Guided Imagery To Ease Stress and Promote Relaxation

Using the Mind To Relieve Pain

It is increasingly taken for granted today, but in the 1970s it was a provocative notion to suggest a connection between the mind and the body to fight the effects of cancer – if anyone spoke of cancer at all.

The conventional wisdom until then was that cancer was a death sentence, painful and slow, and that all medical science could do was go through the motions to ease the suffering.  But curiosity about why some patients with similar cancers and similar treatments responded differently led to a conclusion that those with a more positive outlook tended to respond better to treatment and went on to live longer, with fewer side effects.

The discovery was more stunning at the time because it came from a recognized, reputable member of mainstream medicine, radiation oncologist, Dr. Carl Simonton, who went on to say that feelings of hopelessness actually contributed to a hastier death,  and those who offered patients no hope of survival or recovery were part of the problem.

Simonton added elements of meditation and emotional support to a cancer treatment program at Travis Air Force Base in California in the early 1970s and a few years later at a research and counseling center he founded in Fort Worth.  He felt – and insisted he could demonstrate – that meditation and emotional support gave patients more of a sense of control over their cancer.

His work was instrumental in the development of what is now referred to as guided imagery.  He taught his own patients to visualize their bodies in a literal war with cancer, cell by cell – and winning.  Guided imagery, or mental imagery, is widely accepted and used now to manage the side-effects of cancer, specifically tension, blood pressure, and pain.

Guided Imagery Helps Manage Pain and Relaxation

Researchers in Southern California say they’ve concluded that while fear and stress don’t cause pain, they can amplify it, and the reduction of tension in the body can reduce its effects.  They also maintain lower tension can also boost the body’s immune system.  The research, they say, shows that pleasing images created in the imagination in one part of the brain can actually ease chronic pain in another part of the brain, and that in some patients the imaginary image is so strong the brain believes it to be real.

The images themselves are created by the patient, who is ‘guided’ into a physically relaxed state where all of the senses are used – to see every detail of the scene, smell all of the aromas, and hear all of the sounds.  Patients can be taught to guide themselves into relaxation, deeper and quicker each time with practice, and stay as long as they want to escape the stressors on the body.

Reservations about guided imagery remain, much as some people have a lingering resistance to hypnosis in the mistaken belief they will walk down the street clucking like a chicken.  Guided imagery and hypnosis both focus the mind while it is in a state of relaxation, and while guided imagery works in a hypnotic state it does not use hypnosis as such.

Whether it is meditation, guided meditation, guided imagery, or self-hypnosis, it is perfectly natural and completely safe.

Darielle Archer, CH, CHC, CNLP

Contact Darielle at The Positive Works

Guided Imagery Helps Patients Cope With Cancer

Guided Imagery Minimizes The Sides Effects Of Cancer Treatments

Guided Imagery Helps Cancer Patients Cope With Cancer.  Recent refinements in the application of Guided Imagery have made the lives of cancer patients much easier to endure.

Several years of studies in the United States, Britain, and Korea, have shown that Stage 1 and Stage 2 breast cancer patients can increase the number of “killer cells” of the body’s own cells that seek and destroy cancer cells, by reducing stress and anxiety.

Patients who used guided imagery in addition to chemotherapy report a better quality of life.

The patients who also used guided imagery with progressive muscle relaxation training during six month courses of chemotherapy had less nausea and were less anxious and depressed. Follow-ups showed the effects of guided imagery lasted months beyond the chemotherapy treatment.

The late Dr. Oscar Carl Simonton, a radiation oncologist, studied the mind-body connection in cancer treatment.  He found that advanced breast cancer patients who used guided imagery and had a positive mental outlook tended to survive longer with a better quality of life than those who did not.  And patients who received counseling reported a stronger feeling of more control over their bodies and their treatment.

Simonton went so far as to warn against those who say there is no hope, calling them “hazardous to your health”.  Later research with similar findings helped push guided imagery into mainstream medicine.

Guided Imagery with a therapist is usually done in sessions that last 20 to 30 minutes.  The therapist guides the patient to create mental images that promote relaxation, peace, and safety and may ask a patient to “see” his or her body at war with cancer – and winning.

There are no known risks in the use of guided imagery.

Contact Darielle at (206) 282-4068 or email

Pet Loss, Grief and Hypnosis

The loss of a beloved pet and the ensuing pet grief is hard.

The sudden loss can especially result in mild to severe grieving and can linger for a long time.  Hypnosis and Guided Imagery can assist this process and help us regain balance again.

Generally it is the memories and smells that trigger our feelings of loss, like the loving eyes that greeted us at the door eagerly awaiting our return.  There is a special language between a pet and owner that knows no boundaries other than love…pure, loving and constant.

The closeness is what we come to know and appreciate and even depend on.  Pets not only give us unconditional love and acceptance, they can lower our blood pressure and fill emotional voids and keep us company.

Guided Imagery and Hypnosis

Connect with Darielle at (206) 282-4068 or email at




The Mastery of Moving Forward

Eliminate the blocks that are in the way of your life.

You can consult with Darielle and she will help you discover the areas that can be touched with Life Coaching and Guided Imagery.

Now is the time to start moving forward.

How does one move forward?  Start from where you are. Ask yourself, how did I get here?  Where do I want to go?

Moving forward is a state of mind with action.  Many people are paralyzed, stuck in fear, worry, regret and hurt. Living is survival and is no fun.  Learn how to begin eliminating the blocks that prevent movement.   It does take time and effort.  You are worth it.

Begin the process now…the sooner you get moving, the sooner you start receiving the benefits.

Connect with Darielle today


Welcome to “The Positive Works”

Welcome to “The Positive Works

You will find information here to guide you in your life and move forward in positive steps.

Enjoy visiting The Positive Works and Connect With Darielle