THE BANYAN TREE: VOLUME I : MOVE TOWARDS HOLISTIC HEALTH
( By Editor : Carol Huss )

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Volume I : Move Towards Holistic Health

THE DANGERS OF MEDICTION
People have become aware that modern drugs can be healing, but also powerfully dangerous. Antibiotics can be miracle drugs, and also produce bacteria resistant to any treatment. The chain reaction is costly and destructive. Each drug has a side effect which sometimes is greater than the benefits. The public awareness came from newspaper and magazine articles and consumer consciousness groups, which results in a growing distrust of medications in general. People become attracted to holistic medicine which gets at the basic causes of illness rather than on the use of hazardous drugs.

OVERSPECIALIZATION AND TECHNOLOGY
Change away from the family doctor who was able to treat the whole family and know each member personally to the heavy reliance on machines, tests and specialists is leaving people dissatisfied. The personal touch has gone, and compassion has been replaced by cold and unappealing medical technology. (See box on ‘Opportunity Costs of High-Tech Medical Diagnostic Equipment).








Opportunity Costs of High-Tech medical Diagnostic Equipment


The costs of most of the modern diagnostic equipments like Computed Axial Tomography (CAT) scanner or whole body scanner run into several millions of rupees. The total investment with all the establishment that goes with these high-tech machines such as the special buildings, shielding, and air conditioning is even greater.
When we go in for high-tech diagnostic equipment we never consider the opportunity costs, i.e. to what alternative uses the same money be put and what are the returns. A small exercise of comparing opportunity costs reveals startling results.
Let us consider a base of 10 million investment in a high-tech medical equipment such as CAT scanner and calculate the expected turnover per year.



































  Rupees
(in thousands)
Depreciation @ 10% 10,00
Interest on capital @ 15% 15,00
Maintenance @ 5% 5,00
Operating personnel 1,00
Running costs 3,00
Other overhead expenses 1,00
Total costs 35,00
Profits on investment @ 25% 25,00
Total turnover per year 60,00

Average charge per patient = Rs.1,500.
Number of patients to cover costs - 4,000 per year.


In order to consider the alternate uses of an annual expenditure of Rs.6 millions in other fields of health care we have examined the Performance Budget of the Govt. of Maharashtra, 1988-89.








Comparison Table
For an annual expenditure of Rs.6 million

























  *CAT Scan Primary Health Centre Rural Hospital
No. of patients diagnosed 4,000 25,000 40,000
No. of patients treated Nil* 20,000 40,000
       

* The CAT Scan is only for diagnostic purposes and has no therapeutic use.
Alternatively, an annual budget of Rs.6 million can provide :


Basic medicine requirement of -
77 Primary health Centres, including
462 Subcentres and
2310 health Guides covering 2.3 million population.


Source :



  1. Performance Budget, Dept. of Health & Family Welfare Govt. of Maharashtra, 1988-89.
  2. NGOs in Rural health Care, Vol. One: An Overview. Amar Jesani, Manisha Gupta and Ravi Duggal.; FRCH; 1986.

**
Source: Reprinted with permission. ‘Opportunity Costs of High-Tech Medical Diagnostic Equipment’, FRCH NewsletterVol. 2, No.5 (Bombay, Sept.-Dec.1988).


GROWING SOPHISTICATION OF THE PUBLIC
With the TV becoming so widespread in India, people are aware of health matters and their rights. They resent the high cost of medical care, and the often poor quality, and the inherent dangers e.g. medicines, surgery, etc. They are wanting a say in the type of treatment and want to be responsible involved in their own healing process. People want to exercise their right to question - not swallow whole whatever the doctor or medical personnel say., They want mutual respect in the healer/healee relationship.


NEW INTEREST IN THE POWER OF THE MIND
Enough verifiable data have appeared about the ability of the human mind to play a major role in overcoming illness to make the entire field enormously attractive to laymen. With each new book on the power of the human mind or its influence over the autonomic nervous system, the gap has widened between the public and the medical profession. While some doctors accept this knowledge and incorporate it in their healing methods, others are disdainful as sufficient scientific research has not been done to systematically scrutinise such phenomena. They feel that the entire field has been somewhat colored by guesswork and extraordinary claims. Doctors who use biofeedback have produced undeniable evidence that the mind can be trained to play an important role in prevention and curing disease. And so the pull goes on between the doctors and the public - as people press for greater emphasis on mind-body interactions.


