Is it possible that our minds can heal what ails us? When our bodies break down, it is because our minds fail us
This wondering about how we self-heal our ills is currently called
“mind-body medicine” and it is taking on a renewed fervor in the light
of the synthetic genome, creating new hearts in the laboratory and recent FDA approval that “cloned cows” are fit for human consumption.
The closer we get to touching the reality of miracles, the quicker we seem to want to take cover in the mythical and the moral homily instead of the antiseptic and the medical certainty.
is always living alongside and in the cracks of the dominant approach to disease and healing that we have in our culture. Mainstream medicine says leave your mind out of it, you’ve got a bodily disorder, and we’re going to cure it with some kind of physical intervention. And mainstream medicine is often pretty good at this. So as long as it’s doing its job very well, a lot of us are very happy to embrace it. When do we find ourselves being tempted by or drawn to the other understandings of mind-body medicine? It’s often when mainstream medicine lets us down or can’t provide therapies.
Often around chronic disorders, it doesn’t seem to do justice to all the complex ways in which our diseases are more than just diseases, [in that] they’re part of who we are. And we need to make sense of them as part of who we are. There is a sensibility of discontent that runs through mind-body medicine, a sensibility of being a rebellious alternative, and therefore it attracts patients who are discontented and inclined, perhaps, to feeling rebellious.
Is there ever sensibility in rebellion?
What creates common understanding and core healing: Expectation or scientific proving?
The National Institutes of Health weighs in this way on the mind-body medicine phenomenon:
There is considerable evidence that emotional traits, both negative and positive, influence people’s susceptibility to infection. Following systematic exposure to a respiratory virus in the laboratory, individuals who report higher levels of stress or negative moods have been shown to develop more severe illness than those who report less stress or more positive moods. Recent studies suggest that the tendency to report positive, as opposed to negative, emotions may be associated with greater resistance to objectively verified colds. These laboratory studies are supported by longitudinal studies pointing to associations between psychological or emotional traits and the incidence of respiratory infections.
Are our diseases our own invention?
Do we create illness because we deserve to be sick?
How is it humanly possible for a thought to heal a cell, cure the
common cold, or lift the heart from damage?
Is “mind-body medicine” the last refuge for salvation when mainstream
medicine fails us — or has mind-body medicine really, always, been the
first resort of action?