After a back fusion, I used the recovery time in the hospital to visualize healing and reduce pain levels. Its amazing how powerful such images can be. The visualization reduced pain levels so I did not need all the pain medication available to me and the relaxation and visualization increased and maximized my healing.
Here are some visualization images you can use to deepen relaxation, reduce pain levels and induce healing. Allow your mind to create the images that are right for you. Any relaxation and visualization exercises are better when you have time and a quiet place to do them.
Find a quiet spot where you can sit comfortably or lie down and will not be interrupted. Go through the relaxation exercise that relaxes all the parts of your body. These are never done while driving.
Healing Pool of Water
To deepen that relaxation, visualize yourself going down a flight of stairs. Count in your mind from 1 – 10 as you take each step down into a deeper relaxed state.
When you have reached the bottom, imagine you are standing beside a beautiful healing pool. Place yourself in it. Feel its relaxing water healing every cell in your body. Imagine a bright light shining on you that intensifies the healing.
Stay there as long as you want before returning up the stairs to your relaxed spot. Slowly open your eyes. Be sure to give yourself time to allow energy to flow back into your muscles before resuming activities.
After relaxing your body, lie still and imagine that with every breath you take in, you are breathing in a healing mist. This healing mist flows throughout your body, touching every nerve cell, calming and healing and releasing it from pain.
My “Pac Men”
This a visualization I used after back surgery. As I recovered in the hospital, many times during the day I closed my eyes and focused on breathing in a healing mist that went immediately to the surgery site. As it touched nerve endings reducing inflamation and pain, I created images of the blood cells working away, healing and mending the bones. They took on the image of little “Pac Men”. My mind drew that image from old Pac Men computer games.
Closing the Gate
Pain is experienced in the brain. The gate-control theory of pain tells us that our sensory pain signals travel to the nerves in our spinal chord then up the spine to our brain.
One way of reducing pain levels is visualizing little gates along our spinal chord that we can open and close.
Pain is important as it tells us when something is wrong that we need to pay attention to. But when we are dealing with ongoing chronic pain, we can reduce some of that intensity by relaxing and visualizing ourselves closing those gates from time to time.
Throwing the Switch
Another similar image is imagining a switch, like a large light switch, at the base of the brain. When you push the switch to the off position, you stop the pain messages.
Again pain messages are important. They tell us something is wrong and we need to pay attention. But when we continue to experience chronic pain after the problem has been attended to, these visualizations can relieve pain signals.
These visualizations have been created by people in the healing profession that I have used in my own life over the years. They are examples of how we can create our own visualizations using images that put us in charge of our health, our healing and our pain.
The concept is the same: choose the images and thoughts that induce healing versus creating tension. Our first response to pain is to tighten up. Relaxation and visualization allows the blood to flow so our bodies can heal. It already knows how to heal. We are just creating an environment that maximizes that healing.
Marlene Anderson, MA, LMHC, NCC