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Self-healing is a phrase applied to the process of recovery (generally from psychological disturbances, trauma, etc.), motivated by and directed by the patient, guided often only by instinct. Such a process encounters mixed fortunes due to its amateur nature, although self-motivation is a major asset. The value of self-healing lies in its ability to be tailored to the unique experience and requirements of the individual. The process can be helped and accelerated with introspection techniques such as Meditation.
Self-healing is the ultimate phase of Gestalt Therapy.
Self healing may refer to automatic, homeostatic processes of the body that are controlled by physiological mechanisms inherent in the organism. These have been acknowledged for many hundreds of years, as in the observation of
In a figurative sense, self-healing properties can be ascribed to systems or processes, which by nature or design tend to correct any disturbances brought into them. Such as the regeneration of the skin after a cut or scrape, or of an entire limb. Or (in a more abstract sense) the setting of one's own broken bone, because once set, the bone will grow back into itself and heal. In each case, the injured party (the living body) repairs the damaged part by itself.
Beyond the innate restorative capacities of the physical body, there are many factors of psychological nature that can influence self-healing. Hippocrates Hippocrates, considered by many to be the father of medical treatment, observed: "The physician must be ready, not only to do his duty himself, but also to secure the co-operation of the patient, of the attendants and of externals." — Hippocrates [Aphorisms, in Hippocrates, trans. W. H. S. Jones (1931), Vol. 4, 99].
Self-healing may also be achieved through deliberately applied psychological mechanisms. These approaches may improve the psychological and physical conditions of a person. Research confirms that this can be achieved through numerous mechanisms, including relaxation, breathing exercises, fitness exercises, imagery, meditation Meditation [Review of meditation research: [Murphy, Michael; Donovan, Steven; Taylor, Eugene. The Physical and Psychological Effects of Meditation: A Review of Contemporary Research With a Comprehensive Bibliography, 1931-1996, Sausalito, CA: Institute of Noetic Sciences 1997/]; [Searchable meditation bibliography: http://biblio.noetic.org/], yoga Yoga [Research: http://www.healthandyoga.com/html/research_papers/yt.asp], qigong qigong, t'ai chi, biofeedback biofeedback [research: http://www.cliving.org/biblobiof.htm], and various forms of psychotherapy, among other approaches.
Varieties of mechanisms for self-healing have been proposed, including:
- Decreases in stress hormones that may impair physiological functions when there is chronic stress
- Decreases in muscle tension, which can worsen or produce pains in muscles, tendons and joints when there is chronic muscle tension due to stress
- Improved sleep that can be achieved through relaxation, which improves physiological functions
- Improvements in emotional tensions, depression, anger and other emotions that can otherwise impair social relationships and functioning in the workplace, leading to vicious circles of increased psychological symptoms.