There is a healing instinct within you that can manifest in dreams. You’d be surprised at the straightforward health advice they give, either spontaneously or on request. Tips on food, preventive therapies, treatment options constantly come through-but we miss them. Once remembered the essence of many of our dreams is lost because we, or our therapists, misinterpret them. A patient told me about a recurring broccoli dream. “You can’t be serious,” he said, chuckling. “It’s actually trying to tell me what to eat? A vegetable?” Yes-it was. We often dismiss such practical suggestions as meaningless. But sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
Keep it simple. Try something new. If you dream of eating a luscious mango, run out, devour one. Or when, in a dream, you’re soaking in natural hot springs, make a date to go. How do you know if the advice you receive is right? Count on common sense to direct you. Though some intuitive flashes may seem impractical or unexpected, the authentic ones will never suggest anything to jeopardize you or anyone else’s physical welfare.
So, for instance, if you have heart disease and a dream tells you, “It’s okay to smoke cigarettes,” don’t do it. Question all messages that risk your health. Along with this guideline, begin to familiarize yourself with traditional dream interpretation. I suggest Carl Jung’s classic text Man and His Symbols, or take a look at Creative Dreaming by Dr. Patricia Garfield.
In addition, there’s an intuitive level to understanding dreams of which I’d like you to be aware. Reliable intuitive information stands out in very specific ways. Watch for these clues:
Statements that simply convey information
Neutral segments that evoke or convey no emotion
A detached feeling, like you’re a witness watching a scene
A voice or person counseling you-as if you’re taking dictation from an outside source
Conversations with people you never met before who give instr-uctions about your health
I’ve found that my most dead-on intuitions either come across as compassionate or have no emotion at all. Develop a careful eye as you practice separating the content of your dreams from your reactions to it. Soon you’ll be able to tell what is reliable health guidance and what is not.
Be aware that your dreams go by different rules than your waking life. Get ready for a mind shift. Physical laws no longer apply. Gravity changes. In dreams you can fly! Remember as a child (or adult) when you took off wingless, soared over mountains and valleys below. Healthwise, this is a reminder of the vitality and freedom that is in you. Silence is pregnant. A dream’s tone can be as restorative as its content; a revelation about staying well can come through someone’s eyes rather than words.
You are in partnership with your dreams. Initiate an ongoing dialogue with them. It’s like consulting the wisest old-time family doctor you can imagine who knows you inside out. You can ask your dreams anything-even what seems most impossible. How can I keep my blood pressure down? What about my hip pain or allergies? Are there ways to stop catching so many colds? No question is trivial if it is meaningful to you. Expect answers. Some will be direct. Others may require interpretation.
Dreams can keep you well. Dreams provide answers. But first you must retrieve them. How many nights have you awakened with the most amazing dream you were certain you’d recall? The next morning it was gone. Our memories deceive. During sleep we experience a kind of amnesia. Dreams are not of the rational mind. Your intuitive memory is what is needed. Here is a method I recommend to remember your dreams. It’s helpful to practice it each day. Soon it will become second nature to you.
Four Strategies To Remember Your Dreams
Keep a journal and pen by your bed.
Write a question on a piece of paper before you go to sleep. Formalize your request. Place it on a table beside your bed or under your pillow.
In the morning do not wake up too fast. Stay under the covers for at least a few minutes remembering your dream. Luxuriate in a peaceful feeling between sleep and waking, what scientists call the hypnagogic state. Those initial moments provide a doorway.
Open your eyes. Write down your dream immediately; otherwise it will evaporate. You may recall a face, object, color, or scenario, feel an emotion. It doesn’t matter if it makes perfect sense-or if you retrieve a single image or many. Record everything you remember.
When you’re finished refocus on the health question you asked the previous night. See how your dream applies. One, two, or more impressions about the who/what/where of your solution may have surfaced. Get in the habit of recording your dreams regularly. Be assured I’ve never met anyone who can’t be taught how to remember. Keep at it. If your answer doesn’t come the first night, try again. More details will emerge, rounding out the picture. Then look to your daily life for evidence of what your dream tells you. The woman’s face you glimpsed for that split second could just be that of the healer you’ve been searching for.
I am guided every day by the five intuitive steps I’ve just presented. They have become my eyes. They can be yours too. The intuitions about your health I speak of and live by are ordinarily without boundary and are unseen. As you go through these steps they highlight, truths about your body, providing a framework in which to recognize them. Ordering allows for a simple, focused understanding. I have a great respect for structure as long as it facilitates our freedom. Go through the steps with this in mind. With each health question you ask, be prepared to expand or contract in response to whatever fluid motion is called for. Surrender all preconceptions about your healing. This realm I’m attempting to outline ultimately escapes definition. The mastermind of all things intuitive, the brains behind the scene, is of an infinite source.
What if, just once, you let yourself go, accept the gift unconditionally? I dare you. What do you have to lose? And to gain? Breathe fire into what is dormant in you: your intuitions about a healthy body, your sense of spiritual power from which all your intuitions come. Make these connections count. They will last a lifetime. Open yourself to knowledge of how to heal. Let the mystery touch you. It is everything, everything.
Judith Orloff MD is a board certified psychiatrist, a practicing intuitive, and author of Positive Energy: Ten Extraordinary Prescriptions for Transforming Fatigue, Stress, and Fear Into Vibrance, Strength, and Love (Harmony Books.) She is also author of the bestsellers Guide to Intuitive Healing and Second Sight. She’s an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA, has a private practice in Los Angeles, and is an international workshop leader on the interrelationship of medicine, intuition, and spirituality. Her work has been featured on CNN, PBS, A@E and NPR. Dr. Orloff’s website is www.drjudithorloff.com.