Learn to use guided imagery and the power of your mind to bring about a state of deep relaxation and healing.
Guided imagery works. Study after medical study over the past three decades has found that the power of the mind can influence almost every major system of the body—from breathing and heart rate to digestion and immune response.
What follows is an experiential session of guided imagery that will allow you to experience first-hand the many benefits of this powerful technique. You might want to read the session aloud and record it so that you can and then replay and listen to it.You will activate your body’s own innate healing response and access deep levels of peace and relaxation.
Before you get started, here are some suggestions for working with guided imagery:
- For your own safety and the safety of others, never listen to guided imagery exercises while you are driving or operating dangerous equipment.
- It may be easier to concentrate if you practice in a quiet, darkened place or use an eye pillow.
- Try headphones or speakers (if you have the choice) and see which one you prefer.
- Get comfortable and feel free to move any time to stay comfortable.
- Let your answering machine or voicemail take care of your calls; turn off the ringer or unplug the phone.
- Tell your housemates not to disturb you for about thirty minutes unless there’s a genuine emergency.
- Accept the way you imagine things. Images are rarely vivid or clear, and they may not even be in picture form.
- Be kind to yourself and give yourself time to experiment. If you’re a newcomer to guided imagery, go along with each experience in your own way and notice what you learn or what happens for you each time.
- To deepen your experience with guided imagery, take some time afterward to draw or write about it.
How to Prepare for Guided Imagery
Before beginning any imagery process, get comfortable in a place where you feel safe and where you won’t be disturbed for about thirty minutes. You may want to put a sign on your door or tell anyone who needs to know that you’d like some privacy for this time. Loosen any tight clothing or jewelry as you get comfortable. Know that you can shift or move at any time to be even more comfortable.
As you begin to relax, you’ll probably find it easier if you let yourself close your eyes. But you can open them anytime you like and then close them again whenever you want to return to your deep relaxation.
Learning to relax with imagery simply involves learning how to pay attention to different things and to shift your attention from the outer to the inner world. First, take some time to focus on your breath, letting it get a little easier and deeper. Then invite your body to relax part by part, and you’ll find that your body really likes to relax. All you need to do is to invite it and let it relax in its own way, then notice how each part of your body relaxes.
Guided Imagery Practice
When you’re ready to relax more deeply, begin noticing your breathing. Notice that on the in-breath you’re bringing in fresh energy, vitality, and oxygen, which flow to all parts of your body. Let every out-breath, every exhalation, be a real release of the breath. As you begin to head for a deeper level of relaxation, make a small movement to signal this shift toward deep relaxation.
You may want to briefly lift a finger and then let it come to rest again. Or you may want to gently roll your eyes up and take an especially deep breath; then let your eyes become comfortable again as you begin to relax.
As you begin to relax, let your attention shift from the outer world to your inner world. Invite your body, your mind, your feelings, even your spirit to release any tension that doesn’t need to be held right now. You don’t even have to know what you need to hold onto and what can be released.
Simply invite the body or parts of the body to release any tension that you don’t need to hold onto right now. Observe what happens.
You may notice that some parts of the body release quickly and easily while others take more time. That’s perfectly okay. Simply invite the parts of the body to relax. Notice how they respond. And let whatever they do be perfectly alright right now—without worrying about how quickly or deeply any part of you relaxes. Just invite this relaxation and unwinding to happen and notice how each part of the body responds.
As you focus on different parts of the body, you’ll notice that you may feel things in them that you didn’t notice before when your attention was elsewhere. That’s perfectly normal. Just notice that there’s feeling, awareness, responsiveness, in each part of your body. You might even experience it as a type of intelligence.
So notice this intelligence and awareness in one of your feet and ankles. Notice any tension or sensation and what happens when you invite that foot and ankle to release any tension it doesn’t need to hold right now. Simply invite the foot and ankle to begin to relax, more deeply and comfortably.
Then notice your other foot and ankle—how that part of your body feels right now. Invite that foot and ankle to also begin to relax, in its own way. And notice how it responds.
