“Life is not about healing; it’s about accepting that we are already healed.”–Annie Zalezsak
Yesterday, I invited readers to share a meme from the old paradigm, a meme they are now re-writing, thank you very much.
A wonderful reader named Bob brought up a meme that is in our face night and day. “Getting old means your body is supposed to fall apart.”
This meme is such a big player in the current paradigm that I thought it deserved its own post. We are constantly being slapped around with the crazy idea that our bodies are plotting against us.
Just watch an hour of television. The drugs ads warn us into great vigilance:
Better watch out for this symptom.
Make sure you’re aware of that problem.
It’s only a matter of time until your body is going to reach out and strangle you.
Here’s the ad I’d like to run:
Your body is a self-healing masterpiece. It is brilliantly equipped with natural self-repair mechanisms that fight infections, repair broken proteins, kill cancer cells and keep you in tip-top shape. The only thing that ever stops it from doing its job is your ridiculous belief that it is not your closest ally.
I got this story the other day from a reader of E-Squared. It was one of a long list of things she says she manifested:
“I regulate my own health. If I ever feel like I am going to have an allergy attack or something in my body hurts, I simply give myself command not to entertain it, and the allergy attacks and pain go away immediately. I used to pop anti histamine almost daily in spring and summer seasons. I have not taken any allergy medicine for a while now. I simply tell myself, I don’t believe in allergies and I am the overlord of my body and nervous system. My body obeys what I ask, nicely of course 🙂
“Using this, I have stopped allergy attacks, aches and pains, fever, upset stomach etc. experimenting with my own abilities is just so much fun! Anytime I meditate, I reach a new level of self control and enhancement of my ability to control my own health.”
And lastly, I thought I’d re-run this blog post from a year ago about this very topic. Enjoy!!
“It’s supposed to be a professional secret, but I’ll tell you anyway. We doctors do nothing. We only help and encourage the doctor within.”–Albert Schweitzer
At the party of “anything is possible,” there’s always the one cranky uncle who sits over in the corner. More times than not, the belief that stubbornly refuses to budge is the body as in “My mind has no control over my health, disease, aging, weight and any other fool thing my body decides to do.”
So today, I’ve got a packet of Reese’s Pieces and, like Elliott who was able to lure E.T. out of hiding, I’m hoping to lure out that curmudgeonly uncle to at least take a spin on the dance floor.
Reese Piece No. 1: Dr. Lissa Rankin’s book, Mind Over Medicine. After years of being a physician, Dr. Rankin finally got fed up with the seven minutes she was allowed to see patients and the refusal by her colleagues to acknowledge the most powerful component of a person’s health: their beliefs and their thoughts. Initially, she was as hard-nosed and closed-minded as any doctor, but after investigating 50 years of peer-reviewed medical literature (New England Journal of Medicine and Journal of the American Medical Association, to name a few), she found ample evidence proving that beliefs play a powerful role in a person’s biochemistry and to ignore those findings was irresponsible, a betrayal of the Hippocratic Oath.
Reese’s Piece No. 2: The body is wired to heal itself. Our bodies are self-regulating, healing organisms, constantly striving for homeostasis. But instead of teaching our children this all-important fact, we teach them they need someone or something outside themselves to heal. The minute they get a fever or an ear ache, we rush them to that all-knowing doctor. This, at a very early age, cements in the fallacy that our bodies can’t heal themselves. Most of the thoughts in our default setting are planted before age 5.
Reese’s Piece No. 3: Placebos are often as effective as drugs. Patients have been able to grow hair, drop blood pressure, lower cholesterol, watch ulcers disappear and cure about every other symptom after being treated with nothing but sugar pills. It was their belief they were getting “medicine” that cured them, not the medicine itself.
Dr. Bruce Mosely, a surgeon and team physician for the Houston Rockets, performed arthroscopic knee surgery on two of ten middle-aged, former military guys. Three of the 10 had their knees rinsed (without the scraping) and the other five had no surgical procedure at all. It was an exercise in just pretend. After two years, all ten believed their surgery was a success. What Mosely discovered is that the bigger and more dramatic the patient perceives the intervention to be, the bigger the placebo effect.
Reese’s Piece No. 4: Our beliefs are the hinge on which our bodies function. Rankin tells the story of a guy with tumors the size of oranges. After begging his doctor to try an experimental new drug he’d read about, he was treated with the drug and his tumors disappeared. Several weeks later, reports hit the airwaves that this new drug was not as powerful as originally thought. The tumors returned. His doctor, by now savvy, gave his patient a placebo, telling him it was a stronger form of the drug and that the ineffective trials had been using too little of this powerful drug. Once again, the tumors from his stage 4 lymphoma began to disappear. Finally, the FDA pronounced the drug ineffective and pulled it off the market. The patient, who had been rapidly recovering, died within a week.
Okay, enough candy. I could go on and on about how 79 percent of medical students develop the symptoms they’re studying. Or about the woman with a split personality who has diabetes in one of her personalities and normal sugar levels in the other.
But I’m not a doctor and would never dream of prescribing anything.
But I do know this:
We should teach our children that their bodies have self-healing superpowers.
And we should quit hexing ourselves by looking for disease.
And we should remember that if chimpanzees can lower their blood pressure at will, something Harvard doc, Herbert Benson, discovered in his research, there’s probably not much we CAN’T do to heal ourselves.
Uncle, are you ready for that dance?
Pam Grout is the author of 18 books including E-Squared: 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality and the about to be released, Thank and Grow Rich: a 30-day Experiment in Shameless Gratitude and Unabashed Joy.