Therapists who use this modality to treat a variety of conditions also encourage their patients to practice guided meditation for sleep as part of a healthy lifestyle and as an effective treatment regimen for conditions ranging from chronic pain to insomnia to chronic fatigue. While some physical therapists are critical of this practice as “too Eastern” or “too esoteric,” guided meditations for physical conditions can benefit a wide range of patients, including those who have very serious health issues or ongoing physical pain.
A physical therapist can use guided imagery to help patients with many kinds of physical problems. The therapy may include massage, manual therapy, stretching, balance and muscular function training, and strength training. Therapists can also recommend breathing exercises, such as meditation and deep breathing, as part of a regimen for patients with health issues that cause them discomfort. For example, a physical therapist might recommend guided imagery for a patient with sleep apnea. A therapist who specializes in geriatric care may use the procedure for an elderly patient with low oxygen levels caused by congestive heart failure.
A Physical Therapist
A physical therapist can teach patients how to engage in guided imagery during sleep. The process usually takes two to three days to complete, but many physical therapists have seen benefits for their patients immediately after beginning this technique. During sleep, a therapist will slowly guide his or her client into a state of deep relaxation. The goal is to foster a sense of wellbeing so that the client may be better able to sleep through the night and experience less pain. The resulting sleep will not only be more restful but it will likely be more productive as well.
Aromatherapy is often used in conjunction with massage therapy to help promote sleep. Both therapies often require the same room, but each has its own specific benefits. Aromatherapy works best when a room is warm and inviting. A light floral scent can work well for people who like to use scented oils during their therapy.
Facilitate Relaxation And Promote A Sense Of Wellbeing
For those people whose minds become active while they are asleep, massage is a good way to facilitate relaxation and promote a sense of wellbeing. When the mind is constantly being directed to negative thoughts or images, it can often become engaged. Massage can also help the body to release stress from the muscles and soft tissues. Another method of massage therapy that can be used to help induce sleep is acupressure. Unlike most massages, acupressure is designed to relax the whole body rather than the muscles.
This approach allows the massage to reach deeper into the body, which can promote better blood circulation. Blood flowing to the brain is important for nighttime sleep. If the body is not receiving the needed nutrients, it cannot function properly during sleep. Guided imagery is another form of guided mindfulness meditation for sleep that can be used in the evening. This involves watching the way a person’s breathing changes in accordance with their sleeping needs.
A slow, deep breathing technique is used to open the chest and allow more oxygen to enter the lungs. Imagery is also associated with reaching the subconscious mind to release tension. Guided imagery is an excellent way to induce sleep without the use of medications. The images are usually relaxing and do not require the distraction of television, radio or video games. Many people choose this form of imagery because it is natural, simple and easy to learn. It can also be effective when used in conjunction with other relaxation techniques such as guided imagery.