University of Granada researchers have shown that music therapy combined with other relax techniques based on guided imagery reduces significantly pain, depression, and anxiety, and improves sleep among patients suffering from fibromyalgia. Thus, this therapy enhances patients’ quality of life. This pioneer experimental study in Europe has shown that these two techniques enhance the well-being and personal power of patients with fibromyalgia who took part in their treatment.
In Part 1 of this 2-part series, I provide an overview of pain tolerance, factors that affect pain tolerance, and assessment of clinical pain. Today’s Part 2 focuses on a detailed discussion of several guided imagery and healing techniques, such as “Mind Controlled Analgesia,” positive and negative imagery, and the importance of relaxation. Readers are encouraged to first review Part 1 to better understand the topics explored in this second and final discussion of pain and guided imagery.
During the many years that I directed the UCLA Pain Control Unit, one of the most valuable things I learned was that it is possible for someone to have pain and yet not suffer. When two patients were admitted with similar diagnoses, histories, demographics, and objective findings, we would often find tremendous variability in how well they were coping with pain and its consequences.
Researchers from William Beaumont Hospital’s Department of Urology in Royal Oak, Michigan, conducted a pilot study to see if guided imagery might have an effect on the symptoms of interstitial cystitis, a condition involving urinary urgency, frequency, and pelvic pain, which affects more than a million women in the U.S. The results were published in the Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine.
Researchers from Case Western Reserve University School of Nursing used a one-group, repeated measures design to investigate the efficacy of guided imagery with theta music on 53 advanced cancer patients suffering from dyspnea (difficulty breathing). The intervention consisted of four periods: (a) pretest; (b) intervention with peaceful non-theta music; (c) intervention with 10 min of guided imagery with theta music, with the first and last 3 min being theta music only (i.e., the middle 4 min was guided imagery with theta music); and (d) post-test.