Have you ever been embarrassed and your cheeks turn red? When you went on your first date, did your hands get sweaty? Or maybe you gave a presentation at work and were so nervous that your stomach hurt, your heart was racing, or your mouth became dry. These are familiar examples of how your thoughts—and subsequent emotions—cause physical changes in your body. But did you know that your emotions have so much control over your biology they can make you sick or heal you?
We’ve all heard that chronic stress is unhealthy. Even Western medicine acknowledges that stress is a major cause or contributor to 90 percent of disease. Yet most of us downplay the role of emotions in both disease and wellness. That’s partly because we’re looking for physical answers to our seemingly physical problems. But it’s also partly because most of us don’t actually believe that emotions alone are capable of eliciting a full-blown disease. I didn’t understand the significance of emotions either until recently. I’d like to share my mom’s story.
My mom had been sick since her early 20’s, beginning with kidney disease. Over the decades, her laundry list of diseases grew along with her list of pharmaceuticals. At one point, she was taking 15 prescription drugs every day. She was in and out of hospitals routinely for various ailments, including multiple heart attacks and strokes. For decades, my family lived in constant fear that she was going to die at any moment.
Then, roughly three years ago, her husband passed away. By this time, her remaining kidney, which was a transplanted kidney, had shut down. Along with kidney failure, she suffered from heart disease, type 2 diabetes, Hashimoto’s, seizures, skin cancer, arthritis, high blood pressure, very high triglycerides, and polyps in her colon. The doctors said there was nothing more they could do, but I could not let her die.
I began diligently working to reverse her many ailments. I identified and addressed her physical triggers, such as nutrient deficiencies, heavy metal toxicities, and food sensitivities. I cooked all of her food from scratch, according to my dietary principles. She drank clean, structured water. I also motivated her to begin walking and spending time absorbing the morning rays of the sun. Within 7 months, all of her physical ailments and diseases had reversed except the high blood pressure, and she stopped taking 12 out of 15 prescription medications.
Overall, this was a remarkable achievement. For example, for decades, she had injected herself with insulin before every meal and prior to bedtime. Within 7 months, the diabetes was gone. By all accounts, my mother was physically healed. Her team of doctors couldn’t believe it, so they ran numerous tests trying to find something wrong. Every test came back normal. There were no signs of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, kidney failure, or any other physical ailment. Yet a few months later, she died. She was physically the healthiest she had been in 50 years, but she died. Why?
I, too, was chronically sick until six years ago. I nearly died from an advanced stage of an autoimmune disease. In fact, my symptoms and disease progression mirrored my mother’s, including kidney issues, polyps, arthritis, and high cholesterol. And, like my mother, I healed from every physical ailment.
But there was one ailment my mother never recovered from, and this was the ailment that would ultimately take her life. My mother died of “stress-induced cardiomyopathy”—a broken heart. On the anniversary of her husband’s death, she felt pain in her heart and was rushed to the emergency room. They ran a gamut of tests and ultimately diagnosed her with a broken heart. That’s why we were able to free her from all of her medications except the blood pressure pills; she couldn’t handle the stress of losing her husband.
At the time, I knew the high blood pressure was a clue that her biology was being driven by the emotion of sadness, which led to anxiety and fear. Consequently, I worked with her on the emotional level, but eventually she shut down. So I hired a grief counselor and found her a friend. But the emotions were too overwhelming and, ultimately, she succumbed to the grief.
This was a pivotal point in my own journey. My mom’s story revealed a gift that God has given all of us—the ability to harness your emotions to change your biology. From her story, you can see how unresolved emotions can not only make you sick, they can kill you. On the flip side, God also gave us the ability to heal using our emotions. One of the best examples of this remarkable gift is spontaneous healings.
When symptoms disappear without formal treatment, it’s called spontaneous healing. Spontaneous healings exist for all types of diseases—even cancer, which is often viewed as a death sentence in our society. In fact, in 2011, an article in the Journal of Natural Science, Biology and Medicine stated:
“The spontaneous healing of cancer is a phenomenon that has been observed for hundreds of … years and after having been the subject of many controversies, it is now accepted as an indisputable fact.
“Spontaneous regression of cancer is not a rare occurrence … [and this] proves a remarkable fact that cancer is not an irreversible process.”
Furthermore, in 2002, medical journals published at least 4 articles every month documenting cases of spontaneous healings of disease. Clearly, your body is capable of creating spontaneous healing. How?
Spontaneous healings usually involve a shift in emotions, such as an act of forgiveness or letting go of a negative emotion, such as anger or fear. A study published in Medical Hypotheses about spontaneous remissions revealed that even as far back as 1984, “Several investigators, without known contradiction, have found that depression quite regularly long precedes cancer.”
When the emotion is released, the disease can dissolve. That’s how profoundly our emotions affect our biology.
You can access that amazing healing power anytime you want to achieve a health goal. Simply by shifting your emotions, your physiology will change.
Dr. Sina McCullough is the creator of the online program, “GO WILD: How I Reverse Chronic & Autoimmune Disease,” and author of “Hands Off My Food,” and “Beyond Labels.” She earned a Ph.D. in Nutrition from UC Davis. She is a Master Herbalist, Gluten Free Society Certified Practitioner and homeschool mom of three.