By: Tonya Mead, PhD, MBA, M.Ed, CHFI, CFE, PI
Modern medicine affords man the opportunity to recreate during the incubation period the time necessary for a particular process (a series of actions or events that are part of a system or of a development) to take place. Controlled incubation (particularly of premature babies) ultimately leads to a particular result such as growth, development and/or evolution. Medical regression, another term discussed in this article is the return to a former or earlier state, a relapse of systems, and/or the subsidence of symptoms or of a disease process. For survival during the winter, hibernation in animals represent a state of inactivity, lowered body temperature, slower breathing and slowed metabolic states. Animals hibernate to conserve energy and tap stored energy reserves within body fat. Some examples of each occurring in nature follow.
Mammal and Human Hibernation. In June 2004, an animal physiologist, Kathrin Dausmann of Philipps University of Marburg, Germany found that the mammal Lemur of Madagascar hibernates in tree holes for seven months of the year. Coupled with the news in 2001 that a toddler, Erika Nordby who, after her heart had stopped beating for two hours made a full recovery. This is a medical miracle in that her internal body temperature had dropped to 61 degrees Fahrenheit. When EMT arrived, she was legally dead.
Medical Regression and Re-lapse. Just this month, the newly issued March 2, 2009, issue of Forbes contains a cover story based upon the article, Miracle Survivors written by Robert Langreth. The journalist reports that recent studies suggest that as many as 1 in 3 breast tumors vanish on their own before detection by a doctor. The magazine with a rich history in taunting pharmaceutical drugs making significant breakthroughs in the fight against cancer wryly quoted Jedd D. Wolchok, an oncologist at New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, on spontaneous remission, he says, is “either divine intervention or the immune system.”
Incubation. It is widely known that for premature babies, the provision of natural light, love, human touch, and tenderness while they are housed in incubators greatly reduces the effects of stressors associated with delayed growth.
Winter of America’s Soul
What do these processes have to do with the restoration of the American spirit, in modern society and during modern times? During times of chaos, economic recession/depression, unemployment, home foreclosures, business bankruptcies, wanton federal spending, maybe this time is the winter of our souls.
Warm bloodied animals like the bear, bat, hamster, prairie dog, raccoon and skunk hibernate. Cold-bloodied hibernators are: lizards, snakes, mud turtles, snails, and earthworms. Perhaps we need to prepare for the harsh season ahead; save money, work extra overtime hours, find ways to increase our incomes, and our reduce our household expenditures. Then, we need not worry about the treacherous season ahead, as we are well-prepared. Rather than fret, ferry-around and fight against external conditions beyond our control, we might conduct our business in a semi-conscious state oblivious to the negative information and conditions circling around us.
Nature’s Immune System to Foster a Return to an Original State
We all know that change is inevitable. Our response to change though is what can kill, bankrupt, and maim. An aggressive action plan to refuse to settle for less than we deserve coupled with faith in self, God and others can heal, bring prosperity and psychological well-being. Take these three cases.
On February 17th, a few days shy of his first 30 days in office, President Obama signed a $787 billion stimulus plan into law. Many view the package as an attempt to revive the economy to bring it to its original state through tax cuts and federal spending. Considered one of the biggest pieces of legislative spending in history, his actions mirror the will and determination of Ole Nielsen Schou.
In 2002, Schou’s doctors told him that melanoma had spread to his liver, abdomen, lungs, bones and ten spots in his brain. Once surgeons removed his abdominal tumor, according to the Forbes article, the specialists indicated that they had no further treatment for his other tumors. After arriving home, he began a cocktail of 17 vitamins and supplements; he aggressively visualized that the metastases were rats, and he played and re-ran the mental picture of the act of chasing them and beating them down with a club. Just four months later, a new scan found that 90% of his tumors had melted away.
Norman Cousins, author of Head First and Anatomy of an Illness recounts a story in which experts often underestimate the ability of the human spirit to rise to important challenges. In 1953, he recalls, the US Sate Department started a project to bring Hiroshima survivors to the US for surgical and psychological treatment. The experts retorted that sheer fear of the American aggressor would impede and severely weaken the subjects and threaten the effectiveness of the program. In the end, the two-year program was a success. The experts missed the way in which the human mind could override statistical evidence in response to deep determination and/or the anticipation of a loving experience.
Forced and Controlled Incubation
Now that we have developed an aggressive action plan as a collective body, or nation and on an individual level, created plans of attack on a personal and family level to stem job loss, foreclosure and bankruptcy; what is required now is to act faithfully in implementing our plans, believe in faith that we will prevail, and ultimately, let go, knowing in our hearts that all is well.
Excessive worry lowers one’s immune system, cripples one’s innate desire to create, build and produce. And, it dilutes and weakens the prescription (our antidote to combat that which we fear). We’ve already created a sound strategy for beating this thing (poor economic outlook, declining home values and stock prices, etc). Why bound the treadmill of fear, only to return back to the place in which we are trying to escape?
Remember, it could be argued that the effectiveness of most pharmaceutical drugs hinges upon the belief the patient holds in that the drug will cure the ailment. Some placebos prove remarkably effective too. In referring to man’s ability to surmount incredible odds, turn to the fictional character, Yoda of the Star Wars movies by George Lucas in which he confronts a doubting Luke Skywalker.
Yoda: Use The Force. Now … feel it. Concentrate.
[Luke’s X-wing sinks into the swamp]
Luke Skywalker: We’ll never get it out now!
Yoda: So certain are you. Always with you it cannot be done. Hear you nothing that I say?
Luke Skywalker: Master, moving stones around is one thing. This is totally different.
Yoda: No! No different! Only different in your mind. You must unlearn what you have learned.
Luke Skywalker: Alright, I’ll give it a try.
Yoda: No! Try not! Do, or do not. There is no try.
[Luke concentrates, and the X-wing begins to rise out of the swamp. A moment later, however, it sinks the rest of the way, with Yoda and R2-D2 both expressing their disappointment.]
Luke Skywalker: [tired] I can’t. It’s too big.
Yoda: Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you, hmm? And well you should not, for my ally is the Force. And a powerful ally it is. [looks around him] Life creates it. Makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us, and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you. Everywhere. Here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere. Yes, even between the land and the ship.
Luke Skywalker: You want the impossible. [starts to walk away]
[Yoda sighs, then concentrates on the ship. Using the Force, he raises it out of the swamp and places it safely on dry land, then looks back to Luke.]
Luke Skywalker: [astonished] I don’t believe it!
Yoda: That is why you fail.
How does the above relate to incubation? There is negativity everywhere, on the radio, television broadcasts, billboard advertisements, internet blogs, etc. In discussions with significant others, friends, experts and pundits, one must have the resolve to forcibly place one’s belief system in a virtual, invisible incubator. A sacred place of inspiration in which you are the sole controller of the thought contents that seep in and the speech that goes out. A place of nurturance for your ideas and action plans that will ultimately lead you, your family, and the nation out of this morass of economic despair.