Medical literature is full of people who have experienced spontaneous remissions from seemingly “incurable” illnesses. Don’t imagine that these people just got lucky. Instead of being helpless victims to their ‘fate,’ many of these people chose to be proactive about overcoming the challenges they faced. They activated their bodies to heal themselves.
There is plenty of scientific data that suggests your body can heal itself. Your attitude is what directs this healing process. Any malfunctioning machine will need to be repaired with specific components or resources to get it functioning smoothly again. Similarly to correct the malfunctions in the human body, we need to provide it with the right resources to repair itself. You need to be proactive about identifying and providing these specific resources.
Heal Yourself : The Placebo Effect
The placebo effect is proof that the body is brilliantly equipped with natural self-repair mechanisms that can fix broken proteins, kill cancer cells, fight infectious agents, and retard aging.
A placebo is often used in clinical trials to test the effectiveness of a particular treatment or a drug. One group is given the drug, while the second group receives the placebo [usually a sugar pill] which they think is the real thing. If both groups reacted similarly, the drug was considered a failure.
That’s actually the old way of thinking. Nowadays researchers are aware that this does not mean the drug failed. Rather these studies prove the power of placebos- that the human mind is capable of healing the human body. When the mind believes – the body heals itself. To test a drug, it is better to compare the results with an untreated group as placebos have powerful effects.
Common placebos include inert tablets like sugar pills, saline injections and sham surgery. It’s been recorded that colored tablets are more powerful than white tablets, while injections are more potent that pills. A fake surgery has proven to be very effective as a placebo as the patient now believes he has undergone a very powerful healing ritual.
A research published by the World Psychiatric Association found that placebos have the same effects when compared to antidepressants in the case of specific psychological disorders such as mild or moderate depression.
A study published in the Science Translational Medicine tested how people reacted to migraine pain medication. One group was given migraine drug labeled with the drug’s name. The second group took pills that were labeled “placebo.” the important point here is that they were aware it was only a placebo and not the actual medicine. When the results were compared against a third group that did not receive any treatment, the researchers discovered that the placebo was 50% as effective as the real drug to reduce pain after a migraine attack.
The Power of Rituals in Healing
This brings us to the power of rituals in healing. Taking a pill is ritual that the mind associates with healing. The researchers who conducted the above trial speculated that driving force beyond the pain reduction was the simple act of taking a pill.
Even when they are aware it’s not really a medicine, the action itself can stimulate the brain into thinking the body is being healed. If a person expects a pill to do something, then it’s possible that the body’s own chemistry can cause effects similar to what a medication might have caused.
Engaging in the ritual of healthy living by eating right, exercising regularly, performing yoga, spending quality social time, meditating, etc are some of the daily rituals or key ingredients of a placebo effect. They are definitely healthy rituals by themselves and your belief in the healing power of these rituals create an added boost [of placebo power] to make them even more effective.
I hope that made sense.
It’s not just physical actions or rituals that create placebo effects. Your thoughts, beliefs, and feelings originating in the mind can also activate placebo-like “self-healing effects” in the body.
A placebo effect is a not a fake or imagined healing. It is actual healing – it doesn’t just make people feel better; it is a measurable phenomena related to the body’s known self-repair mechanisms. When patients are treated with sugar pills, saline injections, and fake surgeries – gut inflammations reduce, warts disappear, bald men even grow hair!
It’s not just in your mind – changes and healing happen in your body when you believe.
Your Body Seeks to Heal Itself
The tendency of the body to seek and maintain balance within its internal environment, even when faced with external changes is called homeostasis. Controlling such things as body temperature, blood pH, and the amount of glucose in the blood are among the ways the body works to maintain homeostasis.
Consider the way our body controls its temperature to maintain this state of homeostasis. We shiver when we feel cold, the movement generating heat to raise the body temperature. We sweat when we feel hot helping to bring the body temperature down to the desirable 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
The key to recovering from any kind of disease is returning the body to the state of homeostasis. For this, you need to strengthen the immune system, heal your gut, unclog your lymphatic system, rid the body of inflammation and maintain a desirable pH level. You have to eliminate all kinds of stress – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
Your Attitude Directs the Healing Process
“We don’t always get to choose our experiences, but we do get to choose our attitude about our experiences.” – Victor Frankl
If you believe this is an incurable disease, then you will never recover. The power of the subconscious mind is tremendous. The power of positive thinking is phenomenal. Your positive or negative attitude determines which direction you are going in – whether the symptoms you are currently experiencing improve as the body heals or your disease and its symptoms worsen.
- Believe you can recover. This belief is the foundation of your healing. There are many people who have recovered using natural healing methods.
- Change your perspective – this is not an incurable disease. Correcting the imbalances to bring my body into homeostasis will help me recover. There is plenty of proof that recovery from ‘incurable’ diseases like Parkinson’s is possible.
- Don’t be a victim. Take charge of how you view these experiences and be in control. If you are able to see that all disease serve a purpose for mankind, you will be able to think of it as experiencing, rather than suffering. This experience is meant to help us change the way we live by eating healthier foods and making peace, love and joy our priorities.
- Overcome fear and anxiety. They play major roles in the development and progression of neurological conditions.
- Be grateful and fill your life with love. The gratefulness will bring a lot of positive energy into your life.
- Be optimistic and visualise yourself doing the things you love. Visualisations are powerful tools when used positively. [and when used negatively – they destroy your health]. Imagine yourself playing badminton with your grandchildren or painting a landscape – whatever your desires are.
We may need to correct and change our lifestyle – diet, physical activities, stress factors and even how we think. This is actually something good, if taken positively, as it helps you heal overall your mind and soul as well – as you learn to let go of your fear and anger while learning to grow in spiritual consciousness and self love.
Don’t take this as spiritual nonsense. Any disease, especially neurological diseases like Parkinson’s is not just the suffering of your body, they involve your mind. It is highly impacted by our thought processes. Parkinson’s is not caused by the deficiency of dopamine in your brain – as believed before. It is actually a problem with the electrical circuits in your body – and dopamine is just one of the players involved in the game.
Even if you have been diagnosed with an incurable disease, don’t give up hope. Take it as a positive sign that your body is asking you to make changes to your damaging lifestyle so that you eventually become a healthier and happier person in mind, body and soul.
Consider your health issues as an experience and not as a suffering. Your attitude directs your healing. The path we are currently on is leading to a miserable end, though we may not be aware of it. These health issues are a chance to redirect ourselves on to the right path so that we live long, healthy, and productive lives.
A recovery protocol includes detoxifying the body, a healthy diet, exercise, minimising stress, releasing unresolved emotional pain, overcoming anger, fear and much more.
So let’s get started on our journey to wholesome health…
With a Masters in Food Science and Nutrition, Tilottama has carved a niche for herself in the Health Writing Industry. She is passionate about helping her readers make informed decisions about the food they eat. She believes in the healing power of food and in food as medicine. Tilottama is an editor and writer at Fitnesshacks.org.