Try These Mind over Matter Methods to Heal Yourself
The mind is an incredibly powerful tool that, when used properly, can help you heal your body and keep it functioning properly. Whether you are tired of going from doctor to doctor without hearing anything new or you would rather find a natural and non-invasive method for keeping your body in top shape, there are many options for a mind over matter approach.
Meditation is the practice of focusing on a single thing, usually something within yourself, in the present time. It can involve breathing exercises, focusing on a single body part, or reciting a chant or mantra. It doesn't matter what form of meditation you use, as long as it works for you.
When you practice meditation, your body releases chemicals like serotonin and various endorphins to boost feelings of wellbeing. At the same time, cortisol (also known as the stress hormone) levels are lowered to aid relaxation and ease stress. Considering all that is going on while you are being still, it's no wonder that meditation has been linked to positive healing effects. When your body is relaxed, it is better able to fend off illnesses and infections and has a greater power to regenerate damaged tissues for faster healing.
Faith can mean many things to different people, many of those versions can help you heal physically. Take for example how practicing religion and attending church has been shown to encourage and promote positive health outcomes.
Sometimes, the faith involved is in something more immediate or smaller. Having faith in a treatment modality can increase its effectiveness. Believing that a supplement or treatment can heal and soothe your body may actually work to boost its effectiveness.
In fact, the placebo effect is a well-documented phenomenon where patients report improved symptoms despite not receiving any actual treatment. They believe they are being treated and they get better. Recent work indicates that you can harness the power of the placebo effect to control symptoms like pain and inflammation. While it isn't a cure for chronic conditions, it may make living with them more manageable.
Visualization is actually picturing your healing. It can also mean imagining part of your body moving in a way you aren't able to because of injury or other physical limitations. One small study actually showed increased muscle strength after only using visualization to train them.
According to traditional Chinese medicine, the Qi (sometimes called Chi and pronounced Chee) within your body is your life force or the energy that makes you alive. Qigong, then, is a way to harness, exercise, and cultivate that energy. This has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, both of which can exacerbate pain symptoms. It also works to raise awareness of your own body and its strengths and limitations.
If you are interested in learning more about Qigong, you can find plenty of videos and books about it online or at your local library. Local wellness or recreation centers are also a great place to look for classes and training.
Tai Chi is a popular form of exercise that has been shown to help alleviate pain, improve balance, and improve a number of health indicators. It is a form of internal martial arts that aims to strengthen Qi or Chi within your body. You don't need any special equipment to start practicing Tai Chi, and it is accessible to people of nearly any fitness level. Check out the popular Tai Chi for Health Institute to learn more about their classes, workshops, and video-based or online lessons.
If ever there was proof that sometimes you have to fake it until you make it, laughter may be it. Practicing laughing, even if you feel anything but happy, can actually help improve your mood. Just consider what happens inside your body when you laugh to understand why it is such good medicine.
Although you should check with your healthcare provider before starting any treatments, most of these practices require little or no formal training to work. Just knowing that you have the ability to heal yourself from within can be empowering and, just maybe, can help you feel better, faster.