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.
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).
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
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