How to Heal from Anything

7 Action Steps to Help You Heal

by Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Many people believe that health is an absence of symptoms. And the Western medical system supports this. In medical school, we were taught to think in terms of absolutes—curable or incurable.

Yet today more people than ever are dealing with chronic diseases, mystery illnesses, and other symptoms that cannot easily be cured with Western medicine, such as autoimmune disease, cancer, diabetes, chronic fatigue/fibromyalgia, arthritis, and more.

Now, when it’s possible, curing is wonderful. But focusing solely on curing disease often puts people into “battle mode,” which can be the very opposite of what is necessary for true healing.

The good news is that while not all diseases can be cured, everyone has the power to heal.

Curing versus Healing

In order to heal, you have to understand the difference between healing and curing.

Curing in Western medicine is usually about relieving symptoms. Often this involves taking pills, getting injections, and using other interventions to stop pain and make your body and its functions fit within certain numbers (think blood pressure, weight, cholesterol, inflammation markers, and more). Curing is also about saving lives. This is often in an emergency room setting.

There is definitely a time and a place for curing. And thanks to Western medicine and its many advances in technology, we have the luxury to choose from different modalities when treating illnesses.

So, what is healing? In most literature, healing is referred to as becoming whole. And healing can certainly be a movement toward physical health. But it also addresses your emotional health. That’s why in order to restore balance and heal physically, you typically need to address your body’s dis-ease from the inside out.

True healing must address the emotional, mental, and spiritual imbalances that are associated with the disease. It is about far more than treating symptoms. The cause often begins with some type of emotional trauma and the toxic emotions that result. Eckhart Tolle refers to these toxic emotions as “the pain body.” This pain body—like all living things—needs to eat to keep itself alive. And what does it consume? Negative emotions of all kinds, suffering, violence, and other pain bodies that match its vibration. Hence the saying “Misery loves company.” The most important way to dissolve one’s pain-body is by recognizing it, being present with it, and choosing not to feed it any longer.

Healing also typically includes lifestyle choices and natural means, including diet, exercise, meditation, and more. Healing can happen instantly (you’ve heard of spontaneous remission) or overtime.

The main difference between curing and healing is that, while curing eliminates symptoms, healing transforms your life and often, though not always, produces a physical cure.

What Healing Is Not

It’s important to know that healing is different from remission but can include it. Remission is the absence of clinical symptoms. But the absence of symptoms does not necessarily mean you are healed. And some people who are healed will still have symptoms.

Healing is not simply managing a disease or its symptoms. Healing is much more than just living well with disease. We all know people who have received so-called cures but have not experienced healing, for example, women who have had hysterectomies for heavy vaginal bleeding but never address their fear about their pelvic organs and never learn to accept or value them. When this happens, other symptoms may take their place. That’s because, in all disease, there is an underlying emotional pattern.

We can’t heal if we hold onto self-destructive beliefs about ourselves and our self-worth. And the saying “In order to heal, you need to feel” is true. In order to heal, you must release the emotional patterns that are contributing to your illness. This is how you address and dissolve the pain body. But remember, the pain body is addictive. And to dissolve it, you must realize how the ego loves drama, bad news, and watching or participating in violence of some sort—whether subtle or overt. Criticizing yourself or calling yourself stupid or unworthy is a form of violence against yourself.

To shamans, the cause of disease is due to the imprints of trauma stored in the “Light Body”—a person’s Luminous Energetic Field. During his studies with the shamans, Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D., discovered that a person’s Luminous Energetic Field registers “scratch marks” of trauma that are repeatedly triggered. Healing happens when we clear these marks from the luminous matrix that envelops and informs our lives.

7 Action Steps to Help You Heal

While healing, we measure success by feelings of increased well-being, a sense of newfound peace and empowerment, and a feeling of communion with all life. Healing is a transformative experience that is reflected in every aspect of life, including your relationships, your diet, your job, and how you experience wellness and illness.

Here are 7 steps to help you heal from just about anything:

Step 1 – Uncover and update your legacy.

In order to heal, you need to leave wounding behind. This requires naming your experiences for what they are—no matter how painful. Remember, your thoughts and emotions mediate your immune, endocrine, and nervous systems. The consciousness that is creating your cells can get locked in the past. If you want to stop creating the same patterns, you need to change your consciousness. Explore your past to find clues to how you are creating your present condition. Then name the experiences that have contributed to your dis-ease. Feel them fully. Have a good friend or a therapist witness them. Only then can you release them.

Step 2 – Sort through your beliefs.

Once you have acknowledged and named your legacy, you need to sort through the health-eroding beliefs you have inherited. This includes your family legacy, which affects your energy, health, and potential for change. For example, if all women in your family have had hysterectomies before age 50, you may be influenced by this self-fulfilling medical family prophecy around the uterus that has nothing to do with your genetics and everything to do with your beliefs. Other conditions and situations that often go unacknowledged include alcoholism, premature death of a parent, loss of a beloved pet, or loss of a significant relationship.

