A friend of mine who has Lyme disease wrote me recently, saying:
“So good to hear from you. I’ve thought of calling to ask if you have any special ideas or resources for dealing with the Lyme beast.”
I answered her as follows (edited):
A. Notice the image in your mind as you think of the word “beast.” Calling Lyme a “beast” probably makes it appear larger and more powerful than it really is, and probably more powerful than you are. If you were battling the beast that you see in your mind, would you win or lose?
What happens in your experience when you use some other word (and image) to describe Lyme disease? It is actually caused by very tiny little bacteria (with a really dorky name, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto!) and it is only by a lot of them working together and ganging up on you that they can make your body sick. Using a different word (and image) for these little critters is likely to result in a more positive attitude.
Then you could go on to contemplate how your body could confuse these little bacteria, and sow dissension among them, so they can’t work together. When they are disorganized, your immune system can pick them off one by one. Do you know the story of Sergeant York, in WWI?
B. There is Connirae’s natural healing process in our book, Heart of the Mind chapter 20: “Engaging Your Body’s Natural Ability to Heal.” This process relies on the submodality codings that you already use to represent healing naturally, engaging the resources of your unconscious mind directly. This can be much more effective than a conscious “positive attitude.”
C. Here is another thing to try. I have not tested it, nor verified it, but it is something that I do naturally. It can change your outlook, and I’m very sure it can’t hurt.
1. First think of, and make a long written list of, all the sicknesses, injuries, and ailments of all kinds that you have recovered from successfully over the years, from little scrapes to potentially life-threatening ones.
2. Make a brief movie of each item on your list, from its onset, through healing and resolution. Then choose a still image from the movie to serve as an icon for the whole movie, just as an icon on a computer gives you easy access to the information that appears when you click on it.
3. Put all those icons into a large, close, colorful, simultaneous collage directly in front of you, so that when you focus on an icon, the movie plays. As you allow your eye to wander across the collage, each icon can burst into the brief movie of healing that it represents. This creates an experience and reminder of how effective your body is at healing itself from all sorts of illnesses and injuries.
Put all the individual movies together into a long sequential movie that loops back at the end to the beginning, and start it playing endlessly in the back of your mind, where it won’t interfere with whatever else you are doing during the day.
Put these movies together in any other way that is natural for you, in order to create a comprehensive database of all the times that you your body has successfully healed, and recovered from, an illness or injury.
Whether or not either of these options has any direct effect on the illness itself, at the very least it is likely to alter your state for the better, and that will have an indirect positive effect on your health. Feeling better is a benefit in itself, even if it doesn’t directly affect the disease, and there is pretty good research that your feelings affect the functioning of your immune system and overall health and resilience.
Although the last option (C) is something that I have personally done for years (At 75, I am healthy and not taking any medications—but of course I could just be lucky—one third of the people my age in the US are already dead.), I haven’t tested it thoroughly by teaching it to others, to find out how well it works for them. If you use it, I would appreciate your letting me know what you experience, and/or any questions you might have.