Skip Navigation Links
 



                     


 



   
    Learn More     Subscribe    
Join Now!      Login
 
 
 
FREE HEALTH
NEWSLETTER
 
 
Stevia - FDA Poll
Should stevia be approved as a sweetener by the FDA?
 
 
 
 
G
uided Imagery
 

Guided Imagery for Home Care

© Martin L. Rossman MD

People throughout time have used mental imagery for healing in one form or another. Whether through simple prayer, visualization, or elaborate healing rituals, the imagination can play a powerful role in both physical and emotional healing.

One of the most powerful healing effects we know in medicine is called the "placebo effect." This refers to the common occurrence of the patient receiving benefit in the form of pain relief, better bodily function, or even physical healing and recovery, even though the treatment administered had no active ingredient. Placebo effect is commonly misunderstood to mean "nothing happened", but what it actually means is that because the patient thinks they are receiving an effective treatment, their body responds by getting better. When you understand this, you also understand that the placebo effect, mediated through imagination and belief, is the best evidence there is that the mind can play a powerful role in healing.

Placebo is not a negligible or minor effect. It has been shown in thousands of scientific studies that it is responsible for between 35% to 55% of the effectiveness of all treatments, including medicine and surgery. In fact, in the early 1960's, an operation was developed to improve the blood flow to the heart for people suffering from severe heart disease. It relieved their pain 80% of the time, and even improved the ability of the heart to pump blood through the body by 70%. A well-designed scientific study was then performed at Johns Hopkins Medical Center where half the patients matched for age, sex, and severity of heart disease, had this operation. The other half, without knowing it, had a sham operation with the identical surgical incision, and no actual surgery to the heart. The results were remarkable! The groups were identical in both relief of pain and improvement of heart function! This, and many studies like it, have demonstrated the remarkable powers of "positive expectant faith," as the placebo is sometimes known.

Why is this important to you? For one thing, if you can be "tricked" into healing, why can't you learn to flip on that mental switch that allows healing to take place? If one set of thoughts can trigger healing, why can't another? The answer is, they often can - almost always on the emotional level, and sometimes on the physical level, as well. For most people, the simplest way to evoke this response is through the purposeful and skillful use of the imagination.

Imagination is a powerful mental function that allows us to review the past, imagine possible futures, and do things that we sometimes can't do in the outer world. The imagination is the source of creativity, of problem-solving, of planning, and of setting our course in this world if we use it correctly. Aristotle called it "the window to the soul", since it always represents our internal reality. Einstein, late in life, said "Imagination is more important than knowledge."

Few of us are educated in the use of imagination, though it is one of our most powerful mental functions. Our educational system is geared toward teaching us logical, linear thinking which are invaluable in life, but we are generally discouraged from using too much imagination, and are certainly not trained in how to focus it and use it well. Fortunately, we use imagination instinctively, since it is a normal, natural way for our brains and nervous systems to store, process, and retrieve information.

Add your comment   CONTINUED    1  2  3  4  5  6  Next   
About The Author
Physician, author, speaker, researcher, and consultant, Dr. Rossman founded The Healing Mind in order to raise awareness about the power of high quality mind/body self-care tools in self-healing and in the health professions. A graduate of the University of Michigan Medical School in 1969, he has had a long-standing interest in the......more
 
Share   Facebook   Buzz   Delicious   Digg   Twitter  
 
 
 
 
 
 
From Our Sponsor
 
 
 
 
 
 
Featured Events
Wellness Inventory Certification Training - Level I
     February 18-May 20, 2014
     Los Angeles, CA USA
 
Additional Calendar Links
 
Wellness, Thinking, dimension!

Search   
Home       Wellness       Health A-Z       Alternative Therapies       Find a Practitioner       Healthy Products       Bookstore       Wellness Inventory
Healthy Kitchen       Healthy Woman       Healthy Man       Healthy Child       Healthy Aging       Wellness Center       Nutrition Center       Fitness Center
Free Newsletter      What Doctor's Don't Tell You      Stevia.com      Discount Lab Tests      First Aid      Global Health Calendar      Privacy Policy     Contact Us

Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.