Learn the science behind Circle+Bloom’s guided visualization programs. We value integrity and seek professional medical guidance when developing our programs.
What are guided visualization and meditation and how do they work?
Also known as guided imagery, guided visualization is a mind-body intervention wherein you evoke all your senses to experience something in your mind. Olympic athletes use this technique to imagine their race, including what the ground feels like and what the air smells like, before starting. It helps us to prepare mentally.
Meditation is the practice of using techniques like visualization to quiet the mind, focus and relax and open the body.
Meditation can help us embrace our worries, our fear, our anger; and that is very healing. We let our own natural capacity of healing do the work. — Thich Nhat Hanh
Meditation works by helping you to slow down and focus, to disregard worry and get in touch with the mind-body connection—your thoughts and emotions can control your physiology.
The health effects of visualization and meditation
Dr. Herbert Benson outlined the “Relaxation Response”, which showed us that in just 10 minutes of imagery blood pressure and cholesterol lowers. Visualization can also reduce blood loss during surgery and postoperative morphine use. It can lessen headaches and pain. And, amazingly, it has been shown again and again to reduce the adverse effects of chemotherapy, especially nausea, depression, and fatigue.
But wait, there’s more…studies show that:
- Visualization can help alter menstrual cycles and relieve symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
- Imagery can boost your immunity. Danish researchers found increased natural killer cell activity among ten college students who imagined their immune systems were becoming very effective.
- Visualization and other relaxation methods may produce significant health and wellness benefits, such as easing pain and depression.
- Imagery can increase breast milk production in new mothers.
- Visualization can help cancer patients better prepare for treatment, feel more positive about their care, and stimulate white blood cells to fight cancer cells.
It’s quite remarkable what our bodies are capable of when we focus on solutions.
The stress-infertility connection
Stress is everywhere, and to some degree, is a totally natural part of life. We live in an era of unprecedented stress, anxiety, and depression, though which is wreaking all kinds of havoc on our health.
Recent studies, such as one by Emory University’s Dr. Sarah Berga, explains that the hypothalamus (a walnut-sized part of the brain that’s known to regulate stress hormones) acts as our reproductive system’s “master of ceremonies”. Her important research is starting to show us how delicate our hormonal balance is and how stress hormones could be impacting our reproductive systems.
There are also studies that show women who experience problems getting pregnant have similar levels of depression and anxiety to those suffering from life-threatening diseases like cancer or heart disease.
Stress negatively impacts our fertility. And unfortunately, stress is compounded when we try to conceive month after month without positive results. It creates an emotional downward spiral that’s difficult to break.
While science is inconclusive about the exact connections between stress and infertility, we’ve received numerous testimonials from community members who’ve successfully become pregnant while using our guided meditations for fertility and pregnancy.
- Mind-Body Therapy, by Ernest Rossi and David Cheek, published in 1988 by W.W. Norton & Company
- Molecules of Emotion, The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine, by Candace Pert, Ph.D., published in 1997 by Scribner
- NIH’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
- Arthritis Today