by David Hamilton Ph.D.
Every thought and feeling changes something in your body. Think of a time when you got embarrassed. Your face went red didn’t it? This is the power of your mind to affect your body. It is your thoughts about yourself or about what people might be thinking of you that do it.
The placebo effect is another example of this. If a person is given a fake medicine but believes that it’s a real medicine then he or she will usually get better.
Some studies have shown the benefits of positive states of mind. It has been shown that thinking thoughts and feeling the feelings of gratitude or compassion, for instance, can make heart rhythms more coherent and boost the body’s immune system.
In other words, if you intend for your immune system to get a little boost, just spend five or ten minutes thinking nice thoughts about someone.
The mind even affects DNA. Our 25,000 or so genes are in a continual state of switching on and off, like light bulbs, as the body grows and repairs itself. But scientists now know that many of these genes respond to their environment. In other words, to what you eat, how much exercise you take, what you are thinking about, and how you feel. There is now a clearly defined link between emotions and biology. Thoughts and feelings change the chemical balance all throughout the body, producing chemicals and hormones called neuropeptides, which switch our internal systems, and our genes, on and off. So the body is hardwired to respond to your mind.
Ever since Dr Bernard Grad in the 1960′s showed that a healer could speed up the rate of healing of skin wounds on mice, there has been a lot of research into our ability to mentally intend positive changes in our bodies, and in the bodies of others. One explanation for how it works, in addition to the production of neuropeptides, is that mental intention sets direction for the flow of qi (chee, prana) around the body.
For thousands of years, eastern doctors have taught that qi travels around the body, following the acupuncture meridian system. If you have an injury somewhere in your body then the key to healing is to imagine it healed, or being healed. Qi will flow there, providing energy sustenance as well as vital nutrients for the tissue. And neuropeptides will also be produced that will boost the body’s healing capacity.
There’s a well-known story of a man who damaged his liver beyond repair in an accident. After spending a while in hospital he was sent home with tubes connected to his body. This was for life. But after learning about visualisation he spent hours visualising his damaged liver cells being repaired.
At first he saw the cells in his mind as black and shrivelled, but he imagined cleaning them, one by one, with an imaginary toothbrush, watching each turn a healthy pink colour.
After three months of visualisation he had an accident at home and one of the tubes was torn out of his body. He was rushed to hospital and x-rayed to survey the damage prior to an operation, where the doctors discovered that his liver was completely renewed.
Some scientists have taken the research even further. Recognising that a healer can affect a person’s body without touching it, they have taken biological material from inside the body and tested the power of intention to affect it.
In 2004, for instance, scientists from the California Pacific Medical Centre, the Institute of Noetic Sciences and MD Anderson Cancer Centre at the University of Texas found that practitioners of qigong could influence the growth of cultured human brain cells. Each practitioner, for a period of 20 minutes, directed healing intentions towards the cells and was able to increase their rate of growth.
Where it gets really interesting is when our thoughts affect things much further outside of the body.
Some research has shown that a thought about a person registers in their body. While hooked up to devices measuring electrical resistance in the skin, scientists measured changes in people depending on the thoughts held about them by people in another room.
In a few other experiments, the brainwaves of two people were monitored. When the scientists startled one of them, the brainwaves showed a peak, but so did the brainwaves of the other person. This is why we often have a sense of who is on the other end of the phone, even before we answer. Through over 60 separate scientific studies on this and related phenomena, the success rate of ‘guessing’ was 54.5%, when chance said it should be 50%. This doesn’t sound much, but considering it involved 33,357 individual trials, the odds of this just being chance are 200,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 to 1. That’s a 2 with 59 zero’s after it (202 octodecillion to 1!). People really do sense what others are thinking. I believe that this is why the law of attraction works. It is the law that says you attract what you focus on.
END of Part One of Two;
David Hamilton is one of the experts featured in the documentary Beyond Belief. Get the DVD at: www.beyondbeliefthemovie.com