"Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast, To soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak."  William Congreve, “The Mourning Bride, Act 1”

The Efficacy of Guided Imagery and Music (GIM)

in the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Elizabeth M. Jacobi, Ph.D.
Music Medicine Institute, Chicago, IL

Gerald M. Eisenberg, M.D.
Illinois Bone and Joint Institute,
Des Plaines, IL

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music (GIM) on biological and functional articular measures, pain, depression and psychological symptoms in 27 persons with rheumatoid arthritis.  No prior investigations existed at the time of the study.


Results from the study showed significant decrease in the level of psychological distress and the subjective experience of pain.  Significant improvements in physical measures were recorded despite no change
in disease activity. 

As a treatment approach, integrating health, mental imagery and music with emotional expression, GIM appears to be effective in reducing pain and psychological symptoms, improving physical functioning, and, ultimately, in improving the quality of life for those with rheumatoid arthritis.

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