By Shivi Verma
The healing journeys of great healers of the world prove the body-mind connection of illnesses, and inspire us to take responsibility for our ailments, says Shivi Verma
Most of the people featured in this article started as ordinary souls, who mutated into guiding lights by surmounting their terminal illness, and birthing new therapies that have helped millions of people the world over. Their stories prove that when we take responsibility for our healing and do whatever it takes to recover, not only do we heal, but our consciousness spirals upward, and we coast into a powerful state of being.
Martin Brofman: Power of positive thinking
Martin Brofman, chakra healer and author of Anything Can be Healed, suffered from terminal cancer in his spinal cord in 1975. The doctors declared that he could die any moment. Terrified, Martin resigned himself to his fate. As he was being administered anaesthesia he had a surreal experience of talking to the Almighty. Martin recovered slightly after the surgery and left the hospital. Thereafter, he met a Zen practitioner who told him that cancer began in the mind. This fascinated him, and he began to consciously de-stress himself. He also learnt the Silva method of meditation which includes affirmations and visualisation after reading Ken Keyes’, Handbook of Higher Consciousness. “I realised that cancer was the result of a mental process, that I could use my consciousness to reprogramme my mind,” he says.
He would remind himself while eating, that whatever he ate was exactly what his body needed to accellerate the healing process. Whenever he felt the sensation of an electric shock in his body he would think that it was a sign of his tumour shrinking. He avoided people who believed that his disease was terminal. He would talk to himself positively in a relaxed state of mind for 15 minutes, three times a day. Determinedly, like a dog chewing away at a bone, he focussed his mind sharply on healing and used his discrimination to slay any iota of doubt arising in his mind. Combining visualisations, positive affirmations, and sharply focussed intent, he eliminated a large amount of cancer cells from his body. Since the tumour was in the nape of his neck he also realised that it symbolised his lack of self-expression. He began to utter aloud his feelings, aspirations and emotions. When finally the doctors saw his report they were amazed to find that there was not a trace of cancer in his body. Martin later on devised The Body Mirror System healing technique based on his own experiences, and applied himself to helping others. Martin believes that there is a healer in each one of us, and that anything can be healed.
Louise L Hay: Self-love is the key
Louise L Hay, author of You Can Heal your Life, came from a broken family. Her parents divorced when she was 18 months old. Her mother remarried a violent and abusive man, and Louise herself got raped by a neighbour when she was five years old. As she grew older, mental, physical and sexual abuse became routine in her life. Tired of abuse, she left her home and school, at age 15. At 16, she became an unwed mother of a baby girl. She gave up the baby for adoption since she had no means to support her.
After that she went to New York and was fortunate enough to become a high-fashion model. Despite this, her self-esteem remained very low. She married an Englishman but after 14 years, he dumped her for somebody else. Louise looked for answers. After several months she happened to attend a meeting at the United Church of Religious Science in New York, and was impressed by what they taught. She learnt Transcendental Meditation and soon began taking the Ministerial Training Programme. This quickly blossomed into a full-time career, and she was inspired to put together a little book, Heal Your Body, which was a simple list of metaphysical causations for physical illnesses. Then one day, she was diagnosed with vaginal cancer. She went into panic but realised that this was the time to walk her talk. “After all, I knew that cancer was a dis-ease of deep resentment that has been held for a long time.” She realised that she was refusing to move beyond her childhood trauma. Her doctors gave her three months to heal before they operated. She read everything on alternative healing to assist her healing process. She checked out foot reflexology and colon therapy. She acknowledged that she must love herself more, and stop her internal critic who derided her constantly. “There had been little love expressed in my childhood,” she says. She would daily affirm before the mirror that she loved herself, and took the help of a therapist to resolve her emotional issues. Then she began to piece together the scraps of stories her parents had told her about their own childhoods. “With my growing understanding, I began to feel compassion for their pain, and the blame slowly began to dissolve,” she admits. With the help of a good nutritionist, she detoxified her body of junk food, and subsisted only on vegetables. She had colonics three times a week for the first month.
“Six months after my diagnosis, I was able to get the medical profession to agree with what I already knew – that I no longer had even a trace of cancer! Now I was able to affirm from personal experience that dis-ease can be healed if we are willing to change the way we think, believe, and act!” She proved to the world that human will and determination was far greater than any life-threatening illness.
