Sunday, November 20, 2011

Health Dreams

We know from the scientific literature that dreams contain information about the dreamer's health, well-being and even illness. Dreams can reveal location of illness, type of illness, prognosis and treatment outcomes, to some degree. Of course not all health-related dreams are about health and dreams also contain images of character distortion and extreme imagery. Given this, how can a dreamer use dreams to track health and illness without getting afraid of every image that might be related to health? What are the key features of health dreams that should be attended to and what features should not?

34 comments:

  1. If someone were to pay attention to every health dream and take it as a sign of illness, paranoia would most certainly set in. To track health and illness without being afraid I think the individual needs to take things into context. Keeping track of your dreams can be a good start. If you know you get a certain type of dream imagery in situations where you feel stressed, anxious, or fear something it could help reduce the chances of being afraid of what your body is trying to tell you. Also, going back to the context aspect, if your family has a history of certain illnesses or diseases and the imagery is recurrently appearing in your dreams, it can't hurt to go to the doctor.

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  2. Dreamers should be encouraged to track health and illness through dream imagery by being more attentive to dream contents that are indications of poor health and physical illness. Imagery that is recurrent and realistically related to waking day life events should be taken more seriously - ex. you dream that your lungs are all black and you've recently had trouble breathing. Being aware and relating imagery to waking day life may elicit fear from the dreamer - but keeping in mind that the dream is a reminder or warning of physical illness that needs to be dealt with will help the dreamer to stay calm.

    The key features that should be attended to in dreams are the actual areas of the anatomy that seem to be symbolizing some kind of ailment - i.e. the lungs. Moreover, one should not necessarily attend to the blackness in the lungs as this would instigate anxiety and assumptions of serious health problems when in fact it could be something minor.

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  3. So that the dreamer does not turn into a dream hypochondriac, only certain dreams should probably be taken into account. If health problems are often thought about in waking day the dreamer will probably dream about them. This may not actually reflect real health problems, the dream may just be telling the person that they are thinking about health problems too much. Real prodromal dreams will have vivid imagery and probably be recurrent. The dreamer should probably only pay attention to those dreams that stand out from the others that may be disturbing. The other clue for the dreamer is that the same dreams keep happening over days or weeks.

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  4. It is a good idea to track all dreams that an individual may have since our dreams are directly related to waking day life. I think it is very important to pay attention to recurrent dreams as this is probably a sign that we need to change something in our waking day life and our dreams can be telling us important information about our current health states.
    In order for people not to become preoccupied and to critically examine every single dream they may feel is telling them 'something is wrong with their bodies', individuals should pay close attention to their dream imagery. I think that some people think too much into their personal dreams and tend to be over concerned with images they see when the dream could be telling them that is not related to their health.
    Ultimately, if the dream is persistent and the individual may believe they are are risk for certain health problems, it is most beneficial to consult a doctor to find out for sure.

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  5. I think that tracking your dreams would be vitally important when trying to track health problems. Essentially one should only pay attention to reocurring dreams that seem relevant to your waking day life and waking day concerns/symptoms. Using a previous example: dreaming about black lungs, while in your waking life you have been having breathing problems, or are concered about your smoking habit.

    Grace Williamson

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  6. The mind and body are connected, so when something happens in the body, the mind is aware of it. Through dream imagery, the mind can reveal illness. Health dreams are useful because they can tell the dreamer what condition the body is in and then the dreamer can engage in waking day action (i.e. getting treatment, quitting high-risk behaviours, etc).

    Tracking all of your dreams in a journal, just like we do for class is probably the starting point. Dreams can indicate many aspects of health, such as physical health, psychological health, and general-well being. Recurrent dreams should be paid attention to, as they might be trying to tell you something since they keep appearing.

    We learned in class that illness dreams usually appear before the physical signs of the illness, are often longer than distress dreams caused by ordinary annoyances, and are quite unpleasant and nightmarish in nature. These are some of the things that people should pay attention to in regards to health dreams. There is a relationship between imagery and illness, but imagery cannot be said to predict illness 100% of the time. Individuals must be careful when looking into health dreams and shouldn't think that every dream is related to health.

