Many people with a serious health condition have found that practicing visualization has helped relieve their pain or reduce their stress.
To find a local teacher, contact a local hospital, American Cancer Society (800.ACS.2345), or any organization that relates to any type of cancer. You can even find free help learning about visualizations on line - for instance by searching on "visualizations" in www.YouTube.com . There are even apps for the iPhone, iPad and Android mobile phones.
One way to do a visualization is through the following exercise. Each of the steps is described in other sections of this document:
Step One: Find a quiet, relaxing place.
Step Two: Get into a comfortable position and close your eyes.
Step Three: Breathe deeply and slowly.
Step Four: Squeeze and release each major muscle group.
Step Five: Imagine a calming scene.
Step Six: Slowly return to reality.
Before trying the full exercise, first practice steps 1 through 4, so you can get used to deep breathing and muscle relaxation.
You may find that your mind wanders. When you notice yourself thinking of something else, gently direct your attention back to your deepening relaxation.
Be sure to maintain your deep breathing.
If any one of these steps makes you feel uncomfortable, feel free to leave it out.