Helene spoke with her inner advisor through imagery after being diagnosed with breast cancer. Because of the type of cancer she had, she had received a number of different treatment recommendations from top level oncologists and surgeons. These ranged from two different types of surgery, choices of approaches to breast reconstruction, radiation and the possibility of adjunctive chemotherapy. She used guided imagery to decide from a “deep level” what treatment course would be best for her.
Using the Fighting Cancer From Within CD and Book Set, Helene was directed to fully relax and imagine herself in a beautiful safe place and to have a conversation with an image of a wise and loving “Inner Advisor.” An angel-like figure came to her mind, large, ethereal yet substantial, and winged. Helene felt a sense of love and wisdom from the advisor and invited it to be comfortable with her. She discussed all the information she had gathered with the advisor and asked it to help guide her to choose the best treatment for her. The advisor seemed to respond in a way that made Helene feel that surgery followed by radiation was the best treatment for her – that it had the best evidence behind it and her own intuition confirmed that it was the course she wanted to choose.
The advisor affirmed that choice and Helene felt surer than she had to that point about her treatment plan. At the end of their dialogue, she thanked the advisor for coming. In response, it enfolded her in its large golden wings and surrounding her with a profound sense of warmth and love. She was very moved.
Helene was clearly relieved to have reached what felt like a good decision for her. But more important to Helene, she found out she was not alone. Even though she was a woman deeply connected to family and friends, she discovered another kind of connection – a profound sense of being part of something that ultimately went beyond life as she knew it.
Guided Imagery can access a kind of wisdom and compassion that can not only help you make good treatment decisions but may also link you to a sense of being feel loved and connected to life, the mystery, and to your spirituality in a very personal and tangible way. This sense of support can help you through adversity and fear.
Guided imagery evokes personally meaningful and relevant imagery that are necessary in holistic cancer care. They range from relaxation and anxiety reduction images to those that stimulate healing responses in the body, to those that mobilize personal strengths and resources in the service of healing. Since imagery is a natural way that the human nervous system codes, stores, processes and accesses information, its uses for someone with cancer are not limited to simple relaxation or immune system stimulation, but also include methods for decision-making, accessing and building emotional strength and experiencing events in ways that are most functional for supporting the healing resources of the individual.
About the author: With over 35 years of experience in guided imagery for health, Dr. Martin Rossman is a nationally-recognized leader and innovator in the field of imagery for self-healing. The author of two classic books on guided imagery, he founded The Healing Mind in order to make high level instruction in guided imagery for self-healing affordable and accessible. The Healing Mind’s unique self-guided program Fighting Cancer From Within Book and CD Set, and 30 other guided imagery programs, along with research, commentary, and links can be found at www.thehealingmind.org.