People Are Not Healthy
Life expectancy has changed little since 1900 inspite of all the dramatic technological advances. Chronic sickness, cancer, respiratory disease and alcoholism plague many. Others feel emotionally unbalanced and dissatisfied with life. Add to this the high rate of suicide, mental illness and other serious social problems and you will see why people turn to a possible way to live long and healthy lives.


WHAT IS HOLISTIC HEALTH?
Health is that condition of the individual that makes possible the highest enjoyment of life, the most constructive work, and that shows itself in the best service to the modern world. Ivan Illich (1976) says, "Health levels will be at their optimum when the environment brings out autonomous, personal, responsible, coping behaviour."
Holistic Health is a direction towards integration of mind, body, and spirit including consciousness raising by exploring our inner space. It emphasizes health education and self responsibility. In the process of healing all modalities may be used - surgery, medicine, chemotherapy, radiation, nutrition, rehabilitation, hypnosis, acupuncture, parapsychology and religion.
There are many factors outside the province of medicine that play significant roles in undermining our quality of life - poverty, unemployment, malnutrition, morality, crime, divorce, human unhappiness, stress: especially stress, for that causes a multitude of pathological conditions. Holistic Health is more ecological in orientation than allopathic medicine. It acknowledges the infinite resources available to the individual. It insists on dangers from self-destructive life-styles to prevent occurrence of severe disorders as well as decrease in our dependency upon more sophisticated bio-medical technology.


THE ENDOCRINE ORCHESTRA


Let us look at the subtle and crucial role of the endocrine system. Along with closely allied automatic (involuntary) nervous system, the endocrine takes information from the brain integrated with subtle signals from Nature’s clock and carries these to the body cells to produce the rhythmic music of life.
We can picture this orchestra as follows: First we must have a composer. The composer is the midportion of the brain, known as the hypothalamus. Its job is to contact its surroundings and pick up the appropriate tune. It passes this on to the conductor of the orchestra, the pituitary gland. Our body cells, by aid of hormones, are the instruments.
The word ‘hormone’ comes from the same root as the word harmony. Harmony in human beings is very dependent on the harmonious function of hormones, which depend very much on a mind at peace. Hormones operate through the mediation of our brain. We know that the brain functions both consciously and subconciously. The conscious functions are under the direct control of the cerebral cortex, and the subconscious functions control the various organs of our body. These are thought to be mediated through the hypothalamus and nearby basal ganglia.
Under ordinary conditions we do not have control of our subconscious activities, but through training and strict discipline these can be partly brought under voluntary control. Acts that we frequently repeat - such as many of the maneuvers associated with driving a car - are gradually shifted into the realm of subconscious response.
There is so much interest nowadays in the endocrine glands and their connection to the seven main chakras, or spiritual energy centres in our bodies. So whether we approach this orchestra spiritually - and open the chakras (and endorcrine glands) through meditation and contemplation, or physically through knowledge about the endocrine gland system and then by training and discipline, bring them under our control, the effect is the same: balance, harmony, health.
Hormones are chemical messengers which act in one of three ways -



  • - they can alter the rate of synthesis of enzymes, and other proteins;
  • - can influence the catalytic function of enzymes; or
  • - can affect the permeability of cell membranes.

New discoveries show that the brain’s message to the several hormone-producing glands and the circulatory system affect the immune system. In turn activity of the immune system influences the brain. And the sheer power of the brain on the body is amazing. Scientists have confirmed that a witch doctor can cause death by convincing the victim that they are going to die. Many studies have shown that some patients will stop feeling pain after a doctor has administered as inert drug called a placebo provided the patients believe they have received very powerful pain killers.
The endocrine orchestra and its role in defending the body is dependent on a functioning thymus, which relies on impulses from the hypothalamus in order to initiate immune-system activity. Thymus gland activity governs endocrine function responsible for the maturation of T cells, which are of great importance in general surveillance and in antibody production. Since 1950, work has been reported showing that the brain, particularly the structures involved in emotion (the hypothalamus and the pictuitary gland), could be artificially stimulated to increase or decrease the activity of the immune system. All this points to the great importance of positive thought and emotions on health. When we learn that "love is rhythm and hate is discord; generosity is rhythm. While selfishness is discord; trust is rhythm jealousy is discord; hope is rhythm, despair is discord; faith is rhythm, fear is discord; honesty is rhythm, deceit is discord. Thus, as long as a person’s mental states are held in tune with the rhythm of the universe, their well-being is assured. When discord is allowed in the thought life, that well-being is lost".
So we see the crucial role played by the endocrine orchestra to influence every cell of our body and to produce the rhythmic music of life. We must be the Director of this orchestra and maintain a score to be played of positive thoughts, words, and actions. Then only can our music bring healing to us, others, and our world.


