Holistic Counseling in Saratoga Springs, NY • email@example.com
Interactive Guided Imagery
Tap into the Natural Language of the Unconscious Mind
Human beings are visual creatures. Though the world is outside of us, we take it in through the photographic lens of our eyes — and not just our eyes, but all our senses. If we experience this world consciously as a constant stream of images, then it follows that imagery is the natural language of the unconscious mind.
Yet this imagery is not just about “seeing” things. It is the flow of sensations that you can see…smell…feel…hear…and taste — and that subsequently the mind translates into the mysterious thing we call thought.
Imagery is also a key component of our body–mind’s innate intelligence system. Our physical being communicates with us in an intelligible language. The body speaks to us all the time! It tells us when our stomachs are full, when we should go to sleep, when we are stressed-out, and whether a person is trustworthy or not. However, sometimes we choose not to listen, or we’ve simply forgotten how to listen to our bodies.
What Is Interactive Guided Imagery?
Interactive Guided Imagery (IGI) provides us with a kind of language guide — an interpreter to help us hear, understand, and then communicate back to our body’s intelligent system.
Research shows us that imagery has a powerful influence on almost all the major control systems in the body. IGI is used as a physical and emotional healing tool. In some cases IGI can work in concert with, or be an alternative to, prescription drugs.
IGI has been used for several years to teach adults and children to connect to and utilize their own powerful healing ability, both to recover from illness and injury and to remain healthy over the long term. IGI has a longstanding history in the healing traditions of mankind, as evidenced by the placebo effect, the power of suggestion, the role of positive faith in longevity, and research on bio-feedback systems.
Donna Bird’s Credentials and Experience
Since 2002, I have been Fully Certified in Interactive Guided Imagery by the Academy for Guided Imagery.
Our unconscious mind holds valuable information regarding the origin and nature of our illnesses and the potential resolution of our illnesses. My role as practitioner is to help guide this valuable information into the conscious mind to help discover what action to take regarding healing illness and addressing symptoms. We can also use the vast, untapped power of the mind to increase states of health and wellness.
This work is based on several years of medical research and various self-healing programs. It utilizes a blend of Dr. Carl Simonton’s and Dr. Bernie Siegel’s cancer programs; Dr. Martin Rossman’s and Dr. David Bressler’s Academy of Guided Imagery Programs; and Dr. Andrew Weil’s philosophy.
How Can Interactive Guided Imagery Therapy Benefit You?
Learning how to listen to the body through IGI can help the client regain wellness — as well as maintain it. It is useful in a variety of situations, as described below.
- Talking with Your Symptoms
IGI helps us learn how to better understand the emotional meaning of our symptoms. By “dialoguing” with our symptoms, we can discover what information our symptom have for us. The symptom may be trying to tell us it will give us relief if we are willing to give the symptom what it wants or needs.
An overweight 33-year-old man has tried various diet plans to lose weight, but with marginal success. He learns how to use IGI to dialogue with the part of himself that wants to indulge in food and the part that does not want to indulge in food. Through this interaction, the two parts make a compromise with each other about his eating behaviors and lifestyle. After a couple of IGI sessions with these two parts, his eating habits change, and he begins to lose weight.
A 40-year-old career woman and single mother is suffering from severe, intermittent back pain. Medical tests reveal no known pathology as a cause. She uses IGI to dialogue with her back and discovers she is overworked and stressed-out from driving herself to be the proverbial “super mom.” Through this dialogue she understands that she needs to develop stronger boundaries for herself at work and at home to reduce her stress. Once she begins to do this, her back pain disappears.
- Example 1:
- Using IGI for Surgery & Healing from Treatments
The body naturally yearns to heal itself, but the mind sometimes stands in the way. IGI helps body and mind get on the same page.
A 62-year-old man needs bypass heart surgery. He learns to use IGI to reduce his stress level and prepare his body–mind system for surgery. He plays an IGI audio recording during surgery to reduce blood loss and infection, and to allow his muscles, organs, and tissues to relax. The surgeon finds operating easier. Afterward, the patient uses IGI tapes in the recovery room and at home to visualize specific body parts healing. His pain is reduced, his prognosis is excellent, and his recuperation time is rapid.
- Example 3:
Insurance companies, surgeons, medical doctors, dentists, and psychotherapists also promote the use of IGI for adults and children. Interactive Guided Imagery is required training for students in the Integrative Medicine Program that Andrew Weil, M.D., teaches at the University of Arizona Medical Center. The Medical Center also recommends IGI to patients with:
- skin and digestive problems;
- sexual and genito-urinary problems;
- allergy and autoimmune disorders; and
- any illness in which healing seems blocked or stalled.
Interactive Guided Imagery is also used successfully in helping people reduce stress and worry. You can use imagery to facilitate your own relaxation anywhere, anytime. Research indicates that many successful athletes, business people, performers, scientists, inventors, and artists use imagery to envision what is possible, preview their options, improve their technique, transform blocks to success, and increase their capacity to achieve their goals and dreams.