In the same way, notice the intelligence in your legs and invite your legs to release any tension or discomfort. Begin to relax more comfortably, and notice their response. Without having to make any effort at all, just allow the legs to soften and release, letting it be a comfortable and pleasant experience. Don’t worry about how any part of you relaxes, how deeply you relax, or how you relax more deeply.
To relax even more comfortably, continue to notice the intelligence in different parts of your body and invite them to join in this softening and relaxation.
As you relax, please know that no matter how deeply you relax, if you ever need to return your awareness to the outer world, you’ll be able to do that by simply opening your eyes and looking around, coming fully alert. If you’d like to try that now, please do.
Knowing that, you can let your eyes close again and return your attention to the inner world of your imagination.
Notice now the intelligence in your hips, in your pelvis, in your low back, and invite them to release and to relax. Soften and release without effort or struggle, letting it be a pleasant, comfortable experience.
Notice your abdomen, your waistline, and midsection and invite that part of your body to soften and relax more deeply.
Notice your chest and rib cage and invite them to soften and relax. Release any tension that doesn’t need to be held there. Especially pay attention to the muscles between and across the shoulder blades, inviting them to join in this deepening sense of relaxation.
Just let go, relax deeply and comfortably—but stay aware as you do.
Now invite the intelligence in your back and spine to soften and release. Relax your low back, up through the mid-back, between and across your shoulder blades, then across your neck and shoulders, and all the way up into your neck.
Then invite that sense of relaxation to flow through your arms, over your shoulders, down through your arms, through your elbows, forearms, wrists and hands, and all the way down into the palms of the hands, the fingers, and the thumbs.
Notice the intelligence in your face, inviting the muscles of the face and jaw to become soft and at ease. All the scalp and forehead to become soft and at ease. Invite the little muscles around the eyes to take a well-deserved rest. Even your tongue can relax and become soft in your mouth.
Now when you’re ready to relax even more deeply and go to a place where your body’s natural healing abilities can operate at top efficiency, imagine yourself going some place especially beautiful that you love to be in. It may be a place you’ve actually been or a place you’ve imagined—just wherever comes to mind right now. It doesn’t matter as long as it’s a place that’s beautiful safe, secure, private, and powerful.
This is a special place for you—a place where you feel safe and at ease.
If more than one place comes to mind, pick whichever one attracts you most right now. Imagine yourself there and take some time to look around in your inner world and notice what you see. You may not see in exactly the same way as you do in the outer world, but you can tell what you’re imagining.
Just notice the objects and colors you imagine seeing here.
In the same way listen carefully and notice what sounds you imagine hearing in this beautiful, healing place.
Perhaps the place is just very quiet.
Let it be what it is for now—as long as you feel comfortable and safe. It’s a place you love to be, and you can let yourself be there now, simply because you choose to. And you can enjoy it as much as you like because you choose to.
Know that while you’re enjoying this special place, your muscles are relaxing, your blood is flowing easily and bountifully to every part of your body. Your breathing is easy and fresh oxygen and energy is being delivered to every cell of your body. Your body is repairing and renewing itself on every level. And there’s nothing else you have to do while your body is doing that.
If you like, you can grant yourself the luxurious permission not to do anything else right now or to go anywhere else. Let yourself feel what it’s like to do absolutely nothing. And have it be good for you so you’re actually doing something by doing nothing. In this case, let your body relax and know that while it relaxes it can repair, restore, and renew.
Notice what the air is like in this special healing place, what the temperature is like. I wonder if you can tell what time of day or night it is? What the light is like? What time of year it seems to be?
Now find a spot where you feel most centered, relaxed, and most deeply connected with this place and the healing qualities and energies you feel here. Let this be a special place of healing, of deep restfulness, of renewal, and restoration for you. And as you deeply relax in this place, you may want to notice what it feels like to be surrounded by and supported by the energies that you find healing in this place. If it feels comfortable, just let yourself soak up whatever feels good, whatever feels nourishing and vitalizing, energizing, and healing.
