In recent years there have been exciting and positive advancements in the field of psychosomatic medicine. Firstly it’s important to identify what we mean by psychosomatic as this is a word that in the past had negative connotations.
In essence the word Psychosomatic is made of two Greek words, Psyche (mind) and Soma (body).
When I use the term psychosomatic medicine I am not referring to the notion that an illness or disease is all in the mind or a form of hypochondria.
Psychosomatic medicine refers to the branch of medicine that is concerned with the relationship between psychological, social and behavioral factors on the function of the body.
That said the way I look at a chronic illness like cancer is that some part of it is in the mind but not in the way that we view the illness as imaginary. Those non physical aspects of our being i.e. perception, emotions and beliefs for example reside in the mind.
Any change to those aspects need be made within the mind and therefore it is the mind holds the key to resolving the illness if you like – to heal it.
What I am trying to convey is that your illness is not in your mind, it is very real, however, your illness may have originated in your mind.
Science has now proved that what takes place in the mind also has an effect within the body. With the advent of modern brain imaging techniques such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Computerised (axial) Tomography Scan (CT or CAT) comes the ability to disentangle the mechanisms of the brain.
The effects of thought processes can be seen to have a physiological effect on the body. Illness shows up in the body as a physical symptom and my view of this is that the body is trying to tell us or alert us to something that the mind cannot.
And that is where immunotherapeutic hypnotherapy can really hold its’ own. By exploring the possibility that psychological factors play a part in originating or aggravating a disease hypnotherapy can mobilize the power of the mind, in other words the patient’s belief system, towards healing and a better state of health.
If a person’s mind can originate or aggravate a physical condition then that very same part of the mind can contribute to their health. Just as an individual can become psychosomatically ill there is the possibility that they can become psychosomatically well again.