Guided Imagery

These audio files come in three varieties: 

  • Relaxation and imagery exercises
  • Medical Qi Gong and imagery exercises
  • Sensori-motor retraining (body mapping) and imagery exercises.

Once purchased, these exercises routines become the copyrighted property of the therapist to distribute to their patients for home use.  These routines cannot be shared between therapists unless a group purchase is completed.  Group purchases can only be used by up to ten therapists who work out of the same space or for the same company.

What is health?

  1. To be able to move in new and different ways with good variability
  2. To be able to adapt and give the body different options for whatever we throw at it- novel, fun and interesting movements are the spice of life.  Look at how children move- we lose that adaptability and exploration as we age.  This is not a positive thing for our nervous systems.  Invite your patient’s nervous system back into movement, but safely, and with interest and enthusiasm.
  3. Health and disease are on two opposite ends of a spectrum.  Simply put, you cannot be moving towards health if you are not moving- motion is lotion; however, movement for those in pain is often threatening, creating more protection in the brain, thereby increasing pain.  Movement needs to be fun, novel and interesting to retrain the brain, and is the fertilizer of the brain.  Your goals as a therapist are to get your patients to move without turning on the protective mechanisms that cause pain.  This is where imagery training comes in.

Athletes have used imagery to rehearse movements in their nervous system without the physical strain of repetitive exercise. Imagery is a safe and non-threatening way into the nervous system.

When doing an exercise to produce change in the nervous system we must employ a concept called “consumer comparison”.   This has been built into all of the exercise routines, and although your patients may want to skip this part and just get on with the exercise, this is the most integral part in order to retrain their nervous system. Think about it like squeezing a loaf of bread before you buy it- you are assessing whether your purchase of that loaf is going to be satisfactory, and your money well spent.  Similarly, with exercise, you need to be aware of how you feel before and after the intervention in order to demonstrate to the nervous system that things can be different. Before and after body mapping exercises your patients need to stand or lie still and take stock of how they feel.  They must observe their body without judgment or expectation. This awareness can produce changes at the neurological level, which is the target of these exercises.

Guided Imagery has been around for thousands of years but in recent years it has become a popular modality in relation to addressing cortical changes that occur in persistent pain. There are several different methods of application for guided imagery but these audio exercises follow the “scripted” approach. This is where an orator describes a relaxing image or scenario for the patient to indulge in with the purpose of relieving or lessening the affect of the symptoms on the patient. Imagery helps patients to become more aware of their body (improve sensori-motor coordination), release built up stress and keep the brain focused in a non-threatening way to the movement and sensation of the movement. Over time, this practice has been shown to significantly increase the quality of life for patients suffering from a variety of health disorders.