Healing by Visualizing
Experienced meditators, accomplished athletes, artists, actors, performers and many professionals often utilize visualization to improve their performance and success. Visualization involves mentally “seeing” a goal one wants to achieve, like winning a race or excelling in a negotiation, performing optimally at a chosen activity, like piano playing or theater acting, or improving function or comfort of a part of one’s body - like improving heart muscle function, for example
The reason this works is simple. Research has shown that when you focus the region of your brain on a certain activity or location, the region of the brain that performs that function is actually activated, and for that particular region of the brain, visualization has the same effect as actually physically performing that activity or moving that body part.
In the health and wellness field, visualization is very helpful as a modality to promote healing. Let’s discuss how this works:
Imagine a person with chronic joint pains, either due to arthritis, injury or other causes. Pain medicines help but only to a small degree and only for a limited time period. In a meditation session, I might ask this person to focus on the offending joint, let’s say it’s her knee, which is giving her the most difficulty. This activates the part of the cerebral cortex which controls movement of that knee. I then ask her to focus her own intrinsic healing “light” on that knee. I specifically guide her to visualize the light, feel its healing power and focus it on her painful knee.
The imagery of the healing light on the offending joint will harness the body’s own intrinsic healing powers. That combined with the healing relaxation of meditation itself will certainly result in improvement in pain perception.
Remember that, when left to its own devices, bodies heal. There really is no choice. Sometimes we need to get out of the way, and simply create the optimal environment for healing to take place. Wounds heal, sometimes almost magically, people recover from surgery and trauma and even severe illnesses, time being the only variable factor.
We can promote healing with medicines, ventilators, surgery and other treatments. But with meditation and visualization, we can harness this poorly understood but amazingly successful healing modality, and shine the mind’s intrinsic healing light on whatever is causing us pain.
May you find comfort and Peace!
Dr. John Monaco