And of course, she went on to become a byword of self-healing with her book, You Can Heal Your Life, which has sold over 39 million copies!
Norman Cousins: Laughter is the best medicine
The late Norman Cousins was an American political journalist, author, professor, and world peace advocate. But more than all this, he was a crusader who believed in himself. In 1964, he was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis, a rare disease of the connective tissues, and he was given a few months to live by a doctor friend. He was told to get his affairs in order, but Cousins would have none of it. He set himself to finding a solution. He read and discovered that both his disease and the medicines were depleting his body of Vitamin C, among other things.
He did three things.
1. He fired his doctor and left the hospital to check into a hotel. He found a doctor who would work with him as a team member, as opposed to insisting on being in charge.
2. He began to get injections of massive doses of Vitamin C.
3. He obtained a movie projector, no small feat in those days, and a pile of funny movies. He spent a great deal of time watching these films and laughing. He made a point to laugh until his very stomach hurt from it. And Cousins lived long enough to prove his doctors wrong. He finally died on November 30, 1990, in Los Angeles, 26 years after his doctors first diagnosed his ankylosing spondylitis.
Cousins later said in an interview that diseases were greatly linked to our mental patterns. If negative thoughts and emotions could lower the immunity and give birth to ailments, positive emotions had the power to boost immunity. He knew that laughter induced happiness, and happiness had the power to bolster immunity. He wrote a collection of best-selling non-fiction books on illness and healing, as well as an autobiographical memoir, Human Options: An Autobiographical Notebook. His struggle with this illness is detailed in the book and movie, Anatomy of an Illness.
“I made the joyous discovery that 10 minutes of genuine belly laughter had an anesthetic effect, and would give me at least two hours of pain-free sleep,” he reported.
Brandon Bays: The inner journey
Brandon Bays, international healer and author of the book, The Journey, began her spiritual journey with Indian philosopher, J Krishnamurti, in 1974. After 18 years of practising energy medicine, lifestyle therapies, stage shows with famous motivational speakers, vibrant vegetarianism and a blissful married life, Brandon’s life fell apart at the age of 39 in 1992 when she was diagnosed with a football-sized tumour in the pelvic region. Brandon was bleeding internally.
Brandon sought an appointment with a surgeon-cum-integrative medical practitioner in California. The doctor told her to have a surgery or else internal bleeding could kill her. “I literally begged her to give me some time so that I could heal myself without surgery,” she said. Brandon’s own beliefs were at stake. The doctor gave Brandon a month.
Around that time in 1992, a lot of research was under way in the field of cellular healing. “If one could feel the emotions healthily, then the cell receptors would open releasing the blocked energy,” the studies said. Brandon took the help of colon therapy, a body worker who helped people with emotional issues, and subscribed to a natural diet comprising fresh and raw fruits and vegetables with freshly squeezed juices.
One day during a massage therapy session, Brandon felt her mind falling away while resting with her eyes closed. “I fell down through the emotional layers into my soul – and was guided mentally to the tumour spontaneously. It was like a black cavern – and there was a cell memory of childhood abuse and domestic violence.” Brandon forgave her parents. Immediately after that Brandon felt her tumour soften up! In six-and-a-half weeks, it disappeared and the doctors declared her tumour-free. Later, she condensed her experience along with another deeper spiritual experience to emerge with a form of therapy called The Journey, which purports to heal at the cellular level. Her book, also called The Journey, is a powerful testament to self-healing that has touched millions of lives.
Anita Moorjani: From death to life
Anita Moorjani, author of Dying to be Me, was born in Singapore to Indian parents. She moved to Hong Kong at the age of two, and has lived there ever since. She worked in the corporate sector for many years before being diagnosed with cancer in April 2002. After four years of battling with the disease, Anita passed away in February 2006. But it is from here that the actual story starts.
Her soul returned to her ravished body, and her body began to recuperate from the last stages of cancer. There was not a single cancer cell left in her body, which a few moments ago had given up its fight against the dreaded disease. According to Anita, this was not a miracle. She had had a massive near death experience (NDE) where she had passed over to the other realm. From there she was able to see the grand panoramic view of her life as well as universe. She realised the power of a human being in being able to create, or alter his reality. There she met her deceased father, and also experienced being embraced by boundless, unconditional love. She was given a choice, either to go back or to continue her onward journey. Anita chose to come back and experience the power of this knowledge in the human body. On coming back she declared that she was cancer-free. The doctors carried out numerous, very painful tests to verify her claim, and eventually had to admit that there was not a single cancer cell in her body. Anita wrote a book called Dying to be Me based on her experiences which became an international best-seller. She said in an interview, “From the perspective of my NDE state, my physical life was just a culmination of my thoughts and beliefs. It felt like the whole world was just a culmination of everyone’s thoughts and beliefs. It felt like nothing was actually real, but we made it real with our beliefs. I understood that even my cancer was not real, so if I went back to my body, I would not have the cancer any more. And another thing is that there was this incredible understanding of how we are all interconnected. If I am happy, the universe is happy. If I love myself, everyone else will love me. If I am at peace, the whole universe is peaceful. The most meaningful lesson I learned from being at death’s door is that unless I love myself, nothing else in my life can function at its best. What I really learned was that life is a gift, and our only purpose is to be who we are.”
Vianna Stibal: Thetahealing
Vianna, the founder of the Thetahealing modality had highly developed intuitive powers from the beginning. When her first marriage collapsed, she took up the job of a nuclear security guard in a nuclear plant in America in 1990, to raise her three children. She studied naturopathy, Taoism and herbs. While working at the plant she would draw sketches of her colleagues and intuitively tell what was about to happen in their lives. In 1994, she did a course in naturopathic medicine and opened a centre where she offered massage, and nutritional counselling. She would also do readings of people’s lives. During these readings, she felt that God himself was talking to her and giving her guidance.
Shortly thereafter, she developed a rare form of bone cancer on her right femur. The doctors told her that she had only a couple of months to survive if she did not amputate her leg. During all this, her connection with the Creator grew stronger and her intuitive powers became sharper. When she asked God why all this was happening to her, she heard a clear answer, “Vianna, you are here with or without your leg, so deal with it.” That moment she decided to do all that she could to heal her leg. She began putting the knowledge of naturopathy to cleanse her system. She began a series of lemon cleanses as well as sauna cleanses. She took a lot of vitamins and minerals. She did visualisation, affirmations, cleansing, proper eating, yet she could not recover. But in spite of everything, she was sure that God would heal her. In the meantime a lady met her with severe stomach pain. When Vianna went out of her crown chakra and contacted God, he not only told her the reason for her problems but also sent healing. When she saw this system working on a couple of clients more, she felt that she could use it on herself too. As she went up her crown chakra, she commanded her problem to heal immediately from that state. Instantly, her foot that had shrunken three inches returned to its normal size! By use of an electroencephalograph she discovered that this technique tapped theta waves. That moment she promised God to impart this knowledge to others and laid the foundation of Thetahealing. Thetahealing is a set of guided meditations through which people access that theta state of brain wave where they can connect to God, ask for the root of their problems, and receive healing. According to a description found on the net, “In theta state brain activity slows almost to the point of sleep, but not quite. Theta brings forward heightened receptivity, flashes of dreamlike imagery, inspiration, and your long-forgotten memories. Theta can bring you deep states of meditation. A sensation of floating. And, because it is an expansive state, in theta, you may feel your mind expand beyond the boundaries of your body.” Ever since, Thetahealing has become one of the most popular modalities in the healing circle.
What all these stories have in common is striking. Most of them had a traumatic beginning in life. Then one day they were diagnosed to be terminally ill. This pronouncement as well as their will to survive, compelled them to plumb the essence of their being. Whether they had to cross over, or face their suppressed demons in the aloneness of their suffering, one thing happened to all. They had to face the death of their egos to discover their soul’s shining effulgence and immortality. Armed with this thrilling finding they reached out to millions with their insights. They presented to the world the infallible body-mind-spirit connection. They proved that a positive mind, a clean heart and a clear conscience, were the prerequisites to enjoying a healthy body. They made healing and medical treatment more holistic. In short, they established that the mind which could create diseases through its negative self-talk, could be used to heal the very same problem, however complicated. And that ultimately, we are the creators of our own reality.