Step 3 – Change your relationship with time.

In his book The Big Leap, Gay Hendricks, Ph.D., states that our perception bends time. People often operate under the impression that they are running out of time. This is a stressful perception, especially during times of illness. But we can become masters of time by becoming fully present in each moment. Here’s a liberating thought: “I am where time comes from.” Or, try this affirmation: “Time is on my side. Time is standing lusciously still for me. I am creating timeless time. I have enough time. I’m having the time of my life.”

Step 4 – Respect and release your emotions.

Emotions are a vital part of our inner guidance. And all diseases have emotional roots—often from childhood. Because no matter who you are or what your parents were like, pretty much all of us experienced strong negative emotions in childhood that were painful. And the only way to tolerate the pain—in the absence of a truly conscious adult to help—was to not feel. The energy of the negative emotion doesn’t go away, though. It gets “stored” in your tissues until it gets triggered later on. Where you experience dis-ease in your body can be a clue to what emotion or hidden trauma you are suppressing. One of my all-time favorite books for deciphering the emotional roots of physical symptoms is Heal Your Body by Louise Hay. You can use it to look up the location of your symptom to gain an understanding of what emotion or trauma you may be suppressing. Once you have identified the location and meaning of your symptom, you need to express the emotion(s) associated with it.

Start by placing a hand on your body part and say, “This hurts,” if you have pain, or describe the dis-ease you feel. If you feel symptoms in more than one place, move your hand from one place to the other and simply repeat what you feel. Then say, “I choose to release this symptom,” and name the emotion or event associated with it. You can say, “I now clear my anger, resentment, and fear (or whatever emotions you need to clear) out of my body.” This process will help you peel away the layers and uncover the root cause of your dis-ease.

Step 5 – Learn to listen to your body.

To become healthy and whole, you need to have the courage to be in touch with the wisdom of your female body. Pay attention to how your body feels. Do some parts feel numb? Or tired?

Do parts of you feel like crying? Make note of those things in your life that are difficult, painful, and joyful. As these things come up, notice your breathing, heart rate, and any other bodily sensations. What are they? Where are they? What fears do you hold about your body? For example, are you afraid to touch your breasts for fear of finding a lump? What parts of your body have you disowned?

Understand that your health is at risk if you are constantly undermining certain parts or functions of your body. Your body believes every word you tell it and every thought you hold about it. Illness is your body’s way of getting your attention. Are you willing to be open to messages that your symptoms or illness may have for you? Are you able to appreciate your body and your symptoms as part of your inner guidance system? When you experience bodily sensations—headaches, back pain, gut reactions—pay attention and see if you can pinpoint the emotion or situation that triggered it.

Step 6 – Understand that you are not your genes.

Your environment plays the biggest role in how and whether disease is expressed. And your thoughts are your environment! Some time ago, I met a woman whose son had cystic fibrosis, a genetic disorder associated with severe respiratory illness and premature death. She decided she was not going to “activate” her son’s disease. So, she never restricted his activity or protected him from germs. At the time we spoke, her son was 12 years old and hadn’t had a single hospitalization.

Notice how you talk about your health. Your words literally land in your body. Acknowledge what diseases run in your family—it’s important to be able to fill this out on your medical intake forms—but don’t let it take up too much space in your brain, and don’t speak as if it’s inevitable that you will end up like your family members. If you are considering genetic testing for any reason, ask yourself what you would do with the information. Know that your body has the ability to become and stay healthy throughout your life.

Step 7 – Acknowledge a higher power.

Our bodies are permeated and nourished by spiritual energy and guidance. Using Divine Love is the most potent energy in the world. It is the most practical, concrete way to help ourselves heal. Each of us is capable of sending and receiving Divine Love. Engineer Robert Fritchie, founder of the World Service Institute, has documented many healings using Divine Love—everything from environmental pollution to cancer.

To use the Divine Love petition, you simply direct your energy toward your healing by bringing the Creator’s Love to you. Start by using the petitions, also called healing statements, created by Robert Fritchie. Divine Love petitions give you the power to readjust your energy to maximize your healing. It works for everyone because we are all made of energy. Just as our energy can manifest as disease, it can be influenced to heal.

Finally, remember that healing is an intensely personal, subjective experience. And everyone has the ability to self-heal.

What steps have you taken to heal? Please leave your comments below.

Last Updated: October 22, 2019

Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Christiane Northrup, M.D., is a visionary pioneer and a leading authority in the field of women’s health and wellness. Recognizing the unity of body, mind, and spirit, she empowers women to trust their inner wisdom, their connection with Source, and their ability to truly flourish.


