If you are an individual or practitioner who uses a form of hypnosis, meditation, or guided imagery, this is a post for you.
How I Use Guided Imagery and Hypnosis for Healing
I first discovered guided imagery, also called guided visualization, at one of the darkest points in my life. It was the summer before I was leaving for college, and my autoimmune disease was wringing the life out of me. For those of you who know my healing journey, this was before I learned about the healing power of nutrition.
Confined to my home with severe pain, I spent most of my time in bed or on the couch. The hope that had gotten me this far was almost out of my reach, and I felt deeply helpless.
Flipping through a catalog of holistic products that arrived in the mail, I found a Guided Imagery CD listed. The excerpt promised to support pain reduction, sleep quality, and anxiety.
I found the recording on iTunes, laid back on my bed, and hit Play. A soothing voice led me into my own imagination, and time evaporated. As the narrator described a space in nature and a divine presence, my pain became distant and my body seemed to dissolve in divine light. I came out of the visualization in deep peace.
It was the first time I realized that my mind alone could take me from hell to heaven. Of course, that’s what the mystics have been saying for thousands of years, but I didn’t experience it until that moment.
Since that experience, I’ve tried countless guided meditations and guided imagery tapes to support my healing. A few of the ones that work well for me include:
- Guided imagery for anxiety (Youtube)
- Guided imagery for sleep (iTunes)
- The 6 Phase Meditation, a comprehensive guided visualization (Youtube)
At various points in my healing journey, I’ve also incorporated hypnotherapy. Anyone who has tried hypnotherapy knows its similar to guided imagery — the therapist provides images for you to imagine, facilitating a deep trance state to rewire the subconscious. Positive intentions and images replace negative thought patterns.
How does guided imagery and hypnosis work?
Guided imagery and hypnosis ares powerful ways to create new brain pathways. Building new brain pathways (I'm talking about healthy neuroplasticity) is THE ONLY WAY you improve your life. To make healthy habits stick and eliminate health symptoms, we must build new brain pathways through intentional thoughts and actions.
How can mental images build brain pathways? A wealth of research shows that the brain can’t tell the difference between imagination and reality. For example, one study had a group of participants doing a finger-strengthening exercise. Another group of participants merely imagined doing the exercise, without moving their fingers. This second group had an increase in finger strength similar to the first group.
In the bestselling The Brain’s Way of Healing, author Norman Doidge explains how visualization allowed one doctor to reverse severe, “untreatable” chronic pain. This man pictured how pain activated portions of his brain, then visualized these hot spots disappearing.
Through relentlessly imagination, he cured himself. This is not placebo. This is not a fluke. This is accessing the powerful medicine called your MIND.
Support guided imagery and hypnosis with essential oils
A Google search for “essential oils for meditation” or “essential oils for hypnosis” reveals recommendations for relaxing oils (lavender) or traditionally spiritual oils (frankincense).
I take different and more effective approach, by supporting specific brain regions with our essential oil blends. Better brain function means a more effective visualization and a deeper state of relaxation.
Visualization and hypnosis is all about rewiring different parts of the brain, and Meo Energetics oils are formulated for that purpose.
Vagal Tone, available here — Vagal Tone increases the efficacy of all our other oil blends. The parasympathetic state allows clearer communication between brain and body, increasing your receptivity to the other oils.
Vagal Tone is an essential oil blend that supports the parasympathetic state, the state of the nervous system that is required to be present to the moment. The vagal nerve also opens the aperture of intuition, by facilitating communication between the gut, heart, and brain.
Advanced Focus, available here — Sustained focus transports us into an effective state of visualization. The stronger the focus, the more real the visualization becomes, and the more we dissolve the boundaries between mind and body.
I use Advanced Focus only on the right hairline, rather than both sides, prior to meditation and visualization. The stimulation of the left brain hemisphere is associated with logical, linguistic functions whereas the right hemisphere deals with imagery. I want to engage imagery, not logic, prior to visualization.
Anxiety Release, available here — Research shows that activity in the Anterior Cingulate Gyrus (ACG) decreases during hypnosis. Our Anxiety Release blend supports calming of the ACG, which is overactive in cases of chronic anxiety. This blend grounds me into my body prior to visualization.
Additional resources to learn about guided imagery for healing
The Brain’s Way of Healing by Norman Doidge