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The Innate Healing Force

by Dr. Michael Wayne



Psychologist Lawrence LeShan, one of the pioneers of mind-body medicine, wrote about a man he knew who asked him to do a distance healing for an extremely painful condition requiring immediate and intensive surgery. "I promised to do the healing that night, and the next morning when he awoke a ‘miraculous cure’ had occurred." The medical specialist was astounded and offered to send him pre- and post- healing X-rays and to sponsor publication in a scientific journal. It would have been the psychic healing case of the century except for one small detail, writes LeShan. "In the press of overwork, I had forgotten to do the healing! If I had only remembered, it would have been a famous demonstration of what can be accomplished by this method."

Some would deride this as purely a placebo effect and interpret it as the man wanting to become better, and so he did. However, perhaps this so-called placebo effect is due to a mechanism that is related to the innate healing force. Cardiologist Herbert Benson, another pioneer of mind-body medicine, has done extensive research on the placebo effect and believes this to be the case.

His research has shown that the placebo effect yields beneficial clinical results in 60-90% of diseases that include angina pectoris, bronchial asthma, herpes simplex, and duodenal ulcer. He believes the placebo effect depends on the positive beliefs and expectations on the part of the patient, positive beliefs and expectations on the part of the physician or health care professional, and a good relationship between the two parties. Ultimately, Benson thinks, the placebo effect triggers memories in the central nervous system of what good health is, leading to events that result in feelings of well-being. Benson has coined the phrase "remembered wellness" to explain this effect.

If there is such a thing as remembered wellness, it may be a constituent of the evolutionary dynamics of self-organization towards greater levels of awareness. Perhaps remembered wellness is the highest and most ideal level of health, something that is ingrained in the body and something towards which the body is striving to evolve. If that is the case, and it is embedded in the body, something needs to trigger it. When something does trigger this intrinsic healing force that is the grand orchestration of all the forces that move a person from sickness to health, a person may be able to tap into their greater human potential and use it to get better.


The literature is filled with thousands of cases of people who have healed from serious ailments, many of whom were told they had no chance of living much longer and were left for dead. Most have left the biomedical community scratching their heads in wonder, unsure of how a person could defy the odds and unable to give a biomedical explanation. One physician, pathologist Marco DeVries of St. Clara Hospital in Rotterdam, Netherlands, discussing one of his patients who healed herself of terminal cancer said, "If I really believed the pathologist in me, I wouldn’t believe my eyes." He was alluding to the fact that her tissue samples originally showed a fast-moving cancer. Yet years later she was alive, vital, and cancer-free.

When Dr. DeVries asked this patient what she was doing to reverse the cancer, she replied, "I said, it’s just a feeling, something I know instinctively, from the inside. The emotions come up, and something happens in my body because of them, but I don’t have words for it. It is just a big, big trust."

The triggering mechanism that turns on the healing force might be analogous to the turning on of a light, as if the mechanism is a switch that is turning something on. One physician alluded to such a mechanism while talking about one of his patients, whose body was severely mangled in a car accident, but who managed to heal fully. "We tried the ordinary and the extraordinary as far as medicine goes, from mind-altering medication right up to hypnosis and acupuncture," he said, "but nothing worked. Whatever turned the switch and made him heal, it did it much more rapidly than conventional explanations allow."

Evidence suggests that there is some sort of switching mechanism in the body, even if it is a figurative one. Something is triggered. Perhaps the mechanism is an aspect of a Godelian universe, of an open-ended universe in which the mind and body have to take a quantum leap to go beyond the system. The mind would very well do this in its quest to reach up to greater and greater heights in order to find a solution to a dilemma caused by the limits of rational thinking—in this case, the limits of biomedicine. It may also be an aspect of quantum thinking and quantum creativity, of the ability for the mind to tap into a greater whole where greater powers exist. Either way, what occurs is an aspect of metanoia, or shifting of the mind, that allows a person to tap into a greater current that underlies the body and mind.

The ability to understand and cultivate the greater human potential is a core component of Quantum-Integral Medicine. The ability to flip a switch in the mind is something everyone has the capacity to do. To do so requires tapping into a greater human potential and in the process going beyond the mental models that most people have embedded in their minds, models designed to maintain a status quo of a linear and deterministic universe.

Profound healings that people experience are often given the label of "spontaneous remission," or "spontaneous regression," as if unbeknownst to them, some mysterious force entered their body and washed away their sins. This belief, which is both naive and reductionist, has many adherents in biomedicine because given their worldview, they lack any other logical explanation. However, as William Boyd points out in his book The Spontaneous Regression of Cancer, "The term spontaneous regression has a suggestion of something happening without a cause. That, of course, is absurd, for everything has a cause, apparent or inapparent." Instead, it is probably closer to the way cancer survivor Debby Ogg put it. Discounting the term spontaneous, she said, "I worked my ass off for it."

Understanding the mechanism that triggers the activation of the healing force is definitely a study well worth undertaking. "The possibility that medicine can learn to accomplish the same thing [so-called spontaneous or miracle healings] at will is surely within reach of imagining," remarked Lewis Thomas. Larry Dossey has stated that to unravel the mysteries of miracles may take a Manhattan Project for Miracles, or a National Institute of the Miraculous. To create such a project will take a new science of healing and human potential. This is one mission of a Quantum-Integral Medicine.

Excerpted from Quantum Integral Medicine: Towards a New Science of Healing & Human Potential by Dr. Michael Wayne. (iThink Books).

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