Anyone who has read through the bulk of this blog will have realised that a lot of what I’m writing about really revolves around self empowerment. It’s about freeing yourself from the myth’s that stigmatise conditions like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The mind is a powerful thing, so powerful that we have barely scratched the surface of what it can do. If you haven’t read the book, ‘The Brain That Changes Itself,’ then I would encourage you to do so. It totally revolutionised how I thought about my brain and what I could do with it.
But that book isn’t a one off, there are many resources out there that take the neuroplasticity mindset and apply it to all walks of life. So I thought for this post I would talk about one that I recently came across that really made me stop.
There is a magazine called ‘Nexus’ that deals with alternate news and health, which I’ve been reading on and off for many years. Before I had CFS I read it more out of curiosity. I didn’t really take any of the stories seriously, but because I love a good conspiracy theory I found much of the content interesting.
Anyway, in the latest edition, Vol. 23, No. 5 (Aug-Sept 2016), there was an article written by Mark Baker, a psychotherapist and hypnotherapist from the UK, called ‘Change Your Mind, Change Your Body.’ The tagline of the article reads:
“Increasingly, research is showing that our mind, perceptions and beliefs control our body. By changing and developing our mindset, we can improve our physical health, recover more quickly from injury and reduce discomfort from pain.”
Again, if you’ve been reading this blog, you’ll know that I’m in agreement with much of that statement. I can’t see any reason why we can’t do all of those things, providing we approach them with an open mind. I expected the article to retread a lot of what I’d already read in other articles about neuroplasticity, but it didn’t, it totally blew my mind.
In the article, Baker goes on to talk about his work with people who suffer from multiple personality disorder.
In the first section he talked about the numerous cases where a patient would need to wear one set of glass for personality A, then a second set, with a different corrective lens, for personality B.
That’s kind of crazy, right? I mean the same person’s eyes responding differently based on which personality is active. Now, the old sceptic in me could find a way to argue that’s it’s not that big a deal, but really, it kind of is. This means that the brain can decide how well the eyes function.
Let’s look at the next example, a case where a woman was admitted to hospital for her diabetes. All the signs and symptoms were there; she needed medical help, however after the doctors had conducted their tests they were completely baffled. The tests revealed that diabetes was not present, and that the woman had never suffered from it. But in her records were test results that definitively proved that she had diabetes.
So what was going on? It turns out that one of her personalties had diabetes and the other didn’t. When the personality that had diabetes was dominant the tests results came back confirming her diabetes. When the personality that didn’t have diabetes was dominant the test results can back negative.
Now, I’ve seen how damaging diabetes is to people’s lives, a high school friend of mine died when he was 21 due to complications resulting from his diabetes. So, I’m not for one second saying that diabetes doesn’t exist and isn’t real, because it is. But to have it be there and then not be there based upon which personality was controlling that woman’s body, there’s something amazing at work there.
Anyway, make what you want of this. I’ve included a link to a New York Times article that confirms the story. Whether or not you want to take it at face value is up to you. A few years ago I would have thought that a story like this was complete rubbish, but now I’m more willing to accept that the brain could be powerful enough to alter a persons health in such drastic ways. More research on this topic is required. When I find something I’ll let you know.