    The dream interpretation techniques that we have learned in class could probably help people who are having dreams they think are related to their health. They could probably start with TSM, move to 2A, and then to the Projective Method. This may help them gain more insight into their dream imagery and whether or not it is related to health or some other aspect of their life. If the dreamer is concerned about something that has appeared in their dream or they think it has something to do with an illness/disease that has affected others in their family they should definitely see a doctor.

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  7. To track health and illness dreams, I believe that dreamers should first become familiar with ways in which to track their dreams, such as TSM, 2A Method, and the Projective Method. Keeping a dream journal is a great way to become familiar with dreams, even if the dreamer isn’t interpreting just yet. I believe that best way to people to not become too anxious of their health dreams is for them to become critical thinkers of their own dreams. After keeping a dream journal for a few weeks, going back and looking for common themes, images, characters, and scenes will lead the dreamer to gain insight from what they are dreaming about. Interpreting their dreams may lead them in certain directions, as mentioned, not all health-related dreams are about health.

    Dreamers should pay special attention to their dreams, especially if they reflect disease and/or health problems that are hereditary in their family, such as cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular problems, just to name a few. If the dreamer’s dreams directly reflect such problems that they know are common issues in their genetics, they should take immediate action. Another indication of health problems is if an individual is directly harming themselves. For example; smoking links to black lungs in dreams, which links to lung cancer, another is if a person is an overeater (obese) and is having dreams about heart problems, or oppositely, if an individual has an eating disorder (such as anorexia nervosa, or bulimia nervosa), they will have health related dreams linking their disease. Individuals who have reoccurring, or extreme imagery about health problems should probably contact a doctor as soon as possible. Their dreams are more than likely telling them that something is wrong. However, dreams cannot predict illness, therefore before an individual “jumps the gun”, it would be best for them to consult their doctor about what their dreams are telling them.

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  8. I agree that if everyone attributed each and every health dream to a real illness, they would panic and our doctors offices would be busier than ever. Many times, people attend their doctors office with every little pain, making many seem like worriers. Reseach shows that many people have experienced dreams that depict illness, whether it be to themselves or to others around them. When they have been bothered enough to get some medical testing done, perhaps in order to calm their minds, many of these patients have been told that they are, in fact, ill.

    As discussed in class, many of us agreed that had we not taken this course, we would tend to ignore our health dreams. We have also learned about the doctor who had the recurring dream about the tumor in his brain. He ignored it, and when it was actually discovered, it was too late for medicine to intervene. This doctor had been documenting many of his dreams in a journal, so why did he choose to let it be?

    I think that documenting your dreams in a journal and finding correlations between your dreams and your waking life is a positive way to keep yourself healthy, both physically and psychologically. We have seen over and over that when we dream, we are able to solve problems that we may be experiencing. I don't see why health dreams should be any different. If one has a dream about black lungs and they smoke, perhaps the logical explanation is not cancer, but just your body saying "ok, can't handle this anymore..you need to quit".. If one is constantly having migraines and begins to dream about having something wrong with their brains, perhaps it is time to see medical attention, just to be sure.

    Many of us tend to ignore our bodys signals, whether it is a strained muscle that we constantly push through or the headaches and fatigue that we ignore when we do not eat properly. Perhaps it is time to start listening.

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  9. A dreamer can use dreams to determine health and illness by focussing on the content of dreams. Certain symbols that are reoccuring are important to look at. Reoccuring symbols can be signs of a type of illness or possibly the location of it. This would help prevent becoming paranoid about all the content in dreams. The more reoccuring ones can be a way of your mind telling your body a message.

    Dreams containing images with particular body parts might be a key feature of health dreams. Reoccuring symbols of the heart and lungs could represent a health issue within that part of the body. This relates to one of the dreams we were presented in lecture. A man had a reoccuring dream of pain in his throat and he ended up having thyroid cancer. This example shows why it is important to focus on dream images relating to the human body.

