What do you believe about your body? If I ask you to fill in the blank, what comes to mind: my body is ____. Do you think your body is good or bad? Are you fighting with your body, or is it your ally? Are you battling against addiction, chronic pain, or something a doctor told you is wrong with your body? Do you believe your body can heal?
Research has shown that words from healthcare professionals are powerful to our minds - like surgery, slipped disk or torn meniscus. According to the article: The Power of Words in Healthcare, “Language has a magical influence on the lives we lead, with an impact on our thoughts, emotions, and/or actions. The words we use are one of the most potent ingredients in the science of language. Words have the power to heal, guide and motivate. They can confuse, mislead, and even hurt us.” (Krug, 2018).
As a Registered Nurse who has seen a lot of pain in my practice, and then alternatively as a movement specialist helping people prevent pain, I believe that your thoughts and beliefs are just as important as your treatment. In fact, I would argue that our own thoughts can be even more powerful than the words of others. Your belief about your body’s ability to heal is key.
I had an experience with my own body after my second pregnancy that has taught me more about our body’s amazing ability to heal itself than I ever learned in nursing school. I was told by my doctor that my condition was irreversible and would need major surgery to correct it and I would need to decide if I was done having children. I was in my twenties and this was a major blow to my psyche. I would just have to live with this pain for years and then have major surgery. After some denial and self-pity, I decided I wasn’t okay with this answer and would just have to find another way. First, I believed it was possible, and then the answers found me.
Even as a young child I remember thinking that we must have the ability within ourselves to heal completely - it just had to somehow be “unlocked.” As an adult, I still believe that our bodies do carry this knowledge, but that not everything will be healed during our time here. What will make the difference? Our beliefs and our choices are significant.
I choose to believe that all things can be healed. I choose to believe in a loving higher power that created us and engrained in our bodies the knowledge our body needs to heal. Maybe you think that is naïve thinking and that is one hundred percent okay for you to think. That is the beauty of our minds, right? You get to think what you want, and I get to believe what I want. Here’s the thing…My belief that my body can and wants to heal has never backfired on me. On the contrary, it has brought healing, wonder, and peace into my life.
Can you look back and think of a time when your body healed itself from a pain that seemed like it would last forever? I invite you to take a minute and just reflect back on a time your body has done the miracle of healing itself.
In his book, Timeless Healing, Dr. Herbert Benson explains how affirming beliefs, especially the belief in a higher power, can be a game changer to our health. Dr. Benson describes of what he calls remembered wellness:
I have found a source of healing that is timeless. A basic instinct, this belief often transports people from pain and illness and, yet, to our detriment, Western science and society often dismisses it. This visceral truth is something we can count on, something that remains the same despite the dramatic changes we often experience in our public and private lives. We don’t acquire it from textbooks; it is part of our physical endowment from the day we are born. This was true of my father and all the generations before him, it is true of you and your family, and it will be true of all our descendants. Eternally and internally true, it is an entrenched fact of human life that, when exercised and appreciated, has an enormous power to heal us—mind, body, and soul. (2009, p. 24)
In my practice, I teach people how to move their body in a way that promotes healing and restoration, but it is their amazing body that does the healing work. Choosing to believe your body is designed to mend, to restore, to fully heal is the first step. After you truly believe in your body’s innate healing powers, you’ll see it. Belief, then healing. Do you believe your body can heal... from addiction, from chronic pain, from damaging traumas? At Hope Recovery and Healing, we believe healing is possible for everyone. We hope to be part of your journey, starting with your beliefs and your choices.
Benson, H., Stark, M. (2009). Timeless Healing. United States: Scribner.
Krug, S. (2018). The Power of Words in Healthcare: A Patient-Friendly Lexicon. Society for Participatory Medicine. Retrieved from: https://participatorymedicine.org/epatients/2018/01/the-power-of-words-in-healthcare-a-patient-friendly-lexicon-top-10-list-wordsdomatter-project.html