Much is said about the importance of cleaning up your diet, eliminating junk food, drinking enough water and taking the right supplements in order to help your body heal. And those are all very important things we must pay attention to. However, there is another facet to healing that is many times overlooked and that is the power of your faith – your thoughts, words, beliefs and expectations – to create a healing atmosphere.

Scientific research agrees that the mind and body are more intricately connected than we ever realized. In order for real health and wholeness to occur, we have to be in agreement with ourselves, spirit, soul and body. Wholeness, as I understand it, encompasses all three aspects of your being. You are an eternal spirit; you have a body which consists of your mind, will and emotions; and you live in a physical body. Unless all three areas are operating in harmony, you cannot experience and enjoy true wholeness.

So what do belief and expectation have to do with physical health? More than you may have ever imagined. It is estimated that between 60% and 90% of all doctor visits are stress related. The CDC states that 85% of all disease is caused by our emotions. You’ll recall, emotions are part of your soul. Your body undergoes chemical and physical changes when you experience something you perceive to be a threat or challenge. We know this as the “stress response.” The physical effects are the same whether the threat is real or imagined. On the flip side, positive emotions like love, care and serenity are just as powerful as those negative, stressful emotions. In fact, they’re now understood to be actual, physiological states that affect health as surely as obesity or high blood pressure do.

Every thought, emotion, idea or belief has a neurochemical consequence. Our brains produce and communicate with immune cells throughout our bodies via substances called neuropeptides, chains of amino acids. The Bible declares: For as he thinks in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7); death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21) and as Jesus Himself told the woman with the issue of blood, “Your faith has made you well” (Matthew 9:22). The words we think, speak and believe have great power, either to help us or to harm us.

Belief and expectation are powerful spiritual forces that go hand in hand, affecting every area of our lives. Brain imagery techniques have shown that our thoughts and beliefs not only affect our psychological state, but cause actual biological and chemical changes in our physical bodies. This is true in part because the brain is also a gland that manufactures thousands of different kinds of chemicals and releases them into the bloodstream. These chemicals circulate throughout the body and influence the activity and behavior of all the body’s tissues. Research has shown that a person’s expectations can even alter the disease process itself. During WWII, Dr. Henry Beecher used saline injections to treat injured soldiers because morphine was in short supply. The soldiers’ pain was relieved simply because they believed the medicine would do so. He coined the expression “placebo effect.” Further research he conducted revealed that up to 35% of response to any medical treatment could be attributed to the patient’s belief about it. This placebo effect has been proven to be an actual, measurable change in brain chemistry. That’s faith in action.

Many people discount the power of faith, prayer and expectation simply because they do not fully understand how it works and it cannot be quantified scientifically. Yet, even though the specifics of exactly how most general anesthetics work remains a mystery, they are still used every day. As people of faith, I believe we must remember that faith, by its very definition, requires unanswered questions. Rather than abandoning our faith or discounting the research being conducted on this mind-body connection, we can incorporate it as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Here are some suggestions for how you may create a healing atmosphere:
Meditating on and confessing scripture changes our attitudes, beliefs and expectations (Ephesians 4:23);
Practicing forgiveness and refusing to be offended or harbor bitterness will positively impact our relationships as well as our physical health (Matthew 6:14);
Developing an attitude of gratitude and believing the best of everyone changes the negatives in our lives into positives by adjusting our perspective (Ephesians 5:20);
Exercising faith in God and His Word and living in the joy of the Lord are powerful stress-busters! (Romans 10:17, Nehemiah 8:10);
Speaking only the desired, positive results, not what already exists and not focusing on the negative result. (Isaiah 46:10, Romans 4:17) Whatever you consistently focus on grows.

There must be harmony. We can’t speak sickness, doubt and fear and create health and peace. We can’t eat every type of junk food, never rest, sleep or exercise, stay constantly stressed yet speak healing scriptures and remain vibrantly healthy. One will cancel out the other! Remember faith without works is dead (James 2:26). We need both components – healthy habits and positive expectations. The good news is that we can train ourselves to think and then speak positive, faith-filled words that create positive expectations, build our faith thereby creating an atmosphere for real, lasting healing, wholeness and health.

Author's Bio: 

Ann Musico is a Certified Biblical Health Coach and independent nutritional consultant. Visit her website at to learn more about her "3-D Living Program," coaching packages or to subscribe for her free monthly newsletter or free e-books.