In this article, you will learn about spontaneous remission, how illnesses have proliferated over the years, and how disease manifests in the mind and body. Additionally, you will discover which are most likely to be treatable through healing affirmations alone, or coupled with other holistic and traditional therapies.
Section 1. The Theory of Spontaneous Remission
There are numerous cases in the medical literature, as well as many anecdotal case studies, regarding spontaneous remission. This is the term used to describe the unexplained (through traditional medical means) cessation of symptoms, or the disappearance of tumors and other documented abnormalities. Most traditional researchers discount cases of spontaneous remission as flukes and may be unwilling to attribute the cure to the alternative healing arts.
However, in alternative medical circles, the exact opposite is true. It is totally accepted and expected for patients to make seemingly miraculous recoveries with little or no traditional medical intervention. Alternative, integrative, and holistic medicine is built on the theory that the body is a perfect mechanism and is fully able to regulate and heal itself, given the right conditions. If the body's natural healing components are supported, it will work diligently and effectively to restore balance.
Although healing methods that don't necessarily conform to traditional medicine are labeled as "alternative," it can be argued that they are anything but. Traditional treatments, such as advanced surgery, are only a few hundred years old and treatments such as chemotherapy and pharmaceutical drugs are even younger. However, many of the modalities labeled as "alternative" have been in use successfully for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.
The many and varied holistic healing modalities include contributions from a range of cultures and healing backgrounds. These include:
- Traditional Chinese Medicine
- Reiki and other energy healing therapies
- Affirmations and other talk therapy
- Medicinal fasting
- Diet changes
- Herbal Therapies
- Visioning and journaling
There are many natural healing modalities available to the true seeker of health. While one may work best for one condition, others may be more effective for another illness. The key is to keep an open mind and be willing to experiment and genuinely become receptive to what feels best to you. Affirmations are one such therapy that can have a profound effect on the body and soul.
Section 2. Disease Proliferation over the Years
It seems that every time you tune into the television or read the newspaper, you're bombarded with stories of new illnesses and the increase in existing diseases. Cancer rates are on the rise, with an unbelievable 200 types of cancer currently in existence. Heart disease and high blood pressure are killing millions every year, and problems such as infertility and anxiety have become commonplace. Why is this?
The simple answer is that as we have progressed as a civilization, complete with numerous technical advances, we have gotten further away from natural and harmonious ways of living, eating and thinking. Instead of green rolling hills and dense forests, we now have power plants, deforestation, and genetically modified food.
As the body was designed to subsist on a more natural and environmentally balanced lifestyle, humans naturally have not taken well to all of the changes that have occurred. This has led to a slow buildup of stressors that have caused us to now operate in a largely malfunctioning way. Before we get into which illnesses can be positively impacted by affirmations, let's examine the three main areas that are usually involved in poor health. Affirmations are able to help heal at least two of the categories mentioned below.
Global Warming - Excessive exhaust fumes from factories and automobiles are commonplace. We have come to accept the toxic smog and residue that permeates our cities. Although this is now considered a normal part of modern life, the health and environmental affects can be devastating.
Greenhouse gases are gases and fumes that are released into the environment and trap heat in the earth's atmosphere, causing what is known as the "greenhouse affect." Some of these gases, like carbon dioxide, are naturally occurring. However, with the industrialization of our society, we now emit more of these gases than ever before, which are causing destabilization in the atmosphere and a progressively warmer climate.
Some of the ways that humans accelerate global warming are:
- Large-scale factory farming, which produces excessive digestive waste from animals.This waste, as it decomposes, emits methane gas, which, in large amounts, has an impact on the environment and ozone layer, increasing the risk of skin cancer, among other conditions.
- Also, the extraction and refining of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and natural gas releases carbon dioxide into the air in large amounts, which affects our oxygen levels and can lead to respiratory disorders.
- Modern agricultural practices, which rely heavily on artificial fertilizers and pesticides, are a large contributor to nitrous oxide emissions. Not only does widespread synthetic fertilizer cause harm the environment, it is also able to penetrate the biological makeup of the crops and alter their structure. When eaten by humans, these altered crops can cause a myriad of health issues, from allergies to cancer.
