Are we capable of self-healing? A thousand times yes! For research is piling up to show that the mind is a powerful healer. The Master has always said, “By right, wise and powerful thoughts, by maintaining equanimity of your mind, you can raise the sinking ship — your body — and tow it back to the glorious shores of health.” Now, medical science estimates that at least 90 per cent of physical ailments stem from emotional upheavals. And when we continuously send healing messages to the brain via visualisation and affirmation, these soothing images and meaningful words are translated into biochemistry, the language the body understands and responds to.
Bio-listening. The bio-listener is the immune system. When it continually hears distress, it begins to over-react. It mistakes normal, everyday stuff like wheat, dust, pollen as ‘enemy antigens’ and its white blood cells, the defending army that fights off disease, slews out antibodies — Immunoglobin E (IgE). The IgE can camp in the cells of any part of you body. If in the skin, we get hives; in the nose and lungs, we contract bronchitis or asthma; in the stomach, it could result in gastroenteritis.
What is this distress that the immune system hears and over-reacts to?
- Say, we’ve lost a dear one… it hears intense sadness as ‘suppressed sobbing’ and the skin erupts with hives, psoriasis, lichen planus.
- If we’ve been forced by circumstances to live an independent fending-for-oneself life, it hears the desolation as an ‘unconscious dependency-wish that’s being thwarted’ and triggers asthma.
- If we are tense with an overbearing parent or spouse, it hears and feels the constant tightness as an ‘over-anxiousness to please’, to live up to that person’s expectations and prevents natural development and causes stomach problems — ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulitis. Simply put: when the immune system weakens, the body reacts adversely to food, chemicals even particles in the air and is diagnosed as an allergy.
Healing words. At the outset, therefore, it is imperative to strengthen the mind and immunity system with healing words uttered daily. I suggest a beautiful self-healer: “I enlighten what is dark in me. I strengthen what is weak in me. I mend what is broken in me. I heal what is sick in me. I invoke all the peace and love banked in me and fill me with their fragrance. All powerful, positive, healing energies are working in me. I thank all the positive forces of good health for continually supporting me.”
Using self-healing words is a worthwhile psychological approach. It literally takes advantage of how the mind can influence the body: a beautifully strengthening message is sent from the brain to the rest of the body, putting you in a stronger, healthier biological state. Healing words uttered daily essentially transform our mental attitude from vulnerability to virtual invincibility. This attitude, say allergy experts, can actually lower the body’s levels of histamines and other allergy-promoting chemicals. It’s a gradual fade-off. The allergy, the asthma decreases in intensity and frequency. It bothers you less and poof! One day, it’s gone. It’s as if you’ve grown up and left behind some adolescent affliction! In this healing process, the mind changes. It is more relaxed, more accepting about giving up allergy-provoking foods or undereating so as not to provoke asthma. As time passes and the suppressed inner grief dissipates, the skin begins to clear.
Avoid stress. A person with asthma needs to always carry an inhaler (a spray-pump) with her as there is always pollution hanging in the air. When breathlessness strikes, it can be frightening not to be able to draw enough air in and a reaction of panic and fear can set in and worsen the attack. The inhaler gives relief almost immediately. An asthmatic should avoid stress as well as any situation that could bring on panic. Healing words, relaxation techniques including meditation, leisurely walks in the park and breathing exercises help greatly. Get enough sleep. Lie in bed and tighten your body, every part of it. Then release and make it relax. This is how you train the body to relax and then allow it to drift into deep sleep.
The Kabbalah, a branch of Judaism, has a beautiful teaching about how we are all connected by a membrane of light. And when that clear stream of healing light is obstructed or constricted by anger, fear, hatred or grief, we get disconnected from the light and fall ill. When we let go these debilitating, egoistic emotions, it’s like opening a huge door and letting the sunlight in. The light streams into our minds, our bodies and our immunity levels rise and we become healthy again.
The connective key is complete acceptance of everybody and everything. To start with, please don’t be so quick to judge adversely. Train the mind to be non-judgmental. And hence:
First, sow the seed of good intentions. Think, “From now until I die, I will be very careful not to allow disturbing emotions to rise.” This is the best mind-insurance policy we can subscribe to.
Second, preserve and enhance this intention by constantly mellowing your thoughts. If you criticise, as instantly take it back and infuse understanding. Remember two things vividly: Each one is right, no one is wrong. There are always mitigating circumstances. The anecdote of the great Italian poet Tasso’s beautiful intention never fails to move me: When asked why he did not take revenge on a man who had harmed him grievously, the poet replied thoughtfully, “I do not desire to harm him, yet there is one thing I would like to take from him.”
“You want to take away his honour or wealth?” Tasso was asked. He said gently, “No. What I desire to take from him with kindness and patience is his ill-will.” What an intention!
Third, eliminate the self-centred attitude that every situation, every person must work your way, for your benefit, on your say-so. Functioning from a ‘my terms and conditions’ attitude is an obstruction to that membrane of clear healing light which connects all of us. The ‘my’ separates, isolates and obstructs us from the light, causing anger and other negative emotions. Contemplate this self-inflicted harm and resolve never to let it sway you from the great quality of accepting all that is.
Fourth, continually acquaint your mind with the practice of acceptance and maintain the intention for doing so. Everything becomes easier with acquaintance. The mind can be a good student. From self-control, it’s only one more step to self-healing. Continue on this glorious path of endless light. The Master says, “Your effort should be like the flow of a stream — sustained, continuous, balanced.” Let joy fill your mind, ease fill your body, and bliss your being. Your immune system will rejoice in great wellbeing.
The writers are authors of the book Fitness for Life and teachers of the Fitness for Life programme.