February 8, 2011

Investigating the Mind-Body Connection

I'm doing a lot of searching lately. Online, in my heart, through prayer... Anyone in a major life transition tends to do this, or so I've heard. (Don't worry - I won't be buying a motorcycle anytime soon)

One of the things I'm currently researching is mind-body therapy. I understand that our thought life affects our physical life, and it is no small thing. Phrases like "I think, therefore I am" come to mind. One thing I came across today is a video segment from 20/20 where John Stossel investigates a physician-led mind-body therapy for sufferers of chronic back (or similar) pain. His findings were fascinating, and he even submitted himself as a patient.

So. Can I think myself to having healthy eggs? Did all those years of running away from pregnancy affect my hormones to the degree that the health of my eggs actually suffered? Where's does mind-body therapy end and my relationship with God begin? I have heard people draw parallels between prayer and meditation and understand the temptation to think that, somehow these could be the same thing if they produce the same result. But this is where discernment becomes really critical. I know that the mind is capable of far more things that we currently understand, and we are learning more all the time. I know that much of life is still a mystery, and one body of knowledge (whether it be the Western medical community, alternative therapy, or a particular philosophy) does not hold all the cards. Even the combination of all human knowledge in the world right now cannot give me all the answers. They also cannot give me comfort or peace or hope.

I have a vision of myself, of my reproductive system, and it is something I think about for just a minute or two many times throughout the week. I meditate on this vision prayerfully. I am finally able to accept what is, and accept myself as I am, and I am willing to do the work of psychological and emotional healing that I need. That doesn't mean I don't want my situation to change. 

It does mean that I
Seek first. Keep looking. Don't stop. Keep knocking. Don't give up.

Sometimes I think about Hannah who, after years of infertility, prayed desperately for a child and promised to give one to God if he blessed her. And Sarah, who must have given up asking at some point, or else why would she have laughed out loud when she heard the man of God prophecy that she'd bear a child in her old age?

Daniel 2:28
"...but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries."