Aristotle and Hippocrates believed in the power of images in the brain to enliven the heart and body. Today, research shows they were right. Guided imagery is helping patients use the full range of the body's healing capacity, according to an issue of the Mayo Clinic Health Letter.
Studies have shown that surgery patients who participated in guided imagery sessions required less pain medication and left the hospital more quickly than those who hadn't used imagery. Harvard Medical School published a report on their study of hypnosis to speed up the mending of broken bones. They recruited 12 people with broken ankles who did not require surgery and who received the usual treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Half of them were hypnotized once a week for 12 weeks, while the other half received standard treatment. The same doctor applied the casts and other care, and the same radiologists took regular X-rays to monitor how well they healed. The radiologist who evaluated the X-rays was unaware of which patients underwent hypnosis. Those who were hypnotized healed faster than those who were not. Six weeks after the fracture those in the hypnosis group showed the equivalent of eight and a half weeks of healing. Hypnotherapy and Therapeutic Guided Imagery can be an integrated component of a patient's overall medical care.
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NOTE: Hypnotherapists are not licensed healing arts practitioners.
Some medical conditions require doctors referral.