Boxwell, Audrey. The Efficacy of [RIM Method ] Guided-Imagery/Visualization and Journaling in Patients With Irritable Bowel Syndrome. 2004, PhD dissertation, pages xxi-xxiv.
The present study sought to reduce IBS symptomology using guided-imagry/visualization and journaling as described in the book and CD Releasing the Inner Magician, Ways to Find a Peaceful and Happy Life, by Deborah Sandella, Ph.D. – heretofore known as the RIM [Regenerating Images in Memory] method. In general, the RIM method is a synthesis of Eriksonian Hypnosis, interactive guided imagery, somatic therapy, and journaling. Group discussion/support group sessions and patient education classes were combined with the RIM method to provide a multi-component treatment program for the reduction of IBS symptoms in patients diagnosed with this disorder using Rome II criteria.
Specifically, GIV allows for purposeful use of the imagination that automatically alters consciousness, providing evocative, multi-sensory meditation that causes deep shifts in body, psyche, and spirit. Words, images and music are integrated into meditations to mobilize neurophysiology and biochemistry, to produce healing waves that surge though the body, soothing and nurturing every cell from top to bottom.
The RIM method utilizes these GIV principles and goes a step further by tapping into the unconscious mind to bring new insight into awareness; old images are transformed into new images and regenerated into cellular body memory.
The Eriksonian aspects of the meditations are those parts that allow the listener to speak the language of the unconscious or soul (that is, imagery or imagination). Through these meditations, symbolic images that reside deep within the listener’s psyche are resurrected. The style of guiding is interactive i.e., Rather than using a formula script that provides specific images, the listener is asked to “invite” to the surface images that are personally relevant.
The somatic aspects of the RIM meditations are those segments that ask the listener to find or somatize where in their body he or she is carrying feelings. Feelings are then released through the imagination and the new images are free to fill the ensuing space. The RIM method varies from interactive guided imagery in that it does not use an active dyad (client/ therapist). Although a “voice” leads the meditation, no suggestions are purposefully interjected; no pointed questions are asked. The patient/listener is encouraged to free his or her unconscious without fear of the introduction of intrusive suggestions into the subconscious.
IBS patient-education and support group discussions preceded journaling. These bi-weekly, multi-component treatment sessions assisted individuals in consciously confronting their illness and acquiring biologic, psychologic, social, spiritual, and behavioral skills required for self-managing and controlling symptoms.
2 groups of individuals aged 18 to 65 who were diagnosed with IBS during the Rome II criteria elected into an 8-week treatment or control condition to determine the following hypothesis:
- Does the use of guided-imagery/visualization and journaling as part of the RIM multi component treatment program contribute to the reduction of primary symptoms (including diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain, as described in the Rome II criteria) in individuals with IBS?
- Does the use of guided imagery/visualization and journaling as part of the RIM multi-component treatment program contribute to the reduction of secondary symptoms (including bloating, flatulence, and belching as described in the Rome II criteria) in individuals with IBS?
- Does the use of guided-imagry/visualization and journaling as found in the RIM multi component treatment program improved quality of life for individuals with IBS?
To answer these research questions, a quasi-experimental, repeated measures design was used. A one tailed independent t-test compared the treatment CPSR scores. Two-way repeated measures analysis of variance compared individual gastrointestinal (GI) symptom reduction scores between treatment and control groups across time. Two-way repeated measures ANOVA was also used to test the IBS-QOL overall and subscales.
IBS has been described as faulty communication between the mind and the body. It appears that “multilingual” neurotransmitters suddenly lose their ability to translate conversations between the brain and the gut. Increasing numbers of IBS patients are turning to alternative therapies to reduce symptoms and feel better, as there are no prescribed therapies addressing the various symptoms inherent in this disorder [at this time].
The multi-component treatment program – especially the RIM method – introduces a spiritual language understood by all things in nature. It needs no translation; this is the language of mind, body, and spirit – the universal language of wholeness.
Journal Article: http://journals.sfu.ca/seemj/index.php/seemj/article/view/68/55