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 Diabetes  Holistic-online.com

Guided Imagery

Guided imagery  or visualization is the act of forming images in your mind to calm yourself or to solve life's problems. With guided imagery you can open a wonderful new communication between your conscious and unconscious minds and solve many problems, including your diabetes problems, through your own creativity. 

Man has a visible and an invisible workshop. The visible one is his body, the invisible one is imagination (mind). ...The imagination is the sun in the soul of man. ...The spirit is the master, imagination the tool, and the body the plastic material. ...The power of the imagination is a great factor in medicine. It may produce diseases. ..and it may cure them. ...Ills of the body may be cured by physical remedies or by the power of the spirit acting through the soul. 

Man is his own healer and finds proper healing herbs in his own garden, the physician is in ourselves, and in our own nature are all things that we need.

Paracelsus, Physician and the founder of modern chemistry.

People with a cheerful, optimistic outlook on life often experience better health than those who are gloomy and pessimistic. Our state of the mind and our perception of the future affects our quality of life substantially. In visualization, it is recognized that the pictures created by the mind (as well as thoughts), can have powerful positive or negative effects on the health of the body. It helps people suffering from stress and psychological and emotional problems, as well as those with physical illnesses and symptoms. 

In guided imagery, the patient is first taught the technique of creating a mental image. A person suffering from an emotional or psychological problem is asked to create a picture that is connected with his or her difficulty. The feelings created by the image are explored and discussed with the therapist and changes are made to the picture that, with time, help to resolve the problem.

For people with physical illnesses, the image created is often aimed at helping to relieve and ease pain by creating an image of the diseased or painful area and make adjustments to it with the aim of reducing the impact of the symptoms. 

Visualization promotes relaxation and relaxation promotes visualization.

Guided imagery offers two important benefits for people with diabetes:

1. It allows you to escape from your daily tensions into a tranquil haven.

2. Once there, you are able to look at the big picture of the whole integrated mind-body-environment complex of your life and see what out-of-focus elements are responsible for increasing your tensions and/or causing your blood sugar to bounce around.

You need an experienced professional to gain the maximum benefit from guided imagery. You can also buy tapes and books and practice this yourself, after taping the exercise. 

We will take a look at how this can be accomplished. Diana Guthrie is an experienced guide for diabetics. We will see how she takes her clients on their first guided-imagery journey in her classes. (Excerpted from the book, "The Diabetic's Total Health Book" By June Biermann (Penguin Putnam, 1992).

Get really comfortable. If you have something tight on, loosen it up. Close your eyes. Now listen to my voice. Think through what I am saying.

First you see yourself inside a box. It looks as if there isn't any way for you to get out of the box. You feel very crunched, very enclosed. This box can sometimes represent your diabetes or your problems or your fears. You look up and you see a hand reaching down for you. That hand could be a family member or a friend or your heavenly Father.

You reach up and grab that hand. You're out of the box-into a beautiful field. There are trees nearby. There's a brook nearby. The sky is blue and the grass is very, very green and very, very comfortable. You can be by yourself or you can have others join you. But you're very happy and you're very, very peaceful. And you feel really good about yourself.

As you start to turn around, you notice that your box has become bigger. You begin to recognize that you can alter that box. You can put windows in it and you can put a door in it. You can come and go at will. You can rest in it. You can feel comfortable in it, recognizing that, yes, it's still there, but now you have some influence over what you can do with that box.

Okay, let's go inside the box and you can find out. You can imagine that you have two warm heat lamps over each hand and you begin to feel your hands get warmer and warmer. You almost think that you're at the beach and the sun is beating down on your hands and it's getting almost too warm. In fact, they're feeling sweaty , it's so warm, so warm. But you feel very peaceful and very comfortable and very relaxed.

So this has been a session of traveling that can make you feel more relaxed and more at peace. And now before you open up your eyes, you slowly count 1,2,3,4,5, and you are feeling happy and peaceful and very , very calm. And you open your eyes.

When you are done with the imagery, stretch and "wake up" slowly. Your external blood vessels are probably dilated and your internal ones constricted. Getting up too rapidly might make you a little light-headed.

This exercise can be used for people of all ages; even for very young children.

See Also: Guided Imagery in Holisticonline.com

Guided Imagery for Stress Management

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