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Our belief is hugely powerful, especially when it is informed by an expert in authority. This is the placebo effect, which can be seen, for example, when a group of patients participate in a study, unknowingly acting as the control group.
They may be told they are receiving a treatment, but actually receive a placebo (a non-treatment; for example, a sugar pill). Participants in this group tend to experience improvements because they believed that they would, after having been told that the drug/surgery/intervention would help, even though in reality it was a fake intervention.
The Placebo Effect: A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
The placebo effect is a version of a self-fulfilling prophecy, and there are countless studies that document its efficacy. One such study by Mosely and his team in 1996 that involved two groups of people who underwent knee surgery, cites this effect. All ten participants in this trial recovered from their osteoarthritic symptoms after knee surgery. All were prepared for the surgery, had the anaesthesia, and the surgery incision; however, half of the people (the control group) were given no actual surgery to the knee. After waking, they were all told that the surgery had gone very well.
The people in the control group subsequently experienced just as much relief from the fake surgery as did those who had the actual surgery. The gains in health came from the belief that the surgery was a complete success.
Astounded by these results, Mosely and his team repeated the study with 180 people in 2002. It again demonstrated the same gains in the osteoarthritic knee condition, regardless of whether the operation they had was real or fake, with recovery gains still documented two years later.
The Nocebo Effect: Negative Beliefs Product Negative Results
The nocebo effect is the opposite—a negative belief that produces a negative result. Six years on from the first study, subjects were told that they had been part of an experiment. The arthritic knee condition returned in all but one of the subjects, who didn’t believe that it was true, believing instead that their identity must have been mixed up with someone else.
When a patient is given six months to live by an oncologist, they may often live up to this expectation. In my time, I have had to unpick many a belief for my clients after the authoritative diagnosis given by an “expert” doctor.
Get The Latest From InnerSelf
I had a young client called Grace, 20 years of age and full of potential. She had suffered with anxiety and depression since her childhood and was told at 14 by her psychiatrist that she would have “generalized anxiety disorder” and depression for the rest of her life, which she would need to take medication for. Grace had seen several counsellors before she came to see me, declaring me her last hope.
A highly sensitive young woman, she was open to energy psychology and healing methods. She worked through anxiety-inducing events from her past and addressed many unhelpful and limiting beliefs, including the specific belief taught by the psychiatrist that she would have this diagnosis for life and would always need medication.
By the end of her sessions, Grace was transformed. Her beauty radiates, and she no longer considers herself a victim. She is off all medication and mostly free from anxiety feelings. When it does show up, she can cope; she addresses her feelings and thoughts and the experience is short-lived, no longer impeding her life.
Teach The Children Well
Teachers have a lot of power in influencing how children perceive themselves and their capabilities. If, as a child, our teacher believes in us, we also believe in ourselves and will often do well. If a teacher tells us we’re a waste of time, we can often internalize this belief, wasting our time and, as a result, not doing so well. We may find ourselves living out what our authority figures have told us is true. When we are hurt, it imprints.
Those recovering from ill health and “incurable” disease must abandon the belief that they are to live with disease until they die. Many reports, studies, and books have been written about the total recovery of people from serious disease.
My lupus specialist called my recovery a “spontaneous remission”. Believe me, there was nothing spontaneous about it! It would be wonderful if doctors could give temporary diagnoses. Perhaps then, people may choose to opt in for self-healing and recovery.
Remission: A Common Occurrence
Remission is actually a common occurrence. I have read reports of cancerous tumours disappearing within a matter of weeks or months after a significant healing, change of perspective, and use of visualization.
In 1993, researchers from the Institute of Noetic Science found over 3,000 cases of medical reports of spontaneous remission from cancer in the medical literature (O’Regan et al. 1993). David Seidler, the actor who won an Oscar for best original screenplay for The King’s Speech, reported a spontaneous remission through visualizing his bladder cancer away. He worked on his mental state, actively practising visualizing during the two weeks prior to having the surgery that was supposed to remove it. When David had the operation, there was no sign of the tumour! (Edition CNN 2011)
Visualization As A Method Of Guided, Focused Meditation
Visualization, as a method of guided, focused meditation, is a powerful tool for changing our reality. If we look at observations from experts in the field, we can appreciate that the benefits of visualization make it worth taking time to practise.
In his 2008 book How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body, former pharmaceutical scientist Dr David R Hamilton cites many cases where people have healed health conditions (including cancer and autoimmune disease) by visualizing themselves well.
One technique, the “mind movie”, envisions one’s future in an imaginary videography process. It was conceived by Australians Natalie and Glen Ledwell and became a huge success—exactly in line with the visions they had created for the release of the method. Leading mind-body researcher Dr. Joe Dispenza uses this process in his workshops.
It helps to be specific about one’s goals. Settling into an observing rather than analytical place also helps, as the subconscious mind is more suggestible and open.
Visualizing Using Your Own Imagination
My experience of using visualization with clients also tells me that visualizing using your own imagination is preferable and more effective than following suggestions from others. In allowing our unconscious wisdom to surface, our minds will often show a vision that is helpful and meaningful to us.
