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The Complete Handbook of QUANTUM HEALING
An A-Z Self-Healing Guide for Over 100 Common Ailments
By Deanna M. Minich
Red Wheel/Weiser, LLCCopyright © 2011 Deanna M. Minich, Ph.D.
All rights reserved.
What Is Quantum Healing?
The very moment we make the choice to heal, the process is set in motion. At that point, we have many healing paths to choose from. Because of the complexity of who we are as people, sometimes it takes more than just one modality to engage the healing process. If we are trying to get to the heart of a particular issue in our lives, like combating stress or boosting our immunity, we can go at it by opening a variety of different doors—maybe by increasing physical exercise, journaling consistently, and repeating powerful affirmations daily. Or maybe just one way will work. The bottom line is that we have a multitude of options when it comes to healing, whether we're dealing with warts or arthritis, diabetes or cancer. At this point, we come to quantum healing.
Quantum is a word packed with meaning, particularly within physics: as a noun, it's the "smallest quantity of radiant energy," and as an adjective, it refers to a "sudden and significant" change. Quantum healing is about making small changes that produce large, radiant results. Those results may be subtle or huge, but they both give us a significant push in the direction of healing.
Quantum healing can start with something as minute as a thought, an act, a memory, an image. This seemingly small event creates a huge internal ripple effect. Take a positive thought—"I am loved." Thinking this thought can instantly change our brain chemistry. It could likely lead to changes in the flux of electrolytes (potassium, sodium) at the site of a nerve cell, stimulating the flow of serotonin (a neurotransmitter that has mood-altering effects) between nerve cells. The subsequent release of serotonin in the brain may be amplified throughout the body by triggering a network of reactions. The thought set in motion a ripple of physiological responses.
Current science tells us that the body doesn't quite work like a biochemistry flow chart, going from A to B to C in a structured, linear fashion. Rather, the human body is an organic web that interconnects all organs and systems, so that with the flip of a serotonin switch, we see changes in other systems: heart (our heart relaxes), lungs (we breathe less shallowly), gut (we are able to digest food better), and immune system (our white blood cells respond).
When an electrical response is triggered in a part of the body, such as in the brain, the heart, or the gut, tiny cells move into action, usually starting with a change in the shape of the proteins in the cell membrane (which surrounds the cell like a wall, letting substances in and out). This change subsequently leads to proteins within the cell signaling a relay race of communication, and the message travels from protein to protein. Finally, the message makes it to the finish line, into the heart of the cell—the nucleus. The energy of this signal ultimately leads to proteins, which sit on the DNA bench, generating more proteins that will eventually be sent out of the cell and into the body at large.
Depending on the messages we feed our cells, those proteins are going to make us into glowing, radiant beings or inflamed, stressed individuals. At the end of the day, we will either have health or disease, depending on the cumulative balance of the actions taken. This internal flow of events is transformative. To think that every single thing you do is shifting you at the cellular level in the direction of your wellness or disability is utterly astounding! It speaks to the profound quote by nutrition pioneer, Adelle Davis, "As I see it, every day you do one of two things: build health or produce disease in yourself."
Of course, most of us are plenty familiar with our physical bodies, and any biochemical or physiological explanations, like the inner cascade described above, can be rather easy to digest intellectually. However, we are so much more than our physical bodies. We are composed of a rainbow variety of layers, some which are not even visible to the human eye. And here is another aspect of healing that involves thinking along quantum lines.
The Body-Mind-Spirit Revolution
In the past three decades or so, people have been speaking and writing about the body-mind or body-mind-spirit, implying that (1) we are more than our bodies, and (2) the body, mind, and spirit of a person are unified. There are different schools of thought on this distinction between the layers of our being, but what they all agree on is that there is more than one layer. We are multidimensional beings that have built into us varying degrees of activity. It is almost as though we are a continuum of vibration. We are woven together with different frequencies that give us our collective energy field. When we affect the mind (a part of us that moves quickly), we change the emotions (which also move quickly, but perhaps not as fluidly as mental activity; in fact, some emotions can be quite "sticky" and hang around for extended periods), and we alter the body (probably the slowest in its ability to change).
The systems that will be discussed in this book address the onion like nature of our being, tapping into the body, mind, emotions, and spirit. Therefore, if they are practiced regularly, they are potent medicines for transforming your life and shifting your awareness.
