Can Lucid Dreams Heal? (My Quest to Find Out)
The bug attacked in the dead of night. Yanked from a deep slumber, I stumbled to the bathroom. I felt dizzy. Then I lost consciousness.
I woke up – or, should I say, slowly came to - face down on the tile floor, laughing in a pool of my own blood. The chuckles subsided when I took stock. I was a mess. And this wasn’t, I was fairly sure, one of those 24-hour things.
Two weeks later - still in the grips of infection - I retreated to my parent’s cabin in West Virginia. Set in the dense woods, the little chateau promised a serene setting for my recovery. It was also ideal for lucid dreaming. But I didn’t want to waste these rare lucid moments flying around dreamland, hoping to spot attractive women. I had a well-motivated goal: to heal through a lucid dream.
I turned to my books for ideas. Light, I found, was a common element in many documented healing dreams. “In various colors and in various forms,” writes author and lucid guru Robert Waggoner, “this inner light is a common feature for lucid dreaming.”
At the cabin, I was keen to harness this curative light. I was cautiously optimistic. In a prior lucid dream, I’d shouted to “see my inner light!” and an angelic sunbeam had burst through the clouds. Perhaps, I thought, I could summon the light to banish my illness.
My third night at the cabin, I dreamed:
I become lucid in my childhood house and consider flying past my parents to draw a reaction. Instead, I float into the backyard and chant: “I summon my healing light!” at the grey sky above. Brilliant sunbeams begin to crack through the clouds and I sense a palpable, growing energy. Within moments, the clouds give way and I’m bathed in total luminosity! All is white. I lose perception of time, but eventually the white fades to black and I hover in a void. I realize I wear a sleep mask, so I tear it off and see spiraling specks of light as I gently spin.
The experience invigorated me. “I feel stronger, more vital, both mentally and physically,” I jotted in my morning journal.
Of course, I had questions. What was the actual healing mechanism involved? Was my experience merely an amplified placebo effect, or did it reach deeper? Are these healing powers accessible through waking consciousness, or only through lucid dreams? What other methods might stimulate lucid healing?
I’ve since answered that last question. When I began writing this article, I had an experiment in mind: to transport myself to a healing dimension by jumping through a mirror or TV screen*. I imagined a pink cloud or an ethereal whiteness waiting on the other side of the portal. Or - since dreams draw from real life - maybe I would arrive in a cramped waiting room with thirty pages of medical forms and an expired insurance card. After a week of fruitless attempts, I dreamed:
As I pet my childhood dog, Lucas, I hear a noise in the next room. I open the door and, to my astonishment, see another Lucas lying on the floor! As a wave of anxiety courses through me, I have an epiphany: it’s a dream! Settling my nerves, I approach the hallway mirror. I pause at the sight of my face, which glistens with sweat and bulges unnaturally to one side.
Then I recall my goal. “Take me to the pink healing dimension!” I announce, and dive through the mirror. Darkness envelops me. I have but one sense: an awareness of my body. Soon the void transforms into a pink gas, and I watch it curl and wisp through my outstretched fingers. This is exactly how I pictured it. I wallow in the mist for at least a minute, and then awaken in another dream…
The next day I felt deeply contented. Although I can’t provide data from the lab, I know that a positive change occurred.
With the proper desire, these experiences are open to anyone. Lucid healing – and lucid dreaming in general – needn’t be on the fringes of society. Here are a few tips to heal in lucid dreams based on what has worked for me:
- Vocalize your intent to heal. In both dreams, I carefully worded my intention. Pretend you’re casting a spell - would a sorcerer mumble?
- Visualize the dream beforehand, picturing a healing light or mist. These forms of healing energy are common to many dreamers.
- Believe that dreams can heal. “It seems necessary to open up to the experience and trust in it as you seek healing,” writes Waggoner. Pick up a good book on lucid dreaming for inspiration.
Yet the best motivator for lucid healing is the sickness itself – and our insatiable human urge to get rid of it. We all fall ill from time to time, but most of us don’t think of dreams as a cure. This is, in fact, a limiting belief. For those willing to transcend it, a new dimension of medicine awaits.
*(In a dream, that is. Don’t try this at home folks!)
Waggoner, Robert. Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self. Needham, Mass.: Moment Point, 2009. Print.