…When it comes to physical wellness, my best suggestion is to feel positive feelings as much as possible and to make sure to specifically identify and release any negative emotions that are stored in your subconscious mind.
Many ancient traditions around the world believe ‘wellbeing’ or ‘bienestar’ is a state of harmony within ourselves and our world, where we are in balance mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
As a part of our series about “How We Can Cultivate Our Mental, Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Wellbeing”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Brandy Gillmore, Ph.D. in Natural Medicine, a world-renowned mind/body/energy expert and speaker who is most well-known for her discoveries in self-healing for chronic pain and ailments. Due to her ability to demonstrate back-to-back physical healing results using only the power of the mind, Brandy’s work is quickly gaining momentum and captivating audiences worldwide. She has been featured on stages internationally and given a mind-expanding TEDx talk where she shares her healing journey (she healed herself from her own life-changing disability). For the past ten years, since her recovery, Brandy has been sharing her breakthrough work and proprietary healing system, which have been featured in the media, award-winning documentaries, and corporate events. Her life-changing methods have been tested and documented, utilizing thermal medical equipment. Brandy’s clients include top celebrities, Olympic athletes, and CEOs. Brandy is the host of the podcast Heal Yourself, Change Your Life.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
I was born motivated. I grew up in sunny Southern California and loved the pool, the beach, and pretty much any sport I could play.
I joined my first soccer team at age six; then, at age nine, I got into martial arts. It felt like something “special” that I got to do with my dad twice a week, so it quickly became my passion.
By age 12, I had earned a bronze medal at the Junior Olympics for martial arts and went on to become a gold medalist several times in the years that followed.
Among the most valuable things I learned in those years of competing were: to push beyond my limits and not only give my best but also live my best.
This carried over into everything I did. I finished high school early, began college early, and landed my first job at a major technology company by the time I was 18. I bought my first house at 19. I continued to win awards and move up the ladder until I was working in network engineering and operations. I felt pretty invincible until I was involved in an accident — that’s when everything changed.
What or who inspired you to pursue a career in helping others? We’d love to hear the story.
I wanted to help people realize they could heal themselves from chronic pain and illness as I did. But I never imagined that it would turn into a “career.”
As I mentioned previously, I was working in network engineering and operations. I loved it and expected to continue working in that field. However, I’d had a car accident, which resulted in some pain in my lower back, but it was manageable. Then I had a second accident; I fell very hard on a wet floor. The way I landed, I injured my spine — and not just my spine itself, but my nervous system.
Ultimately, I was diagnosed with a long list of ailments, including RND (reflex neuro dystrophy), nerve lesions, spinal endplate fractures, and more. I sought out one doctor after another, trying to heal, but was told there was nothing my doctors could do to “heal” me. Their efforts turned to trying to simply manage my pain. I underwent nerve ablations, infusions, and injections, and still, every day, I was in extreme pain.
I went from living a full life, working a job I loved, to being injured, and in extreme pain, despite daily doses of morphine. Life became a struggle. On a good day, I used a wheelchair, a walker, or a cane to get around. On a bad day, I didn’t make it out of bed.
Eventually, one of my doctors was able to get me into a research study for a brand new procedure. I was elated, counting down the days until this study. I was also thinking to myself, “Please don’t give me the placebo, please don’t give me the placebo. I want the real treatment.” Finally, the day comes for the procedure, and I wheel into the hospital in my wheelchair. The nurse starts getting me prepped, hooking me up to machines to monitor my vitals. I can’t wait to meet the doctor, start this procedure, and get my life back.
Eventually, the doctor walks in, but he’s not smiling. “Miss Gilmore,” he says, “I’ve re-reviewed your file, and I’d really love to help you. But I’m sorry, you can’t be part of this study, because, well, because we don’t expect you to get better.”
The next memory I have is lying awake in my bed at home, and I didn’t even want to open my eyes. I remember thinking to myself, “What’s the point? I’ve tried everything. There’s no hope.”
I started thinking back to everything that I had tried over the past couple of years, and the research experiment. And I realized: in any study, there is a certain percentage of people who actually get better from just the placebo. And I realized that if I could figure out what made the placebo work, then there was a chance I could get better. This didn’t seem realistic, but I didn’t have any other options. If I could figure it out, there was a glimpse of hope that I could get my life back, so I could not give up. I began to dig up and study everything I could find on the placebo and the brain, trying to figure out how it worked.
The more I researched, the more I realized that there were several anomalies with the brain and physical health that didn’t make logical sense. There was research that showed that patients diagnosed with multiple personality disorder had different, medically documented physical symptoms when they were in different “personalities.” A physical condition that was present in one personality might disappear entirely in another personality. The body, it seemed, responded directly in these cases to the patient’s state of mind.
I found other anomalies as well, such as the fact that more than 80 percent of amputees still experience pain where their missing limb once was. More and more, research was pointing to the brain as the missing factor to healing.
This research led me down the path of looking at the mind for healing, something I would have previously been very closed off to. I had wanted nothing to do with any woo-woo touchy-feely stuff or false-hope quackery about “healing with the mind.” Yet the evidence kept pointing to the mind.
