What If Our Minds Can Control Our Immunity?

Published: February 29, 2024

Mind Control

Experience has shown that with a simple trick, our minds can control the volume of our immune system. Even down to areas smaller than the size of a dime. The trick is in learning how to consciously do this. And you can :-)

Some Background

My Dad died when I was about 17. So, I had to pay my own way through college and medical school. For the latter, I did this by working as a nurse in the Children’s Hospital. I was to be rotated from the NICU to the Burn Unit, so I asked my psych professor, Byron Stinson, to train me in hypnosis. I wanted the children to be more comfortable while I changed their burn dressings.

He was happy to do so. But he mentioned a little tidbit that has stayed with me for the half-century since. If a person gets a burn, and they put themselves in a quick hypnotic state, the simple suggestion "Heal quickly – no injury," will often prevent their getting a blister from the burn.

There is a good reason I am not a surgeon. I very much am a "butter fingers." I burned myself frequently. But didn't blister again after hearing that suggestion …

I found that to be an interesting curiosity. But, as in Alice in Wonderland, it got "curiouser and curiouser." I was doing my internal medicine residency in Washington DC, and my best friend, Moses Albert, was training to be a dermatologist. His father was an anesthesiologist who also did acupuncture and hypnosis. He told me that warts can be eliminated using hypnosis.

I was skeptical until a young boy covered with warts came in. Dr. Albert said "watch this," and put the child into a hypnotic state. He then gave the suggestion "All the warts on your right side will fall off.” When the child came back for follow-up, all the warts on his right side were gone!

Some Words of Wisdom

Dr. Janet Travell, author of The Trigger Point Manual, Prof. of Medicine at George Washington University, and the White House Physician for Presidents Kennedy and Johnson is one of my medical heroes. You’ll see her as one of the three doctors that most of my books are dedicated to.

One of the things she taught me? First simply see what is, without the need to understand. Otherwise, you will only see the things you expect.

Those words took me ‘down the road less traveled.' And that has made all the difference.


What I observed was that the mind could direct immunity. It could let the immune system know that a specific burn was not a problem. Turning off that specific defensive response, in that small area.

It taught me that the immune system could be guided to overcome the warts virus’ ability to hide. Allowing the wart to be destroyed by the body. This makes a certain sense when you think about home remedies for warts. Simply looking at the wart and telling the conscious mind to get rid of it doesn’t work. Rather, these remedies often include rituals that engage the deep psyche. For example, one folktale talks about wart removal: "Her uncle took a string, tied the same number of knots as warts. He spit on each knot, rubbed a knot on each wart, and then threw the string into a fire. The warts were gone in a few days.”

Basically, the treatments were not geared to the rational mind, but to the deep psyche. It’s from that level that the immune system can be directed. Not so much by the conscious mind.

Why? I don’t know. But that’s where simply seeing what is, even if we don’t understand, comes into play.

The implications

My suspicion is that our belief systems are, in part, directing immunity. Even when we are not aware of it.

50 years ago, the mantra for Madison Avenue advertising executives was "Sex sells." If you wanted to sell a car or some beer, you had a handsome man or beautiful woman in the advertisement along with what you were selling.

The new advertising and media mantra? Fear and divisiveness sell. If you scare people to death and make them hate each other, you can keep their attention and control them.

What happens when fear and hate have become the message?

Given the above, our immune system may perceive itself as being under a constant global, but not readily identifiable, threat. Which may be yet another reason why autoimmune illnesses are becoming so much more prevalent.

But this is a cause that we can modify.

But I don’t know how to do hypnosis.

I suspect that doesn’t really matter. You may know how to go into the needed state in other ways. Meditation. Prayer. Being with Nature. Basically, be in the moment. The Now. Happily out of your mind.

These life skills can inherently help you get back into the space where they deeply know this truth. You are safe. So the immune system (and the vagal nerve) can sound the "all clear." But it’s okay, when in that state, to also let your immune system know in words "Whew, we’re safe. It’s okay to be at ease." And find the feeling space that matches the words.

Examples of Where This Can Be Used

1. For those with autoimmune conditions...

This can include fibromyalgia, where the immune system goes on overdrive and then exhausts itself. It is often fighting an infection that often is no longer there, or is pretty meaningless to the body.

2. Before surgical procedures...

I recently had a large molar tooth removed and then a dental implant put in. The dentist told me to expect to be out of commission for several days with pain and swelling. Instead, while waiting in the dental chair, I gave my immune system some simple messages. "What’s happening is good repair work. Welcome it. It knows what it’s doing. It’s okay to stand down and relax. It’s a friend. Welcome the implant as part of ourselves." You get the idea. I had no swelling or pain after either procedure, and was back at work an hour later.

3. Pain...

The nerve signals from pain are simply electrical signals. Like warm, soft, fuzzy, wet. The sensation of pain comes from the interpretation of the signal. Basically, that there is something we need to do to prevent damage. Like taking our hand off a hot stove. Quickly.

As pain persists, we interpret the signal as alarm, and that’s what we know as suffering. But once we have addressed any problematic pain triggers (nope, were not standing on broken glass or a nail) and made sure we are taking care of what the pain signal wants looked at, we can again let the psyche know that we’ve heard the message, and taken care of what is needed. Then picture yourself in a 'nerve signal control center' in your brain in one of the hypnotic-like states I mentioned. Picture the pain volume dials and slowly ease them down.

When there is no obvious cause of pain, like a broken bone or resting on something sharp, then what the body is asking for is often biochemical or structural. These tend to include:

  1. Nutritional deficiencies triggering muscle shortening. Especially B vitamin and magnesium deficiencies. Let the psyche know that you will be giving a good multivitamin to address these. I like the Clinical Essentials® Multivitamin.
  2. Excess inflammation, especially given the modern diet low in omega-3’s and high in sugar, white flour, and grain fed beef. Over about six weeks, excess inflammation can be turned down considerably using Curamin® 1-2 capsules 3x a day (a mix of highly absorbed curcumin and Boswellia) and Vectomega® one a day (replaces 7 large fish oil pills).
  3. Sleep. Critical for tissue repair and  growth hormone release. Good natural places to begin are Melatonin EP120™ sustained release melatonin, and the Revitalizing Sleep Formula.
  4. Optimize adrenal and thyroid function.

Let your body know these things are coming to help heal what is needed. Ask your psyche and the pain what else might help. Don’t be surprised if this includes becoming aware of uncomfortable emotions, feeling them, and then (when they are done being felt) letting go of them. Sometimes, the pain is also meant as a distraction to help us avoid uncomfortable feelings.

4. You can even use this to help get rid of warts :-)

It is a very helpful part of wholeness to realize that our immune system takes its cues from whether we feel safe or not. And that in truth, in most moments, we are safe.

Love and blessings,


Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of eight research studies on their effective treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia From Fatigued to Fantastic! and The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. His newest book (June 10, 2024) is You Can Heal From Long COVID. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health.

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