Guided Imagery & Meditation
Guided Imagery or a guided meditation is simply a flow of thoughts that one can see, hear, feel, smell or taste in one’s own imagination. Dr. Rossman, Co-founder of the Academy for Guided Imagery says “An image may or may not represent external reality, but it always represents internal reality.” One of the most common human symptoms in life is worry – some more than others and worry can cause symptoms of stress in the body, wherever it may manifest, such as headaches. The healing power of imagery or guided meditation has three characteristics that lend great value in medicine and healing:
- It directly affects physiology.
- Through the mental processes of association, it provides insight and perspective into mind, body & spirit.
- It has an intimate relationship with emotions, which are often at the root of many common health conditions.
Imagery can be a key factor in dealing with anything from a simple tension headache to a life-threatening disease. It is a proven method for pain relief, for helping people tolerate medical procedures and treatments, stimulating healing responses in the body. Imagery can assist in clarifying attitudes, emotions, behaviors and lifestyle patterns that may be involved in producing illness. It can also facilitate recovery, and be used to help people find meaning in their illness, cope more effectively with their health problems and come to grips with life’s limitations.
Guided imagery is becoming more widely available for medical and psychological problems and as a means of achieving greater personal insight, creativity and self-actualization.
- Get comfortable laying down or sitting up.
- Take a few deep breaths and begin to imagine that with each in-breath you take you release tension or worry.
- Find your own natural breathing rhythm rate and continue to imagine breathing into calmness and peacefulness, breathing out tension and worry. Invite your body to relax.
- Using the Chakra chart I have provided, follow and breath into all 7 chakras. (click to enlarge photo).
- begin with the root chakra and follow up to the spleen, then to the solar, then to the heart, then to the throat, then to the brow, all the way up to the crown chakra.
- Breathe calmness into every chakra point and release any tension on the out-breath.
- When you have reached the crown chakra, allow your whole body to sink into a peaceful, relaxed state.
- Now imagine yourself in a place that is very peaceful and beautiful, perhaps a place you’ve actually visited, or an imagined place – a special place you’d really like to be. Imagine yourself there now – notice the details – what you see, the colors, shapes, living things. Notice what you hear in this special place, smell any aromas you associate with this place, pay special attention to any feelings of peacefulness and relaxation that you feel and allow yourself to experience them as fully as possible.
- When you are ready, simply allow the images to fade and, taking all the time you need, bring yourself back to the outer world, gently opening your eyes and stretching as you return to your body.
One of the things that is so appealing about guided imagery is that it is so easy and readily available at any time of the day or night. It is an integral psychotherapeutic therapy that you have at your disposal as a self-help tool that lends itself to your own self-care at a moments notice. It is a means of achieving greater personal insight, creativity, self-actualization and can calm the mind and body.