This morning I read about scientists at Duke University achieving a major breakthrough by creating living muscle tissue in the lab. What is remarkable about this bioengineering feat is the fact that the muscles are ten times more stronger than normal muscle and it has the ability to heal itself.The team discovered that there are certain cells present in muscle which are responsible for healing, but they need to be provided a conducive environment to start doing the healing work.
Fascinated as I am by alternative healing and the role of the mind in healing, this discovery set me thinking in terms of the implications that it has in store for us. Scientifically speaking, it will open many doors for newer drugs and hope for patients. But I feel this discovery can set off a more fundamental shift in attitude – that healing is really in our own hands and we should take charge of our lives!
Let me explain. Most doctors will testify to the fact that a patient with a strong mind and will power has a better chance of recovery than with somebody whose will power is not so developed. In fact many miraculous cures and recoveries have been attributed to strong will power and off-course God :P. What if, all that talk about using the mind to cure might actually be true. Maybe a strong concentrated mind has the ability to set these little healing batteries in motion, effecting repair in a most remarkable way!
Many alternative healing modalities such as Reiki, Pranic healing, use of mantras, chants, affirmations are nothing but a way to awaken the mind and unleash its power. But usually all this talk of mind, will power, self healing remains in the spehere of mumbo jumbo. Many skeptics cite a lack of concrete scientific evidence and as a result patients have to pop many unnecessary pills and waste time on useless tests – time which could be spent on training their mind to heal themselves. This is all the more relevant since current research shows that the brain has a lot of plasticity and we can reprogram it. However, research has focussed a lot on the power of the mind gone wrong – maybe it will do us good if it focussed on the powers of the mind in doing good.
What amazes me is that the human body is the same, only our knowledge of it is increasing. The healing cells were already there- we just got to know about them now! So should we say that we are one step closer to curing what was previously incurable or one step closer to knowing that all healing is already within us!