    It is also important to focus on dream images that relate to illness within the family. This could be sign of an issue with ones health or someone close to them. However, people shouldn't be afraid and believe that all dreams are a sign of health and illness. The symbols representing anatomy would be most important; while other dream images aren't as important. Dream images that tie in with the body, family history, and pain/discomfort should be focussed on when looking at health and dreams.

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  10. I suppose getting rid of denial would be the first thing; asking oneself if you are living a healthy lifestyle e.g. not smoking, eating right, sleeping, managing stress, seeing the doctor regularly and being honest with them, etc. Connection to waking day thoughts plus family history would be next, possibly cohort related awareness too e.g. prostate/ breast cancer risks with increased age. If one already has a good mind-body awareness, dream interpretation will serve to enhance it rather than feed paranoia or denial. My first move would be to meditate more, to get clarity on images and to reduce emotionality. Next would be talking to an expert to gain perspective and get feedback; there are some good holistic practitioners out there. What I wouldn't do is ignore recurring negative imagery; something is obviously trying to get my attention.

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  11. Dreams are very essential when relating back to one's health. If someone is having recurring dreams of specific imagery this may be significant in some way for the individual. Not all dreams relating to health may indicate a health problem with that individual but some dreams may be unconsciously telling your body something. Key features to look for in dreams would be recurring dreams with unusual imagery of specific body parts or of suffering in some way. These dreams could be your body telling you something that may be wrong with your health. Talking to a dream expect would be beneficial when having negative feelings about certain dream imagery.

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  12. Tracking your dreams and keeping a record of the dream imagery that you are having would be a good way to start with looking into your health dreams. If there is a constant dream imagery that keeps showing up in dreams every night or every couple nights, then I believe that the dreamer should start to pay attention to them. If a dreamer only has one dream about their lungs turning black and shrivelling, it could be because of something that happened during that day or during that week – watching a show about lung cancer, or a fire in a house where someone suffocates. However, if someone is constantly dreaming about their lungs – dreaming they are black, shrivelling up, shortness of breath etc, then they should look further into the imagery and maybe get it checked out. The dreamer should not necessarily assume that they have lung cancer, or anything of the like, because that could make them paranoid and stressed out for no reason. Dreams about the lungs could mean that the dreamer needs to stop smoking or something bad COULD happen, or maybe they need to stop hanging around people who smoke because it is bad for their health.

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  13. I think that if an individual notices any recurring themes, characters or symbols in their dreams that could be related to health then that is when they should look into the health aspect of dreams more. They shouldn't analyze every dream they have looking for health problems because the likelihood is they will become paranoid and may assume certain things in their dreams are an indicator of a health problem simply because that is what they are looking for. They need to keep an open mind and remember that not all dreams are health dreams. They also need to keep in mind that dreams are related to waking life, and that if they feel something is wrong with their health when they are awake, and then they dream about related health issues, then that could be an indicator that they should see if these types of dreams start happening more often. If they correlate with negative feelings that something is wrong in their waking life then the probability that something may actually be wrong is probably higher.

    As discussed in class I think some of the things to look out for in health dreams are things related to the body such as the heart, lungs, stomach etc. Or to look out for characters in your dream that appear to be ill. There are so many different types of dream imagery that could be related to health that it all depends on the individual and what the dream means to them. They just have to be careful not to become obsessed with the idea that all dreams are about health in some way because that's not necessarily true. If they begin to suspect that something is wrong and are worried because of the dreams they are having then it can't hurt to visit a doctor. At least that way they can know for sure if something is actually wrong which will help put their mind at ease.

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  14. Dreamers should pay attention to the dreams that are consistant in displaying imagery directed towards significant body organisms. For instance, having reacurring dreams involving the heart, lungs, throat, stomach, etc. Paying attention to these are one thing, but obsessing over them is another. Talking about these dreams to a professional can alleviate any stress and settle the mind.

