Understanding the healing power of the mind and purposely activating 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 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 colds or the virus of the year is going around, our immune system fights it off and helps us recover within a week or two. We expect this to happen, and for healthy people with a well-functioning immune system, it does with no thought or conscious intervention on our part.
When we get a skinned knee, we expect it to scab up and heal on its own. Blood vessel walls narrow to restrict blood flow, platelets rush to the site where they are clumped together to form a clot that stops the bleeding. White blood cells clear the area of germs and make growth factors to begin the repair process. Your skin gets repaired, and if you're lucky, there won't even be a scar. This entire process happens naturally. We expect it to happen.
When our minds are overcome by grief, anger, stress, or a case of the blues, we expect it to run its course in minutes or years, depending on the situation. We say, "Time heals all wounds" or "You'll get over it, this too shall pass".
What we do not expect is the miraculous. We do not expect our mind and body to self-heal cancer, or Parkinson's disease 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 effect and its counterpart, the nocebo effects show us, beliefs can heal you 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.
The powerful subconscious parts of your 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.
When using mind healing techniques properly and consistently, you may experience positive, sometimes miraculous effects.
Keep in mind that whatever methods you choose, whether visualization, hypnosis, tapping and so on, your subconscious cannot be coaxed, manipulated, or bullied into carrying out your conscious wishes anymore than hollering at your computer will change its programs.
Techniques for mind healing the body 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.
To give your mind the best chance of healing your body with or without your conscious interventions, follow these three guidelines. They will maximize your body's ability to heal itself and they will make it easier for you to heal your body with your mind.
Identify and negate limiting beliefs and emotional blocks. Be honest with yourself about the benefits of secondary gains, or positive side effects of being ill, such as getting more attention and disability pay. 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.
In order to heal, your subconscious mind and your body need vitamins, minerals, and other building blocks of health to do their jobs of healing and restoring balance. Sure, a miraculous recovery can occur without them, but it is a big help to your body if it has the materials it needs.
Likewise, it is more difficult for your body to heal if it has to deal with an influx of problematic substances such as toxins in your food and personal products. 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 in order to heal. Stress interferes with the body's ability to heal itself and your ability to access the brainwave patterns needed to put the powers of mind healing to work for you.
It is difficult to up-level your health if you stay stuck in the same lifestyle habits and limiting belief systems about health and healing.
Use subconscious programming techniques to help you 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.
A big bonus of doing what it takes to create established neural networks by "rewiring your brain" is that you will have developed new habits that serve you instead of always defaulting to old habits that harm your health and quality of life.
Although experts may debate how the mind heals the body and which techniques actually work for which conditions under which circumstances, no one argues the reality of mind healing or the mind body connection. With and without your conscious intervention, your mind can and does have the potential to restore your health, whether it happens quickly and completely or slowly over time. It can happen in a blink without any effort on your part, or with the help of body and mind healing techniques.
Mind Healing page updated 03/2020