This paper was presented at
Psychology: The Indian Contribution
National Conference on
Indian Psychology, Yoga and Consciousness
organised by the Indian Council of Philosophical Research
at the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education
Pondicherry, India, 10-13 December 2004

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Extraordinary healing: Discovering the amazing power of your body’s secret healing system

Arthur H. Brownstein — University of Hawaii.

There is considerable scientific and clinical evidence of a newly discovered system in the human body that governs healing responses and helps the body maintain a state of health and vigour in the face of a myriad of external threats and challenges. Working in conjunction with other physical systems, the healing system supervises all processes of repair, reconstruction, and regeneration of damaged tissues in the body. Not limited to any one particular anatomical area of the body, the healing system is a functional system rather than a structural one, and is the dynamic, intelligent, unseen force behind such diverse physiological mechanisms as homeostasis, the processes of fluid and electrolyte regulation, wound healing, the healing of fractures, and the heart’s ability to create its own coronary bypass through the growth of new blood vessels, (known as “collaterization” or “neovascularization”). In the words of Norman Cousins “The healing system is the least understood, the least well known, the least studied, and perhaps the most important system in the entire body.” In addition to evidence for the healing system, the physical and mental factors that affect its performance, as well as practical strategies that work with the healing system, will also be presented. From this perspective, a discussion will take place as to how yoga can support the function of the healing system in helping to prevent illness, heal diseases, and promote a superior state of mental and physical health.

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