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Can guided imagery help a young man who’s developed a deadly form of staph infection..

03 May
Can guided imagery help a young man who’s developed a deadly form of staph infection while in the hospital, who is allergic to the few antibiotics that can fight this strain of bacteria?
Dear BR:

I have a friend who, through surgery for a non-life-threatening issue, recently contracted MSRA, a deadly form of staph infection that is resistant to almost all antibiotics but two. One of the two he is allergic to and one he is intolerant of (although he''s taking it). He needs some imagery to help him boost his immune system. What do you suggest?

Dear Lisa

As far as specific audios go, there isn’t anything we have that exactly addresses this, but the General Wellness imagery has elements in it that would be helpful.

In addition, I would also suggest he do some home-grown imagery not just to boost his immune system but to help his body tolerate the antibiotic. Perhaps he could imagine the staph infection as one color, the medicine as a different color, and the body welcoming the antibiotic and sensing its color overpowering and replacing the infection’s color.

Metaphors can be used as well the medicine could be a victorious army, whose troops are gratefully welcomed by the body, where they successfully dispatch the invading enemy. Or one of his favorite heroic figures, either contemporary or from childhood, could be imagined to be heroically and successfully fighting the good fight within the body.

Or he could be more literal/physiological: the staph bacteria could be seen or felt to shrivel and die, or become neutralized. If he prefers this, you may want to encourage your friend to look up actual microscopic pictures of staph bacteria and how they are overcome. Or he may want to access his Inner Healer, who can direct the show altogether.

If he would like to have a one-on-one experience, practitioners with certificates from the Academy for Guided Imagery or Beyond Ordinary Nursing are trained to do individual guided imagery coaching along these lines, and are listed by geographic area on their websites. We have links to these sites over at

I hope this helps and he gets better soon. Belleruth
Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award