Ounce of Prevention | Use your mind to heal
What really is the mind? The mind is not a thing or object but rather the activity or capacity to think and to create thoughts. Furthermore, it is not just confined to our brain although we use the brain as an instrument for thinking. Ancient mystics and modern scientists have described it as an energy field that extends beyond the boundaries of the body and can interact with and influence our internal and external environment. Many years ago, my spiritual mentor, Yogi Amrit Desai, informed me, "Whatever you think, that is what you create, and that is what you become."
Scientists have proven that everything in the world, visible or invisible, is a form of energy. The celebrated genius, Albert Einstein, with his famous mathematical equation E=mc2, demonstrated that energy (E) and matter (m) are interchangeable.
He showed that matter and energy are really different forms of the same thing. Matter can be turned into energy, and energy into matter. Our very thoughts are energy and what we think influences our bodies, our lives and our world.
... The power of thought
We humans have the ability to choose what we think, and thus we can consciously select thoughts that encourage what want to experience in our life. This truth is not a recent discovery. The biblical book of Proverbs explains it this way: "As a man thinketh in his heart so is he". Over 2,500 years ago, the Buddha said, "You are what you think, all that you are arises in your mind. With your thoughts you create your world."
Scientists tell us that the average person thinks more than 60,000 thoughts each day. More than 90 per cent of those thoughts arise unconsciously and are repeated over and over again like an automatic program. Each thought sends out an energy or vibration that begins to create a specific reality. Imagine what you are creating if you often think: 'I fear getting cancer because it runs in my family', or 'Jamaica is a dangerous place to live in'. Without wanting to, you are helping to create and attract into your life things that you do not want. I believe that much of our problems, on an individual, community or national level, have everything to do with what we frequently think.
There is a long list of physical disorders that doctors agree may be caused by or originate in the mind. The list includes common problems like headaches and backache, asthma and allergies, hypertension and digestive disorders. Sexual dysfunction, infertility, hormonal disturbance, heart and autoimmune diseases may all ultimately have their origins in the mind. The mind and its thoughts affect the nervous system and, in turn, the powerful immune system. This branch of medicine, referred to as psychosomatic medicine, has evolved into a speciality called psychoneuroimmunology.
Many years ago, working as a specialist in the intensive care unit (ICU) of one of Jamaica's largest hospitals, I had a dramatic experience of the power of the mind. A young criminal, the leader of a notorious gang, had been shot and brought to hospital by the police. He was admitted to the ICU under my care and I could feel his energy, his personal power and his strong will to live and to escape. He was like a trapped animal, but badly wounded with a bullet in his spine.
The day after his arrival, he called me to his bedside and said, 'Doc, I can't move my legs'. I explained to him that he was paralysed from his waist down from his gunshot wound. He looked deeply into my eyes and asked, 'Permanently?' I told him that I was sorry but that he would likely be crippled for life. He sighed deeply, turned his face to the wall and in two days, he was dead. This powerful man literally willed himself to death because he decided that he did not want to live the life of a cripple. The mind can heal and the mind can slay.
Mind-body problems are often bewildering to both patients and their doctors and often respond poorly to conventional medical treatment, as these do not address the root cause of the problem. Fortunately, there are a number of mind-body therapies that can address these disorders: hypnosis, psychotherapy, relaxation therapies, therapeutic touch, reiki and energy balancing. I have found the practice of meditation to be an extremely powerful tool for learning how to make your mind your friend and servant and not your foe.
Healing with your mind
We can deliberately choose to think in ways that create the positive outcomes that we want to experience. We can mentally programme ourselves for health and success using simple mental strategies. I call them 'Vitamins for your Mind' as they nourish, strengthen and focus your mental powers.
One such simple tool is the use of 'healing affirmations'. This involves the repetition of a positive statement or affirmation.
I provide my patients with a card with this printed statement that they are instructed to repeat many times over and over each day.
Day by day
In every way
I am better and better and better
Healed in body, mind and spirit.
So, reflect on the ideas I have shared and begin to recognise and use the power and the potential of your mind and your thoughts to heal.