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Keywords

complementary therapies, healing, imagery, integrative nursing, self-healing

 

Authors

  1. Kubes, Laurie F. DNP, RN, APRN, CNP

Abstract

Overview: Imagery has been used as a healing practice since ancient times. Its reemergence in modern medicine began in the second half of the 20th century, when research suggested that imagery could help reduce patients' pain and anxiety and improve their quality of life and outlook on their illness. While current evidence is insufficient to support claims that imagery affects disease progression, research suggests that this method of inducing relaxation encourages patients' healing process and gives them a greater sense of autonomy in relation to disease and its management. Because imagery is noninvasive, the risks associated with its use are minimal and it is now widely used in integrative nursing. The author discusses imagery's uses and benefits, as well as the potential pitfalls in its use, and describes an imagery technique she has found effective in practice, providing a sample script and explaining how the technique might be used to help patients in various settings.