Awakening the Healer Within
by Deepak Chopra
In my experience as a physician, over several decades, I have come to realize that a person's internal state of well-being really influences the outcome of illness. If you are feeling safe, loved, and the people around you are supportive, then your body is more likely to self-regulate. Self-regulation is an important part of the healing process. We all have a healing response built into our biology. This healing response is the restoration of homeostasis.
Homeostasis is a state of dynamic, non-change in the midst of change. This means that in a healthier person, thousands of biological parameters remain within a certain range no matter what is happening in the environment. These biological parameters include everything from blood sugar levels to hormone levels to body temperature regulation to regulation of the immune system. It is now known that stress disrupts homeostasis and the experience of centered awareness and the giving and receiving of love restore homeostasis.
As I have indicated, disruption of homeostasis is the beginning of disease and the restoration of homeostasis is the healing response. Therefore, no matter what illness you are facing, the most important thing you can do is to move from a place of fear to a place of love and safety. In breast cancer in particular there is research to show that women in support groups have a much healthier outcome then women who feel lonely and afraid.
Today, the precise biological pathways through which love heals are even being mapped out by scientists. In particular, an internal state of euphoria induced by the experience of love causes the secretion of neurochemicals such as dopamine, serotonin, opiates, oxytocin, and vasopressin. These chemicals are not only antidepressants; they also modulate the activity of the immune system and are referred to as immuno-regulators.
Therefore, have confidence in your own healing power, awaken the healer within you, and surround yourself with loving and caring people and have a one-pointed intention that you will heal yourself. The mechanism through which intention orchestrates biological response is a mysterious phenomenon. But there is no doubt that intention influences our biology.
Through meditation, for example, one can learn to lower heart rate and blood pressure and eliminate the stress response. When intention is introduced before meditation it works in a precise manner by evoking very specific biological phenomena. According to wisdom traditions, intention has infinite organizing power.
This means that intention can orchestrate an infinity of space-time events in order to fulfill the intended outcome. In fact, a frequently-used term in the field of biology is teleology. Teleology was an old-fashioned term which is now being used frequently to explain certain mechanisms in evolution. Many scientists feel that intended outcomes influence their own biological mechanisms even in evolution (in other words, evolution is purpose-driven.) In any case, do not underestimate the power of intention. Think of it as electricity or electromagnetism and learn to harness it.