The Power of the Mind, Part 2

Patricia A. Muehsam, M.D.

PureInsight | July 23, 2006

[Special to The Epoch Times.
Part 2 is a further description of the dichotomy within Western
allopathic medicine and the concept of inherent connectedness of mind
and body.

Before the advent of the pharmaceutical empire, with its vast offerings
of new fixes for our physical failings, physicians were consummate
healers. Voltaire described our role as that of the amuser, to keep the
patient amused long enough so that nature could do her healing work.
Sir William Osler, considered one of Western allopathic medicine's
founding fathers, maintained that it was more important to know the
patient that had the disease, than to know what kind of disease the
patient had.

However, Western allopathic medicine is not in the business of healing.
Rather, it is a disease care system. By its very nature, our Western
allopathic medical model makes people sick and keeps them sick. Indeed,
its approach to chronic illness cures no one of anything.
Pharmaceuticals merely suppress symptoms, interfering with the true and
natural healing mechanism of the human organism. Skeptics and those who
espouse our dominant biomedical paradigm, relegate inexplicable cures
to the realms of placebo or perhaps an initial incorrect diagnosis. In
fact, they are ignoring that most powerful mediator of healing: the
mind, intention, consciousness.

All these ancient concepts, once lost, are now seeking resurgence with
the advent of unhappy patients and truth-seeking scientists. These
scientists are the pharmacologists, experimental toxicologists and
immunologists doing low-dose research to support the veracity of the
homeopathic phenomenon. They are the physicists and engineers mentioned
earlier. They are the parapsychologists and psychoneuroimmunologists,
lending credence to the concept of mind affecting matter and mind
affecting body. They are the open-minded physicians and other
researchers conducting research on the power of prayer and on the
healer phenomenon.

Some examples of how our minds can affect our health include the
following: positive thinking lowered blood sugar levels in diabetics,
lessened asthma attacks, reduced colitis symptoms and improved immune
function in HIV-infected individuals [1,2]. Not only can our thoughts
affect our bodies, but also our thoughts can affect others. Numerous
studies have demonstrated the clinical efficacy of prayer, most notably
the positive effect of prayer on patients in a coronary care unit [3].

In addition to this concept of the inherent connectedness of mind and
body, as suggested by both ancient wisdom and modern science, is the
existence of some ineffable source-entity, energy, connectedness, which
embraces all and affects us all. Healing traditions around the globe
draw on this source as a conduit to healing.

While we may delight in acknowledging this ancient wisdom, and be
encouraged that the ever-growing field of complementary and alternative
medicine has lent support to the idea of mind-body medicine, we are
still missing the link. Until we can realize that the mind is more
powerful than molecules, than pharmaceuticals, and that we can apply
this concept to actually heal our own bodies, we are not realizing the
full potential that lies within each of us.

[In Parts 3 and 4, techniques for
harnessing the powers of our minds, for healing ourselves and even
impacting situations and circumstances in our lives will be discussed.


1. Talbot, M. The Placebo Prescription. The New York Times Magazine; January 9,


   Accessed 7/4/06.

2. Antoni, M.H. Psychosocial stressors and behavioral interactions in
gay men with HIV  infection. Int. Rev Psychiatry: 1991;3:383-399.

3. Astin, J.A., Harkness E., Ernst E. The efficacy of "distant healing": a systematic   

   review of randomized trials. Ann Intern Med 2000;132:903-909.

Dr. Muehsam is a holistic physician practicing in New York City.

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