As you allow this to be a comfortable and enjoyable sense of deep relaxation, you can know that as you relax this way, your body can direct its energy to whatever healing and repair is needed, wherever its needed. Your body knows how to heal, and this time allows it to concentrate its healing abilities wherever that attention is needed. The blood flows easy and naturally to whatever area needs nourishment and renewal; the blood washes away tension, soreness, inflammation, or anything that doesn’t belong there—leaving behind in its place a sense of refreshment, renewal, and vitality.
In this relaxed and comfortable state, your body’s healing abilities and wisdom can operate at peak efficiency, without distraction from the challenges of daily life and without having to attend to anything else right now. Your muscles relax, your blood flows easily and naturally, your immune system works efficiently. Your tissues repair and renew. Your brain and mind are refreshed. Your mind can rest and become quiet and clear.
Take a minute to enjoy this sense of deep relaxation, comfort, and healing.
Stay relaxed and know that anytime you want to experience this deep state of relaxation, inner focus, and healing, you can return by simply getting comfortable and letting your breathing deepen. Making the relaxation signal you’ve chosen, invite the different parts of your body to relax and go to this inner place of relaxation and healing. You can stay there as long as you like. And when you come back to the other world, you can do so feeling more relaxed and refreshed than before. You’ll be clearer in mind and more comfortable in your body.
To return to the outer world, look around your healing place once more and let yourself notice your appreciation for having such a place inside and for being able to use your mind in this way to help your body relax, repair, and heal.
Knowing that you can return to this place at any time of your own choosing, prepare to leave and come back to the outer world. But first, take a moment to review what’s happened in this brief experience and if there’s anything you especially want to bring back with you when you return to the outer world.
It may be something you realized or learned about relaxation or healing. It may be a feeling of deep relaxation, refreshment, comfort, or healing.
When you know what you want to bring back, let the images fade and begin to pay attention to the space and sounds around you, and to the room you’re in. Begin to feel your body coming alive and awake. Gently stretch or wiggle your fingers and toes. Let your body return to the outer world feeling more relaxed and more refreshed than before—more comfortable yet more alive. Your mind will be clearer and refreshed, your senses sharper.
And as you return your attention to the outer world, you may feel you’re awakening from a deeply refreshing rest. Let your eyes open and look around, coming all the way awake and alert, all the way back into the outer world, bringing back with you whatever you’ve chosen to bring back.
As your attention returns to the other world, you may want to take some time to make some notes or sketch something about this experience. Let yourself feel good about learning to relax and enhancing your body’s ability to heal in this way. Prepare to make the very best of the rest of your day or evening.
Source: Self-Healing with Guided Imagery
It’s not easy to deal with painful emotions head-on. But it’s a key to good health and well-being physically, mentally, and spiritually. If we don’t deal with pain when it occurs, it will resurface as compounded emotional toxicity later on — showing up as insomnia, hostility and anger, or fear and anxiety.
As a further complication, if you don’t know how to deal with feelings of anger and fear, you’re likely to turn them inward at yourself, believing, “It’s all my fault.” That guilt depletes our physical, emotional, and spiritual energy until any initiative or movement feels impossible. We feel exhausted and paralyzed, leading to depression.
You can learn how to recognize painful emotions right away and how to effectively “metabolize” and eliminate pain.
Overcoming difficult emotions such as fear, anger, guilt, and anxiety can bring the same disguised benefits that dealing with a physical illness can bring. Patients suffering from life-threatening illness often report that their diseases have taught them to love and value the other people in their lives more deeply than before they became ill. During recovery they learn to appreciate and understand areas of life that they took for granted before. While anger, fear, and worry are not diseases, we can grow from them even as we process them to become the person we want to be.
By turning to our inherent intelligence, harmony, and creativity, we can create a positive outcome; but if we are emotionally turbulent, we are too agitated to access that possibility.
Why meditation is part of this exercise:
Through meditation we can experience our silent self beyond our thoughts and emotions. This is our internal reference point for equilibrium. From here we can create a desired outcome. To restore balance in our life, meditation must be an essential ingredient.
It is also important to support this with balanced activity in the basic areas of diet, exercise, and sleep. While some of these meditation exercises do not require any, we recommend our simple and effective meditation accessories for beginners.
