Be Well Program
Empowering Children to Participate in Being Well
When a child is admitted to the unfamiliar surroundings of a hospital or medical practice, they are entering the unknown, and can become anxious and fearful. These emotions can arise when a child is being admitted for surgery, as well as when arriving for a test or treatment of an illness. The increase in a child’s emotional and physical stress can negatively affect the healing process. It also compounds the stress already being felt by the parents and other family members.
However, by using the power of the mind along with relaxation techniques – as adjuncts to professional medical treatment – we can help children to cope better with their anxiety and stress, and actively participate in the healing process.
The Power of the Mind
Our subconscious mind, the builder of the body, does not know the difference between what we might consider real or unreal. It just knows to grow or expand on the thoughts or images we place into it.
So, thoughts or images of relaxation, health, and healing have been known to enhance the healing process, empower the immune system, and reinforce the effectiveness of medical treatments and procedures. The process of using positive images to complement professional medical treatment is called Guided Imagery or Creative Visualization.
The Relaxation Response and Guided Imagery
The power of using relaxation techniques to lessen the harmful effects of stress on the body and to help bring the body back into a healthy state of balance is well known. Dr. Herbert Benson, Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School, describes the process and its salutary effects in his book, The Relaxation Response.
Guided Imagery or Creative Visualization, dates back to Asclepius, Artistotle, Galen and Hippocrates, regarded as the fathers of medicine. All used imagery for both diagnosis and therapy.
This process of using relaxation techniques along with guided imagery has been researched and written about by modern medical doctors including: Dr. O. Simonton and Dr. Stephanie Matthews-Simonton in Getting Well Again; Dr. Bernie Siegel in Love, Medicine and Miracles; and Jeanne Achterberg in Imagery in Healing.