Ultimately, I figured out how to use my mind to heal my body, which was something I would never have thought possible. After I recovered fully, I started sharing what I had discovered with those around me because I wanted to help people like me who were told they would never get better. In my heart, I just wanted to show them this new way to heal, so they could see that it worked. I never expected it to turn into a career.
Yet, through my desire to show people how incredible our minds are, I was led to do something that has never been done before: I have been able to coach people to use their own mind for healing and achieve consistent results. And I have even been able to show this under thermal medical equipment, so people can visually see the results.
None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?
I have been blessed with some remarkable people in my life, so it is hard to narrow this to one person, especially since my journey has been so transformational. In the early phase of my injury, I had people who helped me get around, take me to doctor appointments, and assist me with my groceries and other daily tasks. I am grateful to them and don’t know what I would have done without them.
In my business and career, I’ve been fortunate to have people around me who are passionate about the discoveries I’ve made and who have helped in various ways.
I feel lucky and grateful to every single person who has helped along the way.
If I were to name one person to honor for help along the way, it would be Dr. Hillary Smith.
As I mentioned, I would like to change the medical/ health care system to incorporate using the mind for healing and achieving consistent results. Of course, to make any such change, real results need to be tested and documented. Dr. Smith has been able to show this phenomenon of mind-healing-body under alternative thermal medical equipment (medical thermography), so people can literally see the results of using the method I developed.
How thermography scans work: They measure heat from the body. Very simply stated, if someone has pain, ailments, or inflammation, these will radiate heat from the body and show up in bright red on the thermography scan. For example: if someone has neck pain, when Dr. Smith scans them, the resulting images will show a large red area over their neck.
Dr. Smith has been able to scan volunteers who are experiencing pain. I direct each person to use their mind to heal their body while they are still under an active thermography scan, so we can record the results in real time. What happens next is incredible. As I show the person how to use their mind, the red area on the scan turns to green (indicating the issue and the heat have been released from the body), and the person’s pain goes away. I have been able to do this consistently.
This has been helpful for a variety of reasons. Most people who are injured and/or suffering from chronic illness don’t really believe that the mind can get physical healing results. Sharing videos of these live scans with larger audiences has helped many people overcome their skepticism, bringing hope for a better life and empowering them to begin using their mind to heal.
To this day, I coach people live every week on my podcast to use their own mind to heal — and they are able to get live results. And anytime someone in the audience is skeptical — which I understand, I would be too — my team directs them to the thermography videos on my site, so they can see the power of the mind recorded live in real time.
Some related findings I came across in my research into evidence of the mind/body link in healing:
It was proven back in the 1970s that our minds affect our physical health. That is when psychoneuroimmunology — the branch of mind/body health — was formed. Since then, there have been thousands upon thousands of studies that have all shown that the mind does, in fact, affect the physical body — not to mention that the placebo has been proven more than anything in history. So we know that our minds “somehow” have the ability to heal our physical body. However, even though we have known this information for over 40 years — we do not have an effective way to use it. Meanwhile, billions of people continue to suffer daily from ongoing health issues.
The thermography scan results found with Dr. Smith have helped me tremendously in providing documented evidence for the mind-healing-body phenomenon that takes place in my work. The results Dr. Smith helped to document have opened doors for me to meet with state-of-the-art medical researchers, such as the Dean and Vice-Provost of a prestigious university, who are interested in helping to take this research to the next level via brain scans. Unfortunately, due to covid, this project is on hold, and we are awaiting funding, but this will help to continue the path forward to making a bigger change in our medical system.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of pursuing your passion? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?
Thankfully, the funny mistakes have been in the simple daily tasks. My team and I typically communicate through everything electronic (text, email, etc.) since each person handles a different area of my business. And thankfully, the communication is where most of the funny mistakes happen.
For example, I was going to need my team to finish a project later in the day, so I sent out a text using the “speech-to-text” feature. My text read, “Are you guys going to be twerking later?” I didn’t initially realize the mistake until my team started responding and laughing! Of course, I meant “working later!”. To date, my team and I laugh about funny typos that have come up, which I love. It adds a bit of laughter and silliness to a fun and productive day.
The most interesting and transformational mistake that I’ve made was trying not to care what others thought while simultaneously caring way too much — which may sound simple, I know, but this also led to my two biggest breakthroughs.
Of course, we have all heard, likely since first grade, that we should “not care what others think.” But let’s be honest, it’s hard to authentically do, and further, when it comes to having a successful business, we have to care, to an extent, what others think. That is the reason you will see one business after another asking for surveys and feedback from their customers. So, not caring what others think is not the full answer either, especially if you are a business owner, entrepreneur, or someone wanting to make a difference in the world.
This ultimately created two important breakthroughs in areas where I had been stuck:
The first place I was stuck was around the idea of “healing with the mind” in general. I was so concerned about what people would think that it was holding me back. When I addressed this and faced it, I figured out that I needed to find a way to show this working in such a way that people could visually see real results for themselves. That is when I came up with medical thermography, and I reached out to Dr. Hillary Smith.
