"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited while imagination embraces the entire world"
- Albert Einstein
Introduction to Mental Imagery
Mental Imagery,sometimes called Visualization, Guided Imagery, and often used interchangeably with the practice of Meditation and Hypnosis, is the language used by the mind to communicate and make sense about the inner and outer worlds. Imagery, refers to the awareness of sensory (physical), and perceptual (cognitive), experiences which have been used in a variety of health and healing practices in the Western world for over three decades. Meditation, mindfulness, hypnosis, and yoga are also techniques commonly used in Behavioral Health Programs today to assist in high-level awareness health education sessions.
While there is something unique and peculiar about thinking in mental images, or understanding the meaning of "pictures in the head" as it applies to health and well being, this uniqueness is receiving attention in the current theoretical and research literature. Given the diverse role that the imagination appears to have in healing, the difficulties lie in studying the invisible world scientifically (Religious groups who oppose such practices and the differences in preconceptions held by practitioners). It is no surprise that there are many distinct views on the practice and value of Mental Imagery.