Synthetic Chemicals - Progress in the production of chemical-laden personal care products and cleansers is another area that has been detrimental to our environment and overall health. There are over 3,000 synthetic chemicals that are currently used in personal care items, such as lotion, soap, and makeup. These chemicals include ingredients that are dangerously toxic to the skin -- such as lead, which is a staple in lipstick. Also present are ingredients that disrupt hormone function, can cause infertility, and even cancer.
Not only are these ingredients harmful to humans, the residue from the products and their packaging enters out water systems, rivers, and grasslands. This has an affect on the animal population, with many species of wildlife showing signs of mutation. Environmental conservationists have discovered fish and other sea creatures with both sex organs, male amphibians that have eggs stored in their testes, and even two-headed fish. We cannot continue to survive at the current rate of environmental pollution.
In our hyper-connected, overly stimulated world, the pressure of day-to-day living has taken its toll on many individuals in our society. Stress is rampant, people are overworked and under-appreciated; this does nothing to foster a healthy mental and emotional state. Expectations are high and the constant struggle to keep up can be overwhelming.
High levels of stress produce a constant stream of adrenaline and cortisol, which are normally used to stimulate our fight-or-flight mechanism. However, if the tap is turned on indefinitely, due to ongoing stress, those same hormones can poison your body. This causes many chronic conditions, such as gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome, and ulcers.
In addition, the overwhelming amount of advertising that promotes false ideals of beauty and success leave many people feeling as if they just do not measure up. While intended as a clever means to sell products, many advertising campaigns can lead to self esteem issues, distorted body image, and eating disorders.
When you factor in the above, in addition to emotional issues brought on by childhood trauma, spousal abuse and general feelings of ineptitude, it's no wonder a large part of the population is so despondent. However, as we'll discover, employing healing affirmations can go a long way in regaining personal power and self esteem, and thus reversing the effects of many physical, emotional, and mental illnesses.
Food is such an integral part of our lives in so many ways -- and not just nourishment. What we eat correlates directly with our upbringing, ethical values, emotional state, and social identity. For many people, what they choose to eat is a topic of constant struggle and is very wrapped up in emotion -- whether it is satisfaction, loneliness, reward, or belonging. Our relationship with food directly affects our health and ability to function in the world. However, through using affirmations, we can begin to acknowledge, and take control of, any food issues we have.
Just a few of the common food issues and resulting problems are:
Loneliness - For many people, especially women, food takes the empty spot where a partner should be. If a person is having trouble finding someone to provide the love and affection we all crave, this can leave a gaping hole they may then fill with food.
This is such a common occurrence, there are television shows and commercials that portray lonely women digging into a pint of ice cream, or reaching for a bon bon, in a desperate attempt to lift their spirits. And this is not quite a stereotype, as researchers have determined that eating chocolate causes the brain to release the same feel-good hormones that are produced when a person falls in love. No wonder so many of us reach for that chocolate bar!
Distorted Body Image - This is another condition that causes an imbalanced, and often physically harmful, relationship with food. For those who see themselves as perpetually overweight, even when thin, food abuses are common. This manifests in the form of anorexia, bulimia, and even self-mutilation.
Not really about food, these are mental and emotional conditions that use food in an attempt to exert control over one area of a life that feels out of control. Affirmations can be a way to dig into these problems and structure new thought patterns and means of coping, thus healing the physical symptoms of the disease.
Reward - Everyone wants to be rewarded for achievement. It's bred into our DNA and reinforced by parents and teachers at an early age. As we grow older and can reward ourselves, food is often used as a satisfying treat for a job well done. Think about it. You go out to dinner for receiving a promotion at work. For sticking to your diet for a week, you rationalize eating some sugary confection as a reward, and there are many other examples.
In moderation, this is not dangerous, but some people use food exclusively to reward themselves and their children, as well. This turns into coming up with reasons for a treat, even in the absence of achievement. Also, in children, it breeds unhealthy eating patterns and reward association. More often than not, relying on food as a reward is a cover for having felt a lack of support and encouragement at some point in life. As a result of not having this, the person rewards themselves in sometimes the only way they know how --with food. This is another area in which affirmations can play a positive role.
Food for Thought
Do you personally know of any cases of spontaneous remission? Do you believe it is possible to heal without traditional medical intervention? Also, what are your thoughts on the three main reasons for disease? Can you think of additional categories?