Mind over matter is a popular saying, but usually it’s in the context of overruling your body through sheer willpower and force, essentially ignoring your body’s messages and protests.
You will yourself to push your body beyond its limits. That’s certainly a way to use your mind to harm your body.
What if there’s a way to use your mind to heal the body?
In fact, it’s been scientifically proven. However, most people just ignore this fact. Actually, many people dismiss it.
Read on learn how to access the power of your mind to heal your body. But before we begin, let’s mention that this article isn’t about “wishful thinking” your way to healing. You should always seek out proper medical advice and treatment, and then use the power of your mind in tandem with with your best option for healing.
What Is the Mind?
Let’s look at what the concept of mind encompasses. It includes your thoughts, feelings, visualization, and even the words you hear in your head as you read this article.
The power of visualization has been well documented, and it’s a common practice for athletes to use visualization to improve their performance.
But what about your thoughts and feelings? They’re very important when it comes to healing the body with the power of your mind.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, emotions are associated with different organs and energy meridians.
From the Chinese Medicine perspective, the emotion associated with an organ will have an outsized impact on that organ and its associated energy meridian. In a nutshell, negative emotions will adversely affect the organ.
Here’s an Example of How Anger Affects the Liver
Stress and anger are the emotions associated with the Liver. In this instance, Liver encompasses more than just the organ. It includes its energy meridian, and its yin and yang elements, too.
When someone’s feeling angry, frustrated, or stressed, these emotions impact the Liver, which adversely affects the Liver’s Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) functions.
One of the Liver’s key TCM functions is to ensure the smooth flow of qi (life force energy) throughout the body.
There’s a Chinese Medicine saying, “When there’s pain, there’s no movement. When there’s movement, there’s no pain.”
When qi is not flowing smoothly through an area, a person may experience pain in that part of their body. Consider a headache and neck pain from tense shoulders. At first, it starts with tension. But if a person is continually stressed and angry, over time this will affect the Liver’s ability to ensure the smooth flow of qi throughout their entire body.
This results in the person being more likely to experience qi constrictions in the future, and that makes them much more likely to have recurring headaches and neck pain.
And this is just one simple example.
The Body Is Complex
The body’s organs and energy meridians are interconnected and affect each other—so stress and anger will indirectly affect more organs than just the Liver.
As you gain an understanding of how different emotions affect the body’s organs and their TCM functions and interrelationships, it becomes very clear why so many people struggle with health issues.
However, you don’t need to know all of the Chinese Medicine theory right now to appreciate the impact of negative emotions. I went to acupuncture school for two full-time years to understand the foundational basics.
What you need to focus on right now is this key takeaway: Your thoughts affect your feelings.
Let’s circle back to the power of the mind. Are you beginning to see its power?
The scientifically proven method of healing with the mind is called the placebo effect. Everybody knows the placebo effect, but how much attention do we give it? There’s also an equally powerful nocebo effect. Both have been documented in double-blind controlled studies.
However, instead of celebrating the placebo effect (Woohoo! It’s the PLACEBO EFFECT!), it’s dismissed. “This drug isn’t effective because an equal number of people showed improvements with the placebo effect.”
The Milkshake Study
There was an interesting study I came across that I like to refer to as the milkshake study. There’s probably a formal name for the study, but I like calling it the milkshake study because milkshakes are yummy.
In 2011, Alia Crum was a researcher at the Department of Psychology at Yale University. She did a study to see if food labeling would have a physiological effect on the body.
She made milkshakes and divided them into two batches. One batch was labeled as an “indulgent” shake. It was labeled as having 620 calories, and also high in fat and sugar. The other batch was labeled as a “sensible” shake with only 140 calories, low fat and low sugar.
In actuality, both shakes had the same nutritional value with 300 calories each.
After participants drank their shakes, the researchers measured the level of ghrelin in their bodies. Ghrelin is a hormone that’s secreted by cells in the stomach lining. It’s sometimes referred to as the “hunger hormone” because when ghrelin levels increase, it stimulates your appetite. When ghrelin levels go down, the appetite recedes.
Can you guess what happened?
People who thought they were drinking the indulgent shake saw their ghrelin levels decrease by three times as much as the people who thought they were drinking the sensible shake. Remember, less ghrelin = less hungry because ghrelin stimulates the appetite.
The milkshakes for both groups were identical, other than the label. Because people had expectations based on what the label said, they had different physiological responses.
Expectation and Belief
This is where the power of your mind exists—in expectation and belief.
All of the positive thinking in the world will not result in change if deep down inside, you don’t believe it’s possible. Not coincidentally, this is also the key to manifesting and the Law of Attraction.
That’s why positive thoughts, feelings, and visualization are so powerful. They’re tools to help you believe AND expect the change.
If you don’t believe you can heal or you don’t expect to heal, it’s a lot harder for your body to heal.
Think of your body as a small child. Will the child thrive if you are constantly telling them what’s wrong with them and letting them know that you have ZERO belief in their capabilities?
Of course, that’s a rhetorical question.
You also don’t need to say anything at all for a child to pick up on negative energy.
With that in mind (bad pun intended), what are you telling your body?
How do you feel about your body?
If a sugar pill and a label on a milkshake can affect the body’s biological functions, why not tap into the power of your mind to heal your body?