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  15. As we have learned, dreams can give insight into our waking day life, and they can sometimes reveal insight about our health and wellness. For example, our dreams can reveal an illness that we have, or might have in our waking day life. Which means that it is important that we pay attention to our dreams, and what they are telling us.

    When thinking about our dreams in relation to our health, I think it is important to pay attention to reoccurring dreams. Reoccurring dreams are often a sign that we need to change something in our waking day life, or they could be signalling that something might be wrong. I think it is important to pay close attention to reoccurring dreams, and the dream imagery within the dream that are relevant to our waking day life/concerns. For example, if you are a smoker, and you are having reoccurring dream about having black lungs, your body might be telling you that you are not well, and it might be wise to book an appointment with your Doctor for a check up.

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  16. I think that the first thing that should be paid attention to is frequency. We mentioned in class that the more frequent a dream the more your mind is trying to tell you that particular message. For example, if you have a frequent dreams about faulty plumbing, it could potentially be an indication of a heart problem. However, if this dream only occurs once, then it could probably mean that it indicates something else. A frequent dream could also be trying to tell you something else that isn't related to your physical health, and this could be deciphered through methods such as the TSM, but there are other indicators that help point towards the possibility of the dreams being related to someone's physical health.

    In class we discussed other indicators of heath dreams. As discussed in class, very negative images and emotions attached to these dreams. We also discussed how often they are longer and more distressing and persist throughout the night. They also last as long as the illness lasts. These are a few distinctions of how to tell if your dreams are regarding health issues or not.

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  17. I feel that the best approach for someone who is interested in looking at the connections between their health and dreams is to start paying attention to all their dreams, whether they believe they are related to their health or not. I think paying attention to and focussing on interpretations and messages of dreams, can help someone to problem-solve issues in their life, which relieves stress and in turn results in your immune system being able to better fight off illness, which then would make someone more healthy.
    I feel if someone believes that a dream may be connected to their health they should then look at the literature involving the disease or health problem and see if there are connections between their dreams and patients who have these health problems. If they do find a connection, I feel that they should pay attention to the dreams following the health dream and see if there is a theme. If the apparent dream theme goes away, it is likely that the dream had another message, because if you are ill in some way your mind will keep warning you of this illness in hopes that you get treatment. If it is quite serious, the theme should continue to show up in dreams following the first initial health dream.
    Some people may say the first thing the person should do is look at the literature concerning health dreams, but I feel this may be a mistake, as the continuity hypothesis states, what you think about and do in your waking life you will dream about. It is likely if the person researces heart attack dreams and reads about breaking pipes, the person may dream of breaking pipes in their dreams following this discovery. This dream content probably has more to do with the continuity hypothesis rather than the individual’s health.
    As mentioned previously I think one of the key aspects to pay attention to in your dreams are reoccurring themes. If the message of your dream was not about your health, and you solved the problem another way it is likely that this dream content will disappear from your dreams. It is also very important to pay attention to the emotions in the dream, as emotions can be key indicators of how you are feeling in your waking life. Those with illnesses, mental and physical, are more likely to report negative imagery and negative emotions in their dreams than healthy people.

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  18. When if comes to health dreams, I think that dreamer should have a basis of knowledge about what kind of imagery is typical of their dreams. That way when something does appear that may be cause for concern, they will be able to recognize it. I think that people should be aware of imagery that is related to any specific body part and that if dreams surround this area reoccur, it should be looked into. I also think that it is important for the dream to recognize any negative imagery when they have dreams about specific areas of their body. That way they can determine whether or not it was a warning or not. And lastly I think that the dreamer should connect the dream content to their waking life. If something shows up that is related to an unhealthy habit, it may be an indicator of potential health problems.

