Our thought processes are created by our cultural, social and religious beliefs, which are created by the impressions gathered by our subconscious mind for a long period during our developmental process. These thought processes develop into many thoughts and they have significant influence and reactions at the level of our subconscious mind.
In every culture and belief systems around the world, we have many rituals and practices known by different names which developed into various forms of treatments (generally ritualistic) based on some actions that are performed by the believers or the person who is treating (usually a priest or a traditional healer). It creates some reactions at the mental level, which also may have a physical component as well in the body of a person who is suffering from an ailment.
History of the development of Medicine has a strong presence of such ritualistic treatment as the early forms of treatment modalities developed by human beings. This developmental journey of medicine is still imprinted in our cultural and social psyche. In our subconscious mind, we still have an active thought process that is being governed by our beliefs and notion of our cultural explanations of a disease process that was oversimplified through the form of the “supernatural” concept of disease causation. Though now science has invented clear and scientifically proven theories of disease causation, we still have the imprints of some early phase in our subconscious mind.
It does not happen with patients only. It is equally valid among healthcare professionals and physicians with a strong scientific background as well. It has been noticed that while they are treating patients, the treating team can reflect the thought process based on ancient myths and conceptions present in their culture or religion, which is merely a myth and without any scientific explanation. In my long experience in clinical medicine, I can say it happens more in cases of chronic or terminally ill patients, where all treatment modalities have failed. It happens due to our collective human consciousness and intelligence that started going through all possible thoughts, and other thought processes are activated to obtain answers.
The developmental imprints in the subconscious mind of the care providers surface as possible answers in the form of conventional approaches like prayers etc. We are discussing this example only to highlight the intensity of the thoughts on our beliefs that the conscious minds of even highly scientific people, like a team of physicians, are influenced by them, although they are well aware that such treatment approaches do not have any scientific standing.
At the level of thought process, it is not harmful and can be considered as usual as well as scientific. Once when we know that medically it is not possible to do much, the collective thought processes of treating physicians, family members of the patient and the patient have a sense of lost hope- a negative thought which triggers negative thought processes in our brain. Thinking of some miracle triggers the positive thought process. It is part of our healing thought process that we call spiritual thought process or spirituality. Once this gets started, more positive thought processes are activated, helping to create a cycle of positive thoughts.
All these positive thoughts affect the collective intelligence and collective consciousness of the team of caregivers, family members, relatives of the patient and the patient. These help them to deal with and accept the outcome of a treatment. This positive thinking and spiritual thought process result in the release of several good neurotransmitters in the brains of all involved, which further positively influences the collective thought process and helps the patient in his sufferings and alleviates the others’sense of helplessness or failure.
People around the world still have great faith in the traditional ritualistic systems of healing. In many diseases, people take advice from practitioners of alternative methods of medicine –even while being treated by some surgeon or physician– and they feel better and report better overall results. It is all because the developmental imprints on our subconscious mind help in creating a positive thought process that affects our body and our subconscious mind physiologically and psychologically, finally abetting the process of rapid healing. Our positive thoughts have potential healing capabilities through positive change in our biochemistry. But at the same time, it requires to be fine-tuned with modern scientific knowledge.
The above discussion is to consider the science behind the different ritualistic modalities of treatment and alternative medicine practices. They have excellent health effects; they help in the creation of a positive thought process, they help us in our fight against ailments, and yet their results are not consistent. Their effects may be different or have no influence whatsoever on people of other cultures and faiths; they cannot treat acute illnesses or infections and our overindulgence in them can make our condition worse.
Scientific medicine has consistency in its results. For example, the drug Paracetamol will relieve the fever irrespective of our beliefs, culture, and religion. It is based on strong scientific evidence and even then, with this high degree of scientific precision, since medicine is dealing with life — with consciousness and intelligence being two essential aspects of life– our thought processes have a more significant role in deciding the treatment process, modifying it and finally, influencing the final result and outcome of a treatment process.
Spiritual health is simply the health of our thoughts. So, positive thoughts help in modern medicine as well. It is not because of some supernatural belief or because of some magic, but it has a real, scientific explanation based on the physiology and evolutionary mechanism of our brain and its different thought processes. Though generally, it appears to us as a miracle or some supernatural action, it is only the magic of our collective human consciousness, collective human intelligence, collective human imagination, and collective human thought process.
(The writer is a surgeon, author, researcher & public health activist based in Dehradun)
Friday, 17 May 2019 | Dr Mahesh Bhatt | In Devbhoomi Spiritual
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