Healing the world

Norman Cousins: Laughter is the best medicine

The late Norman Cousins was an American political journalist, author, professor, and world peace advocate. But more than all this, he was a crusader who believed in himself. In 1964, he was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis, a rare disease of the connective tissues, and he was given a few months to live by a doctor friend. He was told to get his affairs in order, but Cousins would have none of it. He set himself to finding a solution. He read and discovered that both his disease and the medicines were depleting his body of Vitamin C, among other things.

He did three things.

1. He fired his doctor and left the hospital to check into a hotel. He found a doctor who would work with him as a team member, as opposed to insisting on being in charge.

2. He began to get injections of massive doses of Vitamin C.

3. He obtained a movie projector, no small feat in those days, and a pile of funny movies. He spent a great deal of time watching these films and laughing. He made a point to laugh until his very stomach hurt from it. And Cousins lived long enough to prove his doctors wrong. He finally died on November 30, 1990, in Los Angeles, 26 years after his doctors first diagnosed his ankylosing spondylitis.

Cousins later said in an interview that diseases were greatly linked to our mental patterns. If negative thoughts and emotions could lower the immunity and give birth to ailments, positive emotions had the power to boost immunity. He knew that laughter

induced happiness, and happiness had the power to bolster immunity. He wrote a collection of best-selling non-fiction books on illness and healing, as well as an autobiographical memoir, Human Options: An Autobiographical Notebook. His struggle with this illness is detailed in the book and movie, Anatomy of an Illness.

“I made the joyous discovery that 10 minutes of genuine belly laughter had an anesthetic effect, and would give me at least two hours of pain-free sleep,” he reported.

Brandon Bays: The inner journey

Brandon Bays, international healer and author of the book, The Journey, began her spiritual journey with Indian philosopher, J Krishnamurti, in 1974. After 18 years of practising energy medicine, lifestyle therapies, stage shows with famous motivational speakers, vibrant vegetarianism and a blissful married life, Brandon’s life fell apart at the age of 39 in 1992 when she was diagnosed with a football-sized tumour in the pelvic region. Brandon was bleeding internally.

Brandon sought an appointment with a surgeon-cum-integrative medical practitioner in California. The doctor told her to have a surgery or else internal bleeding could kill her. “I literally begged her to give me some time so that I could heal myself without surgery,” she said. Brandon’s own beliefs were at stake. The doctor gave Brandon a month.

Around that time in 1992, a lot of research was under way in the field of cellular healing. “If one could feel the emotions healthily, then the cell receptors would open releasing the blocked energy,” the studies said. Brandon took the help of colon therapy, a body worker who helped people with emotional issues, and subscribed to a natural diet comprising fresh and raw fruits and vegetables with freshly squeezed juices.

One day during a massage therapy session, Brandon felt her mind falling away while resting with her eyes closed. “I fell down through the emotional layers into my soul – and was guided mentally to the tumour spontaneously. It was like a black cavern – and there was a cell memory of childhood abuse and domestic violence.” Brandon forgave her parents. Immediately after that Brandon felt her tumour soften up! In six-and-a-half weeks, it disappeared and the doctors declared her tumour-free. Later, she condensed her experience along with another deeper spiritual experience to emerge with a form of therapy called The Journey, which purports to heal at the cellular level. Her book, also called The Journey, is a powerful testament to self-healing that has touched millions of lives.