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  19. I believe that the key feature to help allow the dreamer to know when a dream is health related and when it is representing something else is a dream journal. Recording your dreams will allow you to keep track of reoccurring dreams, which as mentioned previously, are a good indication that something needs to be looked at more closely. Whether or not it is a health dream can be determined due to waking day life, the continuity theory. Keeping track of waking day events as well, would be a better indication. For example, if every time you got a cold, your dream journal showed that 3 days previous you had specific dream imagery or a specific dream in general, you could then determine that dream is linked to getting a cold. Another key feature is being attentive to 'health' related imagery, such as specific parts of the body and/or other characters body. The literature has shown that health imagery can be represented in other characters of the dream. Using a dream journal can also control for the dreamer experiencing anxiety when there is health related imagery in their dreams, because it can be reference for past imagery. Dream imagery that is a once off, and doesn't occur repeatedly is probably not something that needs to be looked into.
    The more specific the imagery, related to specific parts of the body, and are repeated are the main features that should indicate that the dreamer should look into deeper meaning. Even with that, everything is connected to waking day life and as such, that should be the first indication to whether the dream is a health dream or not.

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  20. For health dreams I would say when a dream becomes a re-occurring dream that it should be paid attention too because it means your body is not stopping from telling you that something is wrong. Therefore you should do something about it cause then the dream will go away the the falsification or determination of a dream. But overall I think that base a lot of feelings you get from the dream, if it really scares you then get something checked out just don't get out of hand with the analysis.
    Also as said in lecture health dreams can be good predictors of flu and headaches so it is good to stay on track of your dreams so you can hit these illnesses head on and maybe avoid them all together. But like most everything in this life. Take it in moderation.

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  21. I think an important aspect to relating your dreams to your health is keeping a dream journal. Key features that should be attended to would be reoccurring dreams/images and features that point to one specific area of the body. However I think it should not be attended to if you have a one off dream because there are other reasons you could be dreaming of whatever illness. For example if you just found out someone close to you has cancer and you dream about it, it doesn't mean you have cancer too.
    I think you need to use common sense and good judgement when interpreting your dreams, and the more you do it and the more you know yourself, the more likely you will understand sepcific symbols/images.

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  22. I think keeping track of your dreams is very important, looking back to them and noticing patterns would be an indicator that the dream content is very important. If something keeps popping up, you may want to look into this.I believe that anything that is reoccurring is trying to tell you something you haven't grasped onto yet, therefore regardless of whether it is health related on not, you should pay attention.
    Instances where you watch a movie and a character has a health issue, you discuss a health issue that day, or you know someone with a health issue can all impact your dreaming mind.If you dream about a health issue under these circumstances, it does not mean you have a health issue yourself... even if yours the one who has it in you dream.
    Looking for reoccurring dreams, especially ones that are relating to a specific part of your body, should not be overlooked. In this case one should seek medical attention. for instances, if someone with a bad habit, such as smoking, dreams of not being able to breathe or black lungs, they should go to the doctor!

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  23. One thing that an individual can do is to track both your dreams and your health and illness with a diary. This may be much for individuals but with this, you can see reoccurring themes in your dreams and whether they relate or have a connection to your daily health. Doing this though should be taken into context of your life like many of my peers have stated, as things may be exemplified because where you are in your life. Some of the features in dreams that you should pay attention to are the vivid images that are reoccurring and that are easily recalled. As well as, dreams that are distressing to you and focus on aspects of the anatomy. Not all health dreams have meaning but pay attention to how the dream makes you feel and its connection to your real life and genetic/family history. After taking all of this into consideration, if you’re worried there is no harm in seeing a doctor.

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  24. The dreamer should keep a dream journal if he/she is concerned with health dreams as well as they should not take everything so literally or they have a chance of becoming extremely paranoid!
    Take everything in perspective, research, contact a doctor if need be and remember that sometimes dreams are only dreams.

