Can Healing Prevent or Cure Disease?
We have seen that the fundamental requirements for the living of a Healthy life include the freedom to perceive one's own deepest nature, needs and values, and to live according to these alone, together with an openness to unifying relationships with others. The growth within a Client of these abilities is the primary goal of the Healing relationship.
To the extent that disease is caused or exacerbated by an inability to live a Healthy life in this sense, Bloch Healing may assist in the prevention or cure of disease. Whilst many diseases are very likely caused by factors unrelated to how we think, feel and act, yet it is increasingly clear that many of the most devastating diseases of modern societies are influenced by these factors. It follows, therefore, that the living of a Healthy life may prevent or even reverse some disease, perhaps a large proportion of disease, and this is well supported by the research evidence.*
Health depends upon full access to one’s own knowledge, values and meanings, and the freedom to think and act according to these alone. Without these qualities a person is cast adrift in life, unable to refer to themselves for information as to what they really think, feel and want. Without this knowledge, it is inevitable that many of the choices that a person will make, such as what work they need to do, which people they would do best to associate with, and even what to eat and drink and when to sleep, will not be in their best interests, because their best interests remain unknown or unavailable to them.
Health also depends upon the ability to Meet with others, relating with them as full persons without judgement or requirement. Without this quality, a person may come to feel that they are isolated from their fellows, alone in their life. Since we are essentially relational creatures, this can lead to much unhappiness and sickness, and sometimes to the loss of compassion that comes from an inability to experience the full existence of another.
In addition to the relatively obvious effects on "lifestyle" of these factors (now clearly established as one of the most important elements in the origin of disease), it is important to recognise that thoughts are themselves physical processes and are not, as some might imagine, purely abstract. All have consequences, even in the absence of overt action, upon ourselves and others. A frightening thought raises blood pressure, releases adrenaline, alters muscle tone and posture, increases rate of breathing, changes heart rhythm, and has many other physiological and psychological consequences. Yet this is small indeed compared with the long-term effect of the stresses caused by a life that is not lived in the full and complete expression of our deepest natures, and in unifying relation with other people and things.
Much, and perhaps most, physical disease and mental distress in developed countries is caused by the living of a life that is not Healthy in this broader sense of the word. Yet, because of widespread confusion about these issues, nearly all of the enormous resources that are given over to health care are dedicated to the results and not to the causes of disease and to very much less good effect than most people realise. This emphasis diverts attention and resources away from where the greatest gains are likely to be made in humanity’s struggle against disease.
Careful consideration, with the best medical advice, should be given to all of the available evidence for the advantages and disadvantages that may attach to medical treatments. It is important also to weigh up the risks of suppressing symptoms that may be serving as a reminder that we need to correct an error in thought or action. Success that may be obtained by medical means does not always obviate the need for Healing.
Finally, even where no cause can be found for their illness, or where no effective medical treatment is available, the experience of disease of a person with a strong sense of connection to themselves and to others, the primary goal of the Healing relationship, is likely to be quite different from that of the person without this philosophy for living.
*Most of the statements in this section are supported by strong scientific evidence, generally from large studies published in major peer-reviewed journals. Since this is the section about which I have received the great majority of requests for references, I plan to provide a fully referenced version in the near future.