I feel weaker; I feel stronger: metaphor for immune competencePosted: February 4, 2012
“I couldn’t belief it. I could not resist the downward push on my arm.”
“I could tell, the person was thinking the hopeless, helpless, powerless thought, she lost all her strength.”
“I finally realized how my thoughts truly could influence my health.”
When participants pair up and one of pair tests the muscle strength of the other by pressing down on the extended arm, 98% of the participants experienced a change in strength depending upon their thoughts. The subjects experienced significantly less strength resisting the downward pressure when they evoked a hopeless, helpless, powerless memory as compared to an empowering memory. In our single blind studies done in groups (total N=200), the testers did not know which memory the subject was evoking. Yet, the testers could discriminate which type of memory the subjects evoked by sensing the difference in subject’s arm strength.
When done in groups, 98% of the participants experience the powerful mind-body relationship. The effect occurs across all ages, gender and cultures. For two percent of participants, their arms felt stronger or there was no change when they thought of a hopeless memory. In these cases, the person either evoked a memory that included anger/resentment resentment (which sometimes makes them stronger) or could not access a memory (there was no change in strength).
This experience is a metaphor for our immune competence and helps participants recognize how thoughts affect health. It is the starting point for teaching cognitive and emotional control.
For detailed description how to do this exercise down load our article: Experience the Mind-Body Connection: A Metaphor for Immune Competence.
For this and other practices as well as suggestions how to pragmatically deal with ruminations, and learn skills to transform thoughts and emotions see the book, Fighting Cancer-A Nontoxic Approach to Treatment.