The Power of Intention


Arlene Green

What is it that motivates me to teach and practice Touch for Health?  To answer these questions very simply, I would say I love helping people to be able to take greater control of their health and well-being, gain greater self-awareness, and make a difference in their lives.  On another level, I am deeply appreciative of having the opportunity to do work that is aligned with my personal belief system concerning my purpose for being.  I believe that we were created to know and love God and to develop our virtues.  There are many religious and spiritual paths one can take to do this.  And if one believes that “man is made in God’s image” then another way we can know and love God is to know and love ourselves and others.

Knowing and loving are two basic capacities of man.  They are important aspects in an individual’s pursuit of discovering their true self.  They are key elements in our healing towards wholeness.

Knowing oneself may come through meditation, reflection and conscious awareness. Being in touch with one’s strengths and limitations is an important part of getting to know ourselves.  Underlying one’s strengths or limitations is likely to be one’s belief system.  Beliefs evolve out of one’s perceptions and interpretation of events.  Beliefs create feelings and subsequently actions which produce results that confirm belief.  Our beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and actions all contribute towards creating our reality.  Often, though, our emotional experience or perception clouds our interpretation of our experience.  The belief that follows may not truly reflect the truth, or it may have been true at one time but is no longer true.  Becoming more aware of what our beliefs are and how to change the limiting ones is critical in knowing our true self.

Conscious awareness is essential to choice. Before we can change something we first need to know what it is we want to change.  Real choices begin when we recognize possibilities.  Making the decision or choice to change is exercising one’s free will.  Will or volition is a focused desire, and may be expressed as intention, determination, and expectation.  As we choose to change within ourselves, employing our knowing capacity, it seems to me that we are also on some level expressing our loving capacity.  Our willingness to confront ourselves, whether motivated by pain or desire for growth, indicates a love for self.  When we choose to align conscious intention (particularly pure or loving intention) with conscious awareness I think we empower our ability to make truly effective changes.

The three areas that are key to releasing our potential or achieving our goals are Knowledge, Volition and Action.  We must first know that we want to change and what we want to change, then decide or desire to change, and then act on that decision.  These three elements are involved in making changes in many areas of our lives.  The rest of this paper will explore knowledge, volition, and action in the context of healing and Touch for Health along with the involvement of our knowing and loving capacities.

In the field of healing, the traditional approach in our country has been to spend much time, money and attention on the [knowing] level of diagnosis.  Identification of the illness – the asking “What is it? – has been the area that consumes the time and attention of patient and doctor.  More important and revealing questions – “Why is it there? or “What things contributed to it?  (that would raise one’s level of conscious awareness)- are often superseded by [the intention of] wanting to get rid of the problem.  Treatment options [the action]  are often rushed into, usually drugs or surgery, before either an understanding of what might have caused the problem or what other alternative treatment options can be utilized.

Thankfully, a growing number of health professionals, particularly doctors and  psychologists , have over the past 10-15 years been researching the more subtle yet profound relationship between body and mind.  The emerging field of psychoneuroimmunology has produced hundreds of clinical studies supporting the fact that what we think affects how we feel. One of my favorite references is the book  Thinking and Health by Blair Justice.  In it are quoted over 700 studies that have shown that one’s perceptions, emotions, attitudes and beliefs can stimulate, enhance or inhibit the body’s immune response.  Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness depress the immune system, while a sense of control and hope can enhance it.  Another example of how a person’s belief system , their knowing capacity, can affect the course of their health is the Placebo Effect.  There are hundreds of studies that have demonstrated the powerful effect of belief system, and perhaps intention, on mobilizing the body’s immune response.

Also important in effecting changes in the person’s health is their loving capacity – to love and be loved.  Most pet lovers have probably heard that having a pet has a positive influence on longevity.  Other studies have indicated that a person’s support system or their perception of loving support makes a definite difference in one’s health.  Blair Justice goes so far as to state that “… the quality of our relationships may have more to do with how often we get sick and how soon we get well than our genes, chemistry, diet or environment.” Notice here the word ‘quality’ infers a type of perception, and in fact the research confirms the point that  ” its not just the presence of support to health, it is the quality.”

One’s sense of purpose, why we’re here and what we’re living for, also plays a significant role in both health and illness, and life and death.  Victor Frankl, in his book Man’s Search for Meaning, observed in Nazi concentration camps that those prisoners who perceived no purpose or meaning in their lives were at greater risk of giving up and dying.  Here is a situation where perception affected one’s attitude, or “will” to live.  Conversely, it has been shown on numerous occasions that a strong will to live and determination not to give up has been reported as a critical factor in survival among patients with cancer and other chronic and terminal illnesses.  Faith, love and positive expectations are all being researched as a means by which the mind may activate the body’s intrinsic healing processes.

