I’m always (actually NEVER) amazed at how many people who come to my acupuncture clinic start to question why they’re feeling better…
“I mean, come on, what is this REALLY doing?” they’ll ask.
They can scarcely believe that a few tiny painless needless inserted into strategic points on their body can make any difference. So, they’ll start wondering… “Is it all in my mind?”
It’s an interesting question, actually. Aside from the fact that yes, without question, acupuncture works and there are thousands of scientific studies to demonstrate it, our left-brained culture has instilled a default mode of understanding that is ruthlessly analytical, logical, and painfully absent of insight.
That’s not to say that people don’t have insight. Insight is actually an innate quality we all possess. Insight is actually our most powerful tool, magnitudes more powerful than any drug or surgical procedure.
Not to say that drugs and surgeries aren’t powerful. They are. They save lives. They help people overcome terrible diseases and can even help people have babies.
But, insight involves understanding something more than just what’s going on “out there”. As in, the way science understands everything by putting it in a dish or a lab and studying it to the nth degree until there’s nothing left to name or analyze.
Insight involves the study of something that can scarcely be named or completely understood. Something unique, miraculous, and more powerful than you can imagine.
It’s the study of YOU.
So, my patient who says, “Is this all in my head?”
The actual, true answer to this question – in EVERY SINGLE CASE – is YES. Yes, it’s all in your head. It’s all something you’re perceiving and processing and then responding to.
In other words, you could be doing acupuncture and receive absolutely no benefit from it not because it isn’t working, but because you aren’t paying attention to how it IS working.
Acupuncture is not a drug. It’s not a surgical procedure. Acupuncture is a STIMULUS. It is designed to elicit a RESPONSE from the most elegantly complex yet intelligent medicine-making apparatus known – the human (or animal because yes acupuncture is used on animals) body-mind.
Notice, I said “Body-Mind”, not “body”. Why? Because your body and mind are one. There is no clear boundary between the two, not that can be measured. Yet, mind pervades your entire body.
Think about your toe right now. There it is! You’ve sent your attention to your toe and you can feel your toe. A scientist would label that as your brain sending a signal down to your toe.
But, what initiated that signal?? What told the signal to amplify into your toe?
Aha… Now you’re starting to get it.
So, let’s get to the first point here…
Your mind controls your body – completely…
OK, I know. You’re thinking, “Yeah, right.” But, let me illustrate something.
How does your body know to secrete certain hormones at certain times of the day, or certain enzymes to break down certain types of foods? Or, how does it know to send more blood to your brain and eyes when you’re reading this article?
It’s called MIND.
“Yeah, but I’m not thinking about those things…” you say. “I’m not thinking about making more proteolytic enzymes or upping my cortisol or raising my blood pressure to increase blood flow to my brain. Those things are automatic.”
Yep, you are absolutely right. They’re automatic. But, that doesn’t mean they’re not initiated and controlled by your mind.
In fact, they are. We just call it “subconscious mind” because, well, it’s below (or outside) of our conscious awareness.
In fact, let’s instead call it “ultraconscious” mind because I like that better. It doesn’t imply that it’s “below” or “beneath” your conscious mind. It more reflects the fact that your mind is doing all kinds of AMAZING things beyond your conscious awareness.
Not below or “down there”. More like “right here, just extended and amplified”!
So, now that we’ve established your mind’s domain over your entire physical body and how your body is functioning, let’s talk about WORDS.
Words have meaning. Words embody concepts. Words can denote feelings, direction, names, qualities, and many other things.
But, most importantly – WORDS TELL STORIES.
And, if you’ve been reading my work or have seen me in clinic you know I’m big on stories. Namely, the stories you are telling yourself – either consciously or sub… (I mean) “ultraconsciously”.
No word is, in and of itself, harmful. This something I want to point out. Words, like tools, can be used for both harm and help. It’s not the word that makes the effect. It’s both the intention behind the word and – probably even more importantly – the RESPONSE by the receiver that determines the word’s power.
And… here’s the key thing so please focus on this next concept… When you use words internally as medicine, you are both the speaker and the receiver – you control both the intention and the response.
Perhaps in no other area of life can you say this. When you speak words out loud, they are heard by someone else and that always leaves room for misunderstanding. In fact, studies have shown that about 80% of the time words spoken between two people are misunderstood on some level.
But, when you speak to yourself, when you tell yourself stories or focus in on what I call a “power word”, you gain access to immense power. In fact, you gain access to your TRUE power.
You become able to effect massive change within yourself on not just an emotional level but a physical level as well.
What do I mean by this?
It’s very, very simple. This isn’t a complicated scientific formula and it’s not going to impress any physicists or mathematicians who are looking for complicated, elaborate equations or theories. It goes something like this:
When you’re scared, your adrenals secrete more stress hormones. Your blood pressure elevates (even if just slightly), more stress is put on your liver, your thyroid, and your brain. Your immune system is turned down, and your blood sugar and adrenaline system is turned up.
Conversely, when you’re not scared, instead feeling confident and secure in the present moment, your blood pressure normalizes, your adrenals secrete less stress hormones, your liver, thyroid, pancreas, and brain are in a more restful and clear state. Your immune system is able to function at its peak, and your blood sugar and adrenaline are balanced.
All negative emotions – including anger, shame, guilt, grief, and others – are rooted in FEAR. So, your body perceives all negative emotional states as a form of FEAR.
Conversely, all positive emotional states – or what I call “serenity states” – are rooted in LOVE. So, your body perceives all calm and serenity as LOVE.
And, it’s that simple, folks.
The key here is to start creating stories that dispel fear and promote love – from WITHIN. Meaning you’re not waiting for others to love you or accept you. You’re not waiting for the outside world to become “less scary” or “less dangerous”.
You start right here, right now, using words to heal yourself. Using words AS MEDICINE.
When you change “I should have” to “I will”. When you change “why me” to “why NOT me”. When you change “I am so stupid” to “I am the embodiment of Divine Intelligence”…
Do you feel that?
When you feel that uplifting sensation, that is as much BIOLOGICAL as it is MENTAL.
And, the chemicals that result from that uplifting sensation are insanely powerful medicine. They are, in fact, the root of all medicine…
The first step to starting this is to accept that, indeed, you ARE scared, or angry or ashamed or… whatever that negative emotion is. DON’T RUN FROM IT.
Stand up and meet it. Be present to it. Don’t judge yourself.
Then, make a promise to yourself that, starting today, things will be different. You’re going to own your story and start creating a story that isn’t fear-based, but that is based in love, kindness, and forgiveness.
Then, my friend, you will have opened a really big door – to the most powerful, in-tune, and fulfilled version of YOU there is.
So, when my patients start getting better from their acupuncture and start wondering, “Is it just in my mind?” The answer is – YES. It is.
And, so is everything else.
What are the negative stories going on “behind the scenes” in your mind, keeping you from being, feeling, doing your best, and growing to where you want to be? Let me know in the comments below.
It’s an honor and privilege to have your readership.