Is it possible for my mind to help me fight cancer?
Your mind can help you fight cancer, or any disease you are battling. Watch oncology researcher Kelly Turner, PhD, explain why the mind-body connection is so important in strengthening your immune system, and how visualization is a great exercise.
And that's just evolution. When you're running from a tiger, you're not supposed to be working on your pneumonia.
Your mind can absolutely help you fight cancer, or any disease that you're battling, and that's because there is a documented mind-body connection
now. That is no longer up for debate. Science knows that your mind affects the inner chemistry of your body.
So for example, if you're feeling thoughts or emotions that make you feel relaxed or at ease or happy or joyful,
the master glands in your brain are going to spew out a flood of hormones and chemicals that flood your bloodstream and then tell
your cells what to do, including your immune cells. So things like serotonin, relaxin, and oxytocin,
are sent from your brain-- the master glands in your brain-- all the way through your body. And what they tell your immune system to do
is turn on and start being active. So it actually activates your white blood cells and your natural killer cells.
These kinds of emotions and feelings will also increase the number of natural killer cells and white blood cells.
So yes, absolutely what you're thinking and feeling can help your immune system fight cancer. And the opposite is also true.
If you're stuck in fight or flight response, or if you're stuck in stress or anger or anything that's really
eliciting a fight or flight response, your immune system does not work very well in the fight or flight response.
And that's just evolution. When you're running from a tiger, you're not supposed to be working on your pneumonia. So your immune system doesn't turn on
until you get out of that stress response. So it's very important to manage your stress whenever you're dealing with any illness.
So one of the ways the radical remission survivors that I study use their mind to help their body is through a practice called visualization.
And that means picking an image that means something to you-- whether it's popping your cancer cells like bubbles,
or she imagines herself as Tinkerbell spreading honey, healing honey throughout her body. Whatever the image is for you, take some time every day
to get quiet, close your eyes, and imagine something happening to your cancer that means something
to you. So imagine your cancer going away, and it's helpful if you can think of a precise image. But again, it needs to be particular to you.
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