If illness is about disequilibrium, then healing is about re-establishing the equilibrium. Naturally it involves all the factors that have been shifted in the process. That is why it is much easier to heal any illness when it has just started. With passage of time it becomes more and more difficult. Each part that is linked in the chain with the patient helps or hinders the healing process. It involves the physician, the medical attendants, the care givers, the place where the patient is located, the environment, the psychological and spiritual atmosphere, the mode of therapy itself and finally the patient. In fact it is the patient whose will and faith are of utmost importance. They are the crucial factors without which healing may be impossible. This will is not always a conscious will. Very often it is simply a confidence that all will be well and one will be cured. If that will and faith are there then everything helps. If these are missing then everything becomes difficult. Most patients do not realise this. They are filled with doubts about the illness, doubts about the system of therapy, doubts about the physician, doubts about the medicines. Unfortunately, the care givers only make things worse. Over-eager to pass off their ignorance as knowledge they often speak with an authority that has no basis in real facts or even common sense. Often they have heard stray reports here and there or have certain opinions gathered from newspapers or preformed mindsets that they pass off as authentic truths. We do not know how much of an effect our thoughts and hopes and fears, whether spoken or even unspoken, have upon our environment, especially upon those who trust us.
Nevertheless it is quite common that when an illness enters the system, it triggers not only a disharmony specific to the system but also a more general disharmony that involves weak and vulnerable areas. Of course each and every symptom is not necessarily part of the illness, it may be an attempt of Nature to cure. Each illness also has its psychological correlates that often go unnoticed. And very often it is from here that the healing starts. The will decides that all is going to be well – first the mental will and then the will of the body. Next the process of healing starts, with a general sense of well-being, gradually ending with the system clearing up slowly and completely. Again some symptoms that prolong may not be related to the disease but may be part of the cure. In fact quite a few symptoms, including diarrheas, cough and fever, are the body’s attempts to throw out the pathogen and beat the illness. That sometimes the symptoms themselves become a cause for distress and occasionally of danger is another matter. Nevertheless they are neither to be dreaded nor feared. It is not symptoms that spell disaster, fear does. In fact some of the worst diseases strike us unaware. But some patients do feel a distinct but inexplicable ‘unease’ before falling ill. That is a more reliable index than manifest symptoms. This unease is felt when the illness is still in its subtler stages and is difficult to detect. Sometimes the body throws it off and all is well. At other times one can work upon it by subtler means at that early stage and prevent a manifest and detectable malady.
In fact it is much easier to cure an illness when it has not yet completely manifested in the body. Once it settles down then it usually runs its course determined by the general collective conditioning of the human system. For in the final analysis it all comes down to constitution, habit and conditioning. If the constitution is strong and there is in the body and mind a sufficient degree of plasticity, an absence of fear and the presence of trust then healing goes much faster. But one can also learn to give another response and the body can be trained in a way as to not only endure but to obey the will to heal and get well. This too is a matter of conditioning and training. The will, like everything else, can be trained especially in childhood. If a child is taught that illness is a challenge that we must defeat and can defeat with the help of Grace and not a thing to be dreaded or pampered, then it makes it much easier when we grow up. Given time and encouragement and some material support most illnesses will and do heal. An inner peace and trust make this process easier.