By Angela Villavicencio
Does Visualization Work?
Are you feeling tired, sick, weak or all of the above?
Feeling like you just can’t keep going anymore? I was there too. I felt miserable, and not just physically. I felt miserable in all ways. And I didn’t know what was worse, feeling so sick and wanting my life to end, or the fact I felt alone and no one seemed to understand what I was going through.
At one point my life was truly in a shambles. I was very sick and I felt like giving up. Honestly, I didn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I remember one day going into my doctor’s office and seeing him observe my shaking hands and pointing out that I should increase my medication doses. Since the moment I got sick I felt I had lost control over my own body and mind. I had given it all up to other people and, worse off, to my medications.
It took a while but one day I finally woke up from that nightmare when a friend introduced me to using ‘visualization’. I had never heard of this practice before then. He said he had read articles about people healing themselves by simply imagining a body part healing. I was hesitant at first but, with nothing to lose, I gave it a chance. Every morning and evening I would imagine my brain healing itself. New healthy neurons forming, neurochemicals working in balance, and electric signals conducting normally. My mom joined in and together we would imagine my brain healing.
Today I can say that visualization was an important part of my healing. Visualization helped to bring back the power I thought I had lost. It was empowering – I realized at that moment that I could start doing something about my own health instead of waiting for a miracle drug to save me. It was truly a mental shift.
We’ve all heard of the placebo effect, in which a patient is given a simple sugar pill and after some time gets better or even heals fully. Visualization is similar to that. Visualization tricks your brain into believing that your body is healing, so your brain and body actually start taking action to heal. Although it’s a much more complex process that takes place, that is essentially what happens.
All of us can practice visualization, and tapping into it isn’t difficult. It simply requires consistency and repetition. There are also no rules for how long, or many times per day to practice visualization. I, for instance, would just close my eyes and imagine my brain healing for a minute twice a day. I didn’t even believe it at first, but I kept doing it every day because it gave me back some control. Eventually, I started to notice a difference; I would wake up with a bit more energy, read and actually remember what I read, and listen without getting distracted. I believe that visualization became my gateway to my inner healer.
If you are looking for a little inspiration I highly recommend watching the films The Connection, and Finding Joe. These two films really helped with personal healing journey.