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  25. I think the dreamer should keep track of every dream that is related to health issues. With this the dreamer can see how often their dreams relate to their health and in turn use the various methods we learned in class to help gain insight on what their health dreams may mean. For some people a dream of dying may not always mean that they are dying but that an event in their life may be ending. Important things to look out for is if the dream is pointing to something specific (dreaming of lump in breast) and how often these types of dreams occur. Before jumping to conclusions it would be best to take a particular disturbing health dream and use dream interpretation to see what the dream might be trying to say.

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  26. Deborah Offei-AnsahNovember 28, 2011 at 4:22 PM

    In my opinion if a person has an illness dream that only occurs once I wouldn't suggest that the dreamer should worry themselves about it. Also if the dreamer has dreams of illness that someone close to them has and tends to worry about them is probably also a reason not to worry about having the illness that is portayed in the dream,simply because the dream is probably just based on fear. However if a dreamer has a recurring dream of the same illness and did not previously have any thoughts of such illnesses that is when I believe the dreamer should further investigate their health.

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  27. I think that when it comes to health dreams, it is important to note the severity and duration of the dream imagery to fully understand what the dream is possibly indicating. If the dream imagery is in some way health related to the dreamer, and is consistently dominating their dreams for an extended period of time, the imagery could indicate an underlying health issue is apparent. If however, the health related imagery appears randomly or intermittently over a large span of time, it could simply indicate a non-health issue in the dreamer’s life which needs to be addressed. In addition to the duration of health-related dreams, I would take into account the severity or vividness of the dream imagery. If a person is consistently dreaming about a vivid and sever health related issue, this could be the body’s way of communicating this issue with the dreamer. One way to keep track of the severity and duration of dreams would be to record them! By recording dreams on a regular basis, one can see patterns emerge in their dreaming life and hopefully use their dreams to gain insight into their mental and physical well-being. One important thing to note is that not all health related imagery is indicative of a disease or illness; perhaps the imagery of a heart struggling to pump blood is representative of a struggling relationship and not a heart attack. In this sense, using dream interpretation methods to gain a better understanding of the imagery itself is crucial.

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  28. I understand from class examples given in class that dreams can signify health issues very specifically, for example a man with thyroid cancer could dream that an animal is attacking his throat… these could be literal images or symbols used by the subconscious mind to communicate health-related messages from the body to the conscious mind.
    Or a "mass murderer" symbolizes the cancerous mass in the body. Prognosis would indicate or describe how far advanced the disease or illness is. Particular treatment might be suggested, and as either the disease or health progresses, dreams may depict how that is going.

    Personally, I had a dream that seemed to be about health; it was about talking to a dental surgeon on the phone. I was unable to come up with an interpretation beyond that I should perhaps contact a health practitioner or a dentist. With regards to the idea of character distortion and extreme imagery, I sense that this dream could be relational rather than a health dream. So far, I haven't had enough insight to say for sure.

    Fear responses around dreams that related to health can be problematic. I would suggest that if a dreamer is fearful, then s/he needs to react in two ways: first, face the fear and contact a doctor; second, do some emotional work around fear. We are all mortal; life is terminal; we might as well face that and get on with the business of living. Some of the key features of health dreams that should be attended to would be: dreams that seem to bring attention to a specific vital organ or part of the body (i.e. lung, heart, eyes); if the dream imagery points to an ailment that is a genetic weakness in your family; and recurrent dreams on these themes. I agree with earlier dream bloggers who speak of becoming preoccupied (or a "health dream hypochondriac"). I think the important thing about recognizing health dreams is to do the interpretation work, pay attention to direct reference to the health of the body, (not just assume it is only a symbolic reference), and make a pragmatic decision to see a doctor.

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  29. As mentioned in the first class when wanting to get insight from your dreams it is important to track the dreams in a dream journal. It is important to remember that not all negative imagery is related to illness. If the same dream keeps reoccurring and it is concerning the dreamer perhaps they should seek medical advice and have some tests done to give them peace of mind. If you keep having the same reoccurring dream then one should realize that their mind is trying to tell them something important. It sometimes may be difficult to know if the dream is a health dream or if it is related to something else that is going on in your life. Keeping a dream journal allows the reader to see patterns over time. Patterns of imagery they see when they are stressed out or when they are getting sick. This can help them determine patterns of health dreams.

