Visualization techniques are credited with saving the life of a woman who suffered from crippling pain as a teenager.
Maya Raichoora used to suffer from ulcerative colitis, taking 65 pills a day and being in "constant agony.".
She claimed that visualization techniques had aided her, and as a result, she co-founded the start-up Remap, which seeks to assist others.
She claimed that visualization had both saved her life and changed it; without it, she might not still be alive.
Visualization, according to the 24-year-old, is like "brain weightlifting," and it can enhance one's "thinking, feeling, and performance.".
While attending the University of Bristol's Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, she and co-founder Ben Wainwright began developing Remap.
"I was told by many people that my life - the life that I knew - was over; that I'd need 24-hour care for the rest of my life, surgery, and all kinds of things," said Miss Raichoora.
"The pain was unbearable and never-ending. Even the highest morphine concentrations had no effect. Sometimes the pain was too great to cry.
"I still recall the day they told me I couldn't physically attend university and that I wouldn't go. For a fifteen-year-old, it was a lot. ".
Dr. Robert Drake is a research fellow at the School of Physiology, Pharmacology, and Neuroscience at Bristol University.
Visualizations, he claimed, "likely offer a sense of control in what presumably feels like an uncontrollable situation, and we know from fundamental research that perceived control facilitates successful coping and better health. ".
Ms. Raichoora had been in yet another hospital bed for two weeks and had been unable to move due to pain when she began visualizing.
She started out cautiously while imagining what it would be like to walk again.
She claimed that while visualizing the action gave her a brief moment of hope, it would take several days before she took her first shaky steps.
"Oh my god," she exclaimed, "I just thought.". "I continued to do it after that. Going home, seeing my dog, and attending Bristol University would all be in my head. It gradually gave me the drive and fortitude to carry on.
She said, "Nine years later, after consulting with medical professionals, I no longer take any medication.
Every day, Ms. Raichoora practices visualization for an hour and meditation for an hour. The visualizations vary, but they may include the future she wants, a successful outcome to a pitch meeting, or just positive images.
According to Dr. Drake, using positive imagery will boost motivation and mood while activating "pain modulatory systems to tune down pain in anticipation of painful movement.".
According to Dr. Drake, methods that heighten a person's internal awareness and sensations have been demonstrated to "provide therapeutic benefits" for a range of pain, mood, and psychiatric disorders.
"The interaction between thoughts or beliefs and sensory processing is inherently difficult to study, whether in animals or humans, and as a result, we currently lack the mechanistic neurophysiological understanding to make a compelling argument to the public, who are, of course, a little skeptic. .
"However, we are beginning to see a shift in the advice from specialized clinicians and the NHS that enhancing patients' lived experiences of pain through wellbeing, therapy, etc. produces positive patient outcomes that are frequently better than those produced by current medications. ".
The University of Bristol's Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship staff continues to mentor both of the co-founders, and they recently received funding from the university's start-up competition.
When it comes to achieving goals, people can train their minds just like they can train their bodies, according to Mr. Wainwright, 23, who experienced anxiety during his school years.
"My own mind contributed greatly to my anxiety. Realizing that my mind could stop it if it was causing it was a significant realization for me. ".
"We picture a society in which mental fitness is as widespread as physical fitness.