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Friday, April 22, 2016

Interactive Imagery for Irritable Bowel Syndrome: It changed into a bunny rabbit

As the Director of Oncology Intake at Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Dr. Larry Altshuler has been an integrative medicine specialist for 36 years.   Here’s an excerpt from his new book, Doctor, Say What?:  An insider's scoop to getting the best medical care:

Denise is a 32-year-old woman who had severe IBS [Irritable Bowel Syndrome].  Her IBS had been present for 20 years, and she could never go out because she might have a sudden attack of diarrhea at any time.  While exploring her subconscious through the interactive imagery technique, we discovered that some type of fear had started the condition. I had her image her fear, and suddenly she saw a big, black, hairy rat in a cage (this represented that she had “caged” away her fear).  I I told her to imagine opening the cage and letting out the rat (symbolically “releasing her fear”).  When she did, in her mind, she heard the rat say, “Thank you for releasing me.”  I then asked her to see herself hugging the rat (symbolically “embracing the fear”).  When she did, the image of the rat changed into a bunny rabbit and hopped away, and she heard it say, “Thanks.  You don’t need me anymore.”  After that session, Denise never had another episode of IBS, and that was 12 years ago.

Interactive Imagery (also called Active Imagination)…is significantly more powerful than guided imagery…Instead of creating specific images, you allow your mind to spontaneously present images to you.  These images represent your symptoms, illness, or emotions.  By interacting with these images, you can gain understanding of why you are ill and how you can heal yourself.

Certainly, many of you may think this is in the realm of science fiction, but having used this process with hundreds of patients (most of them skeptical), I can tell you it’s real. 

Read another story of a doctor as a caring thought partner.  Thanks to Mallory Campoli of Smith Publicity for connecting us.

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