2“Imagination is more powerful than knowledge.” —Albert Einstein
3An Historical Perspective of Mental Imagery and Visualization Origins date back to Freud and Jung in modern psychologyMost likely used for millennia by people of all culturesShamans used visualization to heal tribe members
4Mental Imagery and Visualization Mental imagery involves unconscious thoughts that become conscious in the effort to heal or make whole.Guided mental imagery is a variation wherein images are suggested by another person.Visualization is a conscious thought process directed toward self-improvement.
5Mental Imagery Research Mental imagery has been the focus of many clinical studies to determine the effectiveness of this technique on many types of illness, most notably cancer. Additional case studies reveal the merits of this approach time and again, where the unconscious mind is invited to actively participate in the healing process.
6Mental Imagery as a Relaxation Technique Just as real or imaginary thoughts can trigger the stress response, relaxing thoughts can promote the relaxation response.When imagination is used to promote relaxation, the body’s five senses are in effect deactivated or desensitized to stressful stimuli.
7Healing Visualization Tips from Dr. Patricia Norris Image must be idiosyncraticImage must be egosyntonicImage must have a positive aspectImage must be kinesthetic and somaticImage must be anatomically correctEmploy constancy and dialogueEmploy the healthy blueprint aspectEmploy the treatment with the image
8Three Categories of Mental Imagery Tranquil natural scenes, or images that place one in a natural environment.Behavioral changes, or images that allow one to see and feel oneself performing a different, more health-conscious behavior.Internal body images, or images of trips inside the body to observe damaged or diseased tissue being healed or repaired.
9Color and Light Therapy Research into visualization also includes color and light therapyThe color blue appears to have a relaxing/healing effect.Full spectrum lighting is known to have a healing effect too!
10Mental Imagery and Chronic Pain Has been used to identify and alleviate chronic pain, particularly the use of mental imagery and the power of the unconscious mind
11Steps to Initiate Mental Imagery and Visualization Assume a comfortable positionRelax (concentrate on breathing)Adjust attitude toward receptivity
12Steps to Initiate Mental Imagery and Visualization (continued) Select a visual theme (beach, forest)Allow your mind to enrich the imageUtilize all the body’s senses
14Best Application of Mental Imagery Mental imagery can be done just about anywhere (before giving a speech, before an exam, falling asleep, etc.)A technique that doesn’t require much timeMany Olympic and professional athletes use this techniqueList five situations where this technique would be appropriatePlease, do not use this technique while driving!!!
15Study Guide Questions1. What is mental imagery and how does it differ from visualization?2. List three categories that imagery and visualization can be used for relaxation.3. What is color therapy and how can it be used to promote relaxation?4. List the three steps of guided mental imagery that when followed, help promote relaxation.