Guided imagery is a type of mind-body medicine Mind-Body Medicine Complementary or alternative medicine can be classified into five major categories of practice: Whole medical systems Mind-body techniques Biologically based practices Manipulative and body-based... read more that involves the use of mental images to promote relaxation and wellness, reduce pain, or facilitate healing of a particular ailment, such as cancer or psychologic trauma. The images can involve any of the senses and may be self-directed or guided by a practitioner, sometimes in a group setting. For example, a person with cancer might be told to imagine an army of white blood cells fighting against the cancer cells. Imagery used with relaxation techniques (muscle relaxation and deep breathing) plus hypnotherapy Hypnotherapy Hypnotherapy is a type of mind-body medicine. In hypnotherapy (hypnosis), people are guided into an advanced state of relaxation and heightened attention. Hypnotized people become absorbed in... read more may help reduce pain, especially in people with fibromyalgia Fibromyalgia Fibromyalgia is characterized by poor sleep, fatigue, mental cloudiness, and widespread aching and stiffness in soft tissues, including muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Poor sleep, stress, strains... read more , and improve quality of life and ability to tolerate treatments in people with cancer.
(See also Overview of Integrative, Complementary, and Alternative Medicine Overview of Integrative, Complementary, and Alternative Medicine Integrative medicine and health (IMH) and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) include a variety of healing approaches and therapies that historically have not been included in conventional... read more .)
The following English-language resource may be useful. Please note that THE MANUAL is not responsible for the content of this resource.
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH): Relaxation Techniques for Health