The Healing Power of the Mind
by Linda Mackenzie, C.H.T., Ph.D. (c)
"A picture is worth a thousand words." We have heard that
saying before. This phrase is certainly true in the case of visualization.
Visualization is a tool anyone can use to help foster healing. By providing
positive pictures (creative imagery) and self-suggestion, visualization
can change emotions that subsequently have a physical effect on the
OUR BELIEF SYSTEM
Our belief system is based upon the accumulation of verbal and non verbal
suggestions that have been gathered throughout our life experience.
Through patterns of repetition and its associated rewards and punishment
we learn to create our own perception of reality. In essence, we therefore
become what we think. In healing repetitive use of positive visualization
allows access to the "mind-body"connection. This lets the
mind and body work together to foster the healing process of the body
on a physical level.
THE MIND-BODY CONNECTION
What is the mind-body connection and how does it work? When we have
an emotion it generates a feeling that turns into a physical sensation.
For example: You are watching a horror movie, you feel frightened and
then get a chill up your spine. In this case you were getting a negative
suggestion through your sensory perception (sight and sound), that produced
an emotion of fear which turned into the physical sensation of chills
up your spine. Visualization uses positive images to produce positive
emotions that manifest into positive physical sensations in the body.
Sounds simple, but does it work?
WHAT WE THINK AFFECTS HEALING
Can what we think actually have an effect on healing? Bodies do
react to the thoughts you make. Our psychological/emotional state affects
the endocrine system. For example, the emotion of fear is related to
adrenaline. If no feeling of fear exists there is no adrenaline and
the same applies in reverse- no adrenaline, no fear. They work in relationship
to each other. Wherever a thought goes there is a body chemical reaction.
The hypothalamus, the emotional center of the brain, transforms
emotions into physical response. The receptor of neuropeptides, the
hypothalamus controls the body's appetite, blood sugar levels, body
temperature, adrenal and pituitary glands, heart, lung, digestive and
circulatory systems. Neuropeptides, the chemical messenger hormones,
carry emotions back and forth between the mind and body. They link perception
in the brain to the body via organs, hormones and cellular activity.
Neuropeptides influence every major section of the immune system, so
the body and mind do work together as one unit.
The brain is a highly efficient system that is connected to every cell
in your body by billions of connections. It is divided into two sides
ñ the left, logical side (words, logic, rational thought) and
the right creative side (imagination and intuition). Day to day circumstances
usually are met in a logical, left brain mode; however by yielding to
the right, creative side of the brain we actually restore balance in
the brain. This allows us access to the mind-body connection to achieve
what we want. The right side of the brain automatically steers you to
your goal. It totally accepts what you want to accomplish without giving
an opinion and acts upon it without judgment. That is why visualization
targets the right side of the brain.
POSITIVE THOUGHT PRODUCES POSITIVE RESULTS
Positive thought is essential to producing positive results. Negative
thoughts and emotions lower the immune system, while positive emotions
actually boost the immune system.
HOW TO USE VISUALIZATION AS A MIND EMPOWERING TOOL
The following are required to use visualization as a mind empowering
tool to support the healing process:
1. Define Your Specific Intention
Visualization puts your intention of what you want to work. Remember
whatever you believe is what your body will do. The more specific the
intention, the more specific the results. Make sure your intention is:
You feel, know and trust it is being accomplished.
2. Take Responsibility
Trying to do visualization without taking responsibility will prove
to be futile experience. To accomplish what you want you must take action
and responsibility. Visualization usually takes about 6 weeks to work
and is done once in the morning and before bedtime. Some people do see
and feel results the very first time. Remember everyone's body and mind
are different and so is the way they process information. Responsibility
Be accountable to and for yourself.
Make a commitment
Do visualization regularly
Be persistent and patient
3. Get Mentally Relaxed
A relaxed state allows you direct access to your subconscious mind.
Here are some steps to help you relax:
Find a quiet place. Relax in a favorite chair or lie down.
Get comfortable and loosen clothing
Uncross your arms and legs
Get centered by focusing on the breath and breathing (this activates
the vagus nerve which is the major quieting nerve in the body)
Totally relax your body and mind .
Visualization for healing is a simple process. Once you are relaxed
the next step is to actualize your visualization.
Think of or speak your intention out loud
Close your eyes and imagine yourself in the healing process or
as you want to be.
Watch as your body heals you, see yourself whole and healthy.
Feel the healing taking place
Know and Trust the healing is being accomplished
If you have difficulty you may want to try one or more of these methods:
Use creative imagery like seeing the cells in your body healing
you; your immune system fighting off invaders; your pain being taken
away by the healing mind
Imagine yourself in a very beautiful place whole, healthy and
Try reading scripts from a visualization or self-hypnosis book
Listen to an audiovisualization tape. Remember many people use
hearing as their main method of sensory perception for learning.
Try making your own tape in your own voice.
Visualization does work to help boost your body back to health. Don't
just work on the body, add the mind to maximize your healing process
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Shapiro, Debbie, Your Body Speaks Your Mind, Freedom, CA, The Crossing
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