Ground breaking research in recent decades has shown that the human mind has a powerful capacity to heal the body.
Scientists unintentionally stumbled upon this fact when they were testing pharmaceutical drugs against dummy drugs—also known as placebos. (Many have heard of placebos, but for a quick refresher a placebo is typically a sugar pill or saline solution that is used in medical trials to test against the effectiveness of a ‘real’ drug.) Scientists began to scratch their heads when mysteriously the placebo drug (that was not suppose to have any healing effects) would suddenly produce spontaneous healing in their patients.
By chance, researchers uncovered something for us much more powerful then the effectiveness of medication, they uncovered the power of the human mind and our innate power to heal ourselves.
When individuals believed they were taking the ‘real’ medicine—consistently again and again, in trial after trail—a high percentage of individuals healed.
With the invention of brain-imaging technology the scientific understanding of the placebo effect has increased tremendously and with it new discoveries are revealing that human consciousness plays an vital role in the equation of health and healing.
Even more remarkable was the discovery that people don’t just feel better (it’s not all in our heads)—brain-imaging reveals that the brain lights up and actually produces chemicals—and in some cases produces chemicals that were impaired in individuals with different diseases:
Research now shows that when we believe that we are taking a drug but its really a placebo, the brain lights up as if we really were taking the drug and produces its own natural chemicals. This has recently been shown with Parkinson’s disease. The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease arise from impaired production of a substance called dopamine in part of the brain. This affects movement. Research has shown that Parkinson’s patients given a placebo but told that it is an anti-Parkinson’s drug are able to move better. Brain scans have shown that the brain is activated in the area that controls movement and dopamine is actually produced. The improved movement is not just a ‘psychological’ thing. It is a physical response of dopamine in the brain. (How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body)
The author Dawson Church of The Genie in Your Genes stated, “Each of us holds the keys to a pharmacy containing a dazzling array of healing compounds: our own brain…Our brains are themselves generating drugs similar to those that the doctor is prescribing for us.”
Another study conducted in 1989 by Harvard scientists was designed to research how an individuals perception of being old affected his/her health, height and memory. A group of volunteers over the age of 70 went on a 10 day retreat in an environment that was recreated to mirror 1959. Participants were asked to act like it really was 1959 and to converse on current affairs from that time. They also played music, wore clothes and watched TV programs all from the 1950s.
The results were quite profound:
At the start the scientists took a host of physiological measurements, including height, finger length, strength, mental cognition and eyesight. After ten days in the center, they took those measurements again and discovered that the volunteers had gotten physiologically younger by several years just by acting as though they were younger. They grew taller, their fingers grew longer, they had improved mental functions and their eyesight had improved. Some of the volunteers had become mentally and physiologically younger by 25 years. (How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body)
I want to make this conversation tangible for you—so below is a short video with a fun magic trick that can help you prove to yourself your ability to impact your body simply through the power of your mind. (The visualization is easy and takes about 30-60 seconds).
Activating our innate healing energy is a vital resource that we all have within ourselves. If your hand did not grow on the first try don’t get discouraged. Try again! Sometimes it takes a bit of practice to learn how to do something you’ve never done before.
If you have any questions or have a particular health problem you can leave a comment below and I’ll share with you 40+ years of research regarding the underlying stress connected to your particular health problem. If you found this article helpful and think it would benefit someone you love please share it with your amigos.
Take what resonates and leave the rest.
If you are interested in learning more about the wisdom of your body and how you can self-heal, my book The Anxiety Solution was written to help bridge the gap between anxiety, health, science and consciousness. In my book you will learn that anxiety is not a weakness or mistake of your body, rather that your symptoms are a specific biological response to stress trapped in your body and mind. Using the tools I give you—you will no longer have to feel powerless or panicked fearing that you will have to cope with anxiety for the rest of your life, rather you will be guided to investigate and uncover why you have anxiety in the first place and what you can do about it. If you would like to work with me personally you can set up a 15 minute complimentary consult by clicking HERE.
Hamilton, D. R. (2008) How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body) London, UK: Hay House UK.