Studies show low immune function in people who are dedicated to pleasure and satisfying all of their needs and desires. Similar studies also show remarkable immune function in people dedicated to service. Here, I must open a big bracket and clarify that we are not talking about the typical poor resentful housewife that does everything for everybody and nobody cares – that’s not service, that’s slavery and an entirely different topic altogether. What is in focus here is genuine, heart-felt and heart-willing altruistic care for something outside of us.
Throughout the years it has been demonstrated over and over that when you start intending for someone else to heal, you also heal yourself. Thus, it is not a coincidence that people who have been through trauma all of a sudden get an inner prompting to go to Africa and start helping. This in fact is an inner call for self-healing through being of service. Such people invariably undergo deep personal transformation and incredible healing experiences as a result of the work they dedicate to others.
Similarly, we have plenty of examples of the power of group healing and group therapy such as AA, etc. Group healing is an excellent way to expand your sense of self which augments your healing potential. Being part of a group where you are not only supported by others but you yourself are being a supporter of others harnesses an enormous amount of healing power that the ego can’t ever dream to access. The ego is small and effectively powerless where healing is concerned. It’s focused on the self (including self-healing) out of fear of pain or desire for pleasure, and that’s not a good enough motivation for healing. In contrast, a true dedication to something larger than us embodies both the right motivation as well as the actual engine for healing.
A great way to expand the sense of self is through taking care of the Earth (which of course, is part of us). Such practices feature strongly in Shamanic healing, for instance. To that effect, here is an amazing story that Dr Alberto Villolo shared not long ago at an online conference. Picture this: He is in the Amazon with a Shamanic healer and they are waiting for a bus in the heat. Hours pass by, no bus is coming. Dr Villolo decides to use the power of intention and starts visualizing a bus pulling up with two available seats. Four hours later still no bus. Finally, Dr Villolo says to his companion: “You know, I obviously can’t do it. Why don’t you use your methods and get us a bus?” The Shaman healer turns around and notices that the land is in need of water and starts praying for rain. An hour later rain comes just as a bus pulls around the corner. Indeed, when you are dedicated to something larger than yourself, you are always taken care of.