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Mental healing refers to the use of intention, visualization, and relaxation techniques for restoring mental, emotional, and physical well-being. While mental healing techniques are thought to have a relaxing impact on the mind, their effects are considered to be holistic, affecting and healing the entire person. Individuals who practice this method may engage in mental self-healing or direct their energies outwards to help heal others. Scientific research in this field is limited, difficult to document, and generally considered poorly understood by the scientific community.
The premise behind mental healing is that the mind, body, and spirit are interconnected. Based on this reasoning, mental health interventions are thought to impact both the emotional and physiological aspects of a human being. An individual whose physical health problems are caused by tension or mental anxiety, for example, might benefit from a technique of visualization and relaxation that calms his mind and, in turn, heals his body. Some asthmatic patients are known to respond well to visualization treatments that calm their nerves and restore their breathing to normal. Others practice meditation and stress reduction techniques with the belief that these practices will strengthen their immune systems and reduce their susceptibility to disease and illness.
An individual may practice mental healing for himself or direct his energy to impact others. It is believed that a person’s thoughts have healing capacities that impact the cells of his body. The act of healing occurs through conscious generation of positive thoughts and intentions. By deliberately setting and directing positive intentions to others, individuals may also impact each other’s well-being on a holistic level. Examples of this type of healing method can be seen in the practices of faith healers and individuals who believe in the restorative power of intention setting and prayer.
Scientific studies on the power of mental healing are limited in number. Some studies have shown the impact of thought energy on the structure of water molecules, the force of blood pressure, the amount of muscle movement, and the photon count of algae. The physical distance from which a person sends a healing intention to his target is considered to be irrelevant. An individual can be either a few feet away from his target or across the globe, and the results will be the same. While these changes have been observed in specific mental healing experiments, no clear scientific explanations have been given for the physical changes observed.