5 Keys to Health, Healing, and Happiness – Part 5

Imagineering and the Power of the Mind in Healing

You swallow little pills and you get well, even if there is no medicinal substance in them which could trigger this healing. It’s called the placebo (meaning “I please”) effect, which has been studied quite extensively in the past few decades.

Sometimes, neutral medications are given to patients who insist on needing “pills” to heal. Sometimes, a group gets the “real” medication, while another group gets a placebo, so as to study if the real medication truly has an effect.

Let’s take a look at a few examples of what the imagination can do:

1. Two kinds of pills: red ones and blue ones. The study is done with volunteer students, at a university. They are told that the red pills will increase their energy and that the blue pills will help them fall asleep. Unbeknownst to the students, the substances inside the pills are exchanged. The red pills now contain a sleep-inducing substance and the blue pills an energizing one.

Result? Most students who received the red pill felt energized, and the students who received the blue pill fell asleep more easily. Their belief was stronger than the pharmaceutical drug. Think about this? What does that tell you?

2. Another group of students, at another university. Their task was to prepare a financial report. They got together in a room where a black briefcase was set on the table. The students argued, and were not able to come to a consensus. After the lunch break, the briefcase was replaced with a backpack. What do you think happened? The students started to cooperate. This shows the importance of the environment in which we live, and how it can influence our behavior. Many such experiments have been done over the years, showing how we get triggered, subconsciously. Triggers influence our mood, which influences our actions, as well as how we get along with others. What triggers you? Pay attention to triggers, and use the F.R.E.E.D.O.M. Techniques (Key 2, Part 3) to neutralize them.

3. This third example is quite well known. A cancer patient only had a few months to live. His physician gave him some pills, loaded with vitamin B17 from apricot kernels, known to reduce cancer tumors. Indeed, it happened. The tumor started to shrink until the patient heard that vitamin B17 for curing cancer was a hoax. Immediately, the tumor began to grow. The physician assured him that the study only referred to a specific batch of B17, but that he had the right kind. Again, the tumor regressed, until the patient heard of another study, calling B17… a scam. The tumor grew, and the patient died. Was it the B17 or his belief that made the tumor regress than grow again? 

The placebo effect has its reverse, called the nocebo effect. It means “I harm.”

4. Some students in Germany did not like one of their professors. They decided to play a joke on him. They tied him up, covered his head with a black hood and took him for a mock execution. His head was placed on a chopping block. Somebody used an ax to hit another block beside him. The professor was so sure it would be a real execution that he had a heart attack and died.

5. Physicians’ bedside manners have become an important part of their training. I remember one of my instructors telling us a true story. During his internship as a young medical doctor, he was touring the hospital with other students and the professor. The latter stopped by John’s bed, spoke briefly with him, then turned to the students to discuss the patient next door, whom he said was going to die during the night. John thought the professor was talking about him. He died during the night, although he was well enough, and would have been released the following day.

PNEI or PsychoNeuroEndocrinoImmunology is the science linking psychology, neurology, endocrinology and immunology. They are inseparable. We know that whatever emotion we experience will affect our nervous, endocrine and immune systems. Science is simply confirming what we empirically knew, that our state of mind can trigger headaches, nightmares, nausea, skin rashes, or healing.

The good news is that you do not have to be a prisoner of your mind or of your past. Thanks to new research on brain plasticity, new therapies are available which help transform a negative experience into the cornerstone of a new, fulfilling life. According to Dr. Rossman, MD, co-founder of the Academy for Guided Imagery I graduated from, “The mind may be the most underused healing tool we have.”

I just heard today (12/26/2019) that our brain gets some 7000 new cells EVERYDAY! Isn’t that encouraging? Just make sure those new cells are healthy ones.

Let’s talk about imagery. What is it?

 It is a flow of thoughts which can be seen, heard, smelled, tasted or felt in the imagination

 The language of the right part of the brain

 The language of the nervous system

 The language of the emotions

 The language of the subconscious and of the unconscious

 The interface between body and mind

Many examples of healing with the power of the mind are available in an article I wrote on my website.

Imagine well!

Danielle J. Duperret, ND/PhD

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