HARMONY AND BALANCE IN MEDICINE


The rise of allopathic medicine with its scientific approach became the dominant paradigm in the 20th century particularly in the Western World. It viewed the world as a sort of giant mechanical machine governed by strictly rigid laws of nature. This left out the spirit both in man and in nature. Such a concept led to various assumption such as :



  1. Disease was conceptualized as an outside organic entry that invaded the body and attacked a particular part.
  2. The appropriate treatment for an illness is a bio-chemical agent that will counterattack the casual agent and neutralize it. So the physician’s role was seen mainly as selecting a pharmaceutical or surgical intervention aiming it at the afflicted part.
  3. Since bodies are considered to be essentially the same (like machines) personal consciouness was not considered to be a significant variable. So the same intervention was applied to different patients as long as the organic symptoms were the same.
  4. Knowledge regarding treatment is complex and known only to the specialist and therefore the patient is seen as a passive recipient of the intervention, preferably without interference or resistance, since the doctor knows best.

This model of medicine arbitrarily excludes consideration of emotions, consciousness and psychosocial variables and focuses more on specific areas such as the biochemistry of infectious diseases. It neglects, for the most part, the interrelationship between mind and body, psychological and biochemical aspects of the disease and leads to a purely onesided effort.
so long as the biomedical field continues to emulate the Newtonian model, the above mentioned assumptions will continue to be perpetuated. However, many discerning persons and some professionals have begun to question these assumptions and as a result of their disillusionment with the way health services were being handed out, the concept of Holistic Medicine developed.
Individual doctors, scientists and lay people were responsible for initiating the holistic movement, each in their own way. Today the bolistic approach is gradually gaining increasing attention from professionals and consumers like, but still the biomedical model continues to dominates especially among the urban educated.
The theme central to the holistic approach is individual responsibility for one’s health. Only when a person takes responsibility for their health can they be truly healed. Each person is unique, no treatment, dose, or rigid regime is suitable for all. The person is such a wonderful harmony of spirit, body, mind and emotions, that they must be treated as such and not regimented into textbook cures. The whole area of beliefs, attitudes, and values effect health and must be a part of the cure. And the persons interaction with others, family, work, world must be dealt with.
The concept of holistic approach to health is not a new one. In fact it is as old as medicine itself. Great medical teachers have always impressed upon their students the need to make a careful assessment of everything that may interact in the cause and course of a disease. Hippocrates, the first major historical name in Western medicine was both a theoretician and a practitioner. He tried to close existing gaps between the understanding of disease and its treatment. He was quite essentially holistic when the insisted that it is natural for the human body to heal itself, and that this process can generally take place even without the intervention of a doctor.
The holistic principle has been restated many times as a basic guideline for sound medical practice. A half-century ago, Arturo Castiglioni, in his History of Medicine, wrote that the "physician above all should keep in mind the welfare of the patient, his constantly changing state, not only in the visible signs of his illness, but also in his state of mind, which must necessarily be an important factor in the success of the treatment. "One would be blind not to recognize that before and after the advent of modern scientific medicine there were great and able healers of the sick who were not men of science but who had the ability to reassure the patient and thus favourably to influence the course of illness. It is also obvious that there have been excellent scientists who were very mediocre practitioners. Thus history teaches that any division of the science and art of medicine is necessarily harmful to practice. If holistic concepts are not new, how are we to account for the extraordinary popular interest and their development into a world view movement?
Holistic Medicine merely reconnects to roots and goes forward with each person taking responsibility for their own health and also that of the environment in which they live. It doesn’t leave out any system which is helpful, it educates and tries out what is the best and most appropriate choice of healing and uses it. It says that a man cannot be healthy until he is in balance and harmony within himself, his neighbout, his environment, and his God.


