By Jackie Castro Cooper
Before we talk about the emotions we’re all feeling in the wake of the pandemic, I’d like to share a crazy study done by Baylor University that went like this:
An orthopedic surgeon wanted to determine which of two surgeries, debridement (medical removal of dead, damaged or infected tissue) or lavage (washing out a body cavity with water or a medicated solution), would work best for patients with arthritic knees. For a research study to be complete, a control group must be added for the placebo effect.
What’s a placebo? It’s a fake treatment or sugar pill given to patients to compare its effect to the “real” medical treatment. In this instance, the doctor did debridement surgery on the first group, lavage surgery on the second and a pretend surgery with just skin incisions on the third.
The results? The patients that had the pretend surgery did as well as the debridement and lavage groups. Why? Because they thought they were getting a surgery that would heal them. They believed they would heal, so their knees responded accordingly.
Why am I telling you this crazy knee surgery story about people healing themselves with just their thoughts? If these people healed their knees without surgery, imagine what you and I could do to heal ourselves during a pandemic with just our thoughts!
Our thoughts are energy that create emotions. Emotions send messages to our cells. This is epigenetics.
What have your thoughts been during the pandemic? If they’ve been like my thoughts of fear, anger, confusion, frustration and grief, then you’re not alone. So, let’s change our thoughts right now.
HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO TO CHANGE YOUR THOUGHTS, RESIST DISEASE AND HEAL:
1) FEEL WHAT YOUR BODY IS ASKING YOU TO FEEL
If you feel fear or anger, feel them. If you feel confusion, frustration or grief, feel those as well. This is your body’s natural fight/flight/freeze response. It’s uncomfortable, but if we don’t allow ourselves to feel them, they may get stuck in our bodies.
2) EXPRESS YOUR EMOTIONS IN WORDS BY WRITING THEM DOWN
Grab a piece of paper, journal or notebook, and just say it. Be honest with yourself. Don’t pretend all is well if it’s not. We’ve been in a pandemic. This is a new experience for all of us, so give yourself permission to express yourself with no limitations.
3) SIT QUIETLY THREE TIMES A DAY
Just listening to yourself breathe slowly 10 times changes your body’s biochemistry.
Yes, laughter heals you — and it immediately changes your thoughts. One of the most important ways we can heal ourselves is to bathe ourselves in endorphins, also called feel-good hormones. I have a friend who sends me daily pictures and videos of what to laugh at during the pandemic, and after I laugh, I feel so much better.
The truth is, if we continue to have these thoughts of fear and anger and not address them in a healthy way, we are decreasing the effectiveness of our immune systems and possibly opening ourselves to getting sick.
Thoughts are energy creating emotions, and emotions tell our cells what to do — whether it’s the cells in our knees, or our entire immune system.
Try these four simple changes, and see know how you feel.
Jackie Castro-Cooper, owner of Gulf Coast Myofascial Release, holds a master’s in physical therapy and specializes in John F. Barnes’ myofascial release. Reach her at email@example.com.