You might think that seeking healing and wisdom through dreams is a contemporary, new age concept, but people have been practicing oneiromancy, a form of divination through dreams, and dream incubation, a method of seeking wisdom through dreams for a very long time. It’s an old idea, but as a modern exercise, it works quite well.
There is research to support the idea that sleep and dreams play a role in how we process emotionally-charged memories, which has an impact in how we understand how post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) works in the brain. Woking with dreams and lucid dreaming can assist with emotional healing by helping you correct some of the subconscious patterns that have been knotted in your mind and life. Research has shown that there is a correlation between people who have recurring nightmares and those who suffer with OCD, anxiety, and PTSD. But research has also shown that practicing lucid dreaming can often help people combat these disorders and end recurring dreams by changing the dream experience through conscious guidance.’
There is a clear link between dreaming and mental health, but what about physical health? Physical healing in lucid dreams is an idea that has been explored extensively by lucidity researchers Ed Kellogg and Robert Waggoner. Their experiments have revealed some tentative correlations between lucid dream healing and actual physical healing of the body. While the placebo effect reveals the mind's ability to heal the body without medication, could a similar mechanism be triggered with lucid dreaming? Being consciously aware in the dream state may allow the lucid dreamer to influence unconscious body mechanisms, much like excellent subjects in deep hypnosis. According to Waggoner, his anecdotal reports show lucid dreamers have had success with stopping internal bleeding, reducing fever and signs of infection, speeding recovery from fractures, reducing uterine cysts, and healing scar tissue.
While lucid dreaming you can find ways to consciously manipulate your dream body, and mentally project healing thoughts on the diseased or hurt area. Try to direct healing intent to the area that needs healing using light beaming from your hands. You can even get creative and find a glowing golden healing pool to swim in. Create a healing potion to drink. As long as it is inentional and mindful, it can help heal you. There are also indirect methods of healing, such as seeking medical advice in the lucid dream. Words can heal too. Ask the dream why you have this illness or announce a healing affirmation such as “My swollen knee joint heals quickly and easily: all is well”
There is ever-growing acceptance of the mind-body connection. This could explain the reason for why our dreams have the ability to help us heal. When we put our intention and mindfulness into our workout, we get better physical results. Too much stress will kill us because it lowers the body’s immune system functioning. The mind and body are certainly connected.
Set a firm, clear intent to try healing a particular illness or body part in your next lucid dream. You can even have a healing dream that is not lucid. Simply set the intention and the dream goal to heal in the way you need to. You can even journal about it to really plant the seed in your head and get your subconscious thoughts flowing. Note your symptoms before the dream; what happened in the dream; any change in symptoms after the dream healing attempt.
They contain so much energy that when we harness this power and direct it towards healing and self-understanding, huge internal shifts happen.
One woman who had been in an abusive relationship had recurring nightmares that she was being chased. In a lucid dream, the realisation that this was “only a dream” enabled her to release fear. She turned to face her pursuer and told him: “Why are you chasing me? You have no right to appear in my dreams anymore!” After this empowering encounter, the nightmares stopped.
Waggoner, Robert. Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self. Moment Point, 2008.
Johnson, Clare R. The Art of Transforming Nightmares: Harness the Creative and Healing Power of Bad Dreams, Sleep Paralysis, and Recurring Nightmares. Llewellyn Publications, 2021.