Fibromyalgia patients benefit from guided imagery relaxation

Lana Bandoim's picture

Guided imagery relaxation has emerged as a potential treatment for fibromyalgia patients. A recent study reveals that the technique helped patients reduce their pain and depression. The noninvasive procedure appears to be useful in some cases and should not be ignored by medical professionals.

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Guided imagery relaxation involves using the mind to improve the mood and health while visualizing specific ideas. Although it is possible to do this technique on your own, many patients turn to professionals because of better results. A patient agrees to relax while listening to a therapist or recordings of specific images. There are multiple exercises that can be conducted in this relaxed state including breathing techniques, but fibromyalgia patients tend to benefit the most from specific healing or pain control images. These visualizations can involve imagining your body fighting the disease and winning or seeing pain as an intruder that can be tossed out of the body.

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A study from Spain placed fibromyalgia patients into a treatment and control group to examine the impact of guided imagery relaxation. Researchers from the University of Nursing in Almeria discovered that the patients who were receiving the treatment reported lower pain and depression levels compared to the control group. They recommend that medical professionals consider using guided imagery relaxation as part of their regular fibromyalgia treatment plans.

In general, guided imagery relaxation does not appear to have any type of side effects commonly seen with other types of treatments. However, some patients have reported falling asleep at inappropriate times due to the profound state of relaxation created by the technique. A reduction in pain and depression are not the only benefits that have been linked to the treatment. Some patients have also reported less anxiety, lower blood pressure, improved sleep patterns and increased creativity.

Read more about fibromyalgia:
Memantine drug shows promise for fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia study focuses on brain stimulation to fight pain

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