The symptoms and the illness are not the same thing. The illness exists long before symptoms. Rather than being the illness, the symptoms are the beginning of cure.
Scott Peck, M. D.
MIND-BODY APPROACH TO
Many studies have demonstrated the strong role that emotions can play in the development of one’s illness as well as in the recovery process. It is clear that the immune system, for example, is strengthened by such feelings as optimism, love, hope, and connectedness with others and is weakened by such feelings as anxiety, fear, guilt, anger, regret, and depression. Creating a healthy mental and emotional environment is essential for optimal healing.
If you have been diagnosed with cancer, you know how this illness can be deeply disturbing, life disrupting and traumatic. You are first helped to cope with facing the stress of their diagnosis, as well as with the everyday reality of being a cancer patient.
You are encouraged to view yourself not as a victim of this life-threatening disease, nor as a helpless seeker for their doctors’ rescue, but as an active participant in the recovery process. You are empowered to take charge of your healing by identifying any major life stresses that occurred six to eighteen months prior to the diagnosis, and by remembering the way you had dealt with these. The object of such self-examination is to identify the “emotional terrain” or life circumstances in which a person lived which could have been contributing factors to the onset of illness. If such factors are identified, you are encouraged to make necessary life changes and to release long stored “emotional toxins” such as anger, resentment, regret, and guilt.
You are also helped to generate a belief in the possibility of your total recovery. Specific mental imagery exercises are designed to fight your disease, strengthen immune responsiveness and generate such life-affirming attitudes as hope and inner peace.
And finally, the process concentrates on helping your loved ones understand and come to terms with their own feelings. It suggests ways for establishing an environment that is most conducive for you to become well again.
MIND-BODY INTEGRATIVE APPROACH TO HEALING ARTICLE