After a decade of personal study and training in the realms of wellbeing, healing, personal development, empowerment and natural medicine; I one day found myself in a crisis situation and had to become my own experiment.
In the moments after regaining consciousness, I felt a warm light surrounding me as though thousands of angels were carrying me back into my body. I connected to that light and instinctively started to move it with awareness to the parts of my body that were in acute pain.
Several exciting studies have been conducted and published, showing that guided imagery could indeed produce changes in immune activity on the cellular level. According to psychotherapist and author Belleruth Naparstek, only 55 percent of the population is strongly wired for visual imagining. “To cover everyone, imagery has to engage all the senses, using sounds, smells, tastes and kinaesthetic feel, inside and outside the body.”
I myself am strongly visual in expression and a kinaesthetic learner. I established this on the first day of my yoga teacher training, where they assessed our learning styles and divided us up into three groups accordingly : visual, auditory and kinaesthetic. I was put into the kinaesthetic learning group, which meant that I was immersed into the rigorous physical practise daily of "learning by doing" whilst simultaneously memorising the names of the postures/asanas and the aspects of anatomy and philosophy required to qualify as a teacher. This approach supported me in developing a deep awareness of the mind body connection, as I was feeling I was also learning and understanding, knowing and accepting. It helped me to further develop empathy with the deeper issues occurring when someone would talk about their physical aches and pains after yoga. I began to understand that the mind plays a major role in how we feel in our skin and how we interact with and belong in the world.
Medical schools and centres worldwide now have departments devoted entirely to mind–body research and treatments. Harvard University, Columbia University, University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Pittsburgh are amongst those pioneering research. This now-interdisciplinary field, which also includes behavioural medicine, is often called psychoneuroimmunology or psychoendoneuroimmunology, and “incorporates ideas, belief systems, hopes, and desires as well as biochemistry, physiology, and anatomy,” according to Ray (2004). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15677394
Belleruth says that “We’ve come to understand that what best serves our sense of strength, wholeness, vitality and personal power is owning whatever it is we feel, no matter how unpleasant, and then just breathing it out — the mindful meditation of noticing it, acknowledging it and letting it go.”
Just as she refers to this process of connecting to truth and letting go of that which does not serve us in order to feel good, so I believe it is possible to do the opposite and call in the energetic support of that which completely serves us in order to heal. I would call this source that we can tap into at any moment “the universal infinite divine blissful energy” .
The most fascinating and incredible thing is how it is readily accessible this energy source is and it is free to anyone who may want or need it at any time.
Anyone suffering with physical pain, can experiment with this process by vividly picturing bones, muscles, tissues, nerves and cells fusing, re-connecting, mending and strengthening.
If it is challenging to “picture” it, try remembering what it felt like at a time in your life of optimal health. Recall positive memories, drawing them to the surface and allowing the sense of joy to resonate to your core.
That sense of hope and optimism can become great fuel for healing by strengthening the relationship between the immune system and the brain, charging and revitalising the entire physical and energetic body on every level.
I did this process of visualisation instinctively out of urgency in the first moments of regaining consciousness after I was in a hit and run road accident. I had been lying in the middle of the road in great pain and shock waiting for an ambulance for well over an hour. I believe that this process of visualisation saved me (along with the help of a passing doctor who stopped to sit by my side on the road and coach me throughout to remain conscious, whilst some other strangers held my hand and stroked my hair- earth angels!).
I practised this process of visualisation daily for months after that accident, scanning my body and then working on the broken bones, the veins, the tissues and the nerves by visualising them fusing back to optimal health.
I consciously inhaled white healing light down into any areas of pain and breathed red fiery light out and away from those same spots. I listened to many different guided meditations that I found online and most importantly, I sent love and acceptance to any part of me that was hurting.
Thanks to therapies such as Acupuncture, Breathwork, SE/Somatic Experiencing (developed by Dr. Peter Levine) and 5 Rhythms Dance (created by Gabrielle Roth as a moving meditation which aims to help us become more attuned to the underlying patterns in our everyday existence) I was able to shift the remaining stuck PTSD emotions which lingered long after the bones etc had healed. Somatic experiencing therapy can help move a person forward from the “frozen” image or memory of their traumatic experience which can otherwise stay stuck within them for years and hold them back on many levels. Breathwork helped me to deal with the panic attacks. 5 Rythms dance just felt so good, to move and dance and eventually start reconnecting to a sense of confidence.
It feels good, to write about this experience with great insight and now from a distance so I can leave it in my past.
I move forward with gratitude for the alternative skills that helped me to recover and am now as some would say "a wounded healer” hopefully also living proof in the great possibilities of visualisation for recovery.
If I was able to do this work at a time when I felt very afraid, I know you can too.
The first step is to believe you can heal.
The second step is to experiment.
The third is to do a little bit of whatever is working for you every day and then to trust that all will be well.