Is your “Self Talk” killing you?


“I am by nature a dealer in words, and words are the most powerful drug known to humanity”
Rudyard Kipling

One of the things people often ask me is this: “If you could recommend one “natural” thing for this (symptom, disease, condition), what would it be?” The truth is—there is no “one thing” that always works for that one thing. But there is one thing that I know with absolute certainty—after thirty years of studying, researching, and teaching healing.

You have to find your personal truth.

Not my personal truth expressed here–based upon my experience, not your doctors personal truth based upon his, not truth based upon statistics of people you don’t know, not your sisters personal truth, not some movie star, rock star, or paid celebrity endorsers truth, and most importantly—not what you hear on TV.

People want a cure for cancer, or diabetes—but they don’t want to do what it requires of them to find that. Change is difficult. Healing requires introspection. They want to skip to the last chapter of the book without reading chapters one through all those that lead up to it.  We live in a world of instant gratification. We want to go from chapter one to three because chapter three holds what we perceive to be the answer. But first you have to answer the questions in chapter two. Western Medicine encourages this same “quick fix” ideology. People want to take a pill to get rid of a symptom so they don’t miss work, or taking the kids to soccer, or because they have a deadline, etc. People want to take a pill to treat their chest cold so they can continue smoking.  It doesn’t work that way. First you have to understand chapter two. Chapter two explores the cause—it’s like putting together the pieces of a puzzle to get to the source of your issue—and that takes time–and that starts in your mind.

There is no such thing as reality. There is only your perception of it. Your conscious mind is your filter. It decides how you perceive your world.  Your subconscious mind is like an ATM machine or a computer. It can only respond to what you put in it or program it to do. The subconscious mind is power without direction—it has only one choice and that is to obey. It listens to you speak and becomes a witness self or self-conscious.  It carries out orders from your conscious mind without judgment or question.

Health is not obtained by constantly speaking of illness. Are you a cancer “victim”? That would depend upon your perception. If you speak those words—cancer victim—your subconscious mind hears you. Victim implies you are a passive recipient of something outside your control. Victim implies fear. If you believe this as your truth, then you rely on outside forces to control your life. Fear is powerless. Fear is paralyzing and incapacitating.

Being a “victor” of cancer is also a choice. But that too, depends upon your perception. If you understand that cancer grows on the inside of you and therefore you have the power to change it, you become awakened, inspired, and empowered to take responsibility to heal, to choose to do something that is within your power to do. The same goes for any other illness or disease.  Power is strength. Responsibility is not blame. Responsibility is putting the control back into your hands and telling yourself, “I can”—“I’m capable”—“I’m victorious.”

Words matter.

The subconscious mind is a habit mind. It learns by repetition. What you repeatedly and habitually tell yourself becomes your truth, despite outside appearances. That is why speaking words of love, health, and belief are so important. If you look at an anorexic person, you see a very thin unhealthy looking human being. But when an anorexic person looks in the mirror, they see an unhealthy fat person. So despite appearances to the outside world, despite what might be considered reality—their perception as they look in the mirror is that “I’m fat.”

People used to think affirmations were just “feel good–doesn’t really have any effect on healing” type things. The study and research of psychoneuroimmunology has long since changed that outdated and incorrect truth. Mind imbalances or subconscious beliefs that we have been carrying around (sometimes outdated and downloaded from generations before us) have the most impact on the outcome of disease and longevity. If you believe cancer is going to kill you—it will. If you tell yourself, “I’d rather die than have to deal with my boss again tomorrow,” you have a heart attack on Monday morning. Don’t believe me? Look it up!

Psychoneuroimmunology teaches us that our thoughts transmit to neuropeptides (neuropeptides tell your immune system how to react and what hormones to release). Neuropeptides bind directly to immune cell surface receptors. Every immune cell has a receptor for a neuropeptide.

