How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body by David Hamilton (Book)
How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body is a book by bestselling author and scientist, David R. Hamilton, Ph.D. The book explores mind-body connection and the healing effects of positive thinking, visualization, belief on the human body.
Iona Main Stewart This is a valuable, practical book, especially for those with health problems, which I presume many of us have in this day and age. The author cites statistics and scientific facts to show us, and convince us of, the power of positive thinking and of the placebo. Visualization causes real chemical and structural changes in the brain. Mind changes matter. Psychotherapy also… More results in detectable changes in the brain. Neurogenesis (formation of new neurons in the brain) occurs right up to the final days of our life, no matter our age. Learning a new language as an adult, learning to play a musical instrument, learning new dances or playing board games all develop the brain. Thoughts produce chemicals in the brain. When we repeat a thought several times, an additional chemical (protein) is stimulated and makes its way to the centre of the neuron where it finds DNA. It here activates several genes of DNA which make the substances that produce new branches between the neurons. Thus, repeating a thought produces new connections between neurons. Genes are activated by a state of mind within minutes. It is this process that can lead to “miraculous” healings. Not only does our mind affect our brain, but it affects our body at the cellular level. The author explains in detail how this happens. When genes switch on, proteins are made to be used in the construction of new cells, skin, tendon, blood or bone. The mind influences the growth of stem cells, which are cells that morph into any type of cells. A stem cell could become a bone cell, an immune cell, or whatever. As genes are activated, the stem cells grow into the cells they are required to become. The mind can either encourage stem cells to morph into new cells or it can interfere with the process. If a person visualizes the healing of a damaged part of their body, they will be having an effect upon the morphing of stem cells into the required cell types for healing. Seemingly miraculous healings from serious diseases are thus actually the result of the movement of stem cells from bone marrow and their morphing into cells that regenerate a damaged area. This is the first time I’ve read anything like this, explaining the physical details of how visualization actually works. If we imagine using our muscles, they will grow stronger. In one test, the muscle strength of one group doing physical training increased by 53%, while a group doing mental training instead increased their strength by 35%, though they hadn’t lifted a finger. If we imagine lifting heavy weights, the brain and muscles are stimulated more than if we imagine lifting lighter weights. Even just watching someone exercising affects our brains and muscles. Ha, ha, that’s what I always suspected! Watching a great athlete performing makes you better at that event. Watching muscles working works much like visualization. In a group who trained the little finger of their right hand, muscle strength increased by 50%, while in the group who merely watched the training, the strength of the little finger in their right hand increased by 32%. We are given lots of statistical evidence about the effectiveness of guided imagery and mental imagery (visualization). Stroke patients can regain movement by imagining themselves moving, and those with Parkinson’s disease can move more easily. There are chapters on how to visualize and the power of affirmations. Having our attention focused on the ailing area activates that area and the part of the brain that governs it. According to what we imagine, “brain maps change and chemicals are released in the brain and throughout the body, genes are switched on and off, and stem cells receive instructions on which type of cells to become”. The chapter on visualization is extremely useful, the best material I’ve encountered. Part II of the book contains true stories recounting how various persons healed themselves of serious diseases, including cancer, heart disease, chronic fatigue and autoimmune conditions, through their visualization work. There’s also a chapter on the power of love. Finally, in Appendix I the author gives us his own Quantum Field Healing (QFH) visualization, which he states is a powerful symbolic visualization. We’re also provided with stories of people who have successfully used QFH. Appendix II contains innumerable examples of visualizations for specific diseases/ailments, including one for autoimmune conditions, which I have begun to do. Here is a little one for getting rid of warts or verrucas: “Imagine taking some coloured acid and rubbing it onto the cells in the wart or verruca, Watch them dissolve. Hear the fizzling sound. As each cell is dissolved, watch as the wart or verruca gets smaller and smaller and smaller.” This is a unique, exceedingly practical book. The author writes clearly and simply, but includes various helpful scientific explanations. Although I already knew that visualization worked, my faith in it has been much increased, or greatly rekindled, in the reading of this book, so I have been motivated to start on my own visualization work. There are many, many examples of appropriate visualizations for various diseases. This is the best book I’ve read on the subject of healing one’s body in general and on visualization in particular. I strongly recommend that you purchase this valuable book.