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Guided Imagery

By Steven Novella, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Yale University School of Medicine

Guided imagery 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.

Guided imagery has not been thoroughly scientifically studied, but many people claim to have had success with it.