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  30. To track health and illness from dreams, firstly the dreamer should pay attention to images related to the self. If the imagery isn’t connected to the body, the dreamer should avoid over generalizing and interpreting all imagery as being connected to the body. Dreams that should be paid attention to is recurring dreams or dreams with similar imagery. If the dreamer keeps dreaming of a certain body part with the same or similar imagery, it is likely that the dream is significant and should be further looked into. It would also be helpful to draw dream imagery that may seem related to health, to determine whether there is recurring imagery or there is some kind of pattern. Using this visual technique may help individuals keep the imagery very concrete, and avoid in making large, complex meanings for imagery, when the meaning is very simple. It is important to remember that dreams are there to help with waking life and in making discoveries, but it is unhealthy to become overly dependent on dreams for making all waking life decisions and creating problems that aren’t really there.

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  31. Well, as a start, like what my classmates had mentioned, keeping a dream journal is a great start. I think we should try to link out health dreams in our real life and see if there is a link between them ( Physical signs vs. dream signs). Secondly, I am aware of illnesses that would not have signs until it is too late. This is where the dream journal would come in handy, but it is a big issues, I would think the dreams would be repeated. If the dreams are constantly being repeated , the dreamer should take a note and may be check with the doctor on that (like the guy with the brain tumor who looked for the archetypes (jung)).

    Either way, I think the dream journal would make the dreamer less paranoid and help them note the signs if there is health risk

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  32. Since the mind and body are so well intertwined and function simultaneously to avoid situations endangering our health in the external world, it’s not surprising that dreams (the unconscious part) helps us to see our internal world so that we may recognize our selves and problems that plague us from within; whether they may be social or biological. A dreamer to a certain degree should rely on their own intuition (as they know themselves better than others) when it comes to discerning dream imagery related to health or random imagery and foremost rely on proven methods to interpret dreams related to health/illness:

    1: Keep a dream journal to familiarize oneself with one’s own dreams, noting recurrent dreams. Recurrent unpleasant dreams should be taken seriously, especially if it presents images/symbols (as already mentioned) to one’s health. Prodromal dreams appear as metaphors and symbols and as Natalie mentioned are recurrent and vivid.

    2: Use dream interpretive techniques (TSM, 2A Method, and the Projective Method) to determine what dreams mean and whether they are related to health. If dreams are unpleasant and have negative imagery they should be interpreted first to confirm whether they are related to one’s health before one seeks for medical help.

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  33. I think that keeping a dream journal, like we've been doing is a good way to keep track of your dreams and to see how often they occur. Since the mind and body are connected, recurring dreams about health and illnesses are probably trying to indirectly tell you something is wrong. I think one should pay close attention to the dream imagery and when these dreams occur. For example if I have a dream that my hair keeps falling out and I have this dream everytime that I encounter stress, then maybe my dream is letting me know that the stress that I am experiencing is not only psychological but also physiological. I think that if one can learn how to distinguish positive health and illness related dreams from negative ones, this can set boundaries for paranoia.

    I think paying specific attention to the areas of the body that are being symbolized (i.e. lungs, heart, breast, etc) in the dream and also paying attention to the emotions that surround the dream are key features that should be attended too. I also think that meditation would greatly influence the clarity of the images.

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  34. A dreamer could use their dreams to track health or potential illness by keeping a recording of their dreams, health dreams appear to be persistent and seem to come back to the dreamer but in different ways. I think the imagery in health dreams would be fairly specific to the dreamer and the dreamer would know if it was relevant or not. The key features of health dreams that should be attended to are: if they are reoccurring, negative, and if you have had specific problems in waking day life related to that specific illness or health message. Features that should not be attended to is if the dream only occurs once and it has no specific relevance or symbolic imagery to your waking life.

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