........All living things are inherently equipped to have a complete, self-sufficient and healthy life. Ill health is an unnatural state. Unless living organisms are deprived of essential needs or have suffered injuries, they are intrinsically prepared to be free of disease. The healing process of an organism is within each living system itself, just like the process of respiration, digestion, secretion and reproduction. Health is a natural state, because it is harmony and balance. It is homeostasis. What makes Homo sapiens different from other living creatures regarding health? The answer is primarily emotional attitude, and the failure to use completely all of its species' brain potential!
........In June, 1971, a Psychology Today article discussed 2 major groups of people in the world - those that believe their life is controlled by external influences and those that believe that what happens to them is all primarily self-generated and internally controllable.
........Internals tend to be more self-confident, wealthier, better-educated and more readily able to avoid or give up addictions. Externals feel their fates are in the hands of others, their environment or simply a matter of chance. They tend to be suspicious, less aggressive and less leadership-oriented than internals. Externals also greatly outnumber internals in the general population.
........Perhaps to pander to externally driven individuals, modern-day medicine men persist in promoting the idea of externality over internality. Doctors have often been irritated when the placebo effect has interrupted their control experiments and patients react just as strongly to sugar pills as the real thing, but doesn't this illustrate the dramatic effect the mind can have on the body through the internal power of belief?
........The nocebo effect is a term that illustrates a negative effect because of the power of belief. The nocebo is when you give a normally "effective" drug to a patient, but there is no response because the doctor has convinced the patient the drug wouldn't work or was just water. Anything can serve as a nocebo just as anything can serve as a placebo -- medication, location, doctor's manner, etc. For instance, if you were told you had a heart disease, and believed it, you might easily die of it -- even if later it was found that your lab test results were mistakenly switched with another patient's. Could good health be as simple as -- "If you believe you deserve to be healthy and expect to be, you will be?!"
........Suppose for a moment that the only reason anybody has or does not have a "curative" effect via a therapeutic method is because of his(her) belief about it! Even though medical school students learn very early that 40% or more of all their future patients will have primarily psychosomatic symptoms, they often discount the importance of the mind in healing the body. Ever since Mesmer, hypnotists have demonstrated the power of the mind to control pain and affliction in the body. Unfortunately, most people believe that their lives are controlled by external influences, so an outside source is usually sought for the treatment or cure of any ailment. Self-healing and faith healing thus share something in common. Internals believe their healing is largely self-generated, and externals find it easier to believe in something or someone outside themselves as the primary cause for the healing process. Of course, both are drawing from the same internal well, but from different perspectives.
........ Christian Science practitioners refuse surgical operations on serious ailments -- even cancer -- because of their belief structure of mind over matter through their spiritual connection. Why do they believe this? How can you reduce or eliminate your ailments through your inner source connection? First of all, you should have the awareness or realization that every particle and atom in the universe is connected in some way to every other particle. With simply the power of a thought visualization, you can rearrange the atoms in your body to produce a healthy condition. You can consciously feel, integrate and manipulate your cellular structure through the power of your thoughts. You can visualize the ailment diminishing and diminishing until finally the excretory system carries it away. This imaging process then transforms itself into reality. The prayers of others can also help to resonate the process to make the metamorphosis more complete. In the East, yogis and lamas use similar visualizations to achieve the same result. They may even add to the process by vibrating their inner tissues with a chant, like 'Aum-m-m,' or assist the process with "sound toning" of the body's tissues.
........In 1975, Dr. Robert Ader of the University of Rochester, coined the word psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) to describe the subject of how the mind influences the body's well-being. PNI delves into the realm of how neurological pathways link the immune system and the brain. When there is disharmony in the mind/body interchange, physical and mental disease manifest themselves, even if only psychosomatically.
........Why do people vary so much in how they respond to illness? Research has shown that there are genetic, nutritional and mind set differences. Although genetic engineering is making some medical headway, nutritional and attitudinal changes in personal behavior can be addressed by anyone. By changing their nutrition and personal attitude, some people stricken with cancer or AIDS, have actually dissipated such disease from their systems. These people often change from repressing their emotions to expressing their emotions outwardly in an honest way. Instead of remaining in a job or relationship that they don't like, they decide to be honest with themselves & others, and do only what they feel will make them happier. By doing what makes you happy, you don't internalize the destructive emotions that can help to develop in physical disease and mental disorder. Expressing yourself honestly becomes a release. Fears, blocks and objections are replaced with the courage to live and respond to the adventures and challenges of every new day. By practicing the things that supercharge your immune system -- meditation, guided imagery, self-hypnosis, positive affirmation, relaxed deep breathing and understanding & expressing yourself better -- you can indeed become superhealthy.
