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Language for Healing

Thoughts are energy. Brain activity can be measured within the brain’s energy field, with the magnetoencephalograph. Catching up with ancient thought, modern science already applies this knowledge for various applications. One application that caught my attention in the British news is the translation of focused thought into computer command, which allows a disabled person to communicate, switch TV on or off, and activate artificial limbs. (Read: http://www.guardian.co.uk/life/feature/story/0,13026,1448140,00.html)


What about words? Words are focused thought. Language is our “interface” with our world. It is how we perceive, interpret and digest our lives. Language can reveal or conceal inner experiences. We relate to each other through communication, both verbal and non-verbal. Words can convey hope or send arrows of destruction. It is true: words can heal, and words can kill. Years ago, a doctor told me: “You are going to suffer from your respiratory condition for the rest of your life. You’ll need to use a nose spray daily.” As her patient, I was open and suggestible to her words. I believed her. Indeed, I depended on nose spray for many years. One day, about twelve years ago, I met a classical homeopath. With his help, I started healing. I saw many symptoms disappearing. Medical terms in Latin were still revolving in my head. I was wondering if I was suffering from this or that illness with pompous Latin names. My homeopath kept saying: “Ah, you have nothing. You are strong. You are healthy.” In a short while I believed him. No more nose spray for me. I have been breathing freely since over ten years now. I know that my constitutional remedy helped me heal. I also know that the supportive words contributed too.


My first years of Canadian life brought me great challenges to overcome. My body changed in response to stress and distress. I sought the help of a famous Ottawa acupuncturist. My body was largely overweight, my joints were enlarged and deformed, stiff and painful, and flesh was hanging out, creating an appearance of my body I had difficulty recognizing or accepting. After five months of acupuncture, my joints were flexible and pain-free, and my body snapped back in shape. Later, I found in a paper that the medical world has a name for the symptoms that I had: ostheo-arthritis. Apparently, it is incurable. I was so happy that I didn’t know it was incurable: my ignorance allowed me to cure it!


My years as a healer have brought me to a world that I find fascinating: the body-mind connection, the neuro-linguistics, and the energy psychology. I find language to be a powerful tool that, when used correctly, can create a joyful reality for oneself and others. I did not invent the wheel here: successful therapists have used language in ways conducive to healing, and their language patterns have been extensively studied and modeled by other therapists and wellness facilitators. Counselors, psychologists and hypnotherapists use language mindfully, not to mention others in fields outside wellness, such as sales, advertising and the legal system.


Research has shown that each word we hear creates a neuro-pathway. Our biology responds to words. A funny story is my neighbor’s: he noticed that whenever he says “No!” to his dog, she pulls out her tongue. He thought it was amusing. In fact, pulling out the tongue indicates that the dog is swallowing, and she does this in distress. Her little body responds to the energy of the negation. (my friend and favourite animal trainer, owner of “Animal Lifestyle”, is mindful of the energy of words; she has taught me to stop my dog from doing something potentially harmful by interjecting “ah-ah-ah!” and spare her the vibrations of the “No!”)


Try this exercise for yourself: Notice the sensations in your body, such as warmth, cold, tightness, loose, heaviness, lightness. Then repeat the word “No” several times out loud, and notice where in your body you notice it. How do you sense it? You might be aware of some tightness and discomfort in areas of your body. Notice the throat, the heart area, the stomach. Then go back in “neutral” and repeat “Yes” to yourself, aloud, several times. Notice again your body sensations. Observe how the tightness gives way to warmth and openness. Try other words as well: “I can’t” versus “I can”; “I should do it” versus “I could do it”; “I had to do it” versus “I chose to do it”.


My decision to teach language for healing to Reiki Masters and energy healers arose when I realized that healing modalities such as Reiki, confer great abilities to people to channel and transfer energy to others, while neglecting to educate on communication and language. Inappropriate or wrongly timed words can undo the healing work of the hands. So I decided to open a door for healers to learn how to use language patterns to support the wonderful energy work they do.


Here are a few examples you can use right now. Whether you work with people on their healing, or work on your own personal healing, you can chose what dialogue and inner dialogue works best.


·        Be mindful of nominalization of processes. Symptoms are transient, changing every moment. When you give a name to a symptom, and label it, you freeze it in time. Let’s say a person’s levels of blood sugar are elevated. If you call this “diabetes”, you nominalize the process. The fluctuating blood sugar levels are now frozen into an “illness”. A person who identifies himself / herself with the label, calls himself / herself “diabetic”: “I am a diabetic”. What are the chances of a person who identifies with an illness, to cure that illness? Isn’t it easier to stabilize and change the blood sugar levels in one’s body, when these levels are regarded as being in constant change?

·        Sentences contain both expressed and pre-supposed statements. Telling your client: “Relax, if you can” presupposes the possibility that she / he cannot relax. You could say “Relax now”. Or, asking your client “Can you think of a time when you felt peaceful?” you allow the possibility that your client can’t think of such a time. The empowering way to view your client is to see him / her as able even when they doubt their own ability. Then, you’d say “Recall a time when you felt peaceful”. This phrase contains a command which presupposes that the client does, and will recall such a time.

·        The word “but” separates sentences, and contradicts anything said before it, leaving the listener’s mind with the memory of anything said after the “but”. Example: “You had a good emotional release today, but there’s still more for you to work on.” If you tell this to your client after your session, just before they go home, their mind remembers and stays with a last impression of all the work they still have to do. This may put them in a less than resourceful state. Notice how different this sounds: “There’s still more for you to work on, but you had a good emotional release today.” The person will leave with the thoughts of their achievement, which empowers them and encourages them to continue their healing work.

·        Notice the difference between “Call me and let me know if you feel better.”, and “Call me and let me know when you feel better”. The latter phrase presupposes that the person will feel better.

·        My sessions start with a statement of intent. I ask my client to tell me what they want to achieve with the session, considering that anything is possible for them. A woman told me: “I want to be healthier.” She did not say: “healthy”, but “healthier.”. I asked her, if on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 is the least healthy, and 10 is total health, where is she now, and where does she want to be? She wanted to be at 8. Talking with her, we worked through issues of self-love and self-esteem, made some corrections and balances there, until she decided she’s going for “total health”: a 10! Intent being the blue-print for reality, words such as “total”, “complete” and “100%”, allow you to aim high with your goals and set the tone for a great reality.


There are many aspects and levels to explore about working with language. Language exploration applies to your health, to your healing practice, and to the way you relate to others, yourself, and life. It is possible to talk yourself and others into health and wellness. I find conscious use of words to be immensely fun and rewarding, and am happy to share secrets of language for healing with you, in this article, and in class. I think that you too will find it fun and rewarding. Whether as a healer in service of others, or as a healer of your own life, you want to be better at healing, don’t you? How about totally great?

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