How to Access the Healing Power of Your Mind with Dr. Neil Fiore

Class Overview
To access the healing power of your mind, you need to get into The Zone, Flow, and The Groove of low stress and focused attention. Want to heal faster and recover with more comfort? Here’s how:
You can use the 3 essential qualities [Safety, Choice, and Presence] necessary for optimal performance to help you heal faster and recover with more comfort. Get into The Zone, Flow, The Groove of low stress and focused attention to recover from illness and surgery, recuperate faster, and amaze your doctor!

The Top 10 Big Ideas

Prepare to communicate to your body and mind your intention to give yourself Safety, regardless of what happens; you guarantee that your worth will be safe with you.
Replace all “have to” and “need to” and “should” statements with “I am choosing to.” For example: I am choosing to go to the hospital on the 15th for surgery. I am choosing to call Dr. Smith to schedule a root canal. I am demanding that I be put on the new chemotherapy protocol. You may want to start with telling yourself “You don’t have to, I’ve chosen to face this procedure for my future comfort, mobility and health.” Ask questions that allow you to make informed choices about your medical treatment. If you’re shy, find a Patient Advocate to speak up for you.
Practice floating down into the present moment; bringing your mind out of the past or the future. Imagine choosing to be in the doctor’s office or the hospital and replacing thoughts about the past [“should have”] and the so-called future [“this or that may happen”] with the feelings and sensations of this current moment.
Centering: Breathing to Practice Safety, Choice, and Presence
Take a deep breath, tighten your muscles and release them as you exhale, take a brief vacation from the Past and your old problems and identity. Once again, inhale, tense, exhale and release as you take a vacation from the so-called future and Worry about what may happen in the imaginary future. Use this “applied mindfulness” tool several times a day and you won’t have to remember Safety, Choice and Presence: you are Choosing to sit still and breathe, communicating that you have decided it is Safe to exhale and release your conscious mind’s muscle tension. As you exhale and float down into the support of the chair, the floor, or the bed, your mind will be with your body in the Present moment without stress or anxiety.
Notice if there’s a part of your body that you’re worried about or that is experiencing pain? Just notice it and your thoughts and feelings about it. On a scale of 0 to 10 [where zero means no pain] what’s your level of pain or discomfort in that area? Observe your body from head to toe and release muscle tension in your eye lids, your jaw, your legs, and scalp. You may need to tense your muscles before you can release chronic tension.
Survey your body for an area that feels comfortable, clear and clean—check your left ear, your right foot, or perhaps your arm. Some part of you is comfortable and your attention on that comfort can help spread comfort to the part that needs healing or recuperation. Let comfort become a larger part of your awareness.
Express Emotions
If you’ve been suppressing angry or depressed feelings [especially to protect your doctor or family] this is a good time to write them out, to sing the Blues, or to draw or dance out how you feel. Expressing your feeling will take the difficult and painful ones out of your gut, put them into words, and take them outside your body where your higher brain can edit them and decide what to do about them. [See Dr. James Pennebaker’s Opening Up: The Healing Power of Expressing Emotions.]
Shift from Worry to Wonder in One Breath
Whenever you start to worry, take a deep breath and hold it as you tighten your fists. Then exhale and release your muscles into an open handed gesture of “wonder” as you give that energy, oxygen, and blood supply over to the part of your body that needs it. Maintain a sense of wonder about how your body will work with medical treatment and use its own wisdom to heal and create greater comfort. In other words, get your ego and conscious mind out of the way so your body can work for you. e.g., You can say to yourself: “This is going to be interesting because I can’t figure it out. I’m just choosing to show up to let the wisdom of my body and mind work for me. I wonder what resources they will muster to cope with this.”
Let Go
Mourn and acknowledge your losses so you can adapt to your present condition, rather than struggling to change the past. The task [or problem] isn’t what happened in the past or what you think you should’ve done, but rather what you can do now. Like a peak performing athlete you focus on what you can do now—in this moment—in order to achieve the excellence of a champion. Notice how an amazing amount of energy comes back to you when you take your mind out of the past and focus on what you can do now.

Tell yourself: “That was awful. It really hurt. It’s over. And now I can choose what to do to minimize my pain and maximize my joy.”
Positive Expectancy
As a toddler you learned to get up from crawling to stand on your own two feet through thousands of adjustments to balance your head, hips, and your legs. A deep subconscious and inherited wisdom pulled you forward with the expectation of walking on your own even after you fell and cried. You recovered, forgot about the shock and pain, and found that you were compelled to stand once again and explore your world. That natural human drive and motivation will help you recover again and live to amaze your doctor at how rapidly you healed with minimal discomfort.

© 2014 Neil A. Fiore, PhD
See Coping with the Emotional Impact of Cancer and Fighting Cancer: One Patient’s Perspective, The New England Journal of Medicine, 300:284-9, 1979.

Neil is one of the authors of Nancy’s List anthology for newly diagnosed cancer patients written by 40 authors who have walked the walk … I Am with You comes out in February 2015.

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