Drug-Free Pain Relief

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Drug-Free Pain Relief from Seneca: Letter 78 - On the Healing Power of the Mind

The mind-body problem wasn’t a problem 2,000 years ago, but chronic illness may have been better understood.

As Seneca wrote in the first century, in his 78th moral letter to Lucilius, “For sometimes it is an act of bravery even to live.” He goes on to say, “It is a most miserable state to have lost one’s zest for dying and to have no zest in living. But when set in the very midst of troubles one should say, ‘Perchance some day the memory of this sorrow will even bring delight.’ ” LXXVIII. On the Healing Power of the Mind

For those of us in chronic pain or living with chronic illness, we face a decision every time we wake: do we fight to live another day, or give in to our suffering? Nothing about this struggle has changed for thousands of years, despite the advancements in science and medicine.

Taking Back Responsibility For Your Body and Mind

According to the 7 Steps Of The Healing Path by Sheila Pennington, Ph.D., there’s a balance point where we either choose to take action or choose inaction in regards to our health. This major life-changing choice can lead us either towards hope, change, and improvement, or instead towards dependency, hopelessness, and despair.

The choice always involves taking responsibility for our health, or giving it up and placing it entirely into someone else’s hands. Fortunately, there’s usually a route out of the pit of darkness – if only we were to look for it.

If you’ve chosen to trust the state of your health to someone else and find yourself in despair? The path out of despair can only be to reverse your decision, choose the other path, and begin a self-directed healing journey. Do so before it’s too late to change.

The Ultimate Healing Guide will help you find inspiration to rekindle your purpose, find meaning in life, and discover something new you can try to help manage your pain. (disclaimer)

“The reason, however, why the inexperienced are impatient when their bodies suffer is, that they have not accustomed themselves to be contented in spirit. They have been closely associated with the body. Therefore a high-minded and sensible man divorces soul from body, and dwells much with the better or divine part, and only as far as he must with this complaining and frail portion.” ? Seneca, Moral Letter No. 78

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Descartes’ Mind-Body Dualism Has Failed and Taken Our Health With It for Hundreds of Years

René Descartes‘ is famous for coming up with the phrase “I think, therefore I am.” Of course, it was written in Latin at the time. Back in 1633 when Galileo was being condemned by the Catholic church, Descartes was formulating the “mind-body problem” as we know it today.

Also known as “Cartesian Dualism,” the mind-body problem  is partially to blame for today’s failing American medical system. We know now there are as many paths to self-healing as there are people on this planet, but that’s not the way we’re treated. Without ever taking into consideration the role our consciousness plays in healing, it becomes glaringly illogical for our medical system to treat everyone’s body the same.

So now it’s obvious that the concept of Dualism isn’t working when it comes to our healthcare approach. After hundreds of years, we’re coming to our senses and realizing that treating the mind as separate from the body is absolutely not making us any better.

“By isolating the ‘mind’ from the ‘body,’ medical practice rooted in dualism discounts the significance of mental states in the maintenance of health.”

The Problem of Dualism in Modern Western Medicine

Part of the problem with the “mind-body problem” is that Descartes and adherents conflate the concepts of mind, brain, soul, and self-awareness into a spectacular mess which has taken humanity almost 400 years to untangle.

René Descartes' illustration of mind/body dualism.

René Descartes’ illustration of mind/body dualism, circa 1637

We can also point to Descartes as a primary influence upon the divergence of modern medicine away from integrated healthcare. It certainly explains why doctors still treat the body and the mind separately, and why dualism continues to survive within the medical ranks.

“Today, our understanding of human beings has changed significantly.”

Mind-body Dualism: A critique from a Health Perspective

Considering that modern psychology, mind-body medicine, and integrative healthcare all treat the mind and body as a single system – and with great success, it puts to rest ancient ideas which gave rise to the “magic bullet” theory of disease treatment.

The idea that all disease can be traced to a “single agent,” growing from the work of Louis Pasteur (mid- to late-1800’s), also discounts consciousness and is partially to blame for the “drugs solve everything” approach today.


The Mind Body Problem

Ignoring the role of conscious self-awareness is what plagues our current pharmaceutical-medical system. Surprisingly, “the current medical crisis” has been highlighted in the West since the 1970’s. Here are a couple examples which illustrate how it has taken us at least 40 years to start waking up!

Integrative Health Treats Mind-Body As One System

Once we combine the ingredient of “self-awareness” with the mind-body as an integrated system, a path towards healing becomes evident and dualism is resolved. Plus, we can discuss the advantages of this health perspective without getting mired down in age-old arguments about where consciousness comes from.

“Here’s the theoretical and conceptual problem with the mind-body split:  it almost exclusively addresses the body/disease part, omitting the psychological and social aspects involved in mental disorders. That is, modern medicine practices a biomedical model and, thereby, is not consistent with the modern theory of science.”

Robert C. Smith, M.D.

An Integrative Mind-Body Healthcare approach does not ignore willpower, self-awareness, or consciousness. Instead, it has the capacity to treat disease and chronic illness with evidence-based approaches which can, in most cases, help us avoid drugs and surgery altogether.

The Mind-Body Problem Cartoon by Roz Chast

Mind-Body Problem Cartoon by Roz Chast

Self-Awareness Is A Critical Factor In Wellness & Suffering

Our degree of healing or suffering is directly proportional to our level of self-awareness. There aren’t many doctors who will tell you how critical your self-awareness is to your degree of wellness. Dr. Lissa Rankin is one of them. In her book, “Mind Over Medicine,” she presents abundant “Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself.” She is one of a growing army of 21st-century doctors who are embracing Mind-Body Medicine and Integrative Healthcare.

The idea that we should become masters of ourselves is no longer an esoteric Eastern philosophy, as we’re familiar with through the Martial Arts. Mastery of oneself should be everyone’s philosophy of life.

This is why a fundamental portion of TheBodyIsMind™ website is dedicated to helping you discover more self-awareness in every way possible.

The Role Consciousness Plays In Self-Healing

The evolution of our species indicates we are on the verge of learning widespread conscious control of all our autonomous “bodymind” systems which keep us alive. It means we’re learning to escape the hellish burden of our animal mind which stores trauma and pain. We do this by exhibiting self-healing powers which live within every cell of our body – all 37 trillion of them.

Dr. Wayne Jonas explains the biology of healing and the science behind the discovery that 80 percent of healing can be attributed to the mind-body connection and other naturally occurring processes.

How Healing Works

Your self-healing powers are already programmed into your very being. Learn about your self+bodymind relationship and discover the power of increasing your self-awareness! The mind permeates every cell of the human body, and you can learn to have self-mastery over this intelligent organization of 37 trillion cells in many different ways.

This is not a glib statement; the science rolling in to support modern mind-body wellness is astonishing.

Our body averages 37 Trillion cells

Our body averages 37 Trillion cells


As you begin your journey on a self-directed healing path, you will discover many ways to decrease or eliminate drug and alcohol dependency, relieve trauma and suffering, and be more in control of your thoughts and emotions. Understanding your self+body+mind relationship is essential.

The real effort we’re trying to undertake is learning how to wind down the mind and calm the body before we have a flare-up. To relieve chronic pain and anxiety, we want to focus on calming down our over-active nervous system in any way possible.

The strength of your resolve and your attitude towards living have more impact on your wellness than medicine or surgery. So, you need to be willing to believe that whatever treatment you’re doing will help you. If it’s not helping you, then you need to abandon that method and find something else which makes you feel better.

TheBodyIsMind™ is dedicated to providing you with information on more than 101 alternative methods that you can try, starting today.

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Self-Healing Journey