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Healing Your Body With Your Mind

Healing Your Body With Your Mind

Telling someone to simply think about healing an illness and it will happen may sound like magic or sorcery. But the mind-body connection isn’t just a clever illusion. What you think and feel really does elicit physical responses from your body. Three safe and easy mind-body therapies you can use to improve your health are meditation, imagery and progressive muscle relaxation.

Meditation is easy to learn, though it does take practice. Many books, tapes, CDs and DVDs can guide you through a meditation session, but if you’d rather try it on your own here’s all you’ll need to do.

  1. Find a quiet location.
  2. Sit or lie down comfortably.
  3. Focus your attention on something—your breath, a word or phrase or an object.
  4. Keep an open mind, and let distractions come and go without stopping to think about them. As you are starting out, try meditating for just a few minutes. Increase your time as you get comfortable with the technique.

As its name suggests, imagery involves using your mind to develop a mental image of something. The theory is that the mind is able to cure the body when a particular image evokes a sensory memory, strong emotions or fantasy.You can use any image you find appealing. In fact, you can change images each time you practice this technique. The point is to promote positive thoughts and encourage your parasympathetic nervous system to slow your heart and breathing rates and lower your blood pressure.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation involves tensing and then relaxing all of the muscles throughout your body in sequence. Sit or lie down in a comfortable place. Working from head to toe, start by grimacing and clenching your teeth for a count of 10. Then relax, inhaling and exhaling as you do. Let your face be as lax as if you were asleep. Next, tense the muscles in your neck and shoulders for a count of 10 and then relax. Repeat, using the muscles in your chest, abdomen, buttocks, arms, hands, legs and feet.

Read more: Alternative Therapies, Health, ,

Adapted from Super Healing: The Clinically Proven Plan to Maximize Recovery From Illness or Injury by Julie K. Silver, MD (Rodale, 2007).

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

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6:01PM PST on Nov 16, 2011


12:42AM PST on Feb 26, 2011

alot of problems stem from the mind that's for sure.

10:34AM PDT on Apr 28, 2010


11:48AM PDT on Jul 9, 2009

I stumbled on this technique just before i was about to have a seizure. I used to be epileptic. I just sat down in a quiet place and thought to my self repetitively "my brain is calm my brain is normal" and then wow no seizure. I am currently off all of the meds i was once on. This technique works, I have not a seizure since i began controlling my mind with my mind. My doctors don't understand why my seizures stopped but i know that it is because of self healing. Another thing i should add is that i had about 2-3 grand maul seizures a month in the peak of my epilepsy while on meds and now epilepsy is a thing of the past for me. This is all because i learned that the mind controls all activity in the body. when a doctor gives a medicine all that medicine does is mimic some naturally occurring chemical in the body. If you learn to control these chemicals on your own you will have no need for prescriptions and the like. One doesn't need to think i need more dopamine all one needs to think is i feel happy and dopamine will in turn be released. If u have pain think about that area of your body being healthy and strong and you will heal. The mind heals all and can even be used to heal others, and remember practice and belief is all that it take to gain control of your bodies sub systems.

hope this helps someone

5:02AM PDT on Jun 15, 2009


4:02AM PDT on Jul 1, 2008

As a matter of fact I've heard many times about healing everything through your mind.I have a problem I will be thankfil if naybody can help me.I am 18 and my menstruation stopped suddenly 8 months ago.Could anybody give me some more information about that topic?Please ...I have tried many things but nothing had helped

8:36AM PDT on Jun 5, 2008

The results are nearly the same with me but the method is different. I go to a place in my mind where I have no physical form. I learned how to do this several decades ago or longer. While in this state, I would locate pain and imagine it being drawn out of my body until it was gone. Now I just find the pain and it's instantly gone. About a year ago while entering into this state, I got a leg cramp. I should mention here that my leg cramps are extremely painful, requiring me to get up and walk for 5 - 8 minutes. All the while I do Lamaze breathing (I'm a guy) to get through the wave of pain.

When I felt the onslaught of the cramp while in my meditative state, I put my attention on the cramp and it immediately disappeared. Now I can stop it at any time and have successfully done so half a dozen times or more. This while not even in a meditative state.

I've had a lifetime fear of needles and getting shots. Last week I had to have blood drawn for my annual physical. This usually involves dealing with a wave of nausea and holding my head between my legs so I don't faint. I do this because I did faint one time from getting a flu shot. I've recently gotten rid of three phobias so I thought I should at least try getting rid of this one. I visualized just exactly was going on when the needle penetrates the skin and enters the vein. Later, when I did have my blood drawn, it wasn't one bit unpleasant and none of the old reactions manifested. I feel liberated and have some

1:17AM PDT on Jun 5, 2008

The easiest of all is simply noticing your breathing. Find a comfortable chair where you are well supported. Sit down and shut your eyes. Then just notice the flow of your breathing in and out. You don't need to try and control it, just notice it. If your mind wanders away you can bring it back again. Even a few breaths can make a difference to the whole day. Meditation doesn't have to be for very long to have a good effect and you can do it anywhere - even stuck in traffic

1:14AM PDT on Jun 5, 2008

Easier than PMR or visualisation is simple observation of the breath. Just sit in a comfortable chair, settle yourself, shut your eyes and notice your breath as it flows in and out. Amazingly relaxing and refreshing. If your mind wanders just bring it back again. Even half a dozen breaths can make a difference

1:04AM PDT on Jun 5, 2008

would also suggest checking out Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) - it is something you can learn yourself and it works very quickly. It helped me when I had breast cancer three years ago. Check out more at or

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