The Evolving Self

...when growth is the only option

Jaqui Duvall, MA

Guided Imagery

Two Brains

Science is showing us that the two hemispheres of the brain have different languages. The left hemisphere of the brain and commonly dominant (for most people) typically uses verbal language and is linear and logical. The right side of the brain is typically where imagery, emotion and symbolism are used. Scientists believe that dreaming occurs in the right hemisphere and that in fact, it may be the location of the subconscious mind.

I doubt there would be any argument that humankind has come a very long way by employing intellect and reasoning. These have substantially contributed to the sciences and advances in technology. We wouldn’t be where we are right now if it wasn’t for these left brain functions. Of course, we are whole brained beings and the vision and creativity supplied by the right brain are just as, if not more important.

The main distinction I want to make between the two, however is that the left brain is often the source of our interactions with the outside world, whereas the right brain is the mediator for our internal communication. The left brain communication we are aware of as the on-going thoughts going through our heads that we may give voice to or not in our interactions with other people and the world. Right brain communication happens with” intuition, emotions, feelings, memories, drives, motives, goals, appetites, aspirations, ambitions, values, beliefs, attitudes and perceptions.” (Bresler, Rossman “Interactive Guided Imagery, 1999)

Interestingly, the body doesn’t know the difference between something that is actually happening right now and something that is imagined in the mind. What’s more, “the major physiologic systems of the body, including respiration, heart rate, blood pressure, metabolic rates in cells, gastrointestinal mobility and secretion, sexual function, cortisol levels, blood lipids, and even immune responsiveness” are affected by imagery. What that means is that imagery is a very powerful tool to learn and utilize in our efforts to be healthy and happy.


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