Understanding the healing power of the mind and being able to influence your mind healing potential has long been a dream of researchers, healers and people seeking to turn around illness. Still, there are more questions than answers.
What is clear and undisputed is that yes, your mind can and does heal your body. What is not always clear is why, when and how the subconscious mind does so, or why under similar conditions, some people become pain and illness free while others do not.
Most of us take for granted the self healing capabilities of mind and body for certain injuries and illnesses. We expect a skinned knee to scab up and heal. We expect a cold to go away in a week or two.
What we do not expect is what we consider the miraculous. We do not expect our mind and body to self heal cancer, or Parkinson's or heart disease, sometimes instantaneously. If your doctor told you to go home and heal your body with your mind you would probably go to a different doctor. Most of us do not believe such a feat is likely, if even possible.
But what researchers are finding is that it is possible, and happens often, when there is belief. The caveat is that the belief has to be held on a subconscious level.
The Placebo Effect
The Nocebo Effect
Mind Body Medicine
Mind Healing Techniques
What triggers the subconscious mind healing program into action is not always obvious. If it could be identified consciously, this trigger might even be considered insignificant or untrue. It could be the color of the pill, or the white coat, or being wheeled into an operating room. When people believe that a drug, surgery, treatment or a particular doctor is going to heal them, they experience relief or a cure even if the treatment is a sham. On average, the mind healing power of placebos accounts for one-third of all improvements and cures noted in many studies.
When I was a child, my family had this ritual to make pain go away. I did the same with my children. We would "kiss it to make it better." It didn't always work, but more often then not, it seemed to help! Today, I see my grandchildren receive their healing kiss before running off to play again.
As adults we have our rituals for healing as well. We pray, go to the doctor and the pharmacy, have surgeries, or stay home and eat chicken soup. We take pills and potions or follow certain rules. And when these rituals support the deeply held beliefs of the subconscious mind, they help us get better too.
A lot of research and development goes into understanding when and how mind healing works. What appears to be understood is that our mind healing powers lie in the subconscious. Because the subconscious mind creates coherence between what it believes to be true and reality, it manifests according to those beliefs. As the placebo and nocebo effects show us, it can easily create health or illness based on those beliefs.
Epigenetics helps explain how you heal your body with your mind. From a health perspective, unless a gene has a programmed defect (such as hemophilia), it is the cell's environment that primarily affects how a gene expresses itself. The quality of its environment is determined by nutrients, hormones, brain chemicals, toxins and to a large extent your perceptions and beliefs (many coming from your culture). This makes sense when you consider that your thoughts and emotions influence the brain to release chemicals.
Your subconscious orders cells to create disease, repair damage, or heal. And as long as the materials and functions for creating and maintaining healthy cells are available, it can instantly provide what the cells need to carry out those orders.
We are often surprised to witness a spontaneous healing of body or mind in ourselves or others. But the truth is this miracle of healing and damage control goes on inside our bodies continuously. Because it is going on unconsciously, we take no notice of it until something goes awry.
Trying to direct the subconscious to heal at will has led to the resurgence and development of mind healing techniques. Some of these methods are ancient, some are quite new.
When used properly and consistently, you may experience positive, sometimes miraculous effects mentally and physically. At other times, despite your best efforts, you notice no benefit at all. This is part of the mystery that has yet to be figured out.
Keep in mind that whatever methods you choose, whether visualization, hypnosis, tapping and so on, your subconscious cannot be primed, coaxed, manipulated, or bullied into carrying out your conscious wishes anymore than hollering at your computer will change its programs.
Mind healing techniques can be used along with conventional medical treatment and natural remedies. Using needed therapy, herbs, medication, healing foods, emotional healing techniques, or surgery does not mean you lack the belief to heal. Together they can help set the healing power of the mind in motion, remove what is harming you, and provide what is needed for healing and continued wellness. This is what holistic mindbody healing is all about.
Follow these three steps to maximizing your body mind healing results.
Neutralize interferences - You may have to identify and negate limiting beliefs, emotional blocks, and the lure of secondary gains, or side benefits of being ill, that keep you from realizing your conscious desire to heal. Using one or more of these methods can help.
Because physical (and mental) healing often follow the release of long held negative emotions, some of these techniques do double duty. For example, experienced EFT professionals document a 70% or higher success rate for reducing negative emotions and a 50% success rate for improving or resolving physical issues. Dr. Sarno claims a 70% success rate using pain protocols that address and delete subconscious nocebo programs. Once they are gone, the body relaxes and restores balance.
A great many people experience healing following forgiveness of deeply held judgments against self and others. Personally, I experienced an amazing mental healing when I expressed heart-felt gratitude for a very difficult situation. Perhaps that was also because inherent in my thanksgiving was a releasing of my resentment.
Provide and/or remove. Your subconscious cannot do its job of healing and restoring balance if it does not have the vitamins, minerals and other building blocks of health it needs or if problematic substances are present. You may need to avoid foods and chemicals that create sensitivities. You may need to make a habit of relaxing mind and body so your brain can release healing hormones.
Use subconscious programming techniques to create new neural networks that support health, healing, and other life goals. Visualization, hypnosis, and meditation are three popular, effective techniques when used properly and consistently.
Although some experts may debate which techniques actually work to facilitate healing, no one argues about the reality of mind healing. Your mind has the potential to restore your health, whether it happens quickly and completely or slowly over time.