What you tell your self repeatedly becomes your truth and forms conclusions. Conclusions then trigger your emotions and your emotions determine what hormones will be released—are you stressed about failing a test?—you release stress hormones. What you expect to happen becomes reality—based upon what you tell your subconscious to expect. Your body loves you and is always seeking balance. Therefore, the thoughts in your brain and the response of your immune system must be congruent.  You can’t have a negative thought or emotion in the brain, without a corresponding negatively triggered hormonal or chemical release in your immune system. One chemical released by white blood cells, natural killer, and T-cells in response to an appropriate stimulus is interferon. Interferon is a naturally produced chemical that destroys cancer cells. If you can produce a substance that naturally kills cancer cells without the side effects of its’ synthetic man made counterpart—just by the words you emotionalize and repeatedly impress upon your subconscious mind—how important must those words be?

“Life and death are in the power of the tongue.”—Proverbs 18:20

One of my greatest teachers of the power of “self talk” is Louise Hay. Louise Hay wrote an amazing book: You Can Heal Your Life

I refer to her book with every client, friend, and loved one. The thoughts we repeatedly tell ourselves, correspond to physical manifestations.

For most of my life, the person reflected in the mirror lived life from a place of fear. Fear of not being good enough, thin enough, worthy enough, smart enough, happy enough– fear of failing as a mother, wife, person— you get the picture—and those fears manifested as anger, depression, resentment, unforgiveness, competition, comparison.

All of which led to years of episodes of intense gallbladder pain. If you have ever experienced it, I don’t need to tell you that it is unrelenting and incapacitating. If only I had known from the beginning, that the root of my trouble wasn’t really fatty food— although that was a contributor–but my unwillingness to forgive and my bitterness toward people who hurt me. Trust me when I say—the lesson is repeated until it is learned. Too late in my case—the stones were imbedded and my gallbladder removed.

The description in the book for “probable cause” of gallstones or “cholelithiasis” is “bitterness, hard thoughts, condemning, pride.” The “new thought pattern” or affirmation is “there is joyous release of the past. Life is sweet, and so am I.” While looking up a kidney issue for a client, I came upon another interesting realization. My mother died of Bright’s disease. No one calls it that any more, so seeing it in Louise’s book, caught my eye. The probable cause—“feeling like a kid who can’t do it right and is not good enough. A failure. Loss.”  I guess that along with my dad’s legs and my grandmother’s wild Italian Spirit and cooking skills—the DNA download included some fears to address and work through. The affirmation or new thought pattern? “I love and approve of myself.”  And that’s been the most difficult for me. The belief that “I’m worthy of being loved.”

The reason I became a naturopathic doctor was because of the fear I saw in the eyes of people diagnosed with cancer. Western medicine feeds that fear. I have written about fear in many other blogs. Fear is paralyzing and incapacitating—not just in the case of cancer, but life in general.   And that is where I was.

My role as a nurse and naturopathic doctor is to awaken, educate, and inspire you to find your own personal truth about what it means to you to live a vibrant healthy life, and to help you find the path to achieve it.  Fear is paralyzing—Knowledge is empowering.



Louise HayYou Can Heal Your Life  (Louise and Hay House have many amazing books. All of Dr. Wayne Dyer’s are my favorite too!) 

Florence Scovel Shinn wrote the book, The Game of Life and How to Play It, in 1925. She published it herself. You can download it free. I have all of her books (The Complete Works) and I read them every day. Here is one of my favorite Florence quotes:

“We must substitute Faith for Fear, for fear is only inverted faith; it is faith in evil instead of good.” The spoken word is very powerful.  (free copy of The Game of Life and How to Play it)

EVOX therapy uses your voice to reframe negative experiences in your life both past and present. It works to change your perception of emotional issues by reframing them in a positive way.




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Thomasina Copenhaver
Thomasina Copenhaver is a naturopathic doctor and registered nurse with over 30 years experience in the healthcare profession. Her passion is writing, researching, and empowering all humans with knowledge of healing at the cellular level; to enable them to make educated and informed choices regarding their health. For more information visit her website: or to buy her book, "Notes from a Naturopath" visit Amazon or Barnes and Noble.