Recently when I was reading a book about the mind (“Your Mind and How to Use It” by W.J. Ennever) I came across the following “experiment” done with a man who was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. The man was hypnotized and the suggestion was made that his arm was being touched with a red-hot iron and that a blister would form. The doctor conducting the “experiment” actually touched him with his finger. The arm was securely bandaged and six hours later when the bandage was removed a blister had formed on the spot that the doctor had touched – it had the exact appearance of a blister produced by heat. Subsequently another part of the experiment was conducted whereby during hypnosis the patient’s arm was touched with a red-hot rod and the suggestion was given that there would be no pain. “There was no pain either then or afterwards and there was also no blistering. More detail of this experiment can be found in a volume entitled ‘Enquiry Into the Unknown’ by C.C. Seligman, M.D., FRS.” (Quote from W.J. Ennever’s book).
Of course the results from this “experiment” show that the thoughts of the hypnotized subject have a direct effect on the body – if the thought is dynamic, like that of a threatened touch from a red-hot instrument (when the actual touch was only that of a finger) then the part that was touched will take on all the signs of skin being really burned. You can of course take the power of this to its ultimate possibilities – if you have read my book “Piece of Mind” you will know what I’m talking about.
So is there a name for what we can do inside our mind when we work with healing? Yes – psycho-neuro-immunology.
The medical doctors who have made this process famous are Symington and Siegel. You may know of Bernie S. Siegel MD through his books “Love Medicine and Miracles” (1986), “Peace, Love and Healing”, “Living, Loving and Healing”. Do you spot the common word? Yes – “Love” is the quintessential to healing – or rather loving yourself – I’ll talk about that in a future EReport.
Many people have expounded in this area prior to Dr Siegel. In Australia we had the great psychiatrist Dr Ainslie Meares – at least 20 years before Siegel. My understanding is that Ian Gawler was a patient of Dr Meares and he, Ian Gawler, is doing fantastic work in this area. So is Petrea King. In 1979 Paul G Thomas in his book “Psycho Feedback” reports that the founding father was a French pharmacist, Emile Coue, who in 1870 became fascinated by the power of the mind and its relationship to health. By 1880 at his clinic in Nancy he was known for effecting ‘miraculous cures’ and even though he was an international celebrity, in 1920 he was far ahead of his time. Emile Coue’s greatest insight formalised in his book “Self Mastery Through Conscious Auto-suggestion” was ‘when the imagination and will power are harmoniously pulling in the same direction, an irresistible force is the result’ “
Is there any scientific proof? behind “using the mind for healing”? Yes, there is and don’t take my word for it. A “Choice” book published in 1995 called “Mind, Body, Medicine” is worth reading. The foreword is by a man I admire Professor Peter Baume AO, Head, School of Community Medicine, The University of New South Wales, and all the articles about the Mind’s Role in Illness and What You Can Do – Relaxation and Beyond are by medical doctors and researchers. Researchers have found a psycho-neuro-immunological link between levels of T-Cells (the fighting cells) and positive and negative mind state – positive mind states, meditation and laughter all increase the level of T-Cells in our immune system.
I have my own positive example which I often relate at my seminars. Some years ago now I severely burned my wrist on a barbeque. I instantly went to my Peaceful Place, let go the physical pain (the hurt) and sent “healing thoughts” to the place of the burn. I visualised my wrist as being healthy and healed. Even to me, with my already strong belief in these sorts of things, the result was quite stunning. There was barely a mark on my wrist and the healing time was very short – in fact there was not even a blister. Yes, of course there were scabs – it was a really deep burn but there was no pain.
If you or any of your friends are struggling with an illness then you could use, or suggest the use of, several techniques. One major key is to always remember that “hope” is a “live” message that we give our body (hopelessness is a die message), so becoming aware of all non-medical, non-traditional methods of healing, particularly psycho-neuro-immunology, is important as it helps to keep hope alive. The monitoring of any illness by a supportive doctor together with “second opinions” is also helpful. Becoming aware of our negative self talk and changing this to positive is all important. Using visualisation and guided imagery in the meditation state (the Theta state) to actively increase our “fighting” cells in dealing with any illness will help and know that by doing this process one will definitely relax and release stress.
That’s all for now. I hope you enjoy.
All the Best