A Masters student in Physical Therapy wants help finding published studies with guided imagery protocols for sports injury rehabilitation, and BR offers some suggestions on how to go about finding them.. Hi Belleruth,
I am a Masters Physical Therapy student, currently researching psychological interventions to supplement physical rehabilitation for sports injuries, with a focus on imagery and relaxation.

Thus far in my review of the literature, I have been unable to locate any published protocol or content for the use of guided imagery for sport injury rehabilitation. I was wondering, is there a way I could get some insight as to the content of what a guided imagery session you prescribe would include? This would be of great help to me. I would be more than happy to elaborate further upon the details of what my research entails if you are interested.

Thank you for your time,

There is a free data base at entrez pub med which you can access by clicking here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?CMD=search&DB=pubmed .

I suggest you start with this article, just as an entry point:

Morton PA. The hypnotic belay in alpine mountaineering: the use of self-hypnosis for the resolution of sports injuries and for performance enhancement. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis. 2003 Jul; 46 (1): pages 45-51. PMID: 12894930 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE].

Check out that abstract, and then click on the link that says "related articles" and you''ll find a lot more. Each citation is a link to more "related articles", so you should be off and running.

Usually (but not always) the actual content of the imagery used as the intervention is included in an appendix to the article, so you won’t see it in the abstract posted on pubmed. You’d have to get hold of the article itself and go to the final pages to find it, if it’s there. The library of your school should have free access for students to these articles; or you can email the principal investigator and ask for the article - most are happy to email the article or mail you a hard copy.

As to what kind of imagery content to use, that would of course depend on the type of injury. Generally speaking you want to learn how the body naturally repairs and heals the particular injury - at the cellular level and the level of skin, bone, muscle and cartilage, too. Then you want to create a narrative that imagines all those natural processes.

If you want to check out a terrific example of some excellent imagery and hypnosis for healing injuries in a generic way, Carol Ginandes has a terrific CD set called Rapid Recovery from Injury that covers the bases for any sort of injury in a very effective way.

I hope this helps. Good luck.