduction, freedom from addictions, to simply coping with life. Relaxation is essential for imagery to be successful. Why? It allows the mind to be open and receptive to new information. Not only does it reduce muscle tension, but also enhances the production of images and triggers the unconscious, which stimulates the emotions.

Guided imagery is a mind-body intervention aimed at easing stress. It promoted a sense of peace and tranquility at a stressful or difficult time in someone’s life. It is a process of incorporating the “power of the mind” to assist the body to heal, maintain health and vitality or relax by way of an inner communication involving all senses, (i.e. visual, touch, smell, sight, sound). It forms a balance between the mind, body and spirit. It has been shown that when the mind is still, it is clear and more open to suggestions. It is then able to cooperate in positive images and suggestions that may enhance physical and emotional healing. Therefore, imagery is most successful when the mind and body are quiet and still. Imagery induces an “altered state” that enables messages to travel more easily from our minds to our bodies.


Salem Hypnosis Article at Empowered Within

Salem Hypnosis Article at Empowered Within

How to use guided imagery

The primary intention of guided imagery is to gently and safely guide the person to a state where their mind is calm, silent and still. A common guided imagery technique begins with a general relaxation. During the process I ask the person to gently close their eyes and focus on their breathing. I encouraged to relax, clear their mind of any distractions, and surround themselves in images that are peaceful and calm.

How are the CD’s and Audiotapes Designed?

When using guided imagery by way of a CD or an audiotape, you incorporate someone to gently guide you. You have soothing music and/or tranquil sounds of nature. I encouraged people to focus on the “present moment”. You want to be in the here and now and to make this time of healing a priority. If possible, it is important to tune out any thoughts and ideas that may be racing around through your mind. Just focus on your breathing and relax. You can have a personal CD designed specifically for you by having a Personal Process.


Salem Hypnosis Article at Empowered Within

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How can imagery assist you with healthcare concerns?

Guided Imagery has had a remarkable affect on individuals heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, oxygen consumption, brain waves, body temperature, intestinal motility, sexual arousal and hormonal balances. Certain symptoms and illnesses seem to be more receptive to imagery than others. Conditions caused or aggravated by stress often respond well to imagery suggestions, (i.e., angina, blood pressure, blood sugar, cardiac symptoms, headaches, pain, gastrointestinal disorders, respiratory conditions, etc.).

“Guided imagery can be used,” writes Katherine Brown-Saltzman, “to reacquaint patients with their healthy side, give them back a measure of control, enhance their immunologic response to stress, reduce side effects of treatment and diminish anxiety and fear. For persons with cancer, guided imagery has been found to reduce or arrest the side effects of nausea and vomiting, create a relaxation response, affect the immune system, and assist in the management of anxiety, pain and terminal illness.”

Research suggests that the physiological impact of relaxation may be the result of its effects on cortisol, a hormone released by the body in response to stress. Although the release of cortisol is helpful during the “fight or flight” response, its continual, prolonged release in response to daily stresses can inhibit the immune system and slow tissue repair.


Salem Hypnosis Article at Empowered Within

Salem Hypnosis Article at Empowered Within

Phenomenon the “Relaxation Response”

Herbert Benson, M.D., of Harvard Medical School and founder of The Mind/Body Medical Institute, entitled this phenomenon the “relaxation response”.

Imagery can enhance coping with lifestyle changes (i.e. losses, job changes, and illnesses), relationships and attitude adjustments. It may be of assistance with weight loss programs, smoking cessation or with conditions that require medical or surgical interventions. It can be an avenue to identify and communicate one’s inner most feelings and be beneficial to anyone needing assistance with a stressful or difficult time.

Guided imagery may be practiced independently, with a coach or with an audio or videotape. Although a one-on-one session with a person may prove to be the most personal way of providing the intervention, it is not always possible or realistic.

In addition, many people feel uncomfortable “opening up” or expressing their fears to others. The use of an audiotape offers them privacy and contributes to the psychological and spiritual well being by helping them find meaning and direction. An audiotape can be general, it does not need to specifically discuss illness, procedures, surgery, or pain. Family members also encouraged to listen as well.

Guided imagery provides an opportunity for people to directly focus on positive thoughts and images, thus allowing a much welcomed “temporary mental escape”. People often call imagery their “mini vacation in their mind.”

Clinical studies have indicated that encouraging patients to listen to imagery during anesthesia induction and/or medical or surgical procedures has decreased anxiety and stress levels significantly. It has been demonstrated to reduce the need for large doses of medication, thus reducing side effects and decreasing the recovery time frame. More information on guided imagery and healthcare.

Research has shown that guided imagery may assist you in the following areas:

Reduce stress and anxiety
Lowering cholesterol
Lessening the adverse effects of chemotherapy
Decrease pain
Decrease side effects
Decrease blood pressure
Decrease blood glucose levels (Diabetes)
Decrease allergy and respiratory symptoms
Decrease the severity of headaches
Decrease hospital costs with rapid healing
Enhance bone and wound healing
Enhance sleep and peace of mind
Enhance self confidence and self-esteem
Assist in losses such as loss of a job, divorces, or death
Most Importantly – Enhance Quality of Your Life!

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Salem Hypnosis Article at Empowered Within