Reticular Activating System (RAS)
What is the RAS and what does it have to do with healing? Read more to find out.
The Reticular Activating System (RAS) is a bundle of neurons, located at the brain stem, which filters out unnecessary information. We are bombarded with a tremendous amount of information every single day, but the brain can only store a certain amount of that information. The brain is also wired to protect you, so it only stores information it deems necessary.
Your brain decides what is necessary information based on your thoughts and beliefs. The simplest example of this is when you decide to buy a new car. If you decide you want a red Honda, you will start noticing all the red Hondas out on the road. It may even seem that there are suddenly more red Hondas than before, but the truth is, they have always been there, you just didn't notice them.
If you change your beliefs about your health, you will start finding evidence to support those beliefs.
When I was walking through chronic health issues, and seeing doctor after doctor, I kept finding more and more evidence that the doctors were right. My Google searches pointed me to websites supporting what I had been diagnosed with. I noticed ads and books that led me to believe that the doctors were right. And of course I had more than enough lab results to prove that my body was broken!
Your Mind Believes What You Tell It
My shift actually came when I started questioning WHY my body wasn't functioning properly. I just kept getting diagnosis after diagnosis, and a couple of the doctors may have mentioned stress, but nobody explained why my thyroid was not functioning properly, for example, or why I had leaky gut leading to supposed food intolerances, or why I had any of the other 17 diagnoses. This is what eventually led me to mind-body syndrome and how I got well. Once I learned that the brain can create symptoms anywhere in the body, due to being in fight-or-flight mode, I started finding more and more evidence that I could heal, and I did.
From a biblical standpoint, the Bible says in Mark 11:23 we can have what we want if we believe and if it's God's will (and healing IS God's will but that's a separate post). Romans 10:17 says that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. Not by having heard, by hearing, so we keep reading the Bible to draw closer to God, to learn the truth, but also to keep it in the forefront of our mind, and not get sidetracked by what the world tells us. What you believe and focus on grows, because you will find more and more evidence to support that belief.
I understand that it's hard to believe that symptoms are just from your brain, but I am not asking you to believe something that is not true. Science has shown that the brain creates symptoms in response to emotions. You blush when you are embarrassed, you might get "butterflies" in your stomach when you are nervous, or dry mouth/excessive sweating due to fear of public speaking. All of those are physical symptoms that have an underlying emotional root, and there is mounting evidence that chronic pain for example is due to learned neural pathways, not tissue damage. Just be open to the idea and decide to change your beliefs. The article below talks more about the RAS, gives a couple of examples of how it works (not related to health), and some practical action items. Give it a try!
I hope this post was helpful. If you have questions, or would like to learn more about mind-body syndrome, you can book a FREE 30 minute consultation with me here.