Can Guided Imagery cure cancer? Understandably, this is the question of most interest to patients and doctors alike. What we can fairly say is that there is significant evidence people can mentally stimulate an immune system component critical to fighting cancer. A study by Hall and Olness found that 18 of 22 papers investigating the effects of imagery on immunity showed positive responses in numbers of circulating natural killer cells and their response to mitogen stimulation. While natural killer cell activation is not equivalent to a survival endpoint, it is widely agreed to be a desirable effect in cancer treatments and, if there were a traditional drug that had demonstrated the same ability, many cancer patients in the United States would be taking it routinely. In reality however, the bottom line question is whether guided imagery can actually help individual people deal with the daily struggles of cancer, chemo and pain management.
Fortunately, the answer is yes. there is overwhelming and irrefutable evidence that imagery can be effective in improving the quality of a cancer patient’s life. Imagery has been shown to be effective in reducing depression and anxiety,eliminating hopelessness,reducing pain and the need for pain medication, making difficult decisions, changing lifestyle habits, and finding meaning in the experience of cancer.
Recently, in her blog about fighting stage IV-A cervical cancer, Jeanette Acosta explained her daily routine preparing for chemotherapy and how the guided imagery set “Fighting Cancer from Within” helps her remain calm. For patients undergoing this type of intense cancer treatment, mental wellness is an essential part of the overall healing strategy. To learn more about how guided imagery can help cancer patients effectively manage their condition check out “Fighting Cancer from Within” by Dr. Martin Rossman.
Image Courtesy of Linda Bartlett
Found here: wikimedia commons