Our instructor for the week: Martin Brofman, PhD, founder of the Brofman Foundation for the Advancement of Healing and The Body Mirror System of Healing. According to Brofman, he healed himself from terminal cancer over 35 years ago, and as anyone who has experienced a great healing transformation knows, the process has continued to transform him and the focus of his life’s work. Once symptom-free, he went on a search to understand how he had done it:
He discovered that he had used his physical symptoms like directions on a map to locate what had been in his consciousness (mind) before the cancer arrived.
This translated into something like: “A tumor in the area of my throat is perhaps related to my ‘voice’ – my self-expression. Could there be an unresolved conflict there? When did it began, and how can I resolve it?” And then he went to work on doing just that, resolving it mentally and emotionally, in turn resolving the physical expression of the conflict.
Of course, this is not a new concept. It has been explored and reexplored throughout philosophical, religious, spiritual, psychological, and at times, even medical and scientific history. The basic concept is:
Our symptoms represent what is already in our consciousness.
Instead of thinking of a symptom starting on the physical level, we come to think of the symptom as having an earlier appearance. Brofman describes the following progression:
- We have an intuition in our consciousness (though we may remain mentally unaware of it); and if we are unaware or ignore it,
- We experience tension in our consciousness (we may also remain mentally unaware of this); and if we are unaware or ignore the message of the tension, “You didn’t follow your intuition!”,
- We experience symptoms on a physical level
I have lived the reality of this, and have accompanied many through the process of untangling the history of their symptoms. This untangling can be accomplished with psychoanalysis (long-term), coaching (short-term), or healing (immediate). The difference? When we release the conflict.
Psychoanalysis seeks to recreate our unresolved unconscious conflict in the analyst-patient relationship, where our analyst partners with us in becoming aware of and thereby resolving the unconscious conflict.
Coaching seeks to understand rather than to recreate our unconscious conflict, and then our coach partners with us to help us change our actions, taking us beyond our self-imposed limits and in doing so resolving the conflict.
Healing is based on the idea that our healer instantaneously is able to see the unconscious conflict within us, and in that same moment is able to hold for us the perception of its resolution – our healer partners with us on a psychic (or mind) level, knowing that a transformation will follow, and this partnership generates the energy in us for the resolution of conflict that inevitably follows.
Different approaches, but with one key idea: to become aware.
“Why do I have this symptom? Where did it come from? What is it telling me?”
And then, you can do something about it. Listen to it. Change it. Improve it. Learn from it.