Schwarz, Jack - Beyond Biofeedback by Drs Elmer and Alyce Green – Healing via visualisation and mind control
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Beyond Biofeedback – Drs Elmer and Alyce Green
Demonstrations of physiological self-control are certainly interesting to study, but the conclusion one should draw is not that there are unusual people in the world. Psychosomatic disease provides striking evidence of the power of the mind to influence the body in ordinary persons. Jack feels that he has no more potential capability to self-regulate than anyone else. Training programs for psychosomatic self-regulation should be within the reach of everyone.
Part of self-regulation is pain control. Pain is useful, of course, being the psychological part of the great signaling system that tells us when something is wrong. But Jack thinks of pain as if it were an alarm clock. He says that when the alarm has rung you turn it off and do something. "You turn the pain off first," he said, "because it's hard to think as long as that is going on inside your head."
"But even if we learn to control pain," I questioned, "how do you handle the problem itself? Say, for instance, that a knife has slipped and cut your hand. What do you do after you've turned off the pain?" In answer, Jack gave a simple but very interesting description of a way of handling body problems that might be extended to any problem that can be visualized. Jack's method of visualization coincides significantly with the kind of visualization techniques taught to cancer patients by the Simontons. Here follows one of Jack's examples as he described it to me.
If you have a cut in the palm of your hand, sit down in a chair in a quiet, comfortable place and first practice some autogenic exercises for quieting the body and the emotions. Use the heaviness and warmth exercises with eyes closed. Then turn attention inward to the realm of visualization.
See yourself sitting in the chair in your mind's eye; then allow your body feeling to merge with the visualized figure so that you feel you are the figure sitting in the chair in your mind. Then think of your body and your visualization as if they were identical twins fitted perfectly together. Then look at your hand, not physically, but in your mind's view. See the wounded hand slowly slip like a glove from the body. As it moves away from you it grows larger and larger, until it looks as big as a house at a distance of about thirty feet. It turns vertically and slowly settles down on its base at the wrist.
Now rise to your feet in your mind-body and walk toward the hand. When you are about halfway there, turn around and look at your other body, sitting in the chair. Say to it, "Cross your legs," and it complies. If it doesn't comply, then go back and sit down and try it again. When you do see it cross its legs, psychological conditions are right, and you turn around and face the hand. As you do that you notice it has a door in it. You walk up, open the door, and go inside. The hand is seen to be hollow, and a ladder is leaning against the wall of the hand on the palm side. When you look up you can see where the gash is. On the floor are some patching materials, some tape and glue. You put them in a bucket that is there and climb up the ladder to the cut and begin repairing it.
You repair it in whatever way seems best to you in your visualization. You might put some glue along the edges of the cut and then put strips of sticky tape across that. Or you may tape it first and then paint it over with glue to hold it tight. After you have made the patch you become quiet and watch it for a few moments to see that it is firm. If it is firm and you know that it is firm, then you come down the ladder. If the patch begins to peel off, remove it and start over again. Do this as many times as are necessary to make the patch stick. Then come down the ladder, put the materials on the floor, go out the door, close it, and walk back to your body, where you turn around and sit down.
You look at your huge mind-hand and notice that there is no wound in it. The hand begins to shrink. As it shrinks it rises and slowly moves toward you. Finally, when it is just the right size, it slips back into place like a glove. The visualization is finished. You thank your body for doing such a good job and visualize yourself as one whole being, body and mind filled with joy and energy. You open your eyes, feeling good. You ignore your hand at first, allowing the body to process the visualization without interference. Later you let yourself look at the hand, but you do not "pick at it" emotionally or mentally, just as the farmer does not dig up his seeds to see if they are sprouting. You repeat the visualization a couple of times each day for as long as is needed. It is useful to remember that practice makes perfect.
My description of Jack's technique ends here, but we feel it important to emphasize, just as the Simontons do, that this visualization technique is to be used in addition to traditional medical precautions-in this case, washing the cut, or having stitches taken if necessary.