REGENERATION – TRANSFORMATION STORIES

Kelly Noonan Has Proof That You Hold the Power to Heal

By Robin Rootenberg

Kelly Noonan has long been fascinated by the universe and the human body. As a teen, she experienced health issues that led to a fear of hospitals, but when her mother took her to a chiropractor, she was exposed to a mode of healing that seemed a lot less scary.

But it wasn’t until she began to pursue an acting career that she also began to consider the mind’s role in her health and wellness. As she experimented with different kinds of healing—and experienced benefits—her curiosity grew. Friends asked her what she was doing to be so happy and healthy, and she realized she was more passionate about sharing her insights and experience with healing than she was about acting. Watching “The Secret” planted the seed of an idea for a documentary on healing in her mind.

Her film “Heal” was the result of that inspiration. The film follows three individuals’ pursuit of healing in the face of frightening diagnoses and unexplained illness, and it brings together 18 esteemed medical, scientific and spiritual experts—from Deepak Chopra to Bruce Lipton and Marianne Williamson—on the subject of the power to heal ourselves.

Stress is the toxin

The scientific evidence is clear that from a physiological standpoint, our bodies are designed to heal “in every moment,” Noonan says. “Our immune system [is] constantly self-regulating and healing.”

But our bodies are overwhelmed. “We’re getting in the way of that [healing],” Noonan says. Fight-or-flight was never a state that our bodies were meant to endure beyond the time it took to get out of harm’s way. “And because we’re in this amazing information age … with social media pressures and comparisons … we are under chronic stress response.” Without tools and techniques like meditation to manage stress, Noonan says, “we’re literally shutting off our body’s ability to rest and repair” and nurture the mechanisms of our body’s natural defenses.

“My goal was to inform people how deeply the mind and body are connected, that we’re not victims of our genes, and how much agency we have,” Noonan says. Here are three points that make the case for the power we all hold to heal.

1. Healing is more than a set of conditions

Based on her research, Noonan says she found that all healing teachings, regardless of faith or practice, come back to the notion that “we’re here in a physical body to experience life, but our soul or spirit is eternal and can never be diseased or damaged.” She’s found a concept every healing modality seems to share: “[Our spirit or soul] is perfect and whole at every time; there’s nothing to fear, and we’re perfect and whole just as we are.”

“Heal” producer Adam Schomer says healing has to be defined broadly because one person’s experience might or might not feel “healed” to another. He and Noonan also found that healing can be defined as growth. We have to break down muscle tissue—by working out—in order to initiate tissue repair and muscle growth, and Schomer sees a parallel with other kinds of healing. He says that “healing can be the letting go of resistance,” with heat and pain as symptoms of the release of that resistance.

To Schomer, healing is a continuous process of dropping resistance and including experiences. He recounts his experience with fear in documenting the journey of a guru riding a motorcycle in the Himalayas. “Am I afraid when I’m on a motorcycle? For sure. But I can also include it and bring in gratitude, bring in a sense of calm before circumstances tell me to be calm,” he explains.

2. Disregard the prognosis

Noonan was somewhat surprised to hear all the experts agree: “They said, ‘Seek out the best medical advice that you can get,’ and that would be having a specialist or multiple specialists give you a diagnosis to the best of their knowledge.”

Then, Noonan says, they all advised against getting a prognosis. Doctors don’t want to create false hope, but despite best intentions, prognoses simply reflect averages. The experts agreed. “You make your own prognosis,” she says. “A doctor’s word, if you buy into it, could really lead you into a downward spiral.”

She also cites Kelly Turner’s research in her book “Radical Remission,” which reflects the outcomes of 1,500 cancer patients who were given poor prognoses but went home and healed. Turner found nine key factors that these individuals’ recovery had in common, and seven of those were emotional, mental and spiritual. Just two were medical.

3. Positivity is not required

Does that mean that we have to believe in a power to heal? Research shows the placebo effect is real, and Noonan wanted to know whether someone who is a skeptic could benefit from a healing practice. At least one expert said yes. The way he put it, Noonan says, is that “he doesn’t want to know what labels have been put on you by doctors. He just wants to follow whatever he’s getting channeled to do and let the light come in and do the work.”

If and when someone does become more willing to consider the possibilities, that only helps the placebo effect.

Besides, Noonan says, practicing constant positivity is stressful. Turner’s research revealed the importance of processing emotions. Whether through discussion with someone else, or a writing practice, or some other mechanism, Noonan says the experts found it’s important to get “it” out of your system. Turner also found that if it’s possible to practice gratitude or something that elicits joy or happiness for just five minutes, it’s enough to give your body an opportunity to shift into rest and repair and start pumping up your immune system.

The next step

Anyone who’s sought a health practitioner, whether in Western medicine or an alternative practice, knows that it takes some effort. That’s why Noonan is launching WellSet, described as the first centralized marketplace to find, book and recommend wellness practitioners. The network is soft-launching in Los Angeles this monthand then expanding nationwide. Noonan says thousands of practitioners and users have signed up, and the network will offer a $25 session credit to people who sign up during the soft-launch phase.

And Noonan says we can watch for “Heal,” the book, to come from Hay House this fall, coupled with an online summit featuring even more healing experts and inspiring stories to help people on their journey.

Video credit: Elevative Entertainment
Photo credit: Elevative Entertainment; pikselstock, Adobe Stock; digitalskillet1, Adobe Stock; fizkes, Adobe Stock; Elevative Entertainment

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Author

Robin Rootenberg

Robin Rootenberg is managing editor for 24Life and 24Life TV. Nothing makes her happier than the possibility of one more person rediscovering the joy of movement, or trying something new. (Remember what it felt like to just run when you were a kid? Or the surprise of your first kumquat?) A UC Berkeley grad, her writing and communications career spans more than two decades, and she’s been running for even longer.

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