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Excerpted from Guided Imagery for Healing Children and Teens by Ellen Curran. Copyright © 2001 by Ellen Curran. Excerpted by permission of Beyond Words Publishing, Inc.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. HTML and web pages copyright © by SpiritSite.com.

"I gradually learned to let go of the controls, to make it her process, her healing, and her way."

  Ellen Curran, Guided Imagery, Part 2

Finding Imagery

"If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves." -- Thomas Edison

Allisonís relaxation response was already in place from our previous imagery experiences. I believed that her imagery skills could be expanded so she could have a positive impact on her disease process and coping skills. I felt there was nothing to lose, since I held on to my parental vow.

We began our own special, guided imagery of the "Blue Whales" with her during her intravenous infusion. After the induction of a relaxed state, I asked her to imagine that powerful, Blue Whales were in every drop of intravenous fluid and that they were there specifically to make her feel better. They were hers and hers alone. They were there to help her understand her symptoms, fight off any bad cells, and help her recover and heal. Her response to and belief in this concept was automatic. She picked the name the "Frownies" for her particular "bad" cells and ran with it. The Blue Whales fought the Frownies along with her ill feelings -- and it worked the first time we tried it. With help from her "new friends," the Blue Whales, she was also able to handle post-transfusion sickness by picturing them battling the Frownies inside her body.

I found that integrating the medical treatments with the self-empowering imagery process met nearly all of her needs, treating her as a whole person, and not just as symptoms related to a disease. More importantly, I gradually learned to let go of the controls, to make it her process, her healing, and her way. Letting go is a difficult but positive lesson for the parent of a sick child. Accepting her needs and perceptions enabled me to honor her as a person in her own right.

I was absolutely amazed at the progress Allison was making, both mentally and physically, and at the positive impact on our family as a whole. This progress prompted me to investigate further. I spent hours researching, trying to find out more about imagery and the essence of mind-body medicine.

Allison now feels special because of "her friends" the Blue Whales. Her belief in the Blue Whales and her trust that they will help her run deep. A wonderful example of this feeling occurred the day after her first intravenous treatment, when she was sent home ill from school. We had to stop by the side of the road, and I helped her as she vomited. Afterwards, with a ragged smile, she said, "Blue flowers will grow there now, Mum." Always believing in a happy ending. With the combination of a mind and body approach and Western medicine, Allison is now a healthier and happier child.

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