By Monika Nygaard, 
Published in Alderlea Magazine January/99

Both our conscious and unconscious beliefs can effect how well we heal as the mind body connection is increasingly recognized as important to natural healing.

Does the body control the mind or does the mind control the body?  The answer to both, according to Deepak Chopra, author of “Quantum Healing”, is both.

 Almost every health professional acknowledges that the attitude of a patient provides a major influence in the success of their recovery.  Yet few detailed or reliable procedures exist to help people get over their response of fear or apathy to achieve a congruent positive attitude.

 Beliefs like “It’s too late now”, “There’s nothing I can do anyway”, “I’m a victim”, “My number came up”, can limit a person from accessing all their natural resources and unconscious competence.  What we believe about our own capacities and the nature of the world around us greatly affects how effective we can be.

 The placebo effect, where a neutral substance is substituted for a medication without telling the patient, has been well documented and averages an about 54% success rate.  Many researchers speculate that a “reverse placebo effect” or “nocebo”, may even cause many cases of illness.  For example, when a patient is told he/she has cancer and has very little hope of survival, what effect does this have on them?  Is this a nocebo instead of a placebo?

 When there are recoveries or “spontaneous remissions”, how well are these documented?  It seems a lot of studies are focused on what may work, rather than what in reality has worked.

 This could be because when the body heals itself, which it seems is the case in spontaneous remissions, there is as yet no scientific way to analyse the vast, complex and interconnected physiological processes that bring this about.  Overlooking it, though, seems to me to be entirely unscientific.

 In the few studies that have been made, the role of our attitudes and beliefs has proven to be very significant, no matter what methods were used in the “cure”, be they traditional or alternative.

 Overcoming a serious “dis-ease” usually has to do with a person taking a new outlook on life, who they believe they are, what their capabilities are, and changing major beliefs and behaviour.  In other words, getting a sense of a new mission in life.  It is no coincidence that we call a recovery from a life threatening illness a “re-mission”.

 Beliefs are largely unconscious patterned thinking processes.  Because they are mostly unconscious patterns, they are hard to identify.  There are many types of beliefs that need to be examined:  beliefs about cause, beliefs about meaning, and beliefs about identity. 

 Robert Dilts, an author, developer and consultant in the field of Neuro Linguistic Programming, in his book, “Beliefs: Pathways to Health and Well-Being”, has identified detailed specifics of the structure of how we internalize our beliefs.  Knowing the structure of how a person internally files limiting beliefs, beliefs that are no longer true, universal beliefs, among others, can then make re-filing a belief a person wants to be true to one that is universally true, a quick and easy process.  It’s like discovering the code to your unconscious filing system and being able to re-arrange it to one that is more useful for you.

 Going back to the source of the limiting belief to release negative emotions and limiting decisions and creating more empowering ones is also very helpful.

 And so, it seems that looking at emotional, mental, and spiritual health as well as the physical makes for a more wholistic approach and increases the chances of recovery or “re-mission” many times.

Monika Nygaard is a Certified Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) Trainer, Time Line Therapy® Master Trainer and Hypnotherapy Trainer. She can be reached at nlp4change@shaw.ca
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