The images we see in our dreams are symbols used by the unconscious parts of our minds to communicate. But images can be used in reverse as well. Our conscious minds can also use images, or mental pictures, to send messages to the unconscious parts of our minds. In the first three chapters Dr. Epstein explains how imagery works, and describes the powerful connection between our minds and bodies. The first part of the book is important because it helps the reader understand how to apply the principles of imagery to improve their health, and overcome unseen obstacles that may be hampering their progress.For about three centuries Western Medicine almost completely ignored the mind-body connection - some doctors even ridiculed it. Every other medical system that we know of, including Western Medicine before the seventeenth century, recognized how important our minds are to our health. More and more, modern medicine has come to realize the impact of our minds on our health. But even though many medical professionals are recognizing the importance of the mind in our physical health, they do little more than encourage people to have a positive attitude. The Imaging Exercises in Healing Visualizations can actually help the reader channel his thoughts in a way that helps the body heal.
My favorite part of the book comes next. In chapter four Dr. Epstein gives the reader specific imagery exercises for a wide variety of health issues. I've read many of these blueprints for healing, as he calls them, and used quite a few of them. Sometimes they worked faster and more effectively than I had expected, and other times they didn't work as well as I had hoped. Dr. Epstein also gives the reader pointers for creating their own visualizations.Dr. Epstein emphasizes that modern Western Medicine has a great deal to offer patients, and visualizations should NEVER replace diagnosis, advice, and treatment from a good, qualified doctor. In fact, as a psychiatrist, Dr. Epstein is also a medical doctor. He can appreciate more than most people who much modern science has enriched the practice of medicine. He also knows how much the patient's mind can effect his or her health, and visualizing is a simple, yet powerful way for patients to help themselves. I've had this book for over a decade, and I keep it handy and refer to it often.