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CE: Imagery for Self-Healing and Integrative Nursing Practice

Kubes, Laurie F. DNP, RN, APRN, CNP

AJN The American Journal of Nursing: November 2015 - Volume 115 - Issue 11 - p 36–43
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000473313.17572.60
Feature Articles

Overview Imagery has been used as a healing practice since ancient times. Its reemergence in modern medicine began in the second half of the 20th century, when research suggested that imagery could help reduce patients’ pain and anxiety and improve their quality of life and outlook on their illness. While current evidence is insufficient to support claims that imagery affects disease progression, research suggests that this method of inducing relaxation encourages patients’ healing process and gives them a greater sense of autonomy in relation to disease and its management. Because imagery is noninvasive, the risks associated with its use are minimal and it is now widely used in integrative nursing. The author discusses imagery's uses and benefits, as well as the potential pitfalls in its use, and describes an imagery technique she has found effective in practice, providing a sample script and explaining how the technique might be used to help patients in various settings.

The second article in a five-part series on holistic nursing describes how imagery can be used to encourage patients’ healing process, and presents an imagery technique and a sample script to use in practice.

Laurie F. Kubes is codirector of the Integrative Health Program at the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Health Care System. Contact author: laurie.kubes@va.gov. The author and planners have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

Copyright © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.