Mental Imagery seems to be the natural language of the unconscious. I have referred to it as the Rosetta stone of the mind-body-spirit. Imagery is a coding language of the nervous system. It carries information in such a way that what we call the body and the mind and the spirit are able to communicate through and respond to it. It seems to be a language or vehicle through which we can explore whatever it is that we are.
In many ways it’s probably the oldest medicine there is. Every ancient culture had imagery-based rituals. They might have been called prayer or sacrifice or ceremony or taking a journey to another world, such as a shamanic healer might say, but however they explained it, the methods are similar.
For instance, with shamanic healing you go looking for help and call up power animals or guides. You might encounter and negotiate or do battle with a spirit that is believed to be involved in the creation of the illness in question. But if you take away the elaborate ritual that the shaman participates in, the process looks pretty similar to guided imagery in terms of what actually happens. As a physician, I'm interested in the effect the Mental Imagery has on you and whether it makes your headache go away. Do you feel more powerful in relation to dealing with your tumor or your arthritis? That’s really the effect we are looking for.