The second place I was stuck was connected to a personal “anomaly” or “gift.” After my recovery, I developed an ability to feel what others feel. Personally, I thought it was very odd, so I didn’t tell anyone about it. Finally, I shared this with my best friend, Tina. And, as life would have it, she had recently heard of a rare condition that had been medically confirmed, called “mirror-touch synesthesia,” which, in short, causes a person to experience what another person is experiencing. After that, other data started coming into my awareness as well. There have been years of research between Stanford and the CIA on all types of “mind gifts” such as remote viewing. The more I made peace with my newfound ability and even embraced it as a gift, the more it opened up my career — in more ways than I can count.
I was asked to do a TEDx talk, had scientists researching my brain, and ultimately have been able to help a lot more people because of it.
My takeaways from this have been: if you are concerned about what others will think or say, then instead of running from it, speak to it. And sometimes, to be able to speak to it, you will have to grow and learn — but it will take you to the next level. And always be your authentic self no matter what. Even if it feels scary, know that it will open doors — and take you to a higher level of service to others.
Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?
My favorite life lesson quote comes from Arthur Schopenhauer: All truth passes through three stages: First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
I love the Arthur Schopenhauer quote for three specific reasons.
First, because I personally resonate with it. I laughed out loud at the idea that I could heal myself with my mind. Yet, here I stand, healthy and happy.
Secondly, it’s just so true for anything groundbreaking. A good example is the Wright Brothers, whose experience in creating their “flying machine” (the airplane) follows the sequence of Schopenhauer’s quote. People laughed at Wright Brothers, and yet they did it. I resonate with their story for several reasons. People around me did not think I would be able to heal with my mind. They laughed at the idea, and really, so did I initially. But I did it.
Also, at the time that the Wright Brothers successfully created the first version of the airplane, all odds were against them. There was another person, Samuel Langley, who was also trying to invent the plane. He was secretary of the Smithsonian, had ample funding, and also had teams of scientists working with him. Meanwhile, the Wright Brothers had limited funding and less formal education. Yet, against all odds, the Wright brothers pioneered the first airplane.
Like the Wright Brothers, I was clearly an underdog in the quest to find how to heal the body with the mind. I was sick and had little money, yet was able to find solutions that continue to evade teams of doctors with trillions of dollars of funding
Third, this quote has helped me not to take anything personally when people don’t believe in healing with the mind, and I never ask people to just take my word for it when it comes to healing. Instead, I love to blow their minds and actually show them tangible, physical results via real-time thermal medical scans that they can see with their own eyes.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?
Currently, there are two things that I am very excited about working on.
First and foremost is my podcast. I started it a year-and-a-half ago to be able to demonstrate the self-healing results to a larger audience. Every week, I take a live caller who is experiencing some type of health issue, and I coach them to use their mind — specifically to shift their self-talk or mental/ emotional perspective — so that they are able to end the call with zero pain.
The show is having a very uplifting and empowering effect on my listeners. It’s like a peek into what’s possible.
The second thing that I’m excited about has to do with my next level of medical collaboration. Ultimately, I’d love to help bridge the gap between science and spirituality. As I mentioned earlier, research leaders of a major medical school have stated they would like to do scientific studies on my work and results. There are still steps to take before this research gets underway, yet it’s a wonderful first step in an exciting direction!
Ultimately, this will be life-changing for people. We’ve all heard the phrase before, “all change starts from within.” And it’s so true. When people even start to see what is possible with their minds, they experience a renewed excitement for life. They are motivated to lift their life and their mindset. It’s beautiful. I have watched people that I work with go from being depressed, stuck, sick, and broke to being healthy, happy, empowered, and ambitious. This is what excites me and makes me want to reach more people.
OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. In my writing, I talk about cultivating wellbeing habits in our lives, in order to be strong, vibrant and powerful co-creators of a better society. What we create is a reflection of how we think and feel. When we get back to a state of wellbeing and begin to create from that place, the outside world will reflect this state of wellbeing. Let’s dive deeper into this together. Based on your experience, can you share with our readers three good habits that can lead to optimum mental wellbeing? Please share a story or example for each.
- Embody Your Vision
The most basic and foundational step to take toward mental and physical wellness is to always, always, always have a vision: something to look forward to and achieve. I use the word “achieve,” but that doesn’t mean it has to be success or money, though it could be. Or it can be in the area of personal growth, relationships, or making a difference in the world — whatever inspires and excites you.
And: It’s important to get this vision into your mind every day. This will start to reprogram your mind and create a genuine feeling of optimism and overall happiness as well as begin to change your life. As Einstein said: “Imagination is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”
Getting up every morning and taking a few minutes to think about my vision was one of the basic foundational steps that I took to begin healing myself. It has been powerful in helping clients and students begin the process of healing themselves.
Many people mistakenly think that you have to get the vision crystal clear, down to every detail, and practice that over and over. I was one of those people. I was stressing over every little detail and would even take out an anatomy book and visualize my spine and nervous system being as perfectly formed and clear as the model pictures of these in the book. What I eventually figured out was — that’s not how it works. To get a better idea of this, think about daydreaming or even worrying about something. You are not picturing every little detail, but you are thinking about something and then having emotions about it. So, in this case, the easiest way to think about it would be to “worry,” so to speak, about positive things happening over and over again — and then, to take in how great that would feel! How would you feel? Don’t pressure or strain yourself. Just play and imagine and enjoy the feeling. This can be powerful for reprogramming your mind by creating new neural pathways.
