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FYI - Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions About Guided Imagery

18 Jun

 Every week, we get questions from far and wide about our guided imagery - how it works, who can use it, how much time it takes, etc.  So, today we've dedicated our weekly update to answering some of the most popular and frequently asked questions we get via phone, social media, ask BR, or carrier pigeon....


How often should I practice my imagery?

Everyone's needs are different, but you might want to start out a couple of times a day for about 15 minutes each time for 3 or 4 weeks. First thing in the morning and just before falling asleep at night are usually convenient and particularly potent times for imagery, but any time is a good time, and some time is always better than no time, so listen whenever you can. The more you do it, the less time it will take for it to have an impact.

Do I have to listen to the whole audio every time?

You absolutely do not have to listen to the whole thing in order to benefit. If all you have is 10 minutes, take the 10. Over time, with repeated listening, it all sinks in, and the positive impact sneaks up on you; most people notice changes in attitude and behavior just sort of happening organically.

Can I listen to more than one audio at once?

I would caution you against overwhelming yourself with a blitz of audio programs, all at once. I would focus intensively on only one audio program at a time maybe picking the topic you’re most motivated to target for the first – and listening repeatedly until you're tired of it (or experience a "saturation effect", as some of my colleagues would say), and then move on to a different one, focus intensively on that one, then alternate that imagery with the first one and move on to the next. Eventually you can mix all of them, in any order you wish, knowing that you've done a baseline of intensive work with each one, and so your receptivity to each is ensured.

What are some really good conditions for making my imagery as effective as possible?

Being relaxed; listening at a time you know you won’t be interrupted; shutting off the phone and other devices; using the half-awake, trancey times when just waking up or falling asleep; listening even if you only have 5 minutes, rather than waiting for a time with the full 20 minutes; using all of your senses, especially your kinesthetic or feeling sense; continued practice; going to the same place with the same music or props each time; using touch as a conditioning cue (such as putting your hands over your belly each time, and breathing deeply); not trying too hard or being too exacting about how you do this. Practicing with a group of people also helps.

If I fall asleep while listening to guided imagery, are the messages still getting in?

Yes, in fact there's a good argument that those hypnotic messages may go in even better, deeper and faster when the listener is asleep. Sleep is the ultimate altered state. Brain waves are slowest in the Delta state and most capable of absorbing those messages. (Babies sleep in Delta). Theta is not as slow, but very slow as well, (that very trancy state, also during sleep, dreaming, or just before falling asleep or waking up, or when we're in a deep daydream, or immersed in a creative fantasy). A lot goes in during these slow, absorptive brain wave states. The messages do indeed seep in, and pretty quickly, too.


Did you enjoy this? You can read more FAQ's here, or get back to basics with Guided Imagery 101....and keep the questions coming! We love to hear from you. 

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