After a decade of personal study and training in the realms of natural medicines, alternative healing, therapies and empowerment, I one day fell victim to a hit-and-run road accident and became my own experiment in healing techniques and miracles.
In the moments immediately after I returned to consciousness, whilst still hovering somewhat out of my body, I felt a warmth of protection, love and light carrying me back into my body. I connected to that light and moved it with awareness to the parts of my body that were in acute pain. This carried me back through the shock and fear with a deep sense that there was a great energy supporting me in that moment of need.
Mind-body connection philosophy
Medical schools and centres worldwide now have departments devoted entirely to mind-body research and treatments. Harvard University, Columbia University, University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Pittsburgh are amongst those pioneering research. This now-interdisciplinary field, which also includes behavioural medicine, is often called psychoneuroimmunology or psychoendoneuroimmunology, and is said to 'incorporate ideas, belief systems, hopes, and desires as well as biochemistry, physiology, and anatomy.' (1)
Over the last decade, several exciting studies were conducted and published, showing that guided imagery could indeed produce changes in immune activity on the cellular level.
According to psychotherapist and author Belleruth Naparstek, only 55 percent of the population is strongly wired for visual imagining. To cover everyone, imagery has to engage all the senses, using sounds, smells, tastes and kinaesthetic feel, inside and outside the body.
How can emotions influence your overall health
I, myself, am strongly visual in expression and a kinaesthetic learner. I established this on the first day of my yoga teacher training, where they assessed our learning styles and divided us up into three groups accordingly: visual, auditory andkinaesthetic. I was put into thekinaesthetic learning group, which meant that I was immersed into the rigorous physical practice daily of 'learning by doing', whilst simultaneously memorising the names of the postures/asanas and the aspects of anatomy and philosophy required to qualify as a teacher.
This approach supported me in developing a deep awareness of the mind-body connection, as I was feeling I was also learning and understanding, knowing and accepting. It helped me to further develop empathy with the deeper issues occurring when someone would talk about their physical aches and pains after yoga. I began to understand that the mind plays a major role in how we feel in our skin and how we interact with and belong in the world.
Belleruth says that, “We’ve come to understand that what best serves our sense of strength, wholeness, vitality and personal power is owning whatever it is we feel, no matter how unpleasant, and then just breathing it out – the mindful meditation of noticing it, acknowledging it and letting it go.”
Just as she refers to this process of connecting to truth and letting go of that which does not serve us in order to feel good, so I believe it is possible to do the opposite and call in the energetic support of that which completely serves us in order to heal. I would call this source that we can tap into at any moment, 'the universal infinite divine blissful energy’.
How emotions affect the body
The most fascinating and incredible thing about this potential is how it is readily accessible and free to anyone who may want or need it at any time.
Anyone suffering with physical pain, can experiment with vividly picturing the bones, muscles, tissues, nerves, cells fusing, re-connecting, mending and strengthening. If it is challenging to picture it, try remembering what it felt like at a time in your life of optimal health. Recall positive memories, drawing them to the surface and allowing the sense of joy to wash over you; momentarily overcoming any sadness that things currently are not as they once were. That sense of hope and optimism can become great fuel for healing by strengthening the relationship between the immune system and the brain, charging and revitalising the entire physical and energetic body on every level.
I did this process of visualisation instinctively out of urgency in the first moments of regaining consciousness. I had been lying in the middle of the road in great pain and shock waiting for an ambulance for well over an hour. I believe that this process of visualisation saved me (along with the help of a passing doctor who stopped to sit by my side on the road and coach me to remain conscious throughout whilst some other strangers held my hand and stroked my hair).
I practiced this process of visualisation daily for months after that accident, working on my bones healing, the veins, the tissues the nerves fusing back to health. I consciously inhaled white healing light down into areas of pain and breathed red fiery light out and away from those same spots. I listened to many different guided meditations I found online and most importantly, I sent love and acceptance to the parts of me that were broken and hurting.
Thanks to combined therapies such as Osteopathy, Physio and Acupuncture I was very
supported to overcome the physical pain. Thanks to 5 Rhythms Dance (created by Gabrielle Roth as a moving meditation which aims to help us become more attuned to the underlying patterns in our everyday existence) and SE/Somatic Experiencing (developed by Dr. Peter Levine) combined with mindfulness – I was able to shift the remaining stuck PTSD emotions and energy which lingered long after the bones and cells and nerves etc healed. Somatic experiencing therapy can help a person move forward from the frozen image or memory of their traumatic experience which can otherwise stay stuck within the body for years and hold them back on many levels.
It feels quite incredible to now be able write about this experience from a distance. To put it all in the past and move forward as a 'wounded-healer' – hopefully able to help others as living proof in the power of visualisation for recovery.
If I was able to do this work at a time when I felt very afraid, I know you can too. The first step is to believe you can heal. The second step is to experiment. The third is to do a little bit of whatever is working for you every day and then trust that all will be well.
Note: This is a personal story of recovery. Should you suffer from PTSD or other related medical issues after serious injury, please seek the help and advice of your medical practitioner or therapist.
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1. National Institute of Health: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15677394