If you’re not familiar with neural pathways, very simply put, they are the networks of neurons that are linked up in your brain to program your mind. This is how our brain stores our skills, behaviors, and habits. If you learn a new activity, like how to play the piano, then that information gets programmed into your mind because your brain creates new neural pathways (links) in your brain. The more you do it, the more ingrained into your mind it gets. If you want to change your brain, or a habit, or a behavior, this is the area of the brain that will need to be changed. You will need to continuously get it into your mind and create new neural pathways.
This is the reason I recommend getting into your vision every day, so you can get it into your subconscious mind. Once it is programmed into your brain at this level, not only will it help you stay positive, it can also help direct your mind to help you achieve the goal and make your life easier!
2. Clear Your Negative Beliefs
Continue to proactively clear negative and limiting beliefs. You can clear old negative patterns or emotional wounds, or even work on releasing old mind programming that is blocking your wellbeing or your next level of success. Any time there is something that you have been wanting in life that you don’t yet have, there are typically subconscious blocks towards it.
For example, most people consciously desire more money. However, they also have mixed beliefs (subconscious programming) toward money. They believe things such as: having money is bad, or scary, or not spiritual — or that people will not like them if they have money. And even though they may consciously “know” this doesn’t make sense, this information can be wired in their subconscious minds — keeping them in a perpetual state of crisis or feeling blocked around earning and abundance.
Whenever we have negative wiring in the mind, there is always a reason it is stuck there. The reason always ultimately has to do with what I call our MBS Needs (Mind-Body-Soul Needs). These needs are love, safety, and attention, and we all need them and will do anything to meet them. The problem occurs when we get a negative habit, behavior, or emotion linked up to one of these needs. When that happens, our brain does not want to let that habit go. If I use an extreme example: Research shows that a “cutter,” a person who cuts themselves, can experience feelings of relief or even a sense of safety and control from cutting themselves. Of course, it makes no logical sense that a person would feel safe from cutting themselves, but that is a common emotion that arises for many. What I have found in my research is that everything people do, even the negative patterns or harmful actions, they do because there is some type of benefit linked to it that meets one or more of their MBS Needs.
What I found in my research is that everything people do, even the negative patterns or harmful actions, they do because there’s some kind of benefit linked to it in the subconscious mind; it ultimately meets one or more of their MBS needs.
For example, people sometimes hold onto feelings of trauma or fear — and keep their body in a continuous state of alert — because they feel that doing so will keep them safe from any possible new danger that might arise.
This feeling can create physical illness within the body. For example, a woman I worked with on my podcast had been beaten by her mother several times throughout her childhood. As an adult, she suffered from ongoing IBS and, due to her chronic fear, she had a hard time making it out to the local park or even getting out of the house. I helped her to release her fear by helping her mind to realize that holding onto her trauma wasn’t helping her — and by helping her to bring in the feeling that she was safe. As I did this, her body began to heal itself, and the very next day, she sent me a picture of herself in the park. The following weekend, she went hiking with her husband and their kids. This is something that she could not have previously done at all in her adult life.
This may sound odd, but our brains get mis-wired more than we realize. Though most people would not realize that this matters, the reality is that it is key. I work with clients all the time who release their blocks toward healing by releasing mis-wired subconscious programming — and as a result, create incredible shifts in their lives. When your subconscious mind is aligned with your goal, everything feels easier, and your life gets happier.
3. Manage Your Emotions
Take time each day to put in and really feel positive emotion. The unfortunate reality is that there are numerous misconceptions about the nature of the mind. For example, many people mistakenly think that thoughts drive emotions. What I have found in my research is that this is backwards and that emotions actually drive thoughts!
The easiest way to illustrate this is to ask you to remember a time when you had an argument, and for hours, days, or longer, no matter how much you might have tried to focus on something else, you caught your mind going back to that argument. This is because you still had a lot of emotion about it.
Another way to illustrate this is to think about a woman who is crazy smitten with a man, and even though there are red flags coming up, her mind doesn’t pay any attention to them because she’s “in love.”
However, let’s imagine a different scenario, where a woman is feeling upset and angry at her partner. Her brain will automatically start paying attention to all the things that she doesn’t like about him and begin fault-finding. In this scenario, she could have a difficult time even finding or remembering any of her partner’s positive qualities.
Mental and physical wellness requires programming positive thoughts and emotions into your mind. The combination is what creates the real shift.
Do you have a specific type of meditation practice that you have found helpful? We’d love to hear about it.
During my injury, I meditated for several years in a variety of ways to try to heal my body and transform my life, but ultimately, it didn’t work for me. Sure, I felt more relaxed, but my goal was to heal, get my life back, and be happy again, and meditation just didn’t work for that.
I spent several years researching the brain, neuroscience, the placebo, and everything in between. Based on my discoveries, I began to build my own methods and strategies for working with my mind. One of these daily methods that I use is what I call “Mind Programming with Music.”
As the name suggests, it’s ultimately about using music to reprogram your mind. This may sound too simple for some, yet if used right, it can radically speed up the reprogramming of the mind.
