“…thinking is ‘real’ medicine, as proven by the placebo effect,” says Deepak Chopra in a CNN article called, “Can positive thinking make you well?”
He asks how far we can take that: “…is there a placebo effect that doesn’t involve fooling the patient? Can you trigger your own inner defenses by the way you think?” He says that camps are divided on the effect of just positive thinking, since many disorders are considered to be genetically triggered.
Then he drops this bomb: “In the public’s mind, being told that cancer or diabetes is genetic acts as final authority. Luckily for the positive-thinking camp, this fatalistic attitude is mistaken. Genes are dynamic, not fixed; they respond to a person’s environment, behavior and attitudes. Indeed, a now-famous study in Sweden showed that a tendency to diabetes may be strongly affected by the diet your great-grandfather ate. A whole new field is studying how much choice we have at the genetic level.”
Wow! Thinking affects genes! Did you know that?
The argument over nature vs. nurture remains unresolved. Whether physical conditions or tendencies are caused by our genetic makeup or by influences of our life experience continues to be debated.
But this concept that genes are not fixed and can be altered by external factors, including our mental approach, is truly revolutionary. It opens up a vast array of possibilities for both healing and preventing disease. And without crossing the line of genetic modification in the sci-fi sense, it gives each of us more choices than we thought we had.
Think about it…the medical diagnosis that you may be genetically predisposed to a certain illness for which there is no drug-based cure, would tend to discourage you and make you feel helpless. And those negative feelings alone can affect the body in an unhealthy way.
But the idea that a change of attitude can change or possibly remove the genetic trigger, frees you to hope for and even expect a good outcome. And that hope and expectation has a healthy influence on the body.
The spiritual healthcare I practice as a Christian Scientist doesn’t involve just positive thinking – although I do understand the harmful effects of negative thinking and try to resist the pull of it.
My drug-free treatment includes prayer, where I make a choice to unite with something I’ve learned from the Bible: that I am made in God’s image. I take it to mean that I inherit my makeup from Him. Does God have genetic flaws? If not, then neither do I.
And I’ve had healing come about through that kind of thinking. So, whatever your diagnosis may be, there’s a higher “final authority” to turn to.