When I “met” Joanna Farrer on an online forum for advanced breast cancer survivors on Inspire.com, I knew I found a kindred spirit. She caught my attention during a spirited discussion on whether there was any validity to the body-mind-spirit connection and survival. Some people argued that there are many people with positive attitudes who die anyway. Point well taken. But like me, Joanna believes our thoughts and intentions impact our health. As Joanna, who is from Australia and now resides in Singapore, told me, “I have a degree in Medical Science and so used to be very analytical and fact-driven, but now I see another side to life that I feel is equally valid.” I invited her to share her thoughts with us today.
To underestimate the power of the mind is self defeating … there is no doubt that we as humans are able to achieve incredible feats as a result of passing through mental barriers. Look at the athletes who accomplish so much through visualization. Who says we can’t accomplish anything, including miraculous healing?
I would like to share a story…
Many years ago I worked in a hospital in a remote area of Australia; the majority of the patients were aboriginal who have beliefs special to their culture. They are a very spiritual group of people with a strong connection to the land. One day I witnessed a patient put himself into a trance, and the explanation was that he was “willing himself to die.” They explain that when one does that they will hear their name “called” by their ancestors and they will be able to pass over. Yes, he died within a day and not from his medical condition. The medical staff agreed that once the patient has decided to take this action, then there is nothing they can do to keep them from dying.
So if we can will ourselves to die then why can’t our positive thoughts have a positive effect on our health? Depression is known to suppress the immune system, so that’s one good reason to not be depressed isn’t it?
My own doctor also recently told me about a patient who had presented to her in such a state that the doc thought she may not live more than two to three weeks. The patient told her that it was not her time to die yet; she believed that she would have grandchildren before she died. The doc said to patient,”How can that happen? You have one daughter unmarried, and your son is having difficulties.” Well the lady lived two more years and had two grandchildren before she passed on. My oncologist truly believes that there is a “force” that can be tapped that can assist healing. I really like that she doesn’t take all the credit herself.
Our mind is a powerful tool that should be added to our tool kit. Yes, we will sometimes be down. but it’s a shame not to access anything that may (yes, even if it is ‘may’) be beneficial for our health.
I also think that as my life has been deemed to have been reduced in length, I am not going to waste the precious time I have being depressed or miserable! So just like the song, “Always look on the bright side of life …” It just might be good for you.