FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is there a difference between guided imagery, guided meditation, visualization, and self-hypnosis?
There is a considerable overlap in the terms being used. All describe a process that engages the unconscious mind in the act of problem-solving, storing what is relevant, useful and discarding what is not. The images can be 1) very direct and specific (suggestion-oriented) suggesting how to better think clearly, reassess assumptions, control habits, or focus to a particular part of the body for wound healing and pain or 2) metaphorical (visually oriented) where, for example, the listener will plant a seed tending to it with their inner resources in order to create something positive that will alleviate their distress and/or enhance behavior/performance.
Consumers will find that a lot of guided meditations and imagery audios contain all aspects: meditation, direct suggestion and metaphor with the exception of content-free guided imagery which creates a meditative state prior to the client getting in touch and receiving feedback from their unconscious Inner Advisor. Whatever you call it, you can’t argue with the powerful results. (read more) Hypnotic principles are basic to all of the disciplines. A lot of relabeling has been an attempt to bypass resistance created by stage hypnosis. You may have the mistaken idea that someone is going to control your mind. The irony is the process actually allows YOU to take control of your own mind and become more effective. Bottom line visualization is the way you think. You are always visualizing something – even if it is something you would rather not envision. If you scare yourself you are visualizing. If you can use your imagination to produce stress and anxiety, you clearly have the ability to reduce it.
What is the unconscious mind?
It is your unconscious mind that operates not only your lungs, heart, nervous system, etc. but also enables you to execute all of the behavior that you automatically take for granted. The conscious mind represented no more than 10% of your brain’s capacity and is therefore limited in what it can do and comprehend. Self-hypnosis/guided meditation allows the conscious mind to relax so the remaining 95% of the brain’s potential – the unconscious mind and the seat of motivation – can be accessed and directly influence your autonomic nervous system to promote physiological and emotional healing and increase motivation and performance.
Who profits most from Guided Meditation?
How much you profit from guided meditation/guided imagery/self-hypnosis usually depends upon how open-minded and receptive you are to wanting to connect to your own power to heal and create change. We in the West have historically valued and given more credibility to the little voice of our conscious mind. Thankfully that is changing.
Have Effects Been Proven?
What was suspected has now been proven by sophisticated technology. The body does not distinguish between having a physical experience and imagining the experience. The same part of the brain lights up whether you are thinking about chocolate cake or eating it. The functional MRI’s have also shown that you can use one part of your brain to quiet another part that is creating pain. This is all good news, but even without sophisticated technology you experience the power of your imagination when you are caught up in a scary movie and your adrenaline is stimulated, you imagine sucking on a lemon and your mouth puckers, or you have a sexual thought/image and experience a physical response. ComfortCareConnection provides extensive research on this site. You are encouraged to read the first few pages that recap the research even if you aren’t interested in the specific control studies that are listed.
What is “Straight” Meditation?
Hindu and Buddhist meditation is based upon going beyond the thinking mind into a state of mental silence. One who is doing Mindfulness Meditation, on the other hand, is encouraged to focus on whatever is taking place, shifting perception freely between breath, sensation, sound, and thought – always bringing the attention back to the present, and in doing so, the person begins to better understand and accept the nature of change and transience of everything.
How often to you need to listen?
As a general rule, several times a week, daily if possible, for three weeks. Listening often allows suggestions to root and develop more fully, creating feelings, thoughts, and perspectives that allow you to live a comfortable active life.
How long does it last?
The shift can be permanent. Also, once learned the tools can easily crossover and provide relief with future issues.
Who shouldn’t be doing guided meditation/visualization/self-hypnosis?
Those who have unstabilized low blood pressure, mental illness or are on anti-psychotic medications. It should also be noted that CCC does not claim to diagnose or treat serious physical or emotional illness, and is an adjunct to medical and psychotherapeutic intervention.