It has been demonstrated that not only is there an effect on the healing process from an individual’s belief system, perception, feeling and attitude but that the doctor’s belief system and intention can also make a difference.  Studies have shown that the degree to which a doctor believes in his treatment approach may effect the outcome.  Whether this is because of the doctor’s attitude and body language and its effect on the patient’s belief system, or even a result of merely unconscious intention is hard to say.

Several interesting studies designed to differentiate the actual effect of intentional healing from the placebo effect are presented by Dr. Leonard Laskow in his book Healing with Love.  In one experiment Dr. Laskow discovered that he could “send energy with intention of inhibiting growth into bacteria cultures in test tubes and reduce their growth 50% over controls.”  In another study he “focused loving energy” into one group of identical bacteria cultures.  After injecting antibiotics into the cultures, which would normally inhibit their growth, he found that the cultures which had the loving energy focused into them “survived and remained motile, while the group that received no protection became increasingly immobile and perished.”  In further research, Dr. Laskow found he could “inhibit the growth of cultured tumor cells by as much as 40% using intention and imagery along with energy transference.”  Another researcher, Dr. Bernard Grad has “demonstrated that the absorption spectrum, surface tension, conductivity and acidity of water can be altered by focused thought or intent.”  These studies and others suggest the power of intention, since the cultures and water haven’t a belief system to influence the results.

Those of us in Touch for Health may have experienced the influence of intention if you ever inadvertently rubbed the wrong neurolymphatics points only to discover it produced the desired results.   Or you might experiment by  muscle checking someone in the clear, then focus a positive intention and muscle test, then a negative intention and muscle test.  The testor’s intention should make a noticeable difference in the test results.  Then ask the subject to hold the intention of being protected by any negative intention and see what happens.

In Touch for Health there are many ways that we utilize the model of Knowledge, Volition and Action.  Dr. Thie’s original vision or intention was to present skills and knowledge in a format that even the layperson could choose to use, to be able to reach out and lovingly touch for health.  While the purpose of TFH is certainly supportive of developing one’s knowing and loving capacity it also represents in its purpose and approach a dynamic interaction between knowledge, volition and action.

When we do a TFH 14 muscle balance using the self-responsibility model we are actively engaging our knowing and loving capacities.  The individual receiving the balance takes the responsibility of being in charge with how they feel – identifying where their limitations are (pain, discomfort, beliefs, etc.).  After assessing this knowledge and deciding what they want to change they formulate a goal.   The goal is a tangible manifestation of the will; it is the stated intention of how they want to be different. The goal enables both the client and practitioner to be clear and focused on the desired outcome (i.e. they share the same intention).    The action taken, of course, is the balance.  The whole process supports one’s choice in taking more control of one’s health and well-being. The personal involvement and sense of control that is implicit in the balancing procedure, not to mention mutually focused intention, can be a powerful element in enhancing one’s immune response.

In the advanced TFH practitioner (PKP) procedure or Emotional Repatterning, we assess the client’s “willingness to let go of the need for the problem” and also their “willingness to have the benefits of positive change.”  This gives the client the added opportunity to become aware and let go of any blockages or resistance to change.  Frequently our illness served us on some level through secondary gains or pay offs.  Making sure our willingness to change is truly clear enhances the power of intention.  And just to make sure that there aren’t any limiting beliefs lurking in the recesses of our mind to sabotage our results, another thing checked for are sabotage programs that are on line with our goal. I personally have found this to be one of the most significant and powerful parts of the balancing process. Behind the limiting belief usually lies a positive intention that was intended to serve you at one time.  It allowed you to survive, seek love, or it freed or protected you.  Once again bringing these limiting beliefs to conscious awareness gives one the choice to choose the truth.  Along with this conscious acknowledgement and verbal and kinesthetic repatterning,  the person states “In spite of this conflict/reversal in attitude I deeply and profoundly love, accept and respect myself (and I also include forgive self).  Conscious recognition and knowingness of our unlimited potential, aligned with loving intention enables one to let go and transform.  The process reminds me of Jesus’ statement “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.”

Whenever we do a balance we may choose to include pre and post tests relating to the goal.  Our intention in this is to know where we are, raise our level of awareness, so that it is more clear later (when we post test) the quality of changes that are made after the balancing process.

The correction phase of an advanced TFH or PKP balance utilizes a priority system.  This muscle testing process relies on the subtle communication of the two people’s inner wisdom that part of them that Knows.  The intention is to access, based on their scope of knowledge, the best corrective approach to help the person align with their goal.

As a practitioner my goal in balancing is to assist people in listening to their bodies and enhancing greater awareness of their true selves. My intention is to stay clear during the process, let go of any of my limiting ideas or beliefs, to be able to access the greater knowledge.  And last, but not least, it is also about providing an environment and attitude of unconditional love. As effective as the TFH skills are in promoting health, we must stay consciously aware that our intention to reach out with love can be the most powerful healing tool of all.

July 1995 Touch for Health Journal