Many of us at some point experience gastrointestinal problems when extremely angry, constipation or diarrhea when stressed, or sudden neck or back pain when worrying about money or relationships. These are widely accepted examples of the relationship between mind and body. Another basic example is getting hiccups upon waking or sweating when nervous. These harmless temporary effects are all caused by the mind.
So, what’s stopping the mind from creating more long-lasting effects on our bodies?
The “nocebo effect” refers to the mind’s ability to cause more harmful physical disorders. Dr. Bernie Siegel cites a finding in his book, Love Medicine and Miracles, concerning patients in an experimental control group for a new chemotherapy drug. It is commonly known that hair loss is a side effect of chemotherapy. This group was only given harmless saline, but thought they may have been given chemotherapy. 30 percent of this group lost their hair. Yes, the mind can cause extreme physical changes in the body.
How The Mind Creates Physical Symptoms
The above example shows how the outcome could easily be traced back to the conscious belief that chemotherapy causes hair loss. You believe something about the body and it happens. What makes this belief even stronger is the support it gets from our family, society, the media, and even our doctors.
In the book Heal Your Body, Louise Hay writes: “I’ve learned that there are really just two underlying mental patterns that contribute to dis-ease: fear and anger.” These underlie any deeply repressed unconscious beliefs of self-unworthiness.
Energy follows thought, and what we say repeatedly has a tendency to permeate our astral emotional subtle body and manifest in our physical body in various ways. If you repeatedly say, “So and so is such a pain in the neck,” it is quite possible that this thought is going to accumulate and, in a day or two, cause pain in your own neck by affecting the energy centre responsible for muscle and bone structure.
Where Does Self-Healing Start?
There are two concepts which are important to grasp at this stage:
Self-healing originates in our mental faculty.
Self-healing is sustained by our emotional well-being.
Contrary to the nocebo effect is the placebo effect, when a person’s healing can only be attributed to the belief, not the treatment, that they will be healed. Throughout medical history we have witnessed numerous cases of this happening. Our will is a lead player in this formula of success. You may go and meet many very expensive doctors and go for all sorts of medical treatments, but if you keep on telling yourself that the power to heal you is with the doctor, the therapist, the nurse (outside your body and mind), chances of the same symptom reoccurring in a different place in your body are high. If after treatment you find that this is the case, it is a sure sign that the origin of your current state is emotional in nature and before treating the physical, the emotions must be regulated.