How many times have you woke up and recalled a dream. The dream could have been pleasant. We sometimes wake up and remember a dream that shakes us to our core. Dreams link us up with someone who has passed on, we meet spirit guides and/or ancestors, dreams transports us to majestic places. Often people recount that they dream that they are flying. We also are subject to recurring dreams, messages from our physical body, messages from our emotional centers, dreams that we are falling, battling in war, or have premonitions of what is to come. We may wake up, out of breath, sweating, smiling, in utter awe, inspired, angry, scared, happy, at peace, or feeling a sense of wellness and healing. We wake up and say… What is going on? “It was just a dream”… or was it?
Ancient civilizations such as ancient China about 4500 years ago, belief system included the correlation of our dreams and the body, mind, and spirit connection. In Greece, Hippocrates, “The Father of Modern Medicine” about 400 BCE used dream therapy and encouraged the use of a designing your own healing dreams. Throughout the ancient world, dream temples could be found. The ancient Temple of Asklepius in Greece is an architectural and historical proof of a dream temple. You can research it.
Galen of Pergamum, a Greco-Roman physician who greatly impacted on European medicine, receiving his training in the second century AD used dreams for both diagnosis and treatment. He even used received dream guidance to perform surgery. Dr. Bernie S. Siegel, a leading surgeon in the U.S. and an interested party in the matter of dream healing states, “As a practicing surgeon, I explored the active role of the mind in illness and was astonished at the amount of information available via dreams.”
Dreams are an abstract portal to healing! Understanding the connection between dreams and healing started in ancient times. For thousands of years dream healing was respected. Throughout history, dream healing has gone through being removed from modern healing to becoming a very important component in integrative medicine at this moment in time. At present, Psychoneuroimmunology or PNI is providing the science behind our mind/body/spirit connection.
Dreams and nightmares subject us to waking up in a stir of emotions, perceptions, and patterns of behavior that need our conscious attention. Dreams spotlight our inner conflicts. Dreams outline our fears. Dreams have the ability to show us how to move through this journey we call life to achieve our deepest desires and hopes. Healing Power of Dreams offers techniques for using our dream imagery to positively impact the immune system. Dream-work methods in unison with time-tested relaxation and guided imagery practices are powerful tools in healing. Using dream imagery through a variety of meditative activities, you learn to transform nightmare experiences and to integrate healing imagery into the waking state. In doing so, an expert in dream healing can assist you discover the many levels on which dreams do indeed heal!
As per, Wendy Pannier who wrote an article on the matter, ” A function of dreaming appears to be emotional processing. During dreaming these highly activated areas of the brain communicate in different ways than during waking consciousness, and allow for emotions to be processed differently. Our limbic system speaks in the language of symbolic imagery. Working with dream imagery in the waking state can help change perceptions and resolve conflicts, which are critical keys for mind/body healing.”
Scientific research proves that the amygdala and hypothalamus, are both highly active during dreaming. They have 40 times the opiate and neuropeptide receptors as other parts of the brain. For example, when we positively affect them they in turn can have a positive impact on our immune system. The ancient Greeks called them “prodromal” dreams from the Greek words “pro” meaning before, and “dromos” meaning running. Thus, prodromal dreams can tell us what is going on in our bodies before the symptoms become obvious and readily diagnosable.
PNI, suggests use of interventions that maximize the right brain “limbic logic” in order to stimulate more profound, positive psychophysiologic change. To date, commonly accepted integrative medicine interventions that do this include guided imagery, hypnosis and biofeedback just to name a few. Dream work and healing falls into two categories: Working with and transforming negative dream images, such as those from nightmares, and working with positive and healing dream images. Dream work shows a person how to transform negative images into positive images and that transformed images from nightmares can be used effectively with visualization techniques aimed at pain reduction, treatment and recovery.
The amygdala is all about perception. Positively change your perception = positive change physiologically.
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