How can visualization or guided imagery help my burn pain?

Many different complementary therapies are used to help people deal with chronic pain. Visualization (or guided imagery) is a stress-release activity that you can do wherever you are, any time of the day or night. Imagery is a flow of thoughts you can see, hear, feel, smell or taste or an inner representation of your experience or fantasies. This is one way your mind codes, stores, and expresses information. Imagery is also the language of emotions and the deeper self. Using visualization or imagery, you can allow your imagination to take over as you focus on your senses to create a desired state of relaxation in your mind.

To practice visualization, find a comfortable, quiet place where you will not be disturbed. Allow 15 minutes for this exercise. Close your eyes, and take several deep breaths. Now imagine a peaceful place. This might be somewhere you’ve visited so you can have a mental picture of it. Perhaps this is the seashore at sunset or sunrise, a mountain cabin next to a babbling brook or floating on a raft in the lake on a sunny day. Continue to breathe deeply and slowly, and keep this image in your mind. As you explore your mental picture of your relaxing spot, imagine all the stress, worries and tension leaving your body. Feel the temperature of your special place. See the colors surrounding you. What sounds do you hear? Smell the freshness of the air. Touch the gentleness of the moment. Take in all the sensory details of your relaxing place and continue to de-stress.

After about fifteen minutes, slowly open your eyes and acclimate yourself to the surroundings in the room. Stretch your arms and legs; gently move your head from side to side and feel the tension release. Carry the calm feeling you now have with you through the day.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.