THROUGH ILLNESS TO SELF-REALIZATION


there is nothing wrong with illness - often we need to break down in order to break through to a high level of wellness. Even at the ordinary level there are always benefits of illness. In a culture where feelings are given little importance and emotional needs vital to a person’s well-being are frequently ignored, disease can fulfill an important purpose: It can provide a way to meet the needs that a person has not found conscious ways of meeting. If you ask patients what is the benefit of their illness they will tell you, I get more love and attention, time away from work, reduced responsibility, lessened demands, and so on. This may provide temporary respite, but it can also be a trap - you may want to stay sick to get the benefits : The whole point is to recognize the illness as a problem in your life and to solve it. It is not enough to cure the symptom, you must get at the cause of the disease. Often we are so blind and deaf to our bodies, that we need a serious illness to bring us to consciousness. Often the first steps is to legitimize emotional needs. Once you have done this, you can work out other ways of meeting them than by illness. Wholeness is pressent in essence in the seed of the individual, but it becomes an actuality only gradually as the process unfolds. New depth psychology points out that man is not hollow or empty, there is ineed a living seed in man, a seed of growth, a seed of creativity, yes, a seed of divinity. We need to help that seed mature into the fullest measure of its potential. We need to help that seed mature into the fullest measure of its potential. We need to strengthen out capacity of inward contact to achieve personal growth. Instead of looking at illness as pathology, we look at it as a push from the unconscious to reach to the potential by finding the meaning of the illness. We teach people how to evoke from the depths of the payche, the energy latent in the seed potentiality. Holistic medicine aims at bringing forth an emergent quality in persons, an integral awareness of being, out of the mire of tension and illness. It goes beyond removing symptoms, and its primary goal is not therapy as such, but development of the personality as a whole. This helps the person become what it is his nature to be to achieve self realization. The psyche in a human being carries the unfolding purposes of his life, but in a form that is difficult to trace. It speaks to us in images and we must learn the meaning before we can get the messages. So we need to know how to work with dreams, images, artwork and day-dreams, and discover the meanings of personal and universal images. Fairy tales, myths, and metaphors are useful in this.
We need to touch our spiritual depths, the sacred. The quality of the sacred will then become a part of our existance as an endless truth ever unfolding in our lives. We will become at home on the dimension of the spirit. And it dosn’t say at the level of one person’s growth. As a person develops their capacity to enter the depths of life through his psyche, it will radiate outward to influence others. And when a sufficient number of persons improve the quality of personal being, it will be felt as a presence in the community. And gradually we can redirect the destructive course of history through transforming the people by disciplined involvement in their development. Simonton’s find five major areas in which people most frequently benefit from their illnesses:



  1. Receiving permission to get out of dealing with a troublesome problem or situation.
  2. Getting attention, care, nurturing from people around them.
  3. Having an opportunity to regroup their psychological energy to deal with a problem or to gain a new perspective.
  4. Gaining an incentive for personal growth or for modifying undesirable habits.
  5. Not having to meet their own or others’ high expectations.

By using the lessons of illness as a starting point, we can educate ourselves to recognize our needs and take the opportunity to satisfy them. This is the creative use of illness to move to self realization, learning and using holistic responses. See Table 1 for a listing of therapies helpful in working through illness to self realization


THE MIND AS HEALER


All healing is in the right brain, when we learn the meaning of symbols and imagery, we can train the mind to strengthen the immune system and cure illness. This is called neuroimmunomodulation (NIM). Before exploring this further we will first speak of the concept of divided consciousness.
For some time it has been known that the brain is divided into two sides, left and right. It is also known that if damage is done to the left side of the brain, the right side of the body tends to become paralysed. In other words, each side of your brain controls the opposite side of your body. See Figure 1 for the listing of left and right brain.


Table 1


Therapies Helpful in Working Through Illness to Self Realization



































































Dimension I
Body
Dimension II
Mind and Emotions
Dimension III
Spirit
Massage Counselling Centering
Touch For Health Psychotherapy Intensive Journal Workshops
Kinesiology Biogenics/ Keeping a Spiritual
Arica Yoga Nidra Journal
Five Elements Growth Groups Spiritual Direction
Biofeedback Psychosynthesis Meditation
Biogenics Human life styling prayer: Contemplative
Bioenergetics Senoi Dreamwork Finding the meaning of life
Acupuncture/ Neurolinguistic Programming Enhancing Faith & Hope
Acupressure Hypnosis Healing of Memories
Polarity Therapy   Nonviolence Training
Magneto-therapy   Forgiveness & letting go
    Laying on of hands
Nutrition:    
Health foods, organic gardening

Sauna (Steam Bath)


hot tub baths


Therapeutic Optometry


eye exercises


Home Remedies


Foot Reflexology


Realignment Therapy


Fasting/Nature Cure


Aerobic dancing/


Exercise


Hydrotherapy


Yoga/Acu-Yoga

Stress management

Assertiveness training


Script Analysis


Guided Imagery


healing Life’s Hurts


Music Therapy


Biofeedback


Whole Brain Training


Art Therapy


Belief/Value/Attitude Change


Positive Programming

Tai Chi: Meditative/

Centering kind of dance


Physical fitness programmes, as a means of total experience; enhancing awareness, and raising consciousness.


