Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Science of Healing Thoughts

This title was handily provided by an article in the magazine, Scientific American. Science journalist Jo Marchant brought her considerable research and writing abilities to look into the idea that our mind is, in fact, capable of effecting great changes in our physical body.She noted that, unfortunately, most efforts of practitioners seem designed only to have us hand over our money. But serious science is now providing evidence that not only can our mind help keep us healthy, it can actually promote healing. Yes. Really.

There has never been any doubt that thoughts can cause physical reactions. Think of the nervous public speaker....before getting in front of a crowd, your heart rate accelerates, your hands sweat. Just thinking about the task ahead changes the body. So it's not a big leap to think that the potential for healing does exist.

In a nutshell, her research led her to the supported idea that our thoughts influence our immune system. Thus, how we perceive the world can influence the status of our immune system, leaving us better prepared to deal with future threats.

In addition, there is no doubt that the well known "placebo effect" does exist. But why does it? And under what conditions? Expectations seem to play a big role, but are likely not the only contributing factor.

Another effective technique in which the mind changes physical perception is to engage the brain in an alternate activity. It seems the "distraction" re-focuses the brain on the task at hand, and, leaves people in pain, for example,  perceiving less pain.

The fascinating thing about these scientific studies is, to me, that they open our own minds to new ways of doing things: new ways of treatment, new possibilities for improvements and cures for a multitude of physical conditions where none currently exists.

The larger article in the Scientific American magazine can be found here;

Or, if you are taken with the topic, you might want to locate Marchant's book, "Cure."