Put mind over matter with integrative imagery

Imaging is not just for physical wellness. It also can provide a way to increase or improve personal qualities, such as patience, assertiveness or courage. Imagery is a fun but profound experience that can change our lives and bodies.

Imaging is not just for physical wellness. It also can provide a way to increase or improve personal qualities, such as patience, assertiveness or courage. Imagery is a fun but profound experience that can change our lives and bodies.

by Nancy Beauchamp — 

When people hear the words integrative imagery, they probably think about CAT scans or MRIs. But integrative imagery does not refer to a mechanical device separate from us. Rather, it is a technique of putting mind over matter to become healthier. In her book, Molecules of Emotions, Candace Pert states that thoughts are molecules. When these physical forms, or thoughts, influence our bodies in negative ways, we become stressed. If the stress continues, we become distraught, and ultimately diseased.

Our bodies perform hundreds of thousands of actions at any given moment. They make blood, hormones and bone; digest food; reproduce cells; and exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide. We do not consciously think about these actions. We do not think, “Oh, I cut myself. I had better start clotting my blood now.” Our bodies just know how and when to do it.

Some things we can consciously change, like our breathing or blinking our eyes — and we certainly can change our thoughts. We also can think about what we want our bodies to do. Herb Benson’s The Relaxation Response offered one of the earliest presentations of the idea of consciously controlling our bodies’ functions.

Integrative imagery uses many different techniques to effect change in our bodies and lives. For instance, if you are having difficulty choosing between two options, imagery can help you decide which one would “feel” better to your body. For example, if you have to make a choice between radiation and chemotherapy, and the results would be the same, you can image how you’d feel with each type of treatment. This gives you more control and better information before making a decision. Another example is pain. People dealing with pain can image it and arrive at a plan about how to best alleviate it.

Blue Cross/Blue Shield has approved a pre-surgical imaging program to help people heal more quickly after surgery. The insurance company found that people recuperate better from surgery and experience less pain, fewer incidents of infection and shorter hospital stays if they are taught how to image before surgery and then practice it after surgery.

Imaging is not just for physical wellness. It also can provide a way to increase or improve personal qualities, such as patience, assertiveness or courage. Imagery is a fun but profound experience that can change our lives and bodies.

 

Nancy Beauchamp has a bachelor of science in nursing and has spent almost 26 years as a hospice home-care nurse. She received reflexology and integrative imaging certificates through the Holistic Nurses Association, is currently working at the QuantumPathic Center of Consciousness as a medical researcher and offers private sessions. 480-262-7125 or www.QuantumPathic.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 24, Number 6, December 2005/January 2006.

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