It used to be that we just had to take faith on…well, faith. But some interesting findings are emerging in the world of science and faith, particularly in the realm of physical healing.
We have known for a long time about the placebo effect. The placebo effect is defined by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as “a beneficial health outcome resulting from a person’s anticipation that an intervention will help.” If you already know that your beliefs inside reflect the world you see outside, then this is not difficult to understand. Let’s take this idea a step further. Deepak Chopra, MD, states in his book, What Are You Hungry For? The Chopra Solution to Permanent Weight Loss, Well-Being, and Lightness of Soul, that the words light, vital, success, winner, satisfied, buoyant, renewed, and free carry positive emotional coloring. He says further “when you feed them into your brain, you reinforce new pathways that affect every cell in your body. Thanks to the mind-body connection, which is holistic, each word influences you as a complete person. Every level of life is nourished.” So, we can improve our health outcomes by “feeding” our body positive thoughts and words? Yes!! Isn’t that exciting?
On the flip side, Dr. Christiane Northrup says in her book Goddesses Never Age, The Secret Prescription for Radiance, Vitality, and Well-Being, “fear and anger are like weeds that feed on shame – and [unjustified] shame is a toxin we need to release if we want to be ageless.” Can that be true? Well, Dr. Bruce Lipton’s studies say “yes”. In his book, The Biology of Belief, he states “when we change our beliefs, we change the blood neurochemical composition, which then initiates a complementary change in the body’s cells.” He also noted that his health improved dramatically when he realized this connection and started implementing a positive belief about his body’s ability to heal itself.
When I was in spiritual practitioner training, we were studying the book by Dr. Lissa Rankin, Mind Over Medicine – Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself. During this time, I took a trip via airplane. I was seated next to a man who was using an oxygen tank. He was very friendly, and we had a nice, long conversation. He shared with me that he had lost lung capacity due to exposure to chemicals. The doctors told him that he would never get above 35% lung capacity, but he was already at 65% and believed that he would reach or nearly reach 100% again. I was struck by his proclamation. I looked down at the book I was reading (Mind Over Medicine) and looked at him and asked him “by chance, do you have a strong belief in your body’s ability to heal?” He replied “yes, as a matter of fact, I was brought up in the Christian Science tradition and that has shaped my approach to my health”. I was floored. Spirit was showing me, through this wonderful man, that what I was reading was the, pardon the pun, God’s honest truth. Christian Scientists believe that faith heals us. Period. Couldn’t that be true? When doctors believe they can help us and we believe they can too (and they do!), which came first the belief or the doctor’s treatment? Maybe both. In Dr. Rankin’s book, she says “There is [scientific] proof that doctor’s might facilitate your recovery, not because of the treatments they prescribe, but the authority you prescribe to them.”
I learned myself in practitioner training through the Center for Spiritual Living that we are by nature, perfect, whole, and complete. When we affirm our Oneness with Spirit and proclaim this Truth, wholeness and healing are revealed.
There are several practical ways you can bring this concept into your own health and healing. I list four here.
- Affirmations can announce our belief in our ability to be perfectly healthy and whole. Start your affirmation with the powerful phrase “I am” (e.g., I am whole. I am healthy.) This phrase is a creation statement. It declares to the Universe your belief about yourself.
- Affirmative Prayer proclaims the Truth that as children of God, we are perfect by nature. Anything outside of perfection, it due to our own limiting beliefs. When we affirm the Truth of our perfection and wholeness, we reveal what has been there all along, our perfect health and well-being. If you cannot know this for yourself, ask a friend or practitioner for affirmative prayer. Sometimes, it is easier for us to know this truth for others than it is to know it for ourselves.
- Spiritual Counseling takes affirmative prayer a step further and really dives into where the false beliefs come from (e.g., negative messages as a child). Once we unearth it, look at it, and see the power its historically had on us, we can dissolve it with the Truth and Love of God.
- Meditation brings us into a relaxed state. It is clinically proven that meditation can reduce blood pressure and lower one’s heart rate. When we are in a relaxed state, we can better see solutions and reach for more positive thoughts.
I encourage you to try one or more of these techniques to cultivate your own healing. You are worth it. You are magnificent. Know that and heal.