These different ways to penetrate the heart of a disease—whether you are using colors, gems, or visualization—may not seem as foreign as they did decades ago. A survey indicates that almost 17 percent of American adults use body-mind therapies like deep breathing exercises, guided imagery, and yoga. These are most commonly used for anxiety, depression, and pain, and they are often used in conjunction with conventional medical care. Research has indicated that a majority of people (68 to 90 percent) perceive that body-mind therapies are helpful for specific conditions.
Some phenomenal results have arisen from these therapies. In a study by Annette L. Fitzpatrick and her colleagues at the University of Washington Department of Epidemiology, adults with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) who used any body-mind therapy, whether psychological (support groups, individual therapy) or spiritual (prayer, meditation, affirmations, visualization), lived significantly longer (about 50 percent longer) than those who did not use these healing arts. In conjunction with prolonging life, body-mind therapies can improve the quality of life, as shown by a number of studies. People with mood disorders who followed an eight-week, audiotaped spirituality home-study program or participated in a mindfulness meditation-based stress-reduction group had improved mood (based on a mood questionnaire given at the beginning and end of study) compared with a control group given no intervention. (There was a 49 percent improvement in the mood score for the spirituality group, a 22 percent improvement for the meditation group, and a 16 percent improvement for the control group). In another study, individuals with severe psychological trauma, such as teenagers in Kosovo with high scores for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), reduced their symptoms of PTSD by 20 percent after engaging in a twelve-week mind-body program encompassing techniques such as meditation, guided imagery, breathing, and self-expression through words, drawings, and movement. In contrast, the control group only experienced a 4 percent reduction in PTSD scores.
Body-mind techniques can also positively affect our physiology in measurable ways. They can lower blood pressure, reduce stress hormones, calm the immune system, and even improve blood sugar levels. Putting attention into deep breathing can cause the body to relax. Guided imagery can provide a visual template for the body to follow: if we imagine our immune system being strong, the body's defenses will respond.
Some studies show the synergy of body-mind techniques when they are used together. As an example, diabetics were followed up a month after participating in an eight-week mindfulness-based stress-reduction program that included such simple techniques as mental body scans, breathing awareness, and mindful walking and eating, but no changes to diet or exercise. Surprisingly, the participants had a beneficial drop in the important diabetic measure of long-term glucose control, glycosylated hemoglobin (also known as hemoglobin A1C). The levels averaged 7.50 at the start and 7.02 at the one-month follow-up. Participants' average arterial pressure was also reduced by six points. And if the physiological changes weren't enough, psychological measures (depression, anxiety, and general psychological distress) were also reduced by 35 to 43 percent. These results indicate how closely intertwined the body and mind are. (To see a change in the body, make a change in the mind, and vice versa!)
In another study, people with breast or prostate cancer who followed an eight-week mind-body program consisting of relaxation, meditation, and yoga reduced their levels of the stress hormone (cortisol) and reduced blood pressure, along with experiencing less inflammatory immune system activity during their continued follow-up over six and twelve months.
It is not truly understood how these mind-body therapies work so effectively. But we do know that in response to mind-body therapies like guided imagery, prayer, breathing exercises, and yoga, the body becomes open to a ripple effect of relaxation: oxygen and carbon dioxide consumption plummet, along with blood pressure, heart, and respiration rates; additionally, there are activity changes in certain areas of the brain.
Aside from these large-scale physiological changes in the body with body-mind therapies, we may also be able to impact how our genes express themselves. A fascinating study, published in 2008 by Harvard Medical School researchers, showed that 2,209 genes in people who were used to doing mind-body techniques expressed differently when compared with the same genes of people who had never practiced any of these modalities. However, when the novices were trained to do a twenty-minute mind-body technique, consisting of deep breathing, meditation, body scans, mantras, and ignoring certain thoughts, at home for eight weeks, they were able to shift 1,561 genes in a more health-promoting direction (especially with respect to how the cells deal with stress responses and inflammation).
It's rather amazing to think that we can control our genes by aligning our bodies, emotions, and minds to all work in harmony, but it's true! The more "plastic and pliable" we can remain—in our thinking, actions, body, and spirit—the more successfully we will age and achieve not only health, but optimal wellness! Have no doubt about it. Quantum healing is real. And, through this book, it's in your hands.
The Seven Spokes of the Wheel of Quantum Healing
The physical parts of us are obvious because we can see them, or at least we can imagine what they look like because of anatomical sketches in textbooks. There are, however, other parts of us that are not as visible; their vibration is finer and more subtle than the dense vibration and slow frequency of the human body. We refer to this interwoven, subtle frequency as the human energy system. Like the circulatory system, which encompasses the action of blood running through our arteries and veins, the anatomy of the energy system is interlaced throughout the body. Ancient medical practices from India and China have depicted the energy system as a circuitry of energy threads throughout every part of the body.