Add comment
  1. Karen Greiner
    2 years ago

    I am so scared. Can anyone help me and my daughter…!!! 2 weeks ago my daughter began to experience ringing and hearing loss in her right ear. A friend told her the same thing happened to her sister-in-law and encouraged my daughter to go to the doctor right away!!! She did and was told she has Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss. She has not be vaccinated but was told this could be linked to Covid. She has a mild case of Covid, she thinks. The doctor gave her the Steriod, Prednisone. She has been taking for 12 days and there has been no improvement. Does anyone have any suggestions or resources??. Or know anything???

  2. Wynston
    2 years ago

    The big three body #1 Rest eat and drink plenty of water and live foods mango avocados bananas weigh protein exercise 1 hour daily The Spirit #2 pray several times a day fast attend meetings study spiritual readings And scriptures The Mind#3 play mind games puzzles crosswords anything you can do to better your mind continually

  3. Anonymous
    3 years ago

    The line

    You can say, “I now clear my anger, resentment, and fear (or whatever emotions you need to clear) out of my body.”

    was everything. I’m now ugly crying, releasing. I don’t have to be responsible for everyone else, to take on the burden of their emotions and challenges. I can be compassionate without that burden becoming mine, especially with people I do not know well. It is a blessing to be empathetic, but it is also a blessing to accept that I need to release all energy that is not my own.

  4. Tyler Furtado
    4 years ago

    Heal everything no matter what for real

  5. Grace
    4 years ago

    I’m suffering from an “incurable” skin disrase and it has ruined my social and love life. Still trying to figure out how and why it happened. I even have to avoid the sun or it can get worse. It’s all about hiding and I am fed up.

  6. Kenya
    5 years ago

    Thank you so much for this article. I survived a ruptured AAA and I haven’t gotten past the trauma. Today os day 1 of my healing!

  7. florencia
    5 years ago

    Chris I found you through IIN school- I am a student there, and I have to say I love your view of medicine, life, and how powerful is your shared knowledge for me!
    thanks a lot and regards from Argentina

  8. Helen
    5 years ago

    Thank you Christiane. I truly believe what you wrote.

  9. Margot
    5 years ago

    So far I have started by forgiving all ill will and horrible behavior that came my way and have affected me. It helped. Now I have to practice some of what you mentioned in your blog. Thank you for shedding light on situations I did not think of before.

  10. Mayr
    5 years ago

    Wow! I am always uplifted whenever I read Dr. Northrup’s writings, posts, books or online seminars. I consider her one of the Yoda’s in my life and deeply grateful for her knowledge, level of awareness, and service to help affect positive change by sharing that love, wisdom, knowledge, research work and her many experiences with us. Thank you for your light beloved teacher. So grateful for you and the UNCONDTIONAL love and understanding your soul radiates. Namaste dear teacher!

  11. Claudette
    5 years ago

    Healing…that is what I need. I lost my husband this last January ( we were together for 50 years) and I’m still lost. I don’t know the recipe for this new life. I’m looking inside to find those qualities I need to emerge. I know I can…working hard… meditation is the next thing…thank you …you are wonderful…and beautiful.❤️

  12. Linda
    5 years ago

    This article also came at a good time for me. I’ve been working on stress management recently and associated health issues and seeing positive results.
    I also believe fear is my enemy.

    And will revisit Louise Hays book for help.

    Thank you

  13. Vi
    5 years ago

    This is the best most concise article about how to heal it self that I’ve read. And I want you to know it is life-saving for me.

  14. Lee Brown
    5 years ago

    This is very helpful. I am in so much pain today.

  15. Linda Eberhard
    5 years ago

    Thanks, Christine- God heals me daily with my prayers, decrees etc.. For 31 years I’ve lived in darkness as a slave to my mom through an irrevocable trust. I sign my name to pay taxes on investments going against my values. I’ve been praying specifically on this situation since 2010. Before that it was always wondering what was the matter & yet it was staring me in my face with every interaction with my Mother. Problems started immediately after the contract became legal & I have been unable to get out of it or find support for my freedom from it tangibly. God is good because God is pro-life, not for abortion of child in womb or from freedom given & experienced once we leave home & pay taxes on our own in our 20s etc.. This started when I was 38 years & married & I have witnessed every man better off divorced from me than married to such a problem. God will prevail.

  16. Diane
    5 years ago

    Thank you for this article. It came at the most needed time for me. I was experiencing heartburn for some time, which is fear. The fear I was holding was from abandonment. I am thrust in the center of the circle on which the abandonment came, and having to pretend it never happened.

    I choose to release this fear, this abandonment. All is well in my world.

  17. Lakshmi
    5 years ago

    A thought-provoking look at healing. So much wisdom. Thank you very much.

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