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Run, Run, Run

I would like to share a very unusual story - however, as always, there is a very powerful lesson behind it. This is a story about an elderly woman who had been suffering from severe arthritis for many years. She subscribed to the normal modalities of modern medicine - medications and other remedies such as topical ointments, however, nothing seemed to help significantly. One day, her friend who visited her suggested that she seek help from a spiritual master/ faith healer who had ”cured” several individuals who had been suffering from severe chronic pain and similar afflictions. That evening she discussed this with her caretaker/ son and told him about the whereabouts of this faith healer. The son agreed to take her to him. The faith healer lived in a small cottage in a suburban part of the city. He also had a condition for all his patients - they have to come alone for the visit. The elderly lady went alone to visit the faith healer, the son waited patiently at a location about a few blocks away from his cottage. After almost 45 minutes of wait time, the son got somewhat impatient. Finally, he turned to walk towards the faith healer’s cottage. He was utterly surprised at what he saw! His mother who could barely walk when he left her at the faith healer’s cottage was running like a young girl!

Obviously, some treatment/ strategy that the faith healer used had worked. The elderly woman paused after meeting her son and said, “I can not believe what happened - it appears that I am truly cured of my disease!” The son was also confused, but happily asked “How did the faith healer make you run?” The mother replied (with tears of happiness in her eyes), “I was chased by two hound dogs - I had to run, run, run for my life!” Then she paused and smiled, “If I could do it then, I know I can start walking - even running again!” The elderly lady had been an athlete in her younger years. Due to her condition (arthritis) and aging, she had been misadvised to refrain from physical activity.

Consequently, she lost her mobility and associated self-confidence. The faith healer had interviewed her for 30 minutes and then sent her back to go home. He told her to come back after a week. However, he sent the trained hound dogs without preparing her for the short run - so she would be forced to “run, run, run for her life!” With no other option in sight, the woman had to force herself to run! The elderly woman had regained her confidence in her own innate ability to “heal” or manage her chronic arthritis.

Let us review this story now and determine if such a “miracle” is even possible. It has been well documented for the last 100 years by scientists and prominent physicians that most discoveries throughout medical history have actually been unexplained by the usual canons of medicine. It was not in most cases the specific medical remedy that usually cured the patient. It was the “belief” in the remedy and in the healer that seems to have mobilized a powerful innate self healing mechanism within the brain.

At the turn of the century the prominent physician Oliver Wendell Holmes said that if all the drugs available were tossed into the ocean, it would be all the better for mankind and all the worse for the fishes. Yet, in spite of the patently useless and quite often dangerous treatments offered throughout medical history, people seemed to get better. Why was that happening? It can be explained because of “the powerful placebo” that is still widely accepted.

Moreover, that patient himself (or herself) has to create a strong inner environment for self-healing. This has to start with a strong commitment to heal using one’s own innate desire and will - as was illustrated by our story. This phenomenon is also referred to as “Mind over matter” which will be discussed in future website updates.

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