Mind Power and Belief for Recovery and Healing
In my opinion the power of our mind along with belief has a huge effect on a persons recovery and healing. There are many examples around my blog and the internet as a whole which can demonstrate this. This article would like to share one particular story about Tom as mentioned by Dr Vernon Coleman in his book Mind Over Body.
For several weeks Tom had been having uncomfortable sensations in his chest resulting in a persistent cough and a difficulty in getting his breath. His doctor was concerned and prescribed him the usual drugs for this condition, however none of them helped reduce the symptoms. Tom could still work, with a little help, but felt annoyed and tired.
After some time the GP referred him to the relevant specialist who admitted Tom to hospital for a variety of different tests and procedures. After a few days he was discharged, and went back to his day to day life with the symptoms unchanged, whilst awaiting the results.
After several days Tom was diagnosed with a fast growing Cancer which the Consultant predicted would result in Tom having around a month or two to live.
Within a couple of days Tom took a turn for the worse. He was now bed bound and work became impossible for him. He lost weight and needed constant nursing. The consultants prediction looked about right and Tom would indeed pass in the suggested timescale.
A second phone call from the hospital was about to change everything for Tom and his family. The very apologetic voice explained how the hospital had made a mistake. There had been a mix up. Tom did not have cancer, he had an infection which could be treated with special drugs. With in a day Tom was up and about living his life, back at work, eating and walking. Interestingly he still had the chest symptoms but was now not dying.
To me this story clearly demonstrates the power of the mind and belief in aiding recovery and healing. It suggests that on occasions we behave the way think we should behave, rather than basing our behaviour on how we actually are feeling. Another point raised here is one that I feel very strongly about and that is doctors not stating how long they think a patient has to live. The Doctor knows a vast amount about the physical human body, but in my opinion not enough about an individuals mind, beliefs, will and behaviours to accurately guess how long a patient has to live. Added to this the influence a professionals words has over an individual, especially one most likely in shock, their suggestion can become a lot like the self fulling prophecy of witch doctor. Dr Coleman puts it like this:
We think it is bizarre that there are people living in Africa or the West Indies who can be so terrified by a threat from a witch-doctor that they will go home and quietly die. Yet the only difference is that our witch-doctors wear white coats and stethoscopes instead of grass skirts and hideous masks. The Plain truth is that there is nothing in the world which has such a far reaching effect on your health as your mind. The way you respond to stress, pressure and worry will determine the condition of you heart, circulatory system, stomach, respiratory system and every other organ and tissue in your body. It is your state of mind which determines what diseases you will develop and how long you will live.
The last point about the mind deciding how long we will live and with which disease we may get is interesting because there are a couple of studies that really back this up.
The first is the study by Dr. Braun, a specialist in treating multiple personalities at the Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago, who reports that many of his patients have several different spectacles, one for each personality because their vision changes along with their persona. There are more examples of this mentioned on www.listverse.com as you can read below:
Multiple personality disorder, or dissociative identity disorder, is a mental condition that’s interesting on many levels. Perhaps most intriguing of all is how some sufferers not only exhibit personality and behavior changes as they switch between their different identities, but some also have measurable physiological variations between each persona. For instance, one of a patient’s personalities may need eyeglasses and another won’t. Or, one identity might be diabetic and another will have perfect health. In such cases, it isn’t simply a matter of the patients thinking they need eyeglasses or insulin, their bodies actually go through legitimate alterations, such as differences in intraocular pressure or blood sugar levels.
In one case, published by the American Psychiatric Press, a doctor noted how medications prescribed to a dissociative identity disorder patient had different effects depending on what “personality” took the drug. For example, when a tranquilizer was given to the person’s childish persona, it made the individual sleepy and relaxed. However, when the adult personality was administered the same drug it made him anxious and confused. Similar results were found with other patients and with a variety of different medications. Doctors even noticed visibly apparent traits, like lazy eye, would come and go depending on which personality was present.
This phenomenon is especially fascinating since no one, including the patients, is claiming mysticism is at work. On the contrary, it is a genuine example of the mind altering the body.
Truly amazing and, I feel, very strong proof that it is the mind that controls illness and the body as a whole.
The final study which I would like to share is by the Institute of Noetics which looked collated many studies that looked in to people who’d recovered from cancer or had a case of spontaneous remission. They asked the following question — What are some of the characteristics associated with remission and survival that cancer survivors are reporting? These are the 8 characteristics they discovered:
1. A change from dependency to autonomy combined with activities, attitudes, and behaviors that promote increased autonomy, awareness of themselves, others, and their environment, love, joy, playfulness, satisfaction, laughter, and humor.
2. Facing the crisis, the despair, the sadness, and the pain and discovering they have the power to find a new way of life that is fulfilling and meaningful.
3. Taking control of their lives, (personal, professional, emotional, spiritual, and medical) and living each day fully combined with a willingness to evaluate their beliefs and attitudes and change old beliefs and attitudes that are no longer appropriate or adequate.
4. Becoming comfortable with and expressing and accepting both their positive and negative emotions/feelings, their needs, wants, and desires (physical, emotional, spiritual); the ability to say “No” when it is necessary for their well being.
5. Having at least one strong loving relationship — a strong connection to another person, an activity, an organization(s), changing the quality of their interpersonal relationships with spouses, friends, family, neighbors, doctors, nurses, etc. in a positive way, and motivation to help others.
6.Working in partnership with their physicians and participating in decisions related to their health and well being.
7. Finding meaning in the experience of cancer, finding reasons to live, accepting the diagnosis but not the prognosis, seeing the disease as a challenge, belief in a positive outcome, and having a renewed desire, will and commitment to life.
8. Choosing activities and practices that promote increased awareness and reduce stress (imagery, stress reduction, yoga, etc.); showing renewed spiritual awareness (Soul) that often results in a spiritual practice (prayer, meditation, religious affiliation, connection to nature, etc.)
Source — www.noetic.org
What I find most extraordinary about the 8 characteristics is that they are all with in our control by changing the way we think, behave and act. This all starts in the mind and with the correct power of intention we can increase our chance of staying healthy and recovering from any illness.
I hope you have found this article helpful and can see how the power of the mind and believe can help with our recovery and healing.
Please share this article with anybody you think will find it interesting and helpful.
Learn more about amazing mind body techniques that demonstrate why and, most importantly, how we can manage pain and speed up recovery with our mind by visiting www.possiblemind.co.uk and signing up to my eNewsletter.
Originally published at possiblemind.co.uk on April 27, 2016.