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Natural Awakenings Twin Cities

Guided Imagery as a Life-Changing Therapy

Sep 03, 2018 06:29PM ● By Candi Broeffle

©Bits and Splits

When most people think of guided imagery, they immediately think of the CDs they’ve seen that put you into a relaxed state or relieve stress. This is actually guided meditation. It can be effective in doing what it was created to do as a tool to help lessen the effects of an issue. This is a form of passive imagery or meditation.

Guided imagery therapy is interactive. It most resembles hypnosis in that the therapist and patient are having an ongoing conversation. It differs due to the brainwave level that is engaged during the process. Hypnosis occurs at a much lower level, whereas guided imagery occurs at the alpha state. It is in this state where athletes and artists go when fully engaged and easily lose track of time. This is also where true healing takes place. You are in full control and have access to answers within you that are typically hidden from your view. The alpha state bypasses the part of the brain and personality that tends to totally rationalize every situation, allowing the mind and body to communicate with one another for in-depth healing.

In your mind, everything is happening in the present moment. This can be harmful when we rehash events as the brain thinks this is happening in present time and resends harmful chemicals such as cortisol and adrenaline. Not a good thing. However, during the process of imagery therapy, this same phenomenon can be used to heal the past permanently. Through the guidance of the therapist, one can go back in time and heal the incident in “real time”. Guided imagery bypasses the symptoms and goes right to the core, or root, of any problem or event that is causing the current issue. Once the root cause has been resolved, or healed, the symptoms no longer need to be there and they disappear. This consistently proves to be a life-changing experience.

In an article published in the September 26, 2012 issue of The New York Times, guided imagery is listed as an important therapy used in the successful treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Not all who experience this phenomenon are veterans. It can, and does, happen to anyone.

Guided imagery therapy allows instant access to deeply hidden issues such as fear, phobias, anger, identity and power struggles or our defenses that stop us from being our true selves. It can help identify and heal limiting beliefs that are holding us back from living the life we dream of having. It works with removing trauma, breaking habits, symptom removal, stress reduction, migraines, self-understanding, personal growth, problem solving, relationship issues and pain control. It can also help eliminate fears, such as fear of public speaking or singing, fear of flying, etc. Guided imagery is also used for weight release, smoking cessation and other addictions, for personal and spiritual empowerment and so much more.

Connie Bjerk is a certified guided imagery therapist with a strong foundation of mind-body medicine rooted in clinical training through the Harvard Medical School and Benson-Henry Institute for Mind/Body Medicine. She serves on the Board of the American Holistic Health Association where she writes and participates in changing the paradigm of the current medical institution to function more on an integrative level. Bjerk is also a Reiki Master of the Usui lineage and a gifted national speaker on mind-body medicine, stress management and soul development.