With any illness, from the most minor to the most serious, there is one way you can make a difference and this is by using affirmations. Repeated phrases that we use in our heads are called affirmations: positive affirmations can enhance health just as negative ones can impair it.

Without going into the science of this, we now know that when we repeat these phrases with positive emotion, we change the chemicals we release into our bodies to those that are more healing.

Affirmations are convenient and easy to use. Over time they can have real power. Robert Collier sums it up neatly in the statement “One comes to believe whatever one repeats to oneself sufficiently often, whether the statement is true or false”.

Advertisers wouldn’t pay millions of pounds to feed us their repeated suggestions if they didn’t work. They know how effective they are, even when they seem idiotic to us.

So choose affirmations that resonate, that are believable and that generate positive emotions. And then repeat them.

Here are some examples:-“ I feel whole, healthy and healed”, ”My immune system is all powerful, functions perfectly and deals with any disease easily, effortlessly and perfectly”, “I am now filled with vitality, strength and energy”, “I now draw towards me everything that I need for my complete and total recovery”, “I am free of cancer”. (The “I am” or “I am now” format is a very useful one).

I like Albert Schweitzer’s affirmation “My body is a very inhospitable place for any disease”.

Another good tactic is to put your hand over the unhealthy part, for instance the heart, and say “my heart is now strong and healthy”

Many chronic and serious diseases have a tendency to relapse and produce unpleasant surprises so an affirmation like “whatever happens I can and will handle it” is excellent.

An interesting variant is to give thanks in advance for the healing: “I give thanks that I am now healthy and healed”.

Affirmations need to be believable. If not they invite mental back-chat and this can create unconscious imagery of the unwanted type. For instance if a person affirms “I am slim” but another voice in their head argues “I’m not slim, I look like a lump of blubber”, the chances are that this will bring up an image of looking like blubber rather than looking slim and it’s likely that the negative imagery will win out.

Sometimes very simple, sharp, brief affirmations which have punch, like “get out”, “go away” (as if spoken to the disease), “No, no, no, I do not accept this” and “I can beat you any time” are especially useful as they generate strong positive emotions These have worked well for many people.

A particularly good time to use an affirmation is before going to sleep as it goes straight into the subconscious.

The most marvellous set of affirmations I have ever encountered comes from Louis in Bernie Siegal’s excellent book “Love, Medicine and Miracles”. After being diagnosed with breast cancer during pregnancy, Louis “listened to her body” and would do whatever the messages seemed to indicate such as “move fast” or “drink orange juice”. But she also told her body what to do. She told her immune system to protect her, she told her body to be well and every night she told it to reject cancer, she told her food to make her strong, her vitamins to go to the right places and she told her other breast to behave. She went into a prolonged remission and felt that her body and mind had become integrated in a way it had never been integrated before.