Affirmation, Visualization & Meditation
By Steven Horne, RH (AHG) & Kimberly Balas, ND
The discovery that our thoughts influence the immune system via the nervous system has given rise to the science of psychoneuroimmunology. Basically, positive thoughts enhance our health and well being, while negative thoughts detract from it.
What is the difference between a positive thought and a negative one? It's very simple. Positive thinking is focusing our mind on what we want, while negative thinking is focusing our mind on what we don't want. So, when we are focused on thinking about a disease we have and how we want to get rid of it, we are actually thinking negatively. "I am going to fight this cancer" is not a positive thought because the focus is on the disease.
Positive thinking would entail thinking something like "I am getting stronger and healthier every day." This is focused on the goal of what you want, not the elimination of what you don't want.
Affirmation and visualization are tools that you can employ to help you create positive thoughts that will enhance your health and your ability to heal. Affirmation is auditory and verbal, while visualization is visual and nonverbal. Of the two, visualization is the more powerful, but both can be helpful, so try combining them for the best effect. Here's how to use these mental tools for healing.
An affirmation is a present tense statement that affirms what I want as if I actually had it. Thus, if I had a broken bone and I wanted to speed the healing of that bone I would affirm "my bone is whole and strong." Notice the present tense statement, "My bone IS." This is a vital key to making affirmations work because it is laying hold of what you desire in the present tense. If you say, "My bone will be whole and strong," this places the fulfillment in the future, not the present and does not convey the same power. If a direct statement like that is difficult to use, a less direct, but equally effective statement would be, "My bone is healing as it should."
Examples of healing affirmations for yourself or others would include statements such as:
My body is healthy and strong.
My body is healing as it should.
You are growing stronger and healthier
Your body is recovering nicely.
To get the most benefit out of an affirmation, you should write it down and post it somewhere where you will see it every day. A good place is your bathroom mirror. That way, when you brush your teeth in the morning and again in the evening, you can read the affirmations out loud. It is very important to repeat the affrmation aloud, as hearing yourself say it makes it stronger.
During the day, when negative thoughts arise, simply replace them with your affirmation. So, as you start to worry about the disease or problem, simply start saying your affirmation. Since your mind cannot hold two thoughts at the same time, the positive thought crowds out the negative thought.
If you are a person of faith, affirmation can be helpful when combined with prayer. Pray for the outcome you desire and then affirm that the matter is now in God's hands. For example, you might say, "God is helping me to grow stronger and healthier every day," after praying for better health.
When praying, always ask in your prayer that God's will be done and that whatever happens will be for the good of all concerned. God may have a better plan for you than you have for yourself. Always be open to guidance. Also, one of the ways God answers prayers is by helping us to understand the changes we need to make in our lives to achieve the outcome we desire. So, it doesn't hurt to be prayerful about your choice of herbs, supplements and lifestyle changes.
The second method for helping to create positive thoughts is visualization. Visualization involves getting into a relaxed state and breathing deeply while you picture the final result you desire in your mind. Again, it is important to see what you want, not what you want and to picture yourself having it in the present, not in the future.
For instance, cancer patients have practiced visualizing their white blood cells gobbling up the cancer cells and destroying them. If you have an injury, visualize your body healed and whole again. It has been proven in studies that such visualization actually enhances immunity and tissue repair.
Again, if you are a person of faith, visualizing what you desire after praying for it is an exercise of faith. It is giving substance to what you hope for and creates a picture in your mind of what you have not yet seen manifest in your life.
Both affirmation and visualization will be enhanced when done in a meditative state. Meditation is a practice where you learn to calm your verbal mind which is constandy "chattering" at you. In this calm state of mind, you can more clearly affirm and visualize what you desire. Essential oils can be used to enhance meditation, as they can help to calm the body and mind.
To get into a meditative state, start by breathing deeply. As you breathe deeply, tissues are oxygenated, which fans the spark of life and increases the flame of life throughout the body. The "breath Of life" is intimately connected with the vital force. To breathe is to connect with feelings, to be alive. Shallow breathing causes a person to stifle his or her feelings, numbing the body and dulling the sensation of life.
Next, allow all of the muscles of your body to relax. An easy way to do this is to tense each part of your body and then relax it, starting with your feet and working up to your head. As you relax each body part, exhale deeply and imagine it getting heavier and gravity pulling it downward more strongly.
Once your body is relaxed, you need to create a central focus for your mind. It can be done by simply repeating the word, "one" over and over again in ones mind, a technique developed by Harvard Benson in his book The Relaxation Response. You can also count your breaths by breathing in for a count of four, holding for a count of four, exhaling for a count of four, and then holding again for a count of four. Think, "in-two-three-four, hold-two-three-four, out-two three-four, hold-two-three-four" as you breathe. You can also stare at a candle, think of a single word of phrase or anything else that allows you to focus intently on one thing.
As distracting thoughts come inro your mind, simply notice them and then go back to focusing intently on whatever you have decided to make your point of focus. The idea is to get into a completely relaxed, observant state of mind.
Once you have reached this level, you can do your visualization and affirmation. Simply allow yourself to imagine already having the health (or whatever else you have decided you want) in this relaxed manner. Again, if negative or distracting thoughts arise, simply notice them and go back to picturing and/or affirming what you desire.
Although we have linked these techniques to specific conditions in which they may be particularly helpful, affirmation, visualization and meditation can be helpful with any health problems you may be experiencing. They can also help with non-health related problems.
Below is a list of suggested products. Those in bold are key products for the health issue explained on this page.
Essential Oils: Frankincense, Myrrh and Sandalwood
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