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Guided imagery is a learned technique that teaches patients to guide their minds to more relaxed and focused states. This can directly affect brain and physical functioning as imagining relaxed states (such as sitting calmly on a beach) can have the same physiological effects -including lowered blood pressure and heart rate- as actual relaxation (i.e. actually sitting calmly on a beach.)
Guided imagery is defined by the Academy for Guided Imagery as A wide variety of techniques, including simple visualization and direct suggestion using imagery, metaphor and story-telling, fantasy exploration and game playing, dream interpretation, drawing, and active imagination where elements of the unconscious are invited to appear as images that can communicate with the conscious mind. (“What is...
There are only a few contraindications to Guided Imagery: organic brain syndrome, psychosis, and pre-psychosis (University of Michigan, n.d.).