Playfulness Enhances Healing with Image Cycling

Playfulness Enhances Healing with Image Cycling

Playfulness Enhances Healing with Image Cycling

When observing the carefree nature of children, we can uncover a valuable lesson in embracing detachment. In this blog post, we will explore the significance of playful detachment in healing, the power of imagination, and the importance of self-compassion. So, let’s dive in!

The Challenge of Detachment in Healing

When we have a serious medical condition, it seems prudent to do our very best to focus on what may help and to do it to the best of our ability. However, sometimes our valiant efforts to heal can hinder our progress.  In such cases, detachment and letting go become essential.  But how exactly can we achieve that?  

The Power of Playful Detachment

In the journey of healing, detachment can be a challenging concept to grasp. Strangling an intention to heal with a fearful white-knuckle emotional grip isn’t helpful.  Staring intently at and trying to hold onto a positive image of what we want can actually backfire (or at least exhaust us).  A playful, light, detached attitude works better and is easier to maintain than hunkering down and keeping a positive mindset. Being playful almost automatically puts us into the “here and now,”  which is the place where physical healing happens. But how can one maintain a playful detached attitude when their life is hanging in the balance? Let’s explore some suggestions.  

Learning from Children’s Playfulness

To better understand playful detachment, we can turn to children.  Children possess an innate ability to play, often immersing themselves in imaginative worlds without worry or inhibition. By spending time with children, we can reconnect with our own sense of imagination and curiosity. This connection becomes particularly important when implementing practices like William Bengston’s Image Cycling exercise or engaging in remote or hands-on healing.


Embracing Relaxation and Trust

Not everyone finds visualization easy, but that shouldn’t discourage involvement. Just as an accountant needs our involvement to do our taxes, healing practitioners need our participation to facilitate a healing response in our bodymind. Relaxing and trusting in the expertise of these practitioners becomes crucial. If visualization feels challenging or difficult to grasp, it’s perfectly okay to ask others to perform visualization exercises with and for you. The key is to maintain a light touch and allow the healing process to unfold naturally, much like a carefree three-year-old would.

The Weight of Judgment

When facing serious health challenges, it is common to burden ourselves with self-judgment. This is the opposite of playful detachment. We may question our worthiness or wonder if we could have prevented our illness through better choices or practices. However, it is essential to release ourselves from the weight of such judgments. Hildegard von Bingen, a remarkable nun who lived with chronic bronchitis in the 1100s, serves as an inspiring example. Despite her illness, she achieved extraordinary accomplishments, revolutionizing music, literature, and medicine. Her life story reminds us that sickness does not diminish our worth or potential for greatness.

Compassion and the Mind-Body Connection

No matter what therapies we employ, it’s important to approach our  suffering and limitations with compassion.  If we are trying to learn a new skill (such as the Bengston Method or Image Cycling), will we truly improve by constantly telling ourselves we are incompetent?  The answer is most likely no.  Cultivating compassion for our difficulties is not only more honest but also opens us up to choices that may have otherwise been invisible to us. It’s crucial to remember that we are all human, and experiencing sickness and limitation is a natural part of our existence.  


Detachment and playfulness are powerful tools in the healing journey. By observing the carefree nature of children, we can rediscover our imaginative side and learn to let go of the weighty expectations we place on ourselves. Just as Hildegard von Bingen achieved greatness despite her chronic bronchitis, we too can strive for healing while embracing our imperfections. Whether we choose visualization, meditation, or other practices, the key is to playfully engage with the process.  So, let us approach our healing journey with lightness, curiosity, interest, compassion, and the willingness to play like a child once more.

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