If we look at the power of fun songs for learning, we can see the most basic example is the way most children around the world learn the alphabet: through the alphabet song. Imagine how long it might have taken you to learn the alphabet without the song. Similarly, you can accelerate your own healing and happiness by choosing a song that has a message and emotion that you want to program into your mind.
For example, one of the songs I chose to listen to when I was going through my injury was “My Wish For You” by Rascal Flatts. The lyrics say, “My wish for you is that this life becomes all that you want it to.”
At the time, I was not even sure if I would have a real future since my doctors told me there was nothing they could do to help me. That is the reason I chose this very song. I had to begin programming into my mind what I wanted, which was “life becoming all that you (I) want it to.” Several times a day, I would listen to the song and create a vision and a feeling to it. I would purposely think about those that I love: my friends, family (and even people that I don’t know) and wish them a wonderful life, like I was singing the song to them. Then I would hold a picture of myself in my mind and send that same energy of my life being everything that I wanted it to be: loving, happy, and healthy.
To this day, this programming makes me want to live every moment fully and blissfully. Also, it has created a profound feeling of wanting everyone around me to have an incredible life. Now it’s no longer hard for me to feel these wonderful feelings because I took the time to program them into my mind and my nervous system using the songs.
This may sound simple, but just one more benefit to this technique. Neuroscientific research shows that our brains learn faster when the information is repetitive and comes in short bursts, and when we are happy. Music can do all of this and so much more.
Thank you for that. Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum physical wellbeing? Please share a story or example for each.
The habit that has the most profound impact on wellness (including physical wellness) is managing one’s emotions and mindset.
We’ve all heard that stress affects the physical body. But negative emotions can have a more detrimental impact on health than most people realize. When I was seeking recovery from my injury, I was looking at studies that seemed nonlinear, such as those related to the placebo effect, and to amputees who were still experiencing pain where their missing limb once was. While researching the mind, I came across another stunning anomaly: people with multiple personality disorder could experience entirely different physical symptoms and medical conditions when they were in different personalities. All of these anomalies kept alluding to the mind as the missing factor to illness, pain, and healing.
Another thing that didn’t add up was that there was plenty of research showing that our bodies were continuously repairing and replacing cells, and that science estimated we even have an entirely new skeleton about every ten years. This made me wonder how it was possible for someone to have that old football injury from 40 years ago if the body was constantly repairing and replacing cells. It didn’t make sense.
Or maybe it did? While the majority of the physical body is constantly repairing or replacing cells, the brain is not. Two things became very clear: 1) There was more going on in the mind than we were giving it credit for. 2) the mind clearly possesses the ability to heal the physical body.
But I couldn’t figure out what was missing. It seemed complex, and there were a lot of unknowns. Luckily, when I was working in network engineering and operations, I was known for figuring out the most complex issues. The secret to my success was to break down the issue into the simplest form, assembling the “known facts,” and then building on those until I found the answer.
I did the same thing in analyzing my health. I started looking for simple ways that we know that the mind affects the physical body. I came up with the most simple and basic way, which was via emotions. We can see that if somebody’s embarrassed, their face can turn red. Or, if someone has anxiety, they can experience a panic attack. If someone has sexual thoughts, they can have a sexual, physical response (obviously different for each gender). I thought to myself, yes, this is simple common sense, quite basic; and I was impatient to get to something more “important.” However, I didn’t want to skip over anything. So, I asked the next simple question: How much can emotions really affect the physical body? The answer is: to the point of death. We’ve all heard the phrases: “bored to death” or “scared to death”–I thought these were merely figures of speech. It turns out people can actually die from these emotions.
There was also the widowhood effect among seniors, in which seniors who lose their spouse have a much higher death rate.
Additionally, when I looked at the data showing the great extent to which emotions could impact our white blood cells, it made me wonder why every single cancer patient wasn’t addressing their emotions.
As I reviewed all this data, I could clearly see that emotions could affect us to the point of death, and yet, oddly, we were not addressing them anywhere in our medical system. I also thought the obvious: if we know that embarrassment makes our face turn red or that boredom and fear can kill us, or that sexual thoughts can produce obvious physical changes, then what about the rest of the emotions in our subconscious minds. What are they doing? How could it be that only this handful of emotions — embarrassment, anxiety, fear, boredom, sexual desire, loss of a loved one — could affect our physical body while the rest of our emotions did nothing? That just didn’t make sense to me.
I thought to myself that, of course, my issue had nothing to do with emotions because I had a physical accident with a physical injury. But the more I researched the brain and emotions, the more I realized that we were looking at emotions in the wrong way. I saw that not only could negative emotions harm the body, but they could also keep the body from healing.
Through extensive self-reflection, I began to realize that there were “traumas” in my subconscious mind that I didn’t even realize were bothering me. For example: after the events of 9/11, I had a feeling of “expecting to die” in my subconscious mind that I didn’t realize was there. Now you may wonder how that’s possible, but every time the thought of dying came up to my conscious mind, I brushed it aside and went on about my day. What I didn’t realize was just how much the events of 9/11 had been programmed into my mind and were affecting me at a subconscious level.
