Mind Over Medicine: The Awesome
Power Of The Mind To Heal The Body!

I just finished my upcoming book Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself (Hay House, 2013), but I’m still researching the topic that has fascinated me for the past four years. I just started reading Consciousness & Healing: Integral Approaches To Mind-Body Medicine, by my friend and IONS president Marilyn Schlitz and Tina Amorok.

Here’s some juicy stuff I found:

  • In 1986, Henry Bennett studied 94 surgical patients scheduled for spinal surgery, who were taught how to use their minds to move blood away from the site of the surgery. Those who did this lost 500 cubic centimeters of blood, compared to 900 cubic centimeters of blood in those who didn’t.
  • In 1994, Lewis Mehl studied 100 pregnant women with breech babies. Under hypnotherapy, these women were encouraged to trust their bodies and nature to restore their babies to the proper head-down position. 81% of the babies of those hypnotized reverted to head-down, compared to 48% of those not hypnotized.
  • In 1998, Jon Kabat-Zinn led a study of patients receiving phototherapy for moderate to severe psoriasis while listening to meditation guidance and instructions on visualizing ultraviolet light slowing the division of skin cells. Those who did the visualizations reached the halfway clearing point 50% faster than the control group that got only phototherapy without the meditation and visualization.

Biochemical medicine cannot explain what happens in these instances. Is the mind supercharging the patients with happy hormones like endorphins and oxytocin, while reducing levels of harmful hormones like cortisol and adrenaline? Are blood cells following orders from the mind in some way? Can babies hear a mother’s thoughts? Are immune cells rushing to the aid of diseased skin cells at the call of the meditation guidance?

In other studies, women visualizing themselves warming their breasts in the sun can increase their breast size.

People allergic to poison ivy do not break out when they are rubbed with poison ivy but told it is elm leaves, but they do break out when rubbed with elm leaves and told it is poison ivy.

Patients with “incurable” congenital ichthyosiform erythrodermis, commonly called “fish skin disease,” with which patients get scale-like hardening of the skin modern medicine can’t treat, can clear up to 80% of the disorder under hynotic suggestion.

What is the link between consciousness, health, and healing?

Inquiring minds like mine want to know!

We know that 18-75% of the time, patients in clinical trials respond to placebo treatment as if they are getting the real drug. As Harris Dienststfrey wrote in his essay in Consciousness & Healing, “I hope this is clear. There is as yet no bottom to the well of the mind’s capacity to do in the body (some bodies) what any newly invented drug can do. The problem the drug is treating does not matter. The mind is expansive enough to treat the problem. Put it this way: The mind so far can do (for some people) what all the pharmaceutical labs of the world together haven’t been able to do.”

Doesn’t it blow your mind?

It blows mine, so I keep digging. Somewhere, amidst all this clinical data, lies the truth that we have been ignoring for decades. Somewhere, buried in statistics and medical journals, lies the answer to what really makes us sick and what really predisposes us to illness.

Stay tuned. I’m feisty, stubborn, and on a mission. Make sure you’re on my mailing list to get free updates so you can stay in the loop as I continue to explore the root causes of illness and how we can harness the mind to heal ourselves.

In awe of the mind,


  • Mónica Elejalde

    Absolutely awesome! we are divinity in disguise, capable of creating our own reality.
    Thank you very much for your studies and “digging” Lissa, many blessings to you!

  • GEP1421

    I remember when growing up that my parents used to always tell me that if I went outside after basketball practice without being bundled up (including a hat), I’d catch a cold. And, you know what? They were usually right! And that fact had continued into my adult life until recently. As I’ve grown (ok, I’m 54 now, but…) and understood the mind-body connection better, I’ve been telling myself that I have no need to catch a cold if I don’t bundle up and wear a hat. I am now able to go outside (and dress appropriately for the weather without overdoing the bundling) when it’s cold without the negative health effects that I was programmed (unwittingly by my loving parents) to expect. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to rid yourself of these false beliefs and your mind and body won’t continue to work against you like I had trained mine to do.

  • letlifehappen

    Amen. I have seen this work for myself and others. This truly is taking charge of your own healthcare – and your own life.

  • Anonymous

    It takes practice but once we start on this path of self-healing by using our minds to heal, it is a burgeoning experience that will only lead to further development. I believe we can “talk” to our cells and “partner” with them to return our bodies to perfect health whenever they ail us. Once we get the “knack” there is no telling how quickly we can achieve full health or even if we can reverse damaged cells. By relying on medications, we lose the skills in letting our bodies find their proper equilibrium. Actually the trick seems to be, “get in the groove” and always envision the health you desire. Concentrating on the pain or condition is perpetrating that condition. Concentrating on the health of your body perpetrates health. I’m testing it too and getting better at it. The hard part is actually having the breadth of vision to overwrite the thinking that society has imprinted upon my brain.

  • Tara Dixon

    Lissa- I love your inquiring mind!!! (and love you!). I just watched a DVD of Dr. Wayne W. Dyer where he and his daughter recounted the story of when she was six and had warts on her face that she “talked to” and they went away! For years she refused to tell her father what it was exactly what she said to them. When he was diagnosed with leukemia she finally revealed that she had “sent them love” and had told them that “they were free to go”….she even gave them an option that “they could be together in another form but not as warts.” Finally, she reemphasised that she LOVED them. I find THIS extraordinary. My conclusion is that it is not just the power of the mind or positive thoughts but that it is by sending love that makes these miracles take place.
    Thank you for this piece and I look forward to reading your book!
    love, Tara

  • Anonymous

    I always love reading your site for inspiration. Thanks!


  • Anonymous

    Thanks so much!
    -Laura, Be Well Health Coach