Words are powerful: They create worlds. Conversations and books open your mind to new ideas. Letters and e-mail
from friends can elevate your spirits. And, journal writing can inspire creative stories, capture poetry, record
dreams, and help you discover what is most meaningful to you. But, even more than that, writing in a journal
can uncover valuable insight during your healing journey to full health.
Research shows that your mind, spirit and body are enlivened by the act of writing about your experiences.
And sometimes writing about what seem like trivia at the time can bring about profound revelation later. What
you thought was the problem might not be.
In fact, at the Myofascial Therapy Center, journal writing is considered to be an important part of the healing
process. Writing about treatment and therapy can accelerate the experience. It also empowers clients to make
connections on their own, capturing important aspects of their journey, helping them to remember stages in the
treatment process so that important steps are not forgotten. A journal can also be a friend to turn to for comfort,
insight and inspiration along the way.
The Healing Power of Journals
According to a report in the April 1999 Journal of the American Medical Association ("Effects of
Writing About Stressful Experiences on Symptom Reduction in Patients with Asthma or Rheumatoid Arthritis"),
patients writing about stressful experiences significantly reduce the physical symptoms of their chronic illnesses.
The research, conducted by Joshua M. Smyth at the State University of New York at Stoneybrook, showed that of
those who wrote about stress, 50 percent showed a large improvement in their health after four months.
You can create a journal in any way that feels the most comfortable to you, but these guidelines can help make
it a more enriching experience.
- Use paper or a bound blank book. If you feel more comfortable writing on the computer, you can do that too.
At the end of this article, you'll find out how to create a journal with either of these methods.
- Don't be afraid to share your innermost thoughts, desires, needs and emotions. There's no one to make fun
or disapprove of what you write. But remember, you're usually your own worst critic; so turn off that little
voice inside that says, "This is bad" or "I'm no good at this."
- Grammar, spelling and punctuation are for people who need rules. You don't need rules here! Forget them
for a change. Say what you want to say.
- Consider drawing in your journal too. Even if you're not an artist, a picture can sometimes say more than
- Keep a record of how you are feeling, and listen to the messages that pain is sending you. It is often true
that only in retrospect can you understand what triggered mental and physical stress in your life.
- Sometimes what you thought was causing you pain wasn't really what was hurting at all. So write it all down,
even if it seems trivial. It may not be.
Journal writing may be one of the best therapies you can undergo. The risk factor is low and the gains are
tremendous. Your therapist can offer even more insight into the best way to journal for healing. So talk to
them ... then write about it!
Create a Printed Journal
It's easy to create your own journal with pages inspired by the online Healing Journey.