Working with Dream Themes: Health and Healing

Caduceus - Medical Symbol for Healing

Caduceus: The Healing Rod of Asclepius

With nearly 40 years of dreamwork experience, one thing I can say for certain about my dreams is that the archetypal energy of healing at all levels, spiritual, psychological and physical has been expressed in myriad symbols, processes and themes, indicating to me that the primary purpose of dreams is to heal and make whole.

The Benefits of Working with Dreams to Heal

Learning to recognize when and how healing is at work within is a fascinating aspect of the study of dreams. It was one of the first benefits I clearly saw from keeping a dream journal. (See my blog 6 Health Related Benefits of Keeping a #Dream Journal.) As I grew more adept at working with dreams, I learned that they could be used to diagnose, treat and monitor the progress of any kind of ailment. Over the years, I learned to request information about a piece of health information prior to getting the specific lab results to verify the accuracy of that test. I have found my dreams to be up to this point in time 100% accurate and I have been doing this for more than ten years. And last but not least, I saw healings take place within my dreams which then manifested in my body.

How to Become Adept at Working with Health-Related Dreams

If you want to become adept at exploring your health from the dream perspective, do the following:

  1. Keep a dream journal and be faithful in recording all the dreams you can remember, even the most minor and insignificant. Many years ago I had an obscure “one-liner” dream which conveyed the cryptic message, “Everyone is working to develop a method of self-healing.” I knew nothing of what this meant at the time but many years later, I saw it would become one the main purposes of my life, and “everyone” referred to all aspects of me!
  2. Read the groundbreaking book by Patricia Garfield, Ph.D., The Healing Power of Dreams, which gives researched information on how symbols occurring in dreams relate to the body and its state of health. She gives many of the commonly occurring symbols for health in dreams.
  3. In addition the to common symbols for health and healing; learn your personal dream vocabulary. (See Recognizing Your Personal Dream Vocabulary.) What are your unique symbols for health, healing and healers that appear in your dreams?
  4. Notice and reflect on all images, processes and symbols relating to health, the medical field, therapists and healers. What are they telling you?
  5. Learn to request specific health information from dreams (Dream Incubation.) (See Ask and You Shall Receive: Incubating a #Dream.)  For example, ask what particular foods do you need to eat to get healthier?
  6. Request healings to come in dreams.
  7. Test your dream findings with your medical lab tests or a doctor’s diagnosis.  If your dream tells you one thing, and a doctor another, get a second opinion.

Many doctors now are beginning to see the helpfulness of dreams in staying healthy.  My doctor always takes my health dreams seriously and so should yours!  Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, is said to have learned about the value of dreams and their relationship to health at an asclepion, an ancient type of hospital which was dedicated to the god of healing, Asclepius.  The caduceus, the symbol of medicine which comes to us from this ancient era, depicts snakes wrapped around the rod of Asclepius.

For more information, and consulting sessions and user manual on intentional dreaming and intuitive meditation, please see my website at:

6 Health Related Benefits of Keeping a Dream Journal

Rod of Asclepius2

Rod of Aesclepius

Since the days of the ancient Greek healing centers called aesclepions, dreams have been associated with health and healing.  Keeping a regular record of your dreams will clearly demonstrate the special relationship dreams have to health.  It will produce many health related benefits to include:

  1. The revealing of your personal symbols, themes and processes that relate to healing and health. You will better understand how your psyche images and presents health related information to your waking mind when you see the repetitive appearance of certain symbols. You may see a physician or health care worker reappear over and over or you may be given a profound symbol for a disease you are facing. The symbol may hold the key to the healing.
  2. Having a recording of patterns of healings, diagnoses, and warnings of diseases and ailments. As you learn to recognize your symbols for these events, you will see the congruences between the status of your health and the dream symbols.
  3. Seeing that certain ailments may be healed for you in the dream. Dream healings can come as a gift given. You may told in the dream that a certain issue, perhaps one you didn’t even know about, