Yet somehow, for all its complexity, the healing system can be triggered by a simple intention of the mind. To be your own placebo, then, requires the same conditions that apply in a classic placebo response:
  • You trust what is happening.
  • You deal with doubt and fear.
  • You don't send conflicting messages that get tangled with each other.
  • You have opened the channels of mind-body communication.
  • You let go of your intention and let the healing system do its work.
Clearly, everyone finds it easy to let go when a problem is small, such as a cut finger or a bruise. The mind isn't interfering with doubts and fears. But both play a major role in serious illness, which is why a practice like meditation or going to group counseling can be a great help. Sharing your anxiety with others in the same position is one way to begin to clear them.

It's also helpful to follow your instincts. Most of us deal with illness through misleading processes like wishful thinking and denial. Our fears lead us into the blind alleys of false hope. In such cases, the mind isn't really alert to what the body is saying, or vice versa. The atmosphere is clouded. To trust what your body is telling you implies that you will take action to give it what it wants. Each body wants different things at any given moment, but at the very least our bodies do best without tobacco, alcohol, excessive medications and various chemical adulterants.

How to become more aware of your body


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