The Power of Your Mind



 Aura ImbarusBy Aura Imbarus

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought.” Buddha

With the lights dimmed, I was ready to go to bed when a huge knife-like pain carved my lower back. The first thing that came to mind was a twisted muscle, a spasm, an inflamed nerve caused by packing my bags for my trip to Europe. What else could it be?

I crumbled on the floor and tears sprang from my eyes. I tried to move, but the pain was numbing my legs, while my mind did cartwheels thinking about how I could fly to Europe in two days if the pain persisted. I lay flat on my back, tried to stretch my back, and a “crack” sounded clearly in my ears. With all the strength I could gather, I pushed myself up and crawled into the shower, letting boiling-hot water run down my spine. Heat will definitely calm down whatever I have, I thought to myself. Heat would make it go away, and it did – for a minute or so.

“Rodney,” I said into the phone, leaving a message for my chiropractor late in the evening. “I need to see you tomorrow. I got this back pain out of the blue and the day after tomorrow I need to be on an eighteen-hour flight. I need your fix. Call me. Please.”

I had been losing my mind in the last five months, after finding out that my mom had been diagnosed with terminal liver cancer and given between three and six more months to live. Each and every muscle in my body was tense; every nerve stretched to the limit. Everything had been aching even if nothing was broken.

Treatment on the DRX machine would only cost $8,000, and I am not even going to mention the back surgery’s price!

I had started familiarising myself with the many different terms used to describe spinal disc pathology and associated pain, such as “herniated disc,” “pinched nerve,” and “bulging disc,” now used by my chiropractor, back doctor, and general physician. Everybody had different suggestions for easing the pain: acupuncture, no more high heels, inversion table, or a DRX 9000 decompression machine, or back surgery.

Treatment on the DRX machine would only cost $8,000, and I am not even going to mention the back surgery’s price!

With cold and hot-packs and a back supporter, and drugged up on Tylenol and Aleve, I embarked on the Lufthansa flight that would take me to Romania to see my mom and be next to her while she went through her chemo. How can I talk about my problems when I know she is fighting for hers? How can I say that I am in pain when she doesn’t know how many days she has left? Tsunamis of thoughts were clashing in my brain while the plane departed. I had eighteen hours to take care of my debilitating back problem; no more, no less.

Before leaving for the airport, I had grabbed my book called How We Decide, by Jonah Lehrer, which explains decision-making on the scale of neurons. I started reading while the big white bird was taking me to the other side of the world to meet my beloved mother. Engrossed in my engaging, literate, and well-researched glimpse into the great mystery of how we make up our minds, I started to think about the process of thinking itself, of decoding messages, of influencing my mind and my thoughts.

The spinal cord is made up of thirty-one pairs of spinal nerves; our muscles are controlled by thousands of nerve cells in the spinal cord. This entire complex system works as a whole in order to successfully create a single motion. I totally get it, I reiterated to myself while the flight attendant announced that we are landing in Munich where I was supposed to catch my connecting flight to Sibiu, Hermannstadt, Transylvania – the land of Dracula.

“chronic back pain is a disease of the nervous system, not the spine. This breakthrough has opened the doors to new kinds of treatments that could banish back pain forever.”

Totally fascinated by Jonah Lehrer, I started Googling him while waiting for my connecting flight and found his article entitled, “The Psychology of Back Pain” published in Best Life Magazine. Like a wolf devouring its prey, I attacked the article and found something that I was already suspecting: chronic back pain is a disease of the nervous system, not the spine. This breakthrough has opened the doors to new kinds of treatments that could banish back pain forever.”

My road to recovery began right there and then, with the article and the book Lehrer was quoting in it, Healing Back Pain, by Dr. John Sarno, a physician at New York University. I started thinking that I really had no pain and all the labels I had been given by my doctors were nothing more than placebos. The more I thought about this, the less pain I had. My back pain didn’t have a structural pain or a structural cause. I didn’t break anything in my lower back, and I didn’t have any injuries, but the amount of stress I was dealing with due to my mom’s illness had piled up. My mind had induced bodily pain as a form of distraction, turning a minor physical incident—packing my luggage and moving it around the house—into a debilitating physical symptom. It was then that I realized my back pain was caused by the mind, and my mind was the only thing able to cure it.

Since that day, I repeated over and over in my mind – like a song whose lyrics I couldn’t let go – that I had no pain; that my back didn’t hurt.

One day I woke up, three months after the doomed day and, since then, I have no recollection what back pain is all about.

In my case, my back pain was triggered by my mind, because nothing was broken after all. Elevated levels of stress can induce the most horrendous pain in our bodies. Our diseased organism, due to a low immune system, cannot fight the outside attackers and induces physical pain, as a way to keep our mind safe and at bay. Healing our bodies many times relates to healing our mind. The more we think right, we feel right.

Negative thoughts are the manufacturers of depleted, sick lives, while positive ones are the creators of successful, happy driven existences.

Aura Imbarus is a PhD Clinical Hypnotherapist, motivational speaker, and author of the Amazon best-seller – “Out of the Transylvania Night: A Storyof Tyranny, Freedom, Love and Identity”