Visualization is such a simple, yet often overlooked technique. I have studied and believed in it for quite some time now. What I am referring to is the ability to visualize something (see it with the eye of the mind and spirit) and have it change the way things are to the way they should be. I have some interesting testimonies and facts but I will share mine first. For years, 19 to be exact, I have suffered from chronic neck and shoulder pain. I have also been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and soft tissue inflammation; one leg is longer than the other and one shoulder is higher.
Recently, my neck and shoulder hurt so badly that all I wanted to do was go home to bed! Concentrating on my spine, I “saw” that it was out of alignment; my right shoulder was higher and my head was too far to one side as a result of the top part of my spine curving to the left. This is not right; my spine needs to be in perfect alignment, I thought. I began to imagine it in a straight line from the base of my skull to my tailbone. Furthermore, I found an illustration of a perfectly straight spine and printed it. As I visualized my spine totally straight and my body in alignment, it became so! My shoulders and hips are level, my head perfectly situated on top of my straight spine. I have had no shoulder pain since.
A Well-known Practice
Eric Franklin, author of Dynamic Alignment Through Imagery and creator of the Franklin Method (imagery techniques for body alignment), says that when you visualize something “your nervous system immediately starts creating the muscle setup that supports your imagined action.” The mind makes it real.
Dr. L. W. de Laurence says in his classic book, The Master Key, “There is a wonderful power in the mind when directed by concentration and realization.” He explains one of the most astonishing accounts of this practice with the Old Testament story of Jacob and Laban. When it was time for Jacob to provide for his own household, he needed to separate from Laban. Because Jacob had brought Laban so much wealth and increase, he wanted to give something to Jacob. Jacob said that he would still attend to Laban’s animals and separate the animals according to their markings. The ring-streaked, speckled, spotted, and the brown would be Jacob’s. Any other animals remained Laban’s. Jacob naturally wanted the better cattle and sheep for himself, so he brought the stronger animals to drink before rods of wood that had been pilled with white streaks. The cows that conceived before the rods produced ring-streaked, spotted, and speckled offspring because every time they drank water they looked at stripes and speckles! We can see from this story that our thoughts affect our physical bodies!
My friend, Wendell Fowler, shares his experience with visualization. “What else do you do when you’re told you are going to die? You get ‘dead’ serious. I had just returned from San Francisco where I read a book on visualization. Some consider it to be voodoo. After seeing a photo of my scar-tissued heart, I would lie in bed and with my minds eye; employ pacman to eat off all the scar tissue. I read in Deepak Chopra’s early work that we can heal ourselves, and I took it to ‘heart’…literally. The Path to Love: Spiritual Strategies for Healing Plus the bible mentions, “Physician, heal thyself.” We are all physicians. Today’s fearful physicians will refute this, however.
I also did this with my irregular heartbeat. I’d visualize my bi-jiminy heartbeat and sculpted it back into a perfect, normal beat. It worked gloriously and freaked out the nurses at the monitoring station as well as the disinterested cardiologists. You see, I had viral cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and atrial fib…my heart was twice its normal size, my electrical system had shut down, and seven pounds of fluid surrounded my gelatinous, un-exercised heart. Go away, Grim Reaper! I kicked Death’s scrawny, gray-green butt with a positive attitude and strong faith. Also, it was a great way to use denial in a positive fashion. I simply was not going to die.” He went on to state that our bodies are a “gift from God” and that we should mind our “holy temples.”
Wendell is obviously a strong believer in God, but regardless of your religious affiliation or lack of, you can use this technique for any situation in your life. Lastly, my challenge to you: Find/draw/make illustrations of how you want to change. Constantly imagine yourself that way! After a week, let us know how your life has changed!