What is guided imagery?
Guided imagery is based on the concept that your body and mind are connected. Using all of your senses, your body seems to respond as though what you are imagining is real. An example often used is to imagine an orange or a lemon in great detail-the smell, the color, the texture of the peel. Continue to imagine the smell of the lemon, and then see yourself taking a bite of the lemon and feel the juice squirting into your mouth. Many people salivate when they do this. This exercise demonstrates how your body can respond to what you are imagining.
You can achieve a relaxed state when you imagine all the details of a safe, comfortable place, such as a beach or a garden. This relaxed state may aid healing, learning, creativity, and performance. It may help you feel more in control of your emotions and thought processes, which may improve your attitudes, health, and sense of well-being.
What is guided imagery used for?
Guided imagery has many uses. You can use it to promote relaxation, which can lower blood pressure and reduce other problems related to stress. You can also use it to help reach goals (such as losing weight or quitting smoking), manage pain, and promote healing. Using guided imagery can even help you to prepare for an athletic event or for public speaking.
Is guided imagery safe?
Guided imagery is safe -- no known risks are associated with it. Guided imagery is most effective when the person teaching it has training in guided imagery techniques.
How do you perform guided imagery?
Some people will use their imagination in creating a peaceful scene or happy event. Most, however, will use recorded CDs where they are guided through an entire scenario. There are CDs that are created specifically for relaxation/stress reduction, healing, forgiveness, pain management and much more. In most cases, a guided imagery exercise will last from 10 minutes to 20, however some might be a little shorter or longer.
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