For those who believe in the separateness of mind and body, this idea may sound fanciful. These days though, there is ever-growing acceptance of the mind-body connection: we are consistently told that too much stress will kill us because it lowers the body’s immune system functioning. We are told that physical addictions such as smoking can be overcome through hypnotherapy and mental training. The media is filled with reports of people overcoming major illnesses such as cancer against all the odds, and the mind-body connection is explored in thousands of books.
Lucid dreaming has strong parallels with hypnotherapy. Both of them work with unconscious imagery; both can involve changing this imagery to reflect a healthier body image and mindset; both unwrap the metaphoric and symbolic language of dreams and recover repressed memories. In both, the underlying reason for our fears and obsessions can be recognised and understood, and in many cases this simple recognition can be cathartic and lead to positive, lasting change.
In states like deep hypnosis and lucid dreaming, where conscious and unconscious work together, suggestions can result in changes on the physical level.
I’ve been able to help very hypnotizable people constrict blood vessels and stop profuse bleeding, interrupt severe asthma attacks, and erase the rash of poison ivy within minutes.
– Deirdre Barrett, Harvard Psychologist and author of The Pregnant Man and Other Cases from a Hypnotherapist’s Couch, p.114.
In a lucid dream, we become the equivalent of a ‘very hypnotisable’ subject because we are conscious in the unconscious. We are in a three-dimensional, multi-sensory, thought-responsive world which can look, feel, taste, sound and smell as real as waking reality. When we work with the deep unconscious imagery and memories which arise, we may therefore be able to trigger healing responses in the body. Lucid dreamers have reported success with physical healing from the lucid dream state, and I’ve investigated these cases in my forthcoming book on lucid dreaming. Here’s one example, from Maria Isabel Pita, who healed a painful strained tendon in her lucid dream.
[pullquote2 quotes=”true”]I remember my intent. Raising both hands before me, I point the index finger of my left hand at the junction of my right wrist and thumb, willing a healing energy into it. I’m delighted to see a stream of lovely blue and violet sparkles… I can see beneath the skin… I’m quite fascinated to be seeing the inside of my body as I continue directing healing energy that consists of a shimmering violet light indistinguishable from my intent, which is the real mysterious source of the “corrective” power I’m focusing on my wrist and thumb.[/pullquote2]
The next morning, Maria noticed a difference:
[pullquote2 quotes=”true” align=”left”]At once I told my husband about the dream, and removing the cloth brace said with complete faith, “Look!” as I moved my wrist and thumb around in different directions without any pain whatsoever. “It’s still not one-hundred percent, but it’s much better! And morning is when it hurts the most! I wish I’d had more time![/pullquote2] The full lucid dream report can be read here.
People may say – ‘Perhaps the tendon would have been better in the morning anyway.’ Yes, of course that’s possible. It’s also possible that the lucid dream healing did help. We do not yet know enough about the usefulness of lucid dreaming in physical healing.
My view is: why not try it?
We have this capacity to enter our dream world consciously, so why not experiment with all that might be done in this state? After all, what do we have to lose by experimenting in this way? What we stand to gain is surely much greater – insights into the nature of the mind-body connection; swifter healing or the lessening of physical pain; and a deeper understanding of our own illness.
If you have broken your leg, you might want to try sending it healing energy in a lucid dream, focusing on seeing the bones knitting tightly together and healing quickly. If you have an itchy rash, why not announce your intention to heal it when you next become lucid? Perhaps a healing potion will appear in the dream, or you’ll see white light covering the rash and clearing it. The lucid dream is full of surprises but if you formulate your intention clearly, the dream will conspire to help you by providing the imagery you need.
How to do a lucid dream healing
- Set a firm, clear intent to try healing a particular illness or body part in your next lucid dream
- On becoming lucid, recall your intention, stabilise lucidity (see How to stay lucid) and direct healing energy towards your body in any of the following ways:
- Point your finger at the afflicted body part or lay your hand on it
- Imagine healing energy pouring down from the dream sky
- Ask the dream directly to heal you
- Decide to find a healing pool of water behind you then turn around and jump into it
- Words can heal, too. Ask the dream why you have this illness, or announce a healing affirmation such as ‘My swollen knee joint heals quickly and easily: all is well.’
When experimenting with lucid dream healing, note down the details: symptoms before the lucid dream; what happened in the dream; any change in symptoms after the lucid dream healing attempt. If you’re successful and would like to share your healing lucid dream, please join with the Amazing Lucid Dreams project.