I worked with one lady who was addressing the healing of a long-standing cancer naturally who, in a meditation, visualized her white blood cells as wolves who would mop up the cancer. She returned one week later to tell me that the wolves were full of apathy, which represented her feelings.
In visualization, she was able to commune with the wolves, understand their plight, and allow her vision to give insight into her white blood cells. Without forcing things, but observing the image, she was able to tune into the damaged white cells that had been subject to chemotherapy and to see them renewing.
As she acknowledged the tiredness of her immune system, new sprightly wolves appeared in her mind’s eye, so she agreed with the old wolf that he could step down and allow the new, more dynamic wolves to take over the search and destruction of the cancer cells in her body.
Intuition As Part Of Visualization
It can be difficult to imagine something that is inconceivable to us, so in order to use visualization effectively, we have to bring our whole self into the experience. Our spiritual nature, the part of us that knows that all is possible, can offer its guidance when we intend to step into a better or healthier future.
Observing our intuition as part of the visualization by accessing the heart connection in a meditative state allows all aspects of the whole to be present. This is not searching outside of ourselves but observing what comes to mind by tuning in to the body with respect to the issue.
Flexing Your Meditation Muscle
Meditation is a skill that can be learnt—a little like flexing a muscle, but with more benefits to the body, mind, and spirit than one could dream of. A good meditation is like plugging into the grid, being focused outside time and space. It is both a journey and a destination that can leave you with a sense of connection, peace, and wellbeing for the rest of the day. See the Healing InSight website for my guide to meditation.
The joy of the Healing InSight method is that standing in the Wuji pose, the “empty” standing posture in qigong practice, also plugs you into this grid, so during the visualization stage we can more easily perceive the new belief’s resonance in the body and its vibrational possibilities.
Frequently, without trying to create one, a vision representing the new vibration comes to mind, reflecting the shift in consciousness that has occurred. Your job is to allow and be curious about the vision, perhaps expanding it, but not attempting to manipulate it for the best outcome.
Your higher self will work with you, offering you visions that mean something to you. However abstract they may be to others, they often represent the new you, together with your new possibilities. This makes it easy to embody the visualization and feel it in every cell and pore of your body, creating a huge broadcast to the universe that this is the reality you are choosing to align with and receive!
Developing the Necessary Tools
There is nothing more important than connecting with our own authentic power, being the deliberate creator of our own reality and knowing how to harness the power of our mind for good. We all need support but are capable of helping ourselves. When we do, the universe truly supports us.
It is time for each and every one of us to begin taking personal responsibility for our lives. We can stop being victims of our past and circumstance, blaming governments, the banking industry, the education system, our parents, our partners, our bodies…
Maybe we have experienced corruption, dishonesty, fraud, and betrayal in our own and others’ lives, but the only way up is to take responsibility for our individual reality. This requires being personally empowered enough to realign and ask, “What can I do?”
When we change our own lives, we start to inspire change within others. Gandhi’s message has often been interpreted as “Be the change you want to see in the world”. In an article in the New York Times dated 29 August 2011, Brian Morton verified Gandhi’s original remark to be:
If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change.
As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him …We need not wait to see what others do.
Waking Up and Focusing on Something New
Earth needs us to awaken and take responsibility more than ever for what we are focusing upon and creating. Humanity benefits as each person becomes an example of living their best, most meaningful life. In tending to our deepest needs, raising our vibration, and living from our hearts, we can be that example and share our gifts with each other. It is universal that, at a soul level, we desire to uplift, bring love, nurturing, and positivity into our world.
There is enough love, support, and wealth for all of us, although we sometimes believe this to be untrue and block ourselves from receiving it. Rather than living out our conditioned patterns, we can create a new energetic broadcast and experience a blessed and happy life. We are all part of life, not apart from it; part of All That Is, unique, worthy of love, and important.
©2019 by Nikki Gresham-Record. All Rights Reserved.
Excerpted from Working with Chakras for Belief Change.
Publisher: Findhorn Press, an imprint of Inner Traditions Intl.
FindhornPress.com and InnerTraditions.com
Working with Chakras for Belief Change: The Healing InSight Method
by Nikki Gresham-Record
Working with Chakras for Belief Change transforms people’s unhelpful beliefs through clearing their chakras, raising their vibrations, and creating a fertile space for the New to come in. The Healing InSight Method presented in this practical full-color book is based on affirmations used together with individual chakra work and specific bodywork exercises, including techniques drawn from kinesiology, qigong, whole-brain integration, visualization, and infinity symbol exercises. (Also available as a Kindle edition.)
About the Author
Nikki Gresham-Record is one of the UK’s leading spiritual healers as well as a chartered counseling psychologist and teacher of Reiki and Qigong. She developed her Healing InSight Method for belief change by drawing on her professional background and her interest in vibrational-emotional healing and the power of belief. She works with a broad client base as well as facilitates workshops. For more info visit nikkigreshamrecord.co.uk