During the attacks of 9/11, I was working for a large telecommunication company in California. My shift was from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m., so I was in the office and on the phone with people in the trade towers when the planes hit. I won’t go into too many details because I don’t want to put negativity into your mind, but let’s just say my work colleague was screaming for help and…then the phone went silent. I wanted to do something to help save him, but there was nothing that I could do. Due to the nature of my work, in my office, I was surrounded by large TVs, and I watched several news stations as the second plane hit. With the combination of events from the day, the trauma information got programmed into my subconscious mind, and unbeknownst to me, it was affecting me. Consciously, I thought that I was only concerned about the people in the trade towers, but that’s not how the subconscious mind works. I tried traditional and non-traditional methods of working with the mind and yet my traumas were not resolved. What I discovered in my research was that both the trauma and the emotions surrounding it had to be completely released from the subconscious mind for physical healing to occur.
Through trial and error, I began to work with my subconscious mind and create ways to program my mind; that’s when my body began to heal.
Another important factor to physical wellness is, of course, physical exercise. It’s important for us to keep our bodies moving and in shape. One of my favorite types of exercise is weightlifting because it can help naturally increase your growth hormone levels, which can help the body repair and replace cells faster and keep your body feeling youthful.
Another exercise I love is bouncing on a rebounder — which is like a mini-trampoline. Fun fact: as you bounce up and down, it can help to detox your lymphatic system. This is something I used during my injury as I was practicing walking and also keeping my balance. I would work on standing on the rebounder while holding onto rails and march in place and bounce gently up and down. Then as I started to heal, my exercise on the rebounder became more intense, of course. Now I put weights on my ankles and jump up and down on it.
These are a couple of my favorites, but whatever type of exercise you choose, it helps to create a regular, daily routine around it.
The third support for physical (and all levels of) wellness would be making sure to get fresh air each day.
So, in short, when it comes to physical wellness, my best suggestion is to feel positive feelings as much as possible and to make sure to specifically identify and release any negative emotions that are stored in your subconscious mind.
Do you have any particular thoughts about healthy eating? We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are some great ways to begin to integrate it into our lives?
Eating healthy is definitely important if you want to feel great. Logically, if you are eating a lot of junk food, it can make you feel sluggish and irritable, so having a healthy diet is foundational for living a healthy, energetic life. However, just because a person is eating healthy food does not mean they are healthy. In the healing classes that I teach, it’s normal for almost every person attending to already have a healthy diet, yet they’re all still sick. So, while I do think diet is important for a full life, in my research, I have found that the mindset is key for healing.
That said, eating healthy can be a very important part of the healing process. Nevertheless, what I have found in my work is that it’s important for a different reason than people may realize.
Many people think that if they eat the right foods, it will help heal their body, but in my research, a lot of times when people have health improvements by changing their diets, it’s also connected to an emotional shift.
Our diet can radically impact our mood in several different ways. When you stop and think about it, it’s estimated that 90 percent of serotonin (a neurotransmitter that affects mood) is created in the gut. So, it’s obvious that what we eat can definitely affect our mood. Or, to simplify this even more, if you have ever heard of the slang term “hangry” (where someone is so hungry, they are angry), we can see that hunger can radically affect a person’s mood.
I found in my research that this same thing can occur if a person is just lacking one or two nutrients from their diet or if they’re regularly dehydrated.
However, because people have habitual ways of eating, they don’t realize the feeling of exhaustion or irritability or nervousness — or whatever feeling they are experiencing. They don’t realize that it’s connected to their diet. So, when they change their diet, they can start to feel better, happier, and more energized, and this can help heal their body. And, there are many other ways that food can affect your mood and your mindset, but the point is that eating healthy regular meals and staying hydrated are important.
As far as following through to make dietary changes we “know” we should make, there are two primary issues I have found when working with people. The first is that we can absolutely know something consciously; however, our subconscious mind is always running the show — including our eating habits.
Nearly every decision we make related to food is based on our emotions and our subconscious mind. So, if people want to be successful in changing their diet, to set themselves up for success, they will want to program this information into their subconscious mind. The more clearly the change is programmed in, the easier the change will be!
The second issue is that people don’t set themselves up for success. Instead, they hold beliefs in their subconscious mind that healthy food is unappealing, tasteless, cardboard, etc. This becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Since they think it has to taste unappealing, they never take the time to make it taste great — or great-tasting recipes seem to evade them.
Your taste buds change as your diet changes and will continue to change to embrace a healthier diet. That should be your goal; to follow through with eating healthy consistently and make a point to create something you like. The more you can be consistent in your daily change, the easier it will be.
Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum emotional wellbeing? Please share a story or example for each.
We talked previously about the importance of programming in the positive. Unfortunately, most people are unknowingly programming in the negative. In most cases, if someone has a problem, they tend to focus and talk more about the problem — with their friends or family or even a therapist. By focusing on the problem or continuously talking about it, you are actually reinforcing the related information and emotions into your mind.
Instead, allow yourself to focus on positivity and the things that make you feel good; this is one of the steps that can help you achieve emotional wellness.