In designated sections of the body, typically lined up along the spinal column and permeating through to the front of the body, there reside various energy centers. In Sanskrit, these energy centers are called chakras (pronounced chuh-kras, meaning "spinning wheels"), and they take in and distribute energy from the outside as well as harness energy from the inside and allow it to spiral outward. Although the actual physical existence of chakras has not been verified with validated technical devices, they are often perceived by those who engage in energy medicine and healing and can be useful for focusing our awareness.
The main seven chakras are correlated to parts of the physical body. However, they also have less physical and more symbolic connections. The symbolic meanings of the chakras compose the collective of our being. If we distill down the meaning of each chakra into one word, we could make the following associations:
Root chakra: body
Sacral chakra: emotions
Solar plexus chakra: mind
Heart chakra: love
Throat chakra: expression
Third eye chakra: imagination
Crown chakra: connection
Aspects of our being to access for healing.
When we address all these parts of ourselves and not just a particular pain or symptom, we cut right through all the layers of our being and can effect a more permanent, more integrated change.
I have distilled the essential aspects of quantum healing and mapped them to these seven key areas. Here are the seven spokes of the quantum healing wheel:
1. Body/Root Chakra
General Principle: Understand the physical nature of the condition.
Specific Action: Ingest physical substances, such as foods and supplements, to correct the underlying physiological causes of the condition.
Example: Anemia is the body's inability to carry oxygen in the red blood cell due to low amounts of hemoglobin, an iron-containing protein that sits at the center of the red blood cell and latches onto oxygen. When we supplement the diet with iron-rich foods, such as spinach, or take a dietary iron supplement, we can correct for the iron level in the body so that red blood cells will be more robust and fuel the body with the oxygen it needs.
2. Emotions/Sacral Chakra
General Principle: Mine the potential emotions that are connected to a physical manifestation.
Specific Action: Substitute uplifting emotional patterns for those that are unhealthy.
Example: There is an emotional component (high fear, anxiety, worry, negative mood) to heart disease. When we combat these emotions by developing coping mechanisms or substituting acceptance for them, we may have less anxiety and less constriction, or narrowing, of blood vessels supplying the heart with blood.
3. Mind/Solar Plexus Chakra
General Principle: Uncover beliefs that underlie patterns of our behavior.
Specific Action: Substitute life- and health-promoting mental patterns for those that are outdated.
Example: If we are walking around with a belief such as "I hate myself" or "I don't accept myself" ingrained in our subconscious, we may be more apt to develop conditions that attack the self, like autoimmune conditions such as multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis. Not all autoimmune conditions are linked to these specific beliefs, but if we examine the thought on a symbolic level and how that thought might translate symbolically, this thought/belief and disease connection might be a possibility.
4. Love/Heart Chakra
General Principle: Give and receive love in a manner that enhances love of self and others.
Specific Action: Receive from nature the gift of unconditional love and healing embodied by plants (flowers).
Example: In some traditions, the planet earth is perceived as the heart of the solar system, or we are born perceived to be on this earth to learn lessons with respect to love: self love, love of another, love of people and animals, and love of nature. By using the essences of the earth, namely flower remedies/essences, we can bring ourselves back into harmony with our true nature, others, and the planet. Flower essences take raw emotions and transform them into emotional wisdom. For instance, someone who has difficulty maintaining healthy emotional boundaries may receive additional support by taking yarrow (Achillea millefolium) flower essence on a daily basis. This flower essence can assist in restoring a sense of self and thus reduce the need for taking on the energy of the surrounding environment, including other people.
5. Expression/Throat Chakra
General Principle: Examine verbal and written communication around us.
Specific Action: Verbalize energizing affirmations through the voice or in writing to counteract any unhealthy thoughts or emotions about the self, others, or a situation.
Example: Vocalizing and listening to the words "I trust my body's instinct," or writing these words on a sticky note and placing it somewhere you can view it every day, has a transformative effect on your subconscious mind and may help to nourish you, so that you are no longer filled with depleting, defeating thoughts about yourself.
Excerpted from The Complete Handbook of QUANTUM HEALING by Deanna M. Minich. Copyright © 2011 Deanna M. Minich, Ph.D.. Excerpted by permission of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC.
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