Masters of Health Magazine April 2019 - Page 24

Your Self-Healing Personality

All sentient beings—humans, animals, and plants—have within us a miraculous ability to heal. To heal means to make whole. It does not mean making symptoms disappear.

If you simply think of a wounded animal or a damaged plant, it may have scar tissue to show that once, it was wounded. But the capacity to heal is wired into the operating system of our physical and spiritual DNA.

The liver regenerates every six weeks, even when three-quarters of it is gone. Every four days, our stomach lining replaces itself. And the digestive system cells required to metabolize food regenerate every five minutes.

Whether we recognize it or not, our healing intelligence is working for us 24/7.

With that in mind, allow me to pose a question:

If you had a cut on your finger and I asked you how many healthy new skin cells you would need to heal that cut, could you tell me?

Probably not. Because the conscious mind—the part of your personality that you think is “you”—is only the tip of the iceberg. The majority of “you” is beneath the surface of your conscious attention, just like the majority of the iceberg is below the surface of the water. This explains why that vast hidden realm of the psyche is called the “sub-conscious” or “unconscious” mind.

Although Sigmund Freud believed the subconscious was a repository for suppressed feelings, memories, and fears, Carl Jung believed that within the unconscious lies a limitless reservoir of creativity, imagination, intuition, and the operating system for the human body. Right now, as you are reading this, your unconscious is regulating your breathing, your heartbeat, and the production of millions of healthy new cells to regenerate your organs.

Your healing intelligence works perfectly. You do not have to tell it how to make healthy new cells; however, certain personality traits can affect your capacity to recover from injury or illness-- for better or worse. Fortunately, the personality traits that enhance your healing intelligence can be strengthened with practice.

Studies of patients with illnesses ranging from arthritis to heart disease and cancer show that such psychological characteristics as mood, behavior and belief systems can promote more rapid healing of a variety of diseases and injuries. Psychologist Howard Friedman, Ph.D., author of a groundbreaking book, The Self-Healing Personality, has spent decades analyzing statistical findings on headaches, ulcers, arthritis, asthma, heart disease and cancer. His research supports a theory linking personality and the healing process. While it’s easy to oversimplify the effect of a positive belief system on illness, there is substantial evidence that someone who suffers from chronic depression and a sense of hopelessness is more likely to have

Like a dog chasing its tail, the question of whether depression causes poor health or vice-versa can be debated endlessly. It is not uncommon for people with a chronic illness to develop depression when they come to recognize that the condition has to be managed but cannot be completely cured. Nonetheless, it is possible to achieve a self-healing state of mind when there is a good match between the activities they like to do and those they are doing. People who achieve a balance between what they like to do and what they have to do tend to maintain better health than those who are frustrated by not being able to enjoy their exercise and nutrition choices. Someone who works and commutes long hours for five or six days a week may be too exhausted to exercise. This, in turn, can lead to the type of cumulative stress that floods the body with stress hormones that can lead to depression and anxiety which can overwhelm the immune system.

Laurie Nadel PhD