My work with people has allowed me to see things differently. This is one of the many privileges and challenges I have had. It is actually my ability to see things accurately that they are counting upon. I must see where they’ve been hiding the truth. I must see their pain, even if they are trying to hide it. I must also see their strengths when they are blind to them. This ability to see clearly and clearly is the cornerstone for any type of healing. Verbal First Aid is built on this ability in a particular way.
Sometimes it is as simple as gently reminding people of important things they once knew, or that they intuitively sensed when they were younger. But, over the course a busy, business-driven, life, they have forgotten. Science is changing. Perhaps nowhere is this more evident than in the understanding and treatment of disease and the human body. First, let’s be clear: We are not who we think we are. Many of us live our lives believing that our jobs, bank accounts, and images (how we look, what we desire, and our social success) are our identities.
We act as if our bodies are random molecules, chasing after some brass ring. Sometimes we bump into other bodies, some which we like and move with in a clump for awhile, and some which repel us. The latest epigenetic research and the more established principles in quantum physics show that we are more than “mass” and “material.” We are complex and intricately interconnected beings made up of energy. We are constantly evolving manifestations of thought and are not only affected by it.
Bruce Lipton, a cell biologist who has shown that the human genome is adaptable and that our thoughts (images or ideas) influence us at the most fundamental level in our existence, is the greatest proponent of this line. Biologists have believed that DNA “controls” the cell’s life since the 1950’s. However, Lipton’s research revealed that cells can survive for months without their nucleus. They continued to respond to their environment and behaved as before. If it wasn’t genes, then what was controlling cellular behavior and behavior?
He concluded that the DNA responded to the environment by making choices based upon what it perceived. This means that the images and beliefs we hold in our minds and the deepest parts of our beings impact how we heal. Not only does it affect how we feel emotionally but also how our cells behave and whether they adapt or become rigid and deformed. Lipton states that genes cannot be turned on or off by themselves. It is our social and personal environments that signal that a change is required. Stress and fear signal the need for “protection”, and our genes respond. Our genetic perceptions are a reflection of how we perceive our health, both physical and emotional.
Images and beliefs are directly translated into our genetics. This is how we create our destiny. This simple, yet stunning scientific fact is the reason Verbal First Aid, which is the therapeutic use of words for physical healing, works so well. It is especially important for children who are still learning to be free from social expectations. Children are more open to possibilities. Children are more open to suggestion. They can see a monster under their bed and can visualize it magically healing. Or they can turn off their bleeding by visualizing a faucet in their minds.
Verbal First Aid can not only help them in an immediate crisis (a fall or burn, or a terrifying nightmare), but it can also provide them with resources that will last a lifetime. We teach children how to change their perceptions of pain, alter their immune responses, and smooth over scares quickly. This helps them learn self-management. Verbal First Aid is a method we use to help our children feel that they can control their thoughts, feelings, and how they use them to their full potential.
These are the basics to remember if you or someone you care about is hurt, ill, or needs surgery.
- Energy moves energy. Your cells respond to energy at its most fundamental level. Based on perception and thought, genetics can change.
- What you think is just as important as what it is. It’s more than just repeating nice aphorisms in a mirror. It is a fundamental belief system. It is your operating system or core programming.
- Your words can make a difference in the way others heal. There are both things you can do to help someone who is hurt or scared.
Verbal First Aid is not difficult. (See The Worst Is over, Acosta/Prager), but the most important thing is rapport. The ABC’s of therapeutic communication are essential for building rapport with someone you care about (whether they are short-term or long-term).
- Authority: Who should we follow if we need to escape from a burning building? A firefighter. It is a natural instinct to follow someone who is uninformed and who we perceive knows what they are doing. To allow someone to follow us (our words), towards a calmer and more healing state, it is important to approach them with some of the same authority.
- Believability: We must believe what we say. This doesn’t mean that we should tell someone that a procedure will hurt them or that they are doomed. It does mean acknowledging where someone is at the moment. Our credibility is reduced to zero when we say “everything’s okay” when it is clear that not everything is fine.
- Compassion: Our compassion can be compared to a sound wave carrying a tune. Our messages of healing and our suggestions are accepted because the person we are speaking to can see that we care about him. People will follow those who truly care about their well-being. Once you have established a rapport, you can start to offer healing suggestions. These are not specific situations, but general examples. When our bodies fail, when we are hurt, or get sick, when we face surgery or “procedures”, I often hear two things from people:
- Shock-how can this have happened to you?
- What if it never ends?
- Is this how it will be for me?
All seem to fall into the same trap. Despite all our experience and recovery, we forget that we have been sick before and have since recovered. Despite all of our knowledge, we forget that our bodies are not the only thing we have and that we have spiritual and concrete resources.
You will see something quite important and surprising: Healing is the norm, not the exception. Most people recover fairly well from most injuries and illnesses, despite the fact that we are all temporarily traveling through a fallen universe. Certain things are inevitable, provided the right conditions are met. The sun rises and sets. Wind blows and branches bend. You can focus on one thing and forget about the other. You can easily recall instances when a person thought she would never do or feel “x” again if you get to know her well. All metaphors and suggestions for healing work best when they can be tailored to the individual and the situation. These can be used as reminders to yourself and others to help you at any time.