When I was in my early twenties I had an inflamed ganglion in my right hand. On the outside it felt like a lump. I worried it was a tumor. It made a painful experience of driving my stick-shift. The lump was just at the base of my middle finger, at the top of my palm, which bumped continually against the head of the stick.
Twice in the recovery period after my hand surgery, the doctor proclaimed in tones of disbelief, “You’re healing faster than anyone I’ve ever seen!”
I smiled, proud. For days I had actively and deliberately imagined healing the wound quickly, focusing love and intent for healing onto the cut. I deliberately visualized my hand as whole, in perfect condition.
Maybe my “unfathomable, speedy healing” was coincidence, but I doubt it. I attributed it, at least in part, to deliberate practice.
When placebos prove to work 30% of the time, why do we still choose to ignore non-pharmaceutical healing methods?
This healing possibility was not a new idea for me. The first time I had an inkling of the mind-body-healing opportunity, I was just a child. The doctor’s cold stethoscope was at my chest, and I understood clearly that he wanted to carefully listen to my heart. I wanted to help him. So I slowed down my heart so that he could hear it better. Of course, the doctor freaked out; I was put on EKG machines and tested. Apparently he expected a “regular” heartbeat. In panicked tones he asked me questions, I innocently responded that I’d done it on purpose. For me it was matter-of-fact. For him it was a child telling stories; of course he didn’t believe me. This taught me that slowing my heart down for doctors was NOT a good idea, but that it might be fun anyway to do more of this on my own!
Years later I read a book entitled, “Mutant Message Down Under“, where a Western woman goes on a walk-about with the Aborigines. In part of the story she writes about bone fractures that heal in days, so well that a previously fractured leg bone could be walked on. In DAYS.
I don’t know how one would do that.
I do know, though, that while I was in Japan I had another, similar experience. I was having a wisdom tooth pulled out, and frankly, I was terrified. My jaw is smaller than average, and I’d been warned that my nerve was dangerously close to the tooth root, and could be damaged in the procedure, risking permanent facial paralysis. Terrified, I sat in the chair, eyes closed, telling my tooth and gums and root and nerves that everything was fine; everyone was happy, calm, no need to panic. I asked my tooth to go willingly, I asked my gums to relax to help the transition happen. I asked my nerve to move aside slightly so that the tooth could leave without complication.
At the end of the procedure, in a surprised tone the dentist said that I had bled far less than he had expected; given the normal trauma of an extraction, he expected quite a lot more bleeding. He commented that my tooth had come out more easily than expected.
I’m not proclaiming that I’m a faith healer. I’m not declaring that I have some “special powers”. And for heaven’s sake, I’m not recommending that everyone abandon science. I am NOT recommending that. As a life coach, where healing is often called for, I’ve seen many cases where pharmaceuticals aided the healing. Isn’t it true that surgery isn’t performed until swelling has been reduced? Even the best procedures sometimes need help from multiple angles; sometimes, the best option for a serious need for help – is medicine.
Meanwhile, I would *love* to see more attention put into non-pharmaceutical practices like this. How else are we to integrate and enjoy skills unless we practice and talk about them?
Do you know anyone who has had a similar experience?