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​Guided Imagery to Relieve Chronic Stress

What is guided imagery?

Guided imagery is used for relaxation and healing. In this stress-relieving technique, someone reads a script to you to help you create thoughts and pictures in your mind where temperature, smell, sounds, beauty, people, and sights, are comfortable and relaxing. It's similar to a wonderful vacation — achieving some of the same relaxing benefits — without going anywhere.

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For more information about UPMC's Healthy Lifestyle Program, call 800-533-8762.

Or, e-mail Dr. Bruce RabinDirector, Healthy Lifestyle Program, at

How does guided imagery help calm the mind?

Guided imagery helps create a sense of peace and tranquility. Relaxing thoughts and images replace disturbing thoughts, allowing your brain to calm itself.

Are there other advantages to guided imagery?

Studies indicate that guided imagery can actually help people heal. It leads to a decrease in anxiety and stress levels during anesthesia induction and/or medical or surgical procedures. Guided imagery also reduces the need for analgesic medications of hospitalized patients, thus reducing side effects and decreasing recovery time.