It’s perfectly natural and normal to feel some anxiety about an upcoming surgery. After all, you will be experiencing a period of time that you have very little control over, and the outcome may be uncertain. The fear of the unknown – the what if’s – run around in our minds before any procedure that has risks. Many scientific studies have shown that our emotions can impact our immune system’s ability to function optimally. Using medication to calm one’s anxiety is standard procedure in hospital settings, but that takes the control of anxiety symptoms out of the hands of the patient.
Curious about how guided imagery can be used for pain relief, stress reduction, and healing? Below is a short interview with Leslie Davenport, licensed therapist, clinical faculty at the integrative medicine center of a major hospital in San Francisco, and one of my psychology continuing education instructors, who gives a great example of how guided imagery works:
What do you think of yourself? Are you typically Positive Polly, or are you more of a Negative Nelly? The way you see yourself has been shown to make a difference in overall wellness. The good news is that you can do something to improve your wellness just by intentionally imagining yourself in a better light. You’ve heard about how “being your best self” can change an outcome from many of the experts on success psychology and athletic performance. Here’s a glimpse of how imagining your best possible self can impact your overall well-being:
The world of integrative and alternative medicine is more popular now that ever. But how do you wade through the vast amounts of information available online without becoming more confused, or falling for scams from unsafe practitioners and their advice? I have spent many years reading books, magazines, peer-reviewed journal articles, and following discussion groups moderated by highly trained naturopathic doctors and herbalists, and yet there are still many times when I am not certain how to choose between two or more conflicting opinions. Oftentimes we ask our physicians for advice on certain modalities or supplements we’ve read about and they may know from personal experience which ones are good and which aren’t. But other times, physicians have not studied these modalities in depth and prefer to stay within the boundaries of what they were taught as generally accepted practices in medical school. That does not mean that many of the alternative therapies are not good, or even bad, it just means that your doctor either may not know enough about it or does not want to recommend it to protect their practice from liability.
While searching for tools that help people deal with the emotional pain of a physical injury, I remembered Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) or what’s more broadly now called Meridian Tapping Techniques (MTT). I have read quite a bit about how following a simple pattern of tapping on specific acupressure points can release the emotional energy that gets trapped following a traumatic or painful experience. I realize not everyone will be interested in using this type of healing modality, but for those who are, here is a very interesting story about one woman’s injury and the amazing results she gained from tapping and talking about her fall…