Relaxation and Guided Imagery; the use of fantasy in healing


Retreats


Finding the meaning of dreams:


God Speaking to us


Support Groups: Death and Dying


Yoga


Pain/Suffering


Creation spiritually


Transformation


The research of Professor Robert Ornstein of the University of California has thrown more light on the different Activities handled by each side of the brain.
Starting with the realization that the two halves of the brain are biologically similar and can more realistically be thought of as two identical brains working in harmony, rather than as one brain divided into two, Professor Ornstein decided to find out if each of our separate brains handles different intellectual activites in addition to the different physical activites. Placing special caps for measuring brain waves on some of his students, he asked them to do different kinds of mental tasks. They were asked to add lists of numbers, write formal letters and essays, arrange strange coloured blocks, analyze logically and think "daydreamy" thoughts. All the time these activities were being performed, Professor Ornstein was measuring the brain waves coming from the two halves of each person’s brain. His findings were both surprising and significant. In general, the left brain handles the following mental activities: Mathematics, language, logic, analysis, writing and other similar activities. The right side of the brain handles very different activities, imagination colour, music, rhythm, daydreaming, and other similar activities. Ornstein also found that people who had been trained to use one side of their brain more or less exclusively were relatively unable to use the other side, both in general and those special situations where the activities specifically related to the other side were particularly needed. Even more significant, Ornstein found that when the "weaker" of the two brains was stimulated and encouraged to work in cooperation with the stronger side, the end result was a great increase in overall ability and effectiveness. Ornstein among others, suggests that different types of thought takes place predominantly in each hemisphere. The left hemisphere is more animated when the brain is engaged in rational, logical, digital thought. The right hemisphere is more active when the person is thinking in metaphorical, pictorial, musical, poetic, symbolic or analogic Terms. In various life tasks, one or the other mode of thought and hemisphere predominates.
Psychologist and hypnosis researcher, Ernest Hilgard, has clinically demonstrated that we have two types of consciousness. he worked with several patients who, while under hypnosis, were not knowingly aware of various sensations (e.g. pain or loud noise). However, these same individuals via unconscious mechanisms such as automatic writing or raising a finger could nonetheless communicate that some other part of them did perceive this pain or noise. Hilgard concludes that each peson has two or more separate distinct consciousness. he thus theorizes that techniques such as hypnosis, and probably also meditation and deep relaxation shift a person from ordinary consciouness to subtler levels which are typically outside of awareness.
When a person enters the relaxed, receptive inward-oriented state, he moves to a less dominant type of perception, which brings him into contact with different realities, including what Hillgard calls the unconscious observer. When he practices relaxation, meditation, autogenics and imagery, he is training himself to utilize the type of awareness embodied in the right brain. While in this state he can obtain information from himself that is not available to every day consciounsess, and he can send messages, suggestions and commands to his unconscious and his body. The unconscious speaks in a language that is comprehensible only to the right brain. It communicates through the symbolism of dreams, intuitions and metaphoric images, not in logical sentences. To tune into these messages, we must first bring ourselves into that mode of perception.


IMAGERY, IMAGINATION, AND MENTAL IMAGERY
Imagination is by far the most neglected and underdeveloped of the normal abilities of the human mind. The ability of mind to create and re-create mental pictures of things and events not presnet (which we call imagination and the professionals call imagery), is little understood as a mind resource.
Yet imagination is the forgotten and rusting key to many treasures of the mind. Imagination is the marvellous uniquely human ability to mind to create and re-create life’s experiences and life’s thoughts and hopes and dreams in infinite variations both pragmatic and chimeric. Imagination can recreate the past with the highest fidelity. It can transmute it to fit the whims of emotion. It can project its fabrications into any future it chooses. Images are used to solve problems or to gain relief from mind pressures by fantasy, or just to amuse oneself. Images, moreover, don’t merely guide behaviour, they exert a very real action on the physiology of the body. Any kind of mental image - visual, auditory, tactile, muscular, emotional or intellectual - all determine the physiologic activity of both body and brain.




























































































































































































Table 2


Imagery and Psychotherapy

School/Technique Author / Date Notes/Conditions of Application
Autogenics Schultz & Luthe (1959) physical disorders; general tool of spychotherapy to promote free association
Auto Hypnosis Vogt (Jordan 1979) Frank (1910) recuperative influence and enhanced general efficiency deep relaxation and hypnogogic.
Behavioral Anderson (1980) review theoretical and applications
Cognitive Restructuring Meichenbaum (1977, 1978) cognitive process to change behaviour, stress innoculation, coping strategies.
Conditioned Reflex Therapy Salter (1949) behavioural treatment phobias
Convert Conditioning Techniques Cautela (1977) operant and social learning procedures
Death Imagery Achterberg & Lawlis (1981)

Sheikh (1979)

imagery in dying patients accepting death
Dialogue Method Kretschmer (1969) mediAtive techniques in pssychotherapy

"

Happich (1932) therapeutic approach using predetermined scnes

"

Binet (1922) to reveal unconscious subpersonalities; "provoked introspection"

"

Caslaut (1921) psychic development; extrasensory experience
Directed Revenue A. Freud (Compton 1974) free and directed imagery with children

"

Silberer (Kosbab 1974) symbolic nature of images
Directed Reverie Guillery (1945) directed reverie and neuromuscular change

"

Clark (1925) access to childhood memories, narcissistic neurosis
Eidetic Psychotherapy Ahsen (1965) image, somatic pattern, and meaning (ISM)
Emergent Uncovering Reyher (1977) free association of images

"

Horowitz (1968, 1970, 1978) imagery in cognitive psychology
Emotive-Reconstructive Therapy Morrison (180) elicitation and integration of feelings
Focusing Gendlin (1978) recognition of feelings, eneral psychology and physical problems.
Gestalt (humanistic/ transpersonal) Perls (1979) fantasy and psychodrama
Group Psychotheapy Saretsky (1977) imagery methods with group
Guided Affective Imagery Leuner (1977, 1978) systematic guided imagery
Guided Imaging Wolpin (1969) behavioral treatment; Avoidance behaviour
Imagery/Diagnosis Yanovski & Fogel (1978) visual imagery projection of Rorschach
Imagery/Hypnosis Sheehan (1979) literature review
Imagery substitution Janet (1968) extinction of fear response
" Stampfl & Lewis (1967)

"

Inner Advisor Technique jafffee & Bresler (1980) use of "inner Advisor" for diagnosis, therapy
Intensive Journal Progoff (1963, 1970) inner dialogue for self awareness,. change
Oneirodrama Fretigny & Virel (1968) directed day dreams
  Desoille (1965) "
Psychoanalytic Freud (singer & Pope, 1978) physical disorders and general tool of psychotheapy to promote free Association

"

Junbg (1960) "active imagination" in psychotheapy

"

kanzer (1958) images used for uncovering purposes and to follow motivation state

"

Goldberger (1957) images used in clarifying relationships between somatic sensations and life events.

"

Kepecs (1954) images as way of overcoming blocks in free association

"

Jellinek (1949) imagery as a way of approaching unconscious "on its own terms".

Psycho-Imagination Therapy

Schorr (1972), 1978) existential and phenomenological approach

Psycho-Synthesis

Assagioli (1965) eclectic and humanistic symbolic emphasis

Rational Emotive Therapy

Ellis (1981) work through irrational fears

"

Lazarus, Abramovitz (1962) beahvioral treatment with children’s phobias

Reconditioning

Williams (1923) behavioural treatment

Systmatic Desensitization

Wolpe (1958, 1969) behavioral disorders, phobias; counterconditioning
Source: Jeanne Achterberg IMAGERY in HEALING. (BOSTON : New Science Library, Shambala, 1985) pp.152-3.

Imagination is recalling from memory, bits of information obtained from all kinds of experience, then shaping them into some kind of meaningful train of thought or reverie. There are as many ways to imagine things as there are ways to perceive things. So little is known about imagination and how it is accomplished in the brain and where it comes from, that the general public is by and large totally unaware thta there are great variations of imaginative processes.
Imagination - the making of mental images - is nearly always assumed to be a process of conjuring up visual imags. "Picture that in your mind’s eye", or "Can’t you just visualize him doing that?" are phrases we learn in childhood. Our early learning is saturated with the teacher’s urging us to "Close your eyes, now, do you have a good picture of that? " A large part of intelligence testing is based on the assumption that everyone can visualize, that they can imagine by using visual images. yet the real fact that perhaps only 25% of human beings are capable of making reasonable good visual images must be faced.
For many people mental images are not visual, but are dominated by memories of sounds, or of touch, body feelings, muscale activity, emotion, or even abstract concepts. Relatively few people have "pure" images, confined to one sense or one emotion. People who have intense, real-as-life, vivid visual image are relatively rate, perhaps less than 10% of the population, just as few possess the ability to make intense vivid auditory images. Most of us create and recreate images that reflect the way we see, hear, or feel and think about experience, with sensations of "seeing" or "hearing" mixed in with sensations of feeling and emotion.
Two remarkable effects of imagery, scientifically validated but woefully underexploited for their powerful effects on human minds and bodies are (I) that the more specific the image, the more specific the effect, i.e. the image excites exactly those physical mechanisms of the body to produce reaction to the image; and (2) the effect of the mental image is to cause an expenditure of physical energy. See Table 2 for reference of research on imagery and healing.
Imagination makes the body work. Imagine lifting a heavy weight, you feel the muscles tense. The body is working, it is expanding real physical energy. Mental images direct and activate the nerves to make the body work and work in exactly the way the imagination dictates.
As a mode of treatment, imagery has definite advantages. It has no negtaive side effects that may endanger or injure the ill person, nor can it conflict with or jeopardize other therapies. Therefore, as increasing number of physicians and health teams are experimenting with these exercises, adding them to the treatment process. We have written about our work with cancer patients using Guided Imagery, relaxation, Yoga, etc. in 1980 at a Cancer Research Unit in Pune. It is reported in two issues of Health for the Millions.
These articles talk of how biofeedback can be learned without the use of machines. Biofeedback is an exercise in relaxation which develops self-awareness and control of the autonomic nervous system. Just as mental exercises can produce a balanced state of relaxation and biofeedback can help you control specific automatic responses, so can mental images affect the speed and effectiveness of healing. Once you learn the proper language and style of communications, you have the potential to assist your physician by exercising considerable control over internal healing functions.
Negative Imaging : People in general are more expert in producing negative images. It is like wearing filtered opinion glasses, we block out awareness of facts, so life appears true to pre-set opinions. These negative images come from opinions and beliefs we formed mainly in early life and which are working against us. Healing means we have to choose the ones we want to keep and let the others go. Once you form an opinion, it acts like a magnet for all associated events. circumstances and people. To change those opinions, is not easy - but it is possible, and once the new interpretation is established as a habit, we experience joy and peace. Emotions are generated by ideas and images in your mind, so it is very necessary to change all negative thinking and imaging to positive.


PERSONALITY TRAITS
Personality Traits: Psychologists Moos and Solomon have studied the personality traits of persons suffering from auto-immune disease. They are :



  1. self-sacrificing: allow themselves to be imposed upon
  2. unable to express anger (repress feelings), restricted in their expression of emotion.
  3. masochistic, sometimes to an extreme
  4. quiet, introverted, reliable, conscientious (inhibited and unassertive behaviour).
  5. conforming
  6. sensitive to criticism
  7. over-active and busy
  8. stubborn, rigid, and controlling
  9. unable to cope with stress
  10. alexithymia: inability to verbalize emotions.

However in later studies they qualified their earlier statement that there is a distinct personality pattern by saying there is rather an "immunosuppression-prone" pattern. The above moods and attitudes to reverberate, throughout the body and cause illness however.
Another theory put forward says that disease is caused by a poor neuronal link between the two halves of the brain. The right emotional side of the brain cannot find expression through the verbal left side of the brain because of poor communication of emotional information across the two sides of the brain. As a substitute for expressing emotions verbally, a peson might do so physically, through illness.
It is also possible that the disease precedes the personality traits. Achterberg-Lawlis (1985) points to one comparison study of newly diagnosed arthritis patients, patients with other chronic diseases, and patients who had been suffering from rheumatoid arthritis for a long time. The only groups that resembled each other in personality were the newly diagnosed arthritis and thos

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