Many people become consumed with the negative and have a belief that if you get rid of it, then you will be happy, but that’s not how your brain works. I am not suggesting that you avoid the problem entirely or pretend it doesn’t exist. If something is off in your life, you’ll definitely want to address it; however, you’ll want to do so in a way that you are not fueling it. And you’ll also want to remember that you must program in the positive.
Maybe that’s taking a few minutes each day to fall in love with life and to just reinforce those positive feelings and emotions. Be intentional with your thoughts and invest the time to feel and become aware of what you love about life.
Second, staying in integrity is key. When we are feeling guilt or bad about something, those can be some of the heaviest emotions that keep us down. Those types of emotions can be really hard to navigate. And if you stay in integrity, and you’re honest with others and yourself, it just makes it so much easier to stay positive and to feel happy. This may sound simple, but it is profound. Unfortunately, there are those who have walked around with patterns of guilt since childhood. Many times, unless this pattern is cleared, people can experience a level of depression their entire life and never realize that it is linked to these negative self-punishment patterns. We need to be honest and in integrity with our thoughts, words, and actions, and we need to let go of feeling guilty or responsible for things that are not our fault. Think of a child who feels responsible for their parents’ divorce — and imagine their sense of uplifted wellbeing when they let that feeling go.
And the third habit for emotional wellness is: have positive ways to connect with others. When we stop and look at it for a moment, love isn’t just a want; it’s a human need. We’ve heard before that if children don’t get positive attention, they’ll do something to get negative attention. Well, the same is true with our brains. If our brain is connecting in positive ways, our subconscious mind will want to continue to connect in positive ways. But without love, we can experience feelings of hurt and loneliness that can be hard to shake. So, very simply, make sure to be proactive, be willing to step outside of your comfort zone if needed, and work on creating positive, loving connections in your life.
Do you have any particular thoughts about the power of smiling to improve emotional wellbeing? We’d love to hear it.
In my research, as far as the power of smiling goes, it can be good but only typically as a short-term “boost.” In most cases, by itself, it’s not enough to create real, lasting change.
However, in my work, I have used smiling in a variety of different exercises to help with programming. A simple example is that I have a person look into the mirror to see themselves smiling, and then close their eyes to “see” that vision in their mind. This can help influence their brain on many levels, and their self-image. Adding these extra steps like this one can help program your smile into your subconscious mind, and that can be a powerful shift. However, even with that, happiness is more complex than most people realize.
The reality is that there can be a lot of mixed programming in the subconscious mind when it comes to real emotional wellness and happiness. In most cases, if someone is having a hard time feeling happy, there are almost always deeper levels of subconscious programming that are mis-wired and need to be shifted.
For example, I worked with a teenager who was chronically depressed and suicidal. As I began to work with him, I found that he had a subconscious belief linked up that if he was happy, it was dangerous. As it turned out, when he was a very young child, he was playing around with his brother at the school bus stop. His mom yelled at him and told him to stop monkeying around on the side of the road, or he and his brother could get hit by a bus or car. His brain was young and easily influenced. Unbeknownst to him, his brain erroneously linked up the idea that if he was happy, he would not be alert to his surroundings and could die as a result. Now, you can see clearly why this young man had such a hard time being happy. Obviously, this is an extreme example, but most people experience some kind of mixed emotions; they might, for example, experience something as simple as: feeling guilty for being happy when others are not.
So, in short, smiling can be helpful in the moment, but for ultimate happiness, it’s important for you to master your subconscious mind!
Finally, can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum spiritual wellbeing? Please share a story or example for each.
First and foremost, stay in integrity. I mentioned this as a key to emotional wellness — it’s also a key to spiritual wellness. The fastest way to cut off your spiritual connection with the Universe (and your happiness) is to be out of integrity. And when you are feeling happy and connected to the Universe, it just feels easy. That is number one.
Number two is to remind yourself that you are the one who is co-creating your life. Our thoughts really do help create our lives, more than most people realize. You’ll want to feel that sense of empowerment and really take that in. This is essential because many people can feel like they are waiting on someone or something external to them — the world, other people, or the universe — to fix what’s not working in their lives. It is common for me to have people in my classes who are mad at God or the Universe due to negative circumstances in their lives. Or they feel that God or the Universe is just not listening. This can create a feeling of disconnect or even blame. Remember, you have responsibility, too. Your job is to be a good co-creator.
The third one is to make a habit of taking inventory of your spiritual beliefs. Unfortunately, as spirituality is becoming trendy, more people are taking on spiritual “beliefs” that “sound good” but are simply not true, and worse, which can be damaging.
For example, in a recent podcast episode, I worked with a volunteer who was almost blind. As I began to work with her to help her change her eyesight, it became clear that her thoughts and beliefs about spirituality were causing the problem. This woman had been studying spirituality for over 20 years and had a strong belief that she was subject to “karmic debt” and that, ultimately, it was a good thing for her to pay this debt because it meant that she would be spared in the future. As I worked with her to release this false belief, her eyesight cleared up. The first thing she said was, “Oh my God, can I go see my optometrist?” My answer to her was, “Of course, I want your doctor to see your improvement!”
