In the last several articles I’ve discussed the concept of physiologic flow and how every aspect of our physiology depends on flow. In the last article I discussed how to optimize our physiologic flow through nutrition. This week I’d like to discuss the use of creative visualization to optimize physiologic flow.
Creative visualization is the process of picturing in your mind’s eye the perfect execution of what you would like to happen. This was proven to be effective by an Australian psychologist Alan Richardson. He took basketball players and divided them into three groups. One group would practice free throws for 20 minutes a day, the second group would not physically practice but just visualize performing successful free throws for 20 minutes a day and the third group would do nothing. When he tested the success rate of free throws in these three groups he found that the group who only visualized successful free throws was as successful as the group that actually practiced free throws. This proves that creative visualization works.
The way to apply this to physiologic flow is to visualize all the different flow processes in your body happening effortlessly and effectively. For example, you could visualize oxygen-rich air passing from the air around you into your mouth and nose, your pharynx, your larynx, your trachea, your large airways, your smaller airways right to your lung’s air sacs. From here you could visualize the oxygen being absorbed in the lining of the air sacs into the tiny blood vessels called capillaries.
You could then visualize the oxygen being attached to red blood cells to be transported to the heart which pumps it through an incredible network of blood vessels to all the organs, tissues and cells of the body. You could also visualize all the waste products of cellular metabolism being transported by the blood to the liver to be detoxified, to the kidneys to be excreted or to the lungs where they are absorbed from the blood into the air sacs to be expired into the air.
You can use the same creative visualization process to visualize effortless and effective flow in your lymphatic system, the cerebrospinal fluid in your central nervous system, at the level of your cellular physiology and in the countless other physiologic processes which happen at any given moment in time.
Right now I encourage you to take a moment from your busy day and to stop, close your eyes and go through a creative visualization exercise for any physiologic process in your body as described above. This will dramatically enhance your overall health and facilitate getting you into and keeping you in the flow.
Nauman Naeem MD