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How many people each year suffer some type of preventable harm that contributes to their death after a hospital visit?
from 46,000 to 78,000
from 78,000 to 132,000
from 132,000 to 210,000
from 210,000 to 440,000


 Rx Imagery: How to Use Your Imagination to Improve Your Health 
The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Mind Body Health by . View all columns in series

For Arteries and Heart Disease
A miniature Roto Rooter truck speeds through your arteries and cleans out the clogged pipes
Water flows freely through a wide, open river
A crew in a small boat all row together, easily and efficiently pulling the slender boat across the smooth water surface

For Asthma and Lung Disease
The tiny elastic rubber bands that constrict your airways pop open
A vacuum cleaner gently sucks the mucus from your airways
Waves calmly rise and fall on the ocean surface

For Diabetes
Small insulin keys unlock doors to hungry cells, and allow nourishing blood sugar in
An alarm goes off and a sleeping pancreas gland awakens to the smell of freshly brewed coffee

For Cancer
A shark gobbles up the cancer cells
Tumors shrivel up like raisins in the hot sun, and then evaporate completely into the air
The faucet that controls the blood supply to the tumor is turned off, and the cancer cells starve
Radiation or chemotherapy enter your body like healing rays of light; they destroy cancer cells

For Infections
White blood cells with flashing red sirens arrest and imprison harmful germs
An army equipped with powerful anti-biotic missiles attacks enemy germs
A hot flame chases germs out of your entire body

For a Weak Immune System (Immune deficiency disorders: HIV, AIDS, and others)
Sluggish, sleepy white blood cells awaken, put on protective armor, and enter the fight against the virus
White blood cells rapidly multiply like millions of seeds bursting from a single, ripe seed pod

For an Overactive Immune System (Allergies, asthma, arthritis, etc.)
Hyperalert immune cells in the fire station are reassured that the allergens have triggered a false alarm, and they can go back to playing their game of poker
The civil war ends with the warring sides agreeing not to attack their fellow citizens

For Pain
All of the pain is placed in a large, strong metal box, closed, sealed tightly and locked with a huge, strong padlock
You grasp the TV remote control and slowly turn down the pain volume until you can barely hear it; then it disappears entirely
The pain is washed away by a cool, calm river flowing through your entire body

For Depression
Your troubles and feelings of sadness are attached to big colorful helium balloons, and are floating off into a clear blue sky
A strong, warm sun breaks through dark clouds
You feel a sense of detachment and lightness, enabling you to float easily through your day

For Behavior Change
If you are somewhat shy, imagine a vivid, detailed picture of yourself walking up to people and chatting with them confidently
If you want to be more physically active, see yourself walking in the park, riding a bike, taking a dance class, or joining a sports team

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 About The Author
David S. Sobel, M.D., M.P.H., is a practicing physician in adult medicine and Medical Director of Patient Education and Health Promotion for Kaiser Permanente Northern California. He is physician lead for the......moreDavid Sobel MD
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