Can We “Belief” Our Way into Physiological Illness? — April 2019
While belief is certainly powerful, and there’s a lot of proof of mind-over-body with disciplined gurus controlling physiological functions after many years of study and what is essentially biofeedback, but this article from the Chanhassen Villager (MN, USA) may be taking an irresponsible stance that because different people in a plural’s system have different physiological symptoms, that is proof that “belief” can give anyone else control over physiological symptoms. There’s no scientific backing that uses people with DID to imply that changing beliefs can take care of high blood pressure or diabetes.
Researchers have worked hard to prove that DID is not based on “belief.” So how is it we have one “personality” with high blood pressure while no one else has it? Or one is quite literally blind while others are visually impaired? While it has not been proven that this is based on belief, even subconscious belief, brain scan studies imply that perhaps our physiological differences are because we have a different pattern of brain activation when different “alters” are fronting. This is very different from implying that the general population can in any way deliberately control those brain activation patterns in a way that will foster better health outcomes in terms of medical diseases or syndromes.
Changing one’s beliefs should not be encouraged as a replacement for medical diagnostics and treatment. Articles like this can get authors in a lot of trouble, and these conclusions are unscientific.
There’s a lot of positive mental health benefits from caring for what goes on in your mind. Whether those benefits can extend to physiological symptoms significantly enough to affect established diseases and disorders remains to be seen.
One interesting bit in the article is that Dr. Bernie Siegel apparently worked with people with DID.