Please note: if this sounds impossible to you, I completely understand. And I have a fun fact for you. Previously I mentioned that people with multiple personality disorder (MPD/DID) could have different ailments when they are in different personalities. Well, there are even cases of people who were blind in one alter (personality) but could see in another. So, if this sounds unbelievable, I understand, but our minds truly are more powerful than we realize.
That said, there are a growing number of misconceptions when it comes to spirituality and working with your mind. Make sure that the spiritual information you are taking in supports your best and highest wellbeing.
Do you have any particular thoughts about how being “in nature” can help us to cultivate overall wellbeing?
Helps you connect with your inner self
First, being in nature helps you move from distraction to presence. When your minds are busy with phones, the Internet, and TV, you can lose your connection with the self.
Time in nature can bring you to a more peaceful state of consciousness, where you can connect more authentically with yourself. From that place, you will have access to connect more with spirit.
Gives you perspective
When you take time to look at the ocean or the sky, or the stars and galaxies, you can’t help but notice how expansive our universe is. The fact that we are sustained in space, rotating around a ball of plasma (which we call the sun), is pretty miraculous in itself.
When you stop and take it in, you can get a sense of something bigger. We have that “knowing” of God, The Universe, whatever your term for it.
Connects you to the positive energy of our world
Lastly, when you spend time outside, even the energy and biophotons from nature can help create ahealthy energetic connection with our world and simultaneously give you distance from all of the electromagnetic chaos that may be surrounding you in your daily environment. This can support your mental and emotional state for creating spiritual wellness and a deeper spiritual connection.
Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
The movement I would love to inspire would be to bring the power of healing with the mind to the masses and into our medical system. Done correctly, from a place of empowerment, this would elevate not only people’s health but also their happiness. Both are urgently needed.
When we stop and look at the field of psychoneuroimmunology, it was proven more than forty years ago that stress affects the immune system — and yet we’re still not effectively using this information in our healthcare system. Additionally, the placebo has been medically proven repeatedly that our minds do, in fact, “somehow” have the ability to heal our physical body. There are also endless studies showing that stress affects the physical body. More recently, there is cutting-edge research that links Type 2 diabetes to loneliness. We’ve continued to create endless research that shows that the mind is connected to the health of our body.
What’s more, the data goes back much further than this. It was written in the Bible almost 3000 years ago that: “A merry heart has a medicine to the body, ill thoughts dry the bones.” Mary Baker Eddy, a leader in the Christian Science movement, started speaking in the 1800s about healing with the mind and prayer. Spiritual healing and metaphysics constantly refer to the power of the mind and energy to heal.
Simply put, we can see that we’ve been talking about healing with the mind in many different ways for thousands of years, yet sickness and depression have been rapidly increasing since the 90s and are projected to continue doing so. We need to begin to approach it differently.
As stated by Thomas Insel, the head of the National Institute for Mental Health:
I spent 13 years at NIMH really pushing on the neuroscience and genetics of mental disorders, and when I look back on that, I realize that while I think I succeeded at getting lots of really cool papers published by cool scientists at fairly large costs — I think 20 billion dollars — I don’t think we moved the needle in reducing suicide, reducing hospitalizations, improving recovery for the tens of millions of people who have mental illness.
I have so much respect for Insel’s honesty and care for our world. I resonate with his focus on wanting to really move the needle and with his wisdom that cool research papers are nice, but we can see that they’re not enough. We cannot continue our same approach for treating (or not treating) mental, emotional, and physical health. We must proceed in a different way if we are going to “move the needle” in any or all of these areas.
Right now, I am starting to move the needle. Part of the way I am doing so is by showing people what is possible. Every week on my podcast, I work with a live volunteer, coaching them to use their own mind to release their chronic pain or other health issues. I want them to see we all have the ability to get physical results. And, as I mentioned previously, I have also done this under thermal medical equipment so the results can be seen visually on the scan. This alone motivates people to want to change, which is crucial for any movement.
What I am doing so far is a good start; however, it will take more than this to create a movement for our medical system and bring it to the masses. I am certain that if I had additional resources, I could really help move the needle further.
The “side effects’’ to this approach include healing, happiness, individual empowerment — and more successful people, who have a renewed excitement for life.
The number of people this would impact is beyond measure. There are over 1.5 billion people with chronic pain alone, not to mention other health issues — and the ripple effect that would be created by healthier, happier communities. If we compare that to the current trend of increasing sickness, depression, and mental illness, the impact this would have is exponential.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂
There are several amazing people I would love to meet; Oprah and Bill Gates are at the top of the list — each for different reasons. Both have generously influenced our world in a positive way, and I would first love to buy them each lunch and thank them.
For the purpose of this article, either would be an amazing fit because I would love to make a bigger difference in our world. Oprah has the influence to reach a large number of people, while Bill Gates’ foundation is constantly working to identify the best places to allocate funds for health projects. I strongly believe that if Mr. Gates, or others who are passionate about improving the world, knew more about what’s possible and discoveries with the mind, they would see the value in it for our world and would want to support the mission.
To make a real difference, we need to bring this to the masses, and the way to do that is to start empowering them.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
Social media or through my website is a great way to connect with me. I’m also always looking for volunteers for my podcast.
Podcast: Heal Yourself. Change Your Life Podcast
Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.