Guided Imagery and Cancer
Utilizing guided imagery and hypnotherapy in cancer treatment and survivorship can assist and promote the healing process. These treatments have been shown to increase T cell activity in cancer patients. The immune system, which uses T cells and other cells to protect you from infection and other ‘foreign’ invaders, responds positively to guided imagery hypnosis, or creative visualization.
Guided imagery and hypnotherapy for cancer promotes an altered state of awareness by reducing distressing emotions. The altered condition produces a physiologically quieting situation in which there is selective responsiveness to certain sensory stimuli to the exclusion of others.
These learned skills also help other syndromes associated with cancer, such as, anxiety, fear,
nausea, sleeplessness, helplessness, and pain.
The reports from clients confirm the findings in many studies. They felt a deep inner peace while they were participating in their care, rather than the feeling of hopelessness as things were done to them. The theta (light sleep) waves of hypnosis allows for even deeper relaxation than imagery or visualization, which reaches alpha waves (daydreaming state).
For groups using guided imagery in cancer or one of the other energetic modalities, scientific studies have reported improved quality of life. It has also been shown that progressive muscle relaxation training, hypnotherapy, meditation, visualization and other stress reduction techniques can also help reduce the side effects of cancer treatment.
The most important conclusion of such findings is that guided imagery and hypnotherapy in cancer, give people with cancer a sense of control over their lives. They are able to participate in their own healing rather than leaving it exclusively in the hands of others.