In Imagery in Healing, Achterberg explores in detail the role of the imagination in the healing process. She begins with an exploration of the tradition of shamanism, "the medicine of the imagination," surveying this time-honored way of touching the nexus of the mind, body, and soul. She then traces the history of the use of imagery within Western medicine, including a look at contemporary examples of how health care professionals have drawn on the power of the imagination through such methods as hypnosis, biofeedback, and the placebo effect.
Ultimately, Achterberg looks to the science of immunology to uncover the most effective ground for visualization, and she presents data demonstrating how imagery can have a direct and profound impact on the workings of the immune system. Drawing on art, science, history, anthropology, and medicine, Imagery in Healing offers a highly readable overview of the profound and complex relationship between the imagination and the body.