........Honestly expressing your feelings and loving yourself can boost your natural immune system quickly. An improved immune system can in turn defeat pathogenic invaders of the body and also give you a better response to the challenges of age. In a 1986 study, psychologist James W. Pennebaker of Southern Methodist Univ. found that students were happier and healthier when they confided to others their own personal traumas as opposed to those students who did not do so, or only recounted trivial matters to others.
........Since your emotional attitude has a direct relationship to your immune system, a person who expresses happiness, laughter, love, friendliness and helpfulness is far less likely to contract disease than a person who is angry, fearful, hateful, depressed or worrisome. Why? Because a positive emotional attitude is more harmonious with good health than a negative attitude. It is also interesting how this concept is simply common sense to an internally driven person, but utterly ridiculous to an external.
........What affects the immune system? What builds the immune system back up? If it could be measured with an instrument, your immune system would show variations from day to day, from meal to meal and even from thought to thought. Your susceptibility to disease also varies in conjunction with your immune system. Since our bodies are sheathed in electromagnetic energies, electric medicine (including acupuncture) has shown a lot of promise in restoring a healthy condition to your body. Full-spectrum illumination is better than the debilitating effects of ordinary fluorescent lighting. Negative ions, whole natural foods, guided imagery, positive affirmations, herbs and a more stable, emotional attitude all can affect your natural immune system in a beneficial way.
........In a study of women with breast cancer, those who saw themselves as receiving or having support had a greater immune activity and lived twice as long as those that didn't feel they had such support. Those women who had more emotional distress had a reduced immune activity as measured by the number of natural killer cells in their systems. Disease-fighting approaches that can harmonize and balance our bodies and minds must be adopted for the 21st century. PNI is the new science that could very well revolutionize medical care. Just as Hippocrates once said, "It is more important to know what sort of person has a disease than to know what sort of disease a person has."
........Is a person in a happy, confident, loving, positive frame of mind using more brain potential than a person in an angry, fearful, depressed, negative state of mind? Although brain function is just beginning to be better understood, research has shown that the higher cerebral areas of the brain are more involved with the positive states of mind than with the negative states. Robert Ornstein and David Sobel propose in their book, The Healing Brain, that the major role of the brain is "to mind the body and maintain health." Is there a link between unused brain potential, a negative lifestyle and overall ill health? Could using more brain potential in a holistic way allow people to lead a more healthy and happy life? PET, CAT and MRI brain scans have revealed lower metabolic activity via less glucose intake and blood flow in the cerebral cortex of seriously depressed and mentally ill individuals. Brain cancer, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and senility are brain maladies on a disproportionate rise to the population increase in the U.S. Brain scans also reveal large areas of cerebral tissue inactive in such patients. Does lack of brain usage contribute to such diseases?
........As an exercise to revitalize your overall condition, assume a comfortable, relaxed position and take a few deep, abdominal breaths. Close your eyes and relax all parts of your body progressively from your toes to your head. Begin breathing slowly through your nose and say to yourself, "I am breathing in vital, health-giving, positive energy." Visualize a positive current of bright, yellow sun energy flowing through you with a tingling sensation, and radiating from every pore in your body. Feel yourself filling with love, appreciation, joy, compassion, forgiveness and contentment. Now slowly exhale through your mouth and say to yourself, "I am exhaling stale, devitalized, negative energy." Visualize a negative current of cool, blue moon energy being expelled from your body. Feel yourself letting go of all fear, anger, guilt, depression, worry, loneliness and harmful emotion. Visualize yourself with a complete body and mind that is whole and well. Notice the mental clarity, and relish the experience of freedom, joy and personal power spreading over you. Do this energizing technique at least 10 minutes in the beginning of each day or whenever you feel down or "under the weather" in some way. You'll feel immediate benefits from it.
........The above subject is just one of the many creative alternatives mentioned in the new manual, Creative Alternatives For A Changing World.
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