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Experience the Power of Pain Relief with the Power of the Mind

Feb 29, 2008
For those who suffer the aching and stiffness of arthritis, it may be hard to imagine welcoming a new morning with energy and without pain, stiffness and fatigue. However, it may be the idea of such an ideal morning which may be able to create a life with less pain and stress. Creative visualization, according to experts, enables those suffering from arthritis to influence their psychological state, perception and even every day reality of happiness and success.

Creative visualization, referred to sometimes as guided imagery, can assist those with arthritis to imagine circumstances in their life unfolding exactly as it is imagined. As an individual plays out an ideal scene in his or her mind, the powerful emotions connected to those positive images begin to flow, affecting a person's perception of his or her reality.

The Mind = Pain Relief
Research has long held that thoughts can impact physical health. For thousands of years, medicine men of ancient civilizations worldwide have used visualization techniques to harness the power of the mind to reap physical manifestations. World-class athletes, such as Tiger Woods and NASA astronauts have adopted the practice to achieve peak performance.

Today, guided imagery can be found in more than 3,000 hospitals nationwide, including Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, the Cleveland Clinic, health centers in California, and cancer centers in Portland, Oregon. Used in combination with other therapies, the technique enables patients to cope with chronic pain, cancer, chemotherapy treatments, and other debilitating illnesses such as fibromyalgia. Research indicates that visualization can reduce stress and diminish depression. One study, published in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine in 2006, reported that levels of the stress hormone cortisol dropped significantly after participants engaged in guided imagery. Researcher concluded that when anxiety-producing information is replaced with more positive images, people relax and feel better.

Studies also show that when athletes imagine themselves running the perfect race or performing at their peak level, the muscles twitch and their neuropathways fire as though they actually were competing. By the time they head out to the track, they've already run the perfect race so times in their minds that their bodies simply take over.

In another study published in the 2005 journal Pain Management Nursing, it states that people who used visualization were able to change their images of pain from "torment" and "never-ending" to more positive, less debilitating feelings that made their discomfort more manageable. Participants in the study indicated the visualization process - which requires deep relaxation - helped alleviate stress, bringing about pain relief.

Getting Started
Patients might begin their journey of visualization with the assistance of a therapist or audiotape, helping him or her to relax the mind and body. Patients are guided to imagine the perfect scenario in specific detail and feel true joy - as though it's already taking place.

Patients can begin by listening to soothing music, such as pieces from the Baroque period. Choose from composers like Johann Sebastian Bach, Antonio Vivaldi, or George Frideric Handel who have been shown to quiet the mind and create a sense of reverie that makes the brain more open to imagery.

Or arthritis patients may relax by listening the sound of their own heartbeat, paying close attention to each breath, while imaging him or herself in a beautiful, peaceful place. This type of emotion-driven healing assists pain sufferers in reaching an emotional state that feels good in order to overcome thoughts of pain.

The visualization process can take anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes to an hour. Patients might visualize a scene as they wait at a stoplight, or first thing in the morning, and also before bed. Whatever time is spent creating the ideal picture, it's important to remember that the details do matter. Patients should use all of their senses to set an imaginary scene viewed through one's own eyes. Imagine good cells sweeping away bad cells or how limber your joints feel when you climb easily out of bed in the morning.

As they say, practice makes perfect. Some may be unable to fully picture their ideal scene when first starting out. Over time, however, the process gets easier with practice. It becomes clearer in the mind's eye. From there, patients can experiment and have fun with their visualization techniques - from a perfect meeting with the boss to visualizing the encouraging tone of the doctor when she passes along good news at the next appointment.
About the Author
Geologix Inc. manufactures products using a proprietary formula featuring 34 natural minerals contained in the ancient sea water from the famous Michigan Basin -- a concentration of minerals higher than that found in any known body of water in the world. Mineral Essentials focuses on spa, skin care, and massage products to moisturize and provide anti-aging protection for great skin. Mineral Essentials, and Acheaway
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