Author: Lewis MM
Conference/Journal: First World Symp on Self-Healing & Power of Consciousness
Date published: 2001
Other: Word Count: 277
For every treatment that can be imagined, a testimonial exists as to its miraculous curative powers. People arrive at many and varied explanations for how they achieved wellness, especially when they have overcome dire medical predictions. Since many of the therapies to which magical healing powers are attributed, have been shown to have no biological efficacy, healing must have come from other sources. I will argue that there is a state of mind conducive to self-healing that can be conceptualized much as an attractor basin in chaos theory. One can arrive in this valley through multiple mountain passes, but once inside this region, almost any therapy will work. Indigenous (including Native American) cultures describe entering this realm as activating the inner healer or contacting the healing power of the soul.
Of especial interest is how to help patients arrive at this state of mind conducive for self-healing. We know that this is more than just the placebo effect. Most of psychological and spiritual healing practice aims at moving the person into this realm of seemingly limitless possibility. I will describe the results of my studies of people who have had seemingly miraculous cures while working with Native American healers. I will describe similarities in the process they go through to reach a state of mind conducive for self-healing and will describe attributes of this state, including present focus, blame-free, humor, forgiveness, acceptance of death, sense of dignity and meaning. I will suggest that patients can be 'tricked' into these states through their intense belief in therapies that may not have any efficacy on their own, and will reflect upon what that means for psychological and spiritual medicine.