Guided Visualization for Healing and Life Goals

By Val Silver

Guided visualization is a relaxing, empowering, and helpful mind tool for manifesting what you want. It gets your powerful subconscious mind on board so it works with you instead of against you when you want to when you have goals you want to achieve. 

If you have trouble visualizing on your own, or just enjoy being led through the process, guided visualization may be for you. Guided imagery healing audios, videos and written scripts are available for a wide variety of topics including abundance, healthy relationships, better health, weight loss, trauma release or stress relief.

Using a favorite healing visualization or two on a regular basis can be a valuable part of your wellness plan when you are facing a serious illness, difficult treatments, or you want support with your recovery. 

What is Guided Visualization?

Guided visualization, or guided imagery, are the same thing. This technique is similar to guided meditation, or even hypnosis, when visualizing is included.

In a healing visualization, you are led through a process for a particular purpose from beginning to end. It is commonly used for relaxation, coping with chemotherapy, general wellness, light healing, or energy healing. 

Like hypnosis, a guided imagery healing session has three stages. These stages are usually more obvious in hypnosis.

Three stages of guided visualizations

The first stage might be as simple as saying "Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and imagine..." Often this first step consists of a progressive relaxation technique or imagining a relaxing scene. As you relax, your brain produces fewer brainwaves associated with stress and more calming alpha waves that make you receptive to suggestions. 

The second stage makes up most of the audio. At this stage, you are often asked to visualize a passive scene for relaxation, such as visiting a garden or a favorite place in nature. There may also be images related to the theme of the visualization. You may be asked to see yourself on a healing table, speaking to a spirit guide, or sending healing light to an area of your body that needs healing.  Verbal affirmations may also be included.

The last stage may be a refocusing on your body, giving gratitude, or other ending to the practice. The facilitator may count up to bring you out of the healing visualization, as in hypnosis. 

During a session, you relax and go with the flow. Soothing music and a relaxing pace make it easy for you to vividly and deliberately imagine what you want. A video may have images you can watch. The more you relax, daydream, and engage your senses and emotion, the better.  Your subconscious mind will believe it to be true, and will work to make it so. 

This video, "Heal Your Body: Spoken Guided Meditation For Pain & Sickness, Relieve Pain Naturally", is a good example of a guided visualization for healing.

Why Visualize Healing?

There are several benefits of visualizing healing.

  • You nonconscious mind is always rebuilding and regenerating your body. It marshals resources from your immune system and cells to heal cuts, bruises, infections, and other ailments. When you visualize healing, you use your imagination and attention (your conscious mind). In response, the neuro-chemistry of the nonconscious parts of the brain change and respond.  You see in your mind's eye according to the verbal directions and suggestions you give it.
  • As part of the visualization process, you relax your mind and body. A stressed mind and tense body inhibit the healing process. Relaxation is key. When you visualize healing in a relaxed state, you create the opportunity for your powerful subconscious mind to heal your body. 

  • You direct energy to flow to parts in need. There is a saying: Energy flows where attention goes.
  • Guided visualizations make it easy to hold your focus on the process. Your mind is less likely to wander. Also, they are designed to take you through the steps and to offer beneficial images and suggestions. This makes it easy, too. 
  • Healing visualizations can help with a variety of physical and mental conditions. In some medical centers, cancer patients are encouraged to use guided imagery to relax and visualize healing during chemotherapy treatments. Patients who use these audios often have fewer side effects and improved emotional well-being. They tend to view chemotherapy as a more positive experience than patients who do not visualize.
  • Patients feel empowered. By participating in their healing process, patients have a way to help themselves during a time when they may feel quite dis-empowered. This in itself has great value.

If you doubt how well your brain will respond to guided imagery, try this classic example. Close your eyes and see yourself bite into a sour lemon. Taste and smell it.  Your mouth is probably watering already just thinking about it. That's how fast the body responds to the mind and vice-versa.

Guided visualization capitalizes on this connection. It helps you form images that promote well-being and health.

Watch this short video titled "The Many Wonders of Guided Imagery, to learn more about the health benefits of guided imagery from Dr. Norm Shealy and guided imagery specialist Belleruth Naparstek. 

Two simple visualizations for healing

Imagine the following: With each outbreath, imagine toxins, pain, and/or dis-ease flowing out of your body. On the inbreath, imagine love, light, blood flow, nutrients, and energy flowing into your body or your ailing part. Hold your attention on this process with a loving, gentle focus. 

guided visualization, Pac-man

A popular healing visualization for overcoming cancer includes imagining little Pac-men eating cancer cells. See them traveling through the body or in a specific part, gobbling up tumors and cancer cells. Some patients choose light beams, weapons or other images that eat or destroy the cancer to help heal themselves.

To get the most out of your mental imagery practice, learn how to visualize for best results. 

Read more about your mind's ability to heal your body.

Guided Visualization page updated 01/2021

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For Educational Purposes Only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult with your health provider before using natural remedies and/or complementary therapies if you are pregnant, nursing, or you are being treated for a medical condition. Be aware that certain herbs and supplements interact with medications.

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