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 Mind/Body Medicine: Wellness, Self-Care, and Optimal Performance 
 
In our culture we tend to think of health in a negative way. We 1 define it as the absence of any signs of disease. When symptoms arise we tend to seek treatment for them, and when they disappear we feel there is no further need for the care of our health.

Popular interest in self-care, fitness, and wellness is a new phenomenon in our culture. This new focus bespeaks a growing awareness that there are things that we can do, mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, that will help us produce a higher resistance against problems in these areas and provide us with a reserve of energy that will help us perform at our peak. As we have already observed, how we image ourselves can inhibit or enhance the healing of a disease process. Once signs of disease have disappeared, however, the same principles of relaxation and imagery can be used to facilitate personal growth, self-actualization, and development of a way of life that enhances our wellness and our happiness.

Our goal, then, should not be to keep ourselves from becoming sicker than average, but of being more well than average. Rather than trying to avoid delayed healing of a wound, we should aim at healing faster than average. Rather than trying to avoid complications of a bad cold, we can aim our imagery toward healing the infection faster than others around or to resist catching the cold.

Heal faster than normal? Isn't normal about the best we can hope to achieve?

In answer to this question, I offer a metaphor. For many years it was widely accepted that humans could not run a mile in fewer than four minutes. Then one day, to everyone's surprise, one man did what was beyond normal. Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile and collapsed from the strain as he crossed the finish line.

This was a first, but only a first. Normal had been redefined, and through the expansion of their awareness of what was possible more than 15 men ran the mile in less than four minutes during the following year!

Nowadays it is not unusual to see a person shave several seconds off the four-minute mark and then jog a lap around the track to cool down slowly.

Can a change in our awareness really speed up the healing process beyond normal? If so, how can such a phenomenon be explained?

How can a broken limb, which ordinarily takes six weeks to heal, be mended in four weeks or less? How can a person recover more than twice as rapidly from an operation and still develop a scar that is much smaller than someone who does not know these methods?

We earlier discussed the fact that we have a clear image of our bodies and other facts about ourselves in our minds. We discussed the fact that our bodies and other properties about ourselves can be altered merely by altering the image in our minds. We have also experienced that spot in the middle of our heads at which we feel most free from any outside concerns. We have imagined ourselves as projecting outward from that point through our image out to our bodies, which then imitate whatever is programmed into the image, in the same way as the image on a screen is formed by a projection from a slide.

In Selective Awareness we have an excellent tool for focusing our awareness. Our awareness can be focused on that image in our minds. Instead of being aware of our entire body, we can become aware of just one part of our body, as though we were illuminating only that part-as though we were projecting only that part of our body on a screen. We can imagine that if we have a disease in that part of our body, or if it has been injured or operated upon, that it needs an extra supply of coherent images, or information. We can imagine that we flood the area with coherent discharges, open all the gates to coherent information. We may imagine that the incoherent information which may have been present in the organ or in the nervous pathways leading to it, is pushed out of the way and replaced by health-giving coherent information.

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