Love, Medicine and Miracles: Lessons Learned about Self-Healing from a Surgeon's Experience with Exceptional Patients
Bernie S. Siegel

Peace, Love and Healing: Bodymind Communication & the Path to Self-Healing: An Exploration
Bernie S. Siegel

How to Live Between Office Visits: A Guide to Life, Love and Health
Bernie S. Siegel

Healing Meditations: Enhance Your Immune System and Find the Key to Good Health
Bernie S. Siegel

Dr. Carl Simonton's Getting Well: A Step-by Step, Self-Help Guide to Overcoming Cancer for Patients and their Families
O. Carl Simonton, Stephanie Matthews-Simonton and James Creighton

Minding the Body, Mending the Mind
Joan Borysenko with Larry Rothstein

Guilt is the Teacher, Love is the Lesson
Joan Borysenko

The Power of the Mind to Heal
Joan Borysenko and Miroslav Borysenko

You Can Heal Your Life
Louise Hay

The mind-body connection

Dr. Joan Borysenko, author of Minding the Body, Mending the Mind and a leading researcher on the mind-body connection in medicine, says, “We’ve always known that we can literally die of broken hearts and shattered dreams. Laboratory findings are now corroborating that intuitive sense. The most pressing question for us, then, is how to reconnect with hope, faith, and love, and how to use these states for minding the body and mending the mind.”[1]

The mind, body, and emotions are connected and they all affect the immune system. This connection is now being documented scientifically. Mind-body medicine techniques are being incorporated into many treatment programs for cancer and other illnesses in major medical centers, and many patients like me are seeking out these forms of therapy.

Dr. Bernie Siegel, a cancer surgeon well known for his work on the mind-body connection, says, “I personally feel that we do have biological ‘live’ and ‘die’ mechanisms within us. Other doctors’ scientific research and my own day-to-day clinical experience have convinced me that the state of mind changes the state of the body by working through the central nervous system, the endocrine system, and the immune system. Peace of mind sends the body a ‘live’ message, while depression, fear, and unresolved conflict give it a ‘die’ message. Thus, all healing is scientific, even if science can’t yet explain exactly how unexpected ‘miracles’ occur.”[2]

As I faced my diagnosis, I realized that my body and mind now needed to follow a new set of directions—to live! I lost no time in sending this new message. I had a serious talk with my body, my body elemental, and my Higher Self. I let them all know that I had been in error and had given some wrong directions that needed to be deleted. I asked them to replace these incorrect instructions with correct thoughtforms and healthy thoughts and feelings. And I said that I would be working closely with them from now on and would be providing the needed resources.


I realized I needed to get up-to-speed very quickly, so I turned to the study of mind-body medicine and psychoneuroimmunology (PNI)—a very big word for a very simple concept. It has three parts: psycho refers to the mind—thought and emotional processes and mood states; neuro refers to the neurological and neuroendocrine systems—the nervous system and the hormones; and immunology refers to the immune system and cellular functions.

Put it all together and PNI is a powerful means of using the mind and emotions working through the neurological systems to assist your immune system. There is much we still do not know about exactly how the mind-body connection works, but the connection is undeniable, and many patients and their families understand it instinctively.


1. Joan Borysenko, Minding the Body, Mending the Mind (New York: Bantam Books, 1988), p. 26.

2. Siegel, Love, Medicine and Miracles, p. 3.


Excerpted from A Journey through Cancer, by Neroli Duffy