As the father of Western Medicine, Hippocrates, wrote: “The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well.” So that leads to the question: If the cells of the body are programmed to self-repair, what is hindering this healing force from keeping our organism well?
In 1964, psychiatrist George Solomon noticed that people with rheumatoid arthritis got worse when they were depressed, so he began investigating the impact emotions have on inflammation and the immune system. Today, research from Carnegie Mellon University published in the journal Biological Psychiatry, shows that a calm mind induced by mindfulness meditation reduces the inflammatory biomarker Interleukin-6 (IL-6) that has been linked to cancer, Alzheimer’s and other autoimmune diseases.
So what happens when our emotions are at ease?
We enter a state of chemical homeostasis, where all our bodily systems work in unison and the brain-cell communication loop runs unobstructed, creating a positive atmosphere for our body to self-rejuvenate. In the same way that our head is connected to our body, our mentality is connected to our immunity. Thus, when the mind is calm and positive, it is not blocking the healing force from flowing and helping our body restore its integrity.
Also, when the mind is calm, it’s open to our inner resources, especially intuition, which lies beneath logic and emotion. The intuitive voice can upload our mind with the answers to the problems we are facing, provide insights and inspirations, and offer healing advice and reassurance, putting things in a positive perspective.
But how can I stay optimistic when I am ill, sometimes gravely ill? you may wonder.
By recognizing what stress really is.
Stress is a negative mental opinion about ourselves, others and life. Our thoughts, or our mental opinions, create chemical reactions within our brain, triggering stress hormones called glucocorticoids into our bloodstream. This creates a corresponding emotional state, such as fear, doubt, gloom, confusion or depression.
So if I change my mental opinion about my illness, will that allow the healing force to come through and help?
Can I do it?
First, by recognizing that the same emotions you are feelings now (helplessness, frustration, anger, blame, guilt, unworthiness) are responsible for the formation of your disease. If they were not blocking the healing force, your body would not break down.
Second, by recognizing that negative emotions indicate inner contradiction, while positive mental-emotional alignment is the key component to healing. When we think and feel in agreement, the body is self-restoring. Try statements like these: “I want to heal and I know it is possible.” “Healing is an exciting and adventurous journey.” “I was born to heal this condition. I have the power to do that. It is my purpose. It is done.”
Third, by creating a healthy self-image and practicing being this new, capable, powerful you until it replaces the old, helpless you. You achieve this by writing the emotional components of the healthy you down (happy, excited, joyful, fun, easy-going, confident, smart), and faking being your healthy self often. In time, the healthy you will dominate your emotional experience, dictating your lifestyle choices (physical exercise, nutrition, living conditions, relationships) and assuring their contribution to your continual well-being.
The new you will not stay in any life-caused upset for long, no matter how tempting and right it may seem, because the healthy you recognizes the importance of emotional buoyancy, as that is what ensures your healing.
Bottom line: emotions matter. They need to be addressed and re-framed while the physical body is being treated. Listen to your heart—it will nod in agreement.
Katherine Agranovich, Ph.D., is a Medical Hypnotherapist and Holistic Consultant. She is The Author of Tales of My Large, Loud, Spiritual Family. Call her for an office or phone consultation to attain mental-emotional alignment and close the gap between where you are and where you want to be.
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Certified IMDHA Hypnotherapist
Board Certified in Integrative Health
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