Resharing from @beautyafterbruises (w/ permission!) bc this is SUCH a vital skill for pain relief and the emotional distress that chronic illness creates. It's also obviously incredible for mental health and trauma, which many of you relate to as well, even if med trauma. How it works:
"Whether you're struggling with emotion regulation, intrusive images, flashbacks, panic attacks, self-harm urges, physical pain, or just so much noise in your head -- using imagery with dials can make a considerable difference.
To first explain, imagery is a symptom management tool that uses calling images to mind, in a vivid and intentional way, to directly mitigate symptoms. The more explicitly detailed you make the scenery, using as many of your senses as possible, while allowing yourself to truly believe this is real, effective, and capable of making a difference - the more successful it will be.
When it comes to using dials specifically, you can use those that are attached to other objects — like knobs on a video projector that's playing flashbacks or intrusive images you don't want to see, or tuning/volume knobs on a radio that’s blaring all the static noise in your head. Or, you can create your own! Visualize customized knobs that are attached to your body or right inside your mind. (Realism can go out the window with imagery!) Dials on your temples can slow down internal noise or thoughts coming too fast. A pressure gauge and release valve can let out pressure built up in your skull - great for intense headaches, anxiety or chronic illness. Perhaps you want to have a speedometer-like gauge on your chest that's connected to slow down intense emotions when you pump the brakes with your foot -- or even revving them up if you've been numb. Knobs lain out on a control panel just behind your eyes or ears can distort the clarity of disturbing images, minimize them away from sight, turn off the volume, or swipe them out of the way completely. You can also place dials on body parts known for self-harm. While you may not feel ‘allowed' to turn some off entirely, you can try to use ones with a color wheel that fluctuates through a gradient based on impulse. (continued ⤵️)