Assuming these fundamental balancing components are in place, I would offer an additional exercise to specifically address what to do in the face of intense anxiety and fear.
Metabolize pain with this seven-step exercise:
Toxic, turbulent emotions have one cause — not knowing how to deal with pain. Pain is normal in life, but suffering isn’t. When we do not know how to deal with pain, we suffer.
- 1. Identify and locate the emotion physically
Set aside a few minutes when you won’t be disturbed. Pick any quiet place where you feel calm. It is recommended to take a seat that is sturdy, yet comfortable. The best practice is sitting up straight. The floor is not a bad idea, but this can become uncomfortable very quickly. Sit in a relaxed position and close your eyes. For a few minutes, just meditate in silence. Focus on your breathing — or if you prefer, you may use a mantra.
Now with eyes still closed, recall some circumstance in the recent past that was upsetting to you. It may be a time when you felt you were mistreated, an argument with your partner, or perhaps a past injustice at work. Identify some instance where you felt emotionally upset.
For the next 30 seconds, think in detail about that incident. Try to picture what actually happened as vividly as you can, as if you were reporting it for a newspaper. Here, you are the observer watching this event. You are not the event, argument, or emotional upset; you are merely witnessing what is happening from the perspective of your silent self. You are carrying the effect of the meditation you just did, allowing you to maintain a vantage point that is not overshadowed by the intensity of the emotions.
Now identify exactly what you are feeling. Put some word on the incident that describes what you are experiencing. Be as precise as you can. Do you feel unappreciated? Insulted? Treated unfairly? Give the feeling a name. Come up with a word that epitomizes the painful experience. Focus your attention on that word.
- 2. Witness the experience
Gradually allow your attention to move away from the word. Let your attention wander into your body. Become aware of the physical sensations that arise in your body as a result of the emotion you’ve identified.
These two elements — an idea in the mind and a physical sensation in the body — are what an emotion truly is, and they can’t really be separated. This is why we call it a feeling — because we feel emotions in our bodies.
Let your attention pass through your body as you’re recalling this experience. Locate the sensations the memory brings up. For many it’s a pressure in the chest or a sensation of tightness in the gut. Some feel it as pressure in their throat. Find where it is in your body that you’re feeling and holding the emotional experience.
- 3. Express the emotion
Now express that feeling. Place your hand on the part of your body where you sense that the feeling is located. Say it out loud: “It hurts here.” If you’re aware of more than one location for the pain, move your hand from place to place. At every location, pause for a moment and express what you’re feeling. Say, “It hurts here.”
When you experience physical discomfort, it means that something is unbalanced in your experience — physically, mentally, or spiritually. Your body knows it — every cell in your body knows it. Befriend these sensations and their wisdom, because the pain is actually leading you to wholeness.
Writing your feelings out on paper is also a valuable way to express the emotion. This is especially effective when you can write out your painful experience in the first person, in the second person, and finally from the perspective of a third-person account.
- 4. Take responsibility
Be aware that any painful feelings you experience are your feelings. These feelings are happening inside your body now as you remember the pain, even though nothing is actually taking place in the material world. You’re only remembering what happened, yet your body is reacting with muscle contractions, hormonal secretions, and other responses within you. Even when the painful incident was occurring in the material world, the effect was entirely within you. You have a choice in how you interpret and respond to emotional turbulence. Recognizing this is taking responsibility for your feelings.
This doesn’t mean you feel guilty. Instead, it means you recognize your ability to respond to painful situations in new and creative ways. By taking responsibility for your feelings, you can also gain the power to make the pain melt away. You’re no longer blaming anyone else for having caused the pain, so you no longer have to depend on anyone else to make it go away. Hold that understanding in your consciousness for the next few moments.
- 5. Release the emotion
Place your attention on the part of your body where you’re holding the pain, and with every exhalation of your breath, have an intention of releasing that tension. For the next 30 seconds, just feel the painful sensation leaving your body with every breath. Some people find that making an audible tone that resonates in that part of your body where the pain is localized helps to loosen and lift the contraction away.
You can also experiment to discover what works best for you. For some people, singing or dancing does the trick. You may try deep breathing, using essential oils, or taking a long warm bath. Finally, if you have written out your emotions on paper, it can be helpful to ritually burn the paper and offer the ashes to the winds.
- 6. Share the outcome
Sharing the outcome of releasing your pain is important because it activates the new pattern of behavior after the old painful pattern is released. Imagine that you could speak to the person who was involved in that original painful incident. What would you say to that person now?
Bear in mind that he/she was not the real cause of your pain. The real cause was your response. In your transformed state, you are now free. So you can share what happened without blame, manipulation, or seeking approval. Perhaps they intended to cause you pain, and you may have unwittingly collaborated in that intention. Maybe you would like to say you no longer intend to fall into such traps.
Whatever you say is totally up to you. As long as you have an awareness of the steps we’ve taken so far in this exercise, whatever you say will be right for you.
- 7. Celebrate the process
Now you can celebrate the painful experience that had taken place as the valuable material that helped you move to a higher level of consciousness. What was previously a disconnected, destructive, and disabled part of your psyche is now integrated and contributing its power toward your greater spiritual goal. Instead of responding to the situation with a pain reflex, perpetuating the problem, you’ve turned it into an opportunity for spiritual transformation. That is something to celebrate! Go out for a nice dinner or buy yourself some flowers or a present to honor the new you.
Use this exercise whenever you feel upset, to free yourself from emotional turbulence and the underlying pain. When you do that, you’ll find that opportunities will arise more often in every area of your life.
Found at: Gaiam.com
Psychic or spiritual healing is a human potential we all possess. Some people are especially good at this. It is probably easier to heal someone else by occult means than yourself. In addition to healing in the presence of the person, there is ‘absent healing’ in which the healing occurs at a distance.
Note that there are some who maintain that influence on another person without his specific knowledge and permission (yes, even in healing and helping) is black magick. (After all, everybody is living according to his own true will, so that healing or helping someone without permission is affecting his will). This means it is important to tell the person what you are planning to do and to ask his permission.
The theory of psychic healing is that sickness is characterized (although not necessarily caused) by a deficiency and imbalance of vital energy. Psychic healing transfers energy from the healer to the sick to repair and rebalance his energies.
If an inept healer overdoes the process, or if he doesn’t take the precaution to ‘disconnect’ himself afterwards, he may find himself becoming sick due to energy drain and a linkage to his subject. Similarly, the healer should always be in a good state of health or he could unintentionally transfer his illness to the subject.
Psychic healing should always be combined with medical care and treatment. It does not replace doctors, medicine, or hospitals, since different levels (worlds) are involved.
The basic methods of psychic healing are:
Creative visualization is one of the easiest techniques. Mild illness may yield to only one or two treatments; serious ills will require many treatments over time. In creative visualization, we visualize the person being well. It may be helpful to utilize the appropriate color from the aura chart (such as bright apple-green, rose pink, or white) sent as a beam to the person or as a cloud surrounding him. This technique can be extended to include a simple kind of yoga in which we feel energy sent as we exhale explosively; the energy sent either via the breath or from one of the chakras such as the solar plexus.
Prayer is also a simple technique. This can range from invocations to a specific deity complete with offerings and candles to a recitation of the ‘Lord’s Prayer’, the 23rd, and/or the 91st Psalms.
Channeled healing energy – such as Reiki, and other systems – are essentially a combination of visualization and prayer, and can be learned. Reiki is one of the simplest methods to practice, and is worth exploring.
A banishing ritual is helpful in psychic protection and healing since it forms a protective barrier against malevolent forces. The psychic barrier it creates can be made to permit entry of desired (constructive) forces and the exclusion of negative ones. Thus, the banishing ritual is an essential first step in almost any formal full magick ceremony. Here’s a link to a Simple Banishing Ritual.
Note: Sometimes in absent healing it is helpful to arrange a time for treatment in advance, asking your subject to be in a receptive state of mind and to sit back and close his eyes.
Author: Phil Hansford
Rejuvenation is the deliberate restoration of youth and vigor through self-intervention in the aging process. Negative mental states such as anxiety, depression, hostility, and insecurity tend to be debilitating, hastening the aging process.
Positive mental states such as self-confidence, self-esteem, self-acceptance, and a sense of personal adequacy are empowering and inject rejuvenating energies into the body, eradicating those disempowering states which contribute to aging.
Love, for example, is one of the most empowering rejuvenation elements know. When present in the psyche, it neutralizes hate, its negative counterpart that is destructive. Dormant rejuvenating forces already exist within each of us and can be activated to intervene in the physical aging process.
- Step 1:
Relaxation. Physical relaxation sets the stage for using your psychic faculties to intervene in the body’s many functions. Close your eyes, slow down your breathing and allow your muscles to relax from the forehead down followed by the affirmation:
“I am now in full charge of my body. I am capable of influencing every function, mental and physical. All rejuvenating energies of my being are now at my command.”
- Step 2:
Stress Expiation. Even when stress is reduced through relaxation, certain residual effects tend to linger. By visualizing the major systems and organs of the body and mentally infusing them with rejuvenating energy you can extinguish the residual effects of stress on the body. Energizing the body’s systems and organs is accomplished by centering full awareness on various body regions and mentally bathing them with glowing energy while using the following affirmation:
“Youthful, invigorating energy is now flowing throughout my body. All organs systems and functions are now revitalized. The wear-and-tear of stress is now replaced by the flow of youth and vigor.”
- Step 3
Balance. With the body physically relaxed and the residual effects of stress relieved, an empowering state of full balance is possible through a technique called the Fingerpad Engagement Procedure. Designed to balance left- and right-brain functions, this procedure attunes the mind and body-a condition essential to rejuvenation.
Bring the tips of your fingers together; then with the fingerpads in a comfortable position, with your eyes closed, imagine your hands as antennae for your brain. Imagine your left brain actively generating positive energy, which flows into your right hand as an extension of that hemisphere.
Next, imagine your right brain producing positive energy which flows into your left hand as an extension of that hemisphere, Allow the energies flowing into your hands to mingle and create a powerful exchange that balances your mental and physical systems. After a few moments, disengage your fingerpads and allow your hands to relax, palms side up. Conclude with the following affirmation:
“My total being is balanced and infused with rejuvenating energy. The energies of youth are now unleashed to flow throughout my being. I am completely attuned within myself and with the world.”
- Step 4:
PK Illumination. This is the final and most critical step in the rejuvenation process. Visualize or look at a photograph of yourself in your youthful prime. Study this image, carefully noting the youthfulness in your eyes. Now close your eyes and visualize yourself at the peak of youth standing before a full-length mirror. Study your eyes in the mirror and observe a youthful gleam. Next, surround yourself with a glow of energy, then think of your favorite color. Finally, while breathing slowly and rhythmically, soak in the rejuvenating glow enveloping your body. Conclude with this affirmation:
“My powers of rejuvenation are now being unleashed to permeate my total being with the glow of youth and vigor. Every system within is now being revitalized with the infusion of rejuvenating power. Tired, worn tissue is being fortified with the energies of youth. Every function of my body is now fully infused as sparkling youthful energy is absorbed into every cell and fiber.
Surrounded by a colorful aura of rejuvenating energy, I am now secure in the present, bathed in vitality and the glow of youth. My inner rejuvenating powers are fully and completely unleashed to flow freely throughout my total being. Each day, my mind and body absorb the abundance of youthful energy that is constantly being unleashed within my being. Whenever I envision myself enveloped with the colorful glow of radiant energy, I will immediately become invigorated and fully empowered.”
- A Final Note:
This rejuvenation procedure can be repeated daily, or as often as you wish. You may want to place a small, self-adhesive star or other reminder on your mirror, computer, or TV as a cue to periodically re-activate the inner flow of rejuvenating energy. With practice, the process of combining visualization with affirmations and tapping into the dormant powers of rejuvenation within you will become a natural, spontaneous and continuous function.
© 1995 by Joe Slate Ph.D.
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