Within each one of us there lies a “healing system” capable of fighting off disease, combating infection and bringing us greater energy, vitality and well-being.
In any medical text we can read about the “digestive system”, the “circulatory system” or the “nervous system”, but nowhere can we find a chapter on the “healing system”. Yet it is this very “healing system” which allows all our other “systems” to function with brilliant precision.
Our healing system is the organizing force through which all our body systems function with a deep intelligence and miraculous sense of balance and wholeness.
Bernie Siegel, M.D., the famous Yale surgeon and author, speaks of this healing system eloquently when he says “as a surgeon, I cut into the body and I rely on it to heal. I don’t have to yell into the wound and tell it how to heal.” The body, in its own infinite wisdom, knows how to heal.
The healing system lies within us. Our body has its own natural ability to heal. Though in certain situations, surgery or drugs may be life saving, it is our internal healing system which allows ultimate life.
We all know of patients who have lost the “will to live”. No matter how valiant the efforts of medical experts, how advanced the technologies, how genuine the prayers of friends and relatives, these patients will continue on a downhill course, until and unless they find within themselves some sense of meaning with which to embrace life and connect to something greater than themselves, something greater than their sense of illness or despair.
It is this “will to live”, to prosper, to grow, to contribute, to engage life with passionate involvement, which most directly contributes to the overall health of our “healing system”.
The late Norman Cousins, author of Head First, The Biology of Hope, says “the doctor has a role beyond the prescription pad to invoke the patients own bodily resources” for healing, the patient’s own healing system.
PRACTICAL TIP: What gives you your “will to live?” What are you passionately involved in? What motivates you to prosper, to grow, to contribute and to engage life?
If you are not sure or can’t think of anything, take some time to ponder these questions. If you have lots of things you are passionate about, take some time to consider how you can integrate this passion into your daily life in a way that contributes not only to your enjoyment but to the benefit of others. That’s it for now.
Be well. In body and soul,
Neil F. Neimark, M.D.