Many inspiring people and self-help authors have told people that visualizing your goals helps you achieve them. In recent years, studies have even supported this, at least as far as athletic performance goes. But can it work for healing?
Well, I don't think you can make cancer disappear with sheer force of will. That being said, if you aren't using the power of the mind and visualizations as part of your treatment, for cancer, back problems, chronic pain, or anything else, then you are wasting a potent, and totally free, resource for health and wellness.
I use visualizations with my patients, but they are very concrete. They are focused on where you are now, and how you feel, and how to slowly change that.
Here is an example you can use at home.
If you have stiff muscles or joint, anywhere on your body, go outside and sit in the sun. If it is cold or raining outside, sit inside with a blanket to keep you warm.
Set up some sounds of gently running water. If you have a stream near your house, or a fountain in your yard, that's perfect. Otherwise, just search for some river sounds on YouTube.
No sit or lie down comfortably so you aren't putting any weight on the tense or painful areas. Close your eyes and picture the affected areas like blocks of ice. Stiff, cold, painful ice that is attached to your body. Most people find this part comes pretty naturally.
Next feel the warmth around you, from the sun or the blanket, and visualize it sinking into your body. Breath deeply. Your body is like a glacier and the sun has just come up.
Slowly, as though you were watching a real glacier, visualize the ice on your body begin to melt. Picture tiny streams of cool water trickling down to the ground. Think about what the water would sound like. Feel your muscles and joints relaxing and picture the ice cracking and melting as it happens.
If you feel very warm, and it feels good, you can even picture the ice evaporating into steam and floating away. Make believe you hear the steam just like you hear the water running.
You can do this visualization as long as you want. Just make sure you aren't experiencing any pain, and put on sunscreen if you plan to sit in the sun for a while.