This influential book shows how the systematic use of mental imagery can have a positive influence on the course of disease and can help patients to cope with pain. In Imagery in Healing, Jeanne Achterberg brings together modern scientific research and the practices of the earliest healers to support her claim that imagery is the world's oldest and most powerful healing resource. The book has become a classic in the field of alternative medicine and continues to be read by new generations of health care professionals and lay people.
In Imagery in Healing, Achterberg explores in detail the role of the imagination in the healing process. She begins with an exploration of the tradition of shamanism, "the medicine of the imagination," surveying this time-honored way of touching the nexus of the mind, body, and soul. She then traces the history of the use of imagery within Western medicine, including a look at contemporary examples of how health care professionals have drawn on the power of the imagination through such methods as hypnosis, biofeedback, and the placebo effect.
Ultimately, Achterberg looks to the science of immunology to uncover the most effective ground for visualization, and she presents data demonstrating how imagery can have a direct and profound impact on the workings of the immune system. Drawing on art, science, history, anthropology, and medicine, Imagery in Healing offers a highly readable overview of the profound and complex relationship between the imagination and the body.
"A real landmark in holistic medical studies. For those of us—and there are more of us all the time—who think it is time to take responsibility for ourselves and our well-being, this is exciting stuff."—Frena Bloomfield, San Francisco Chronicle Review
"I would encourage both laypersons and professionals to read Imagery in Healing to understand how one's belief can physiologically affect the human body."—Charles P. Ledergerber, M.D., Journal of the American Medical Association