Thursday, October 30, 2008

Disease Begins With Dis-ease

Erin flew in to see me from St. Paul. She'd married late in life, and now thirty-nine, was desperately trying to have a child. She was understandably upset and depressed, having suffered three miscarriages in the past eighteen months. Her physician told her it would be nearly impossible for her to have a child because of a congenital problem: her uterus was folded over, so that both ovaries were on the left side. This was her medical diagnosis, but it turned out not to be the cause of her miscarriages.

I took Erin into hypnosis and asked her to go to the place in her mind where she would find her solution. She went to the day of her mother's death and experienced it as if she was there again. Suddenly, she gasped and said, "Pregnancy leads to death."

Erin's mother died tragically when Erin was eleven years old. Her mother was seven months pregnant at the time. Erin was in shock, and the distorted belief of an impressionable child - "pregnancy leads to death" - sank deeply into her mind. Now, this distortion was fueling her miscarriages: the subconscious mind has the important job of preserving our survival; Erin had been miscarrying because, at a subconscious level, she "believed" she would die if she had a baby, just as her mother did.

While still under hypnosis, Erin rejected the distortion as soon as she found it, saying "Oh my God, that's ridiculous. I don't believe that!" In that same session, she released the last of the grief she'd been carrying since her mother's passing 25 years earlier. A few months later she called to tell me she was pregnant. She successfully carried her child to term and, despite her congenital problem, brought her son into the world to start the family she so desperately wanted.

Erin's experience is not unique. Every disease begins with dis-ease. When reality clashes with our expectations, dis-ease arises in the form of sadness, anger, fear, and distorted thinking. Sometimes we can resolve our dis-ease while it's happening. Sometimes we resolve it later using psychological or spiritual means. If we do neither, and the dis-ease persists, the subconscious mind will place it symbolically in the body, just as Erin's distorted belief "pregnancy leads to death" lodged in her reproductive organs. The subconscious mind does this not to hurt us but to communicate there's something wrong that needs our attention.

Every illness has a related root in the mind: find that root and pluck it out and recovery time is reduced or eliminated. Some people find this hard to believe because they don't realize how much of their "thinking" is going on at an unconscious level. Most of us rely only on our conscious minds (everyday thoughts and feelings) for self-insight, but the conscious mind is the smallest part of the mind. The subconscious mind - a storehouse of memory, feeling, and deep self-knowledge - is almost 3 times the size of the conscious mind. You probably can't remember what you were doing on New Years Eve when you were three, but the subconscious mind has it all tucked away in high definition with surround sound. The subconscious also holds vast amounts of power we can use to live out our most noble dreams and ambitions.

The field of Mind-body medicine offers many effective methods you can use to tap the hidden power of your mind for self-healing. With Erin, I used clinical hypnosis (a mainstream medical discipline, not to be confused with stage hypnosis). Clinical hypnosis allows the user to achieve a state of focused concentration on any topic, including feelings and beliefs that are hidden from day-to-day awareness. Using this method, healing occurs easily - as soon as the dis-ease is discovered and brought into conscious awareness, you can deal with it and are liberated from its effects. Just as important, the mental energy that is freed during the process can then be used to accomplish your dreams.

My patients regularly defeat infertility, dysmennorhea, cancer, chronic fatigue, heart disease, arthritis, depression, and a host of other illnesses, using the power of their minds. As was the case with Erin, good mind-body methods are so effective they sometimes deliver an instantaneous and permanent cure after only one session, even in cases where conventional medicine has had little to offer. Your mind is that powerful.

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