“Hope is not the expectations that things will turn well, it is the belief that there is meaning no matter how things turn out.”
Hope is the second most fundamental element of The Foundations of Health and Healing. Without hope, we simply give up. With hope, the wonders of healing become possible. Psychoneuroimmunologists are just beginning to explore the remarkable influence that our mind, emotions and beliefs have on our immune system, our body and our illnesses.
Belief strongly influences our bodies. What we think, believe and feel directly influences our body, sometimes in quite remarkable ways. For example, while working in Africa, Dr. Hal Gunn, co-founder of InspireHealth, encountered two otherwise healthy patients who died within weeks after a witch doctor put a ‘curse of death’ on them. An autopsy was done in both cases but no cause for death was found. They had died because they believed so strongly that they would. They had simply lost all hope.
A healthy skepticism of expert opinion. The same thing may happen if we are told that our illness is ‘terminal’ and ‘untreatable’ and that we have just a few months to live. If we strongly believe in this pronouncement, we may simply give up hope and die, as expected, ‘on cue’. If, however, we retain a deep belief in our body’s amazing ability to heal and a healthy skepticism of ‘expert’ opinion, another possibility arises. Although remarkable recovery from incurable cancer is still not common, it begins with hope.
Increasingly, physicians are recognizing the impact their words can have on their patient’s health. Some people with a ‘terminal’ diagnosis survive for just a few months, while others, with the same diagnosis, survive for many years or may even fully recover from incurable cancer. Embracing this mystery embraces hope.
Stay tuned for the next installment in our Foundation of Health & Healing series: Spiritual Connection.
‘The Foundations of Health and Healing’
All aspects of supporting mind, body, spirit and immune system (e.g., exercise, nutrition, stress reduction, etc.) are interrelated and each contributes to the benefit provided by the others in a synergistic way. By engaging in the many ways we can support mind, body and spirit, we create solid foundations for health and recovery and optimize our body’s healing potential. An optimal integrative cancer care program incorporates all of these important foundations, built one upon the other, foundation upon foundation, as illustrated in the following diagram ‘The Foundations of Health & Healing’.