The Body’s Innate Capacity To Heal

Photo by Omid Armin from Unsplash

Today I started watching a documentary on Netflix titled Heal which motivated me to write about what I’ve believed in for so long — the power of the human mind.

“How could you be a Cognitive Science degree major and believe in all that energy bogus?” my best friend asks me one day as we were walking on the streets of downtown Toronto.

“Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary study of mind and intelligence, embracing philosophy, psychology, artificial intelligence, neuroscience, linguistics, and anthropology.” — Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Why is it that when the research supported phenomena of the placebo exists people are reluctant to believe similarly, the mind alone is powerful enough to alter the body biologically without medication?

What is the placebo effect?

The placebo effect is when the mind tricks you into believing that a fake treatment has real therapeutic results which then causes real biological changes in the body.

Conventional medicine is not all bad

I must note that I am not refuting conventional medicine and it’s strength. Especially right now during this pandemic, I am not claiming “hey y’all just use your mind to cure yourselves of COVID!” Modern or conventional medicine is necessary. It saves lives, it heals and helps prevent disease-related death. Your thinking and positive thoughts isn’t going to save your life from a car accident. You need a hospital. You need western medicine.

Why don’t people use their thoughts to heal already?

It could be because not everyone knows about this phenomenon. Or it’s because some of us dismiss it as bogus pseudoscience.

So how exactly do our thoughts shape our body?

  • Our thoughts affect chemical messengers in our brain responsible for communicating with our nervous system. These chemical messengers are called neurotransmitters.
  • The nervous system is responsible for receiving signals from different parts of the body and responding to these signals by sending signals. It basically receives and sends signals.
  • Our thoughts cause neurochemical changes. For instance, if we consciously practise gratitude, a surge of dopamine is released. Dopamine is known as a “feel-good” neurotransmitter. When dopamine is released we feel pleasure, reward and increased motivation.
  • Neurotransmitters control all of the body’s functions from feelings like dopamine which makes you “happy” to regulating hormones that deals with stress.
  • This is how thoughts directly influence our body. The body takes our thoughts and communicates these thoughts through neurotransmitters. This is interpreted by the body as incoming messages which affect how the body reacts.

What can we do to heal ourselves and live a healthy life?

We know the body can heal itself. How? Think about when we get a small cut. We throw on a bandage and eventually it’s healed. Similarly, the body has the power to heal itself for greater health concerns if you allow it to.

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