Understanding the healing power of the mind and purposely activating 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 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.
We often take for granted the self-healing capabilities of mind and body for certain injuries and illnesses. Our bodies heal themselves and fight off invaders all the time, even when we don't realize it. When we get a skinned knee, we expect it to scab up and heal. We expect a cold to go away in a week or two.
What we do not expect is the miraculous. We do not expect our mind and body to self-heal cancer, or Parkinson's or heart disease, sometimes instantaneously. You would probably go to a different doctor if she told you to go home and heal your body with your mind. Most of us do not believe such a feat is likely, if even possible.
But it is.
Researchers are discovering that such healing is possible, and happens often, when there is belief. The caveat is that the belief has to be held on a subconscious level.
The subconscious mind healing program is triggered by belief, or programming, but that trigger is not always obvious. It could be the color of the pill, your doctor's 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. This mind healing power of the placebo effect is so strong that it accounts for one-third of all improvements and cures noted in many studies.
When I was a child, my family had a 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 than not the tears would stop. 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. When our rituals support the deeply held programmed beliefs of the subconscious mind, they help us get better.
A lot of research and development goes into understanding when and how mind healing works.
What appears to be understood is that mind healing powers lie in the subconscious. The subconscious aims to create coherence, or agreement, between what it believes and reality. It accepts what you believe as truth and manifests according to those beliefs. As the placebo and nocebo effects show us, beliefs can heal or make you sick. This happens repeatedly in clinical trials, much to the bane of drug company researchers.
The science of epigenetics helps explain how you heal your body with your mind. 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 this 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 powerful subconscious brain 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. The truth is that 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 methods are ancient, some are quite new.
You may experience positive, sometimes miraculous effects mentally and physically when used properly and consistently.
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. When you choose to use therapy, herbs, medication, healing foods, emotional healing techniques, meditation, hypnosis or surgery, that does not mean you lack the belief to heal. Together with your belief they can set the healing power of the mind in motion, remove what is harming you, and provide what is needed for healing and continued wellness. That is what holistic mind body healing is all about.
Follow these three steps to maximize your ability to heal your body with your mind.
1. Neutralize interferences - Identify and negate limiting beliefs, emotional blocks, and the lure of secondary gains, or side benefits of being ill. This subconscious interference keeps you from realizing your conscious desire to heal. Use one or more of these methods for help.
The added bonus of using some of these techniques is a physical healing to accompany the mental healing of releasing long-held negative emotions. 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 difficult situation. Perhaps that was also because inherent in my thanksgiving was a releasing of my resentment.
2. 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. It cannot heal if problematic substances such as toxins are present. Avoid foods and chemicals that create sensitivities. Make a habit of relaxing mind and body so your brain can release healing hormones. And get enough sleep and physical activity. The body and mind must relax to heal
3. 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 experts may debate how to heal your body with your mind and which techniques actually work, no one argues the reality of mind healing or the mind body connection. Your mind has the potential to restore your health, whether it happens quickly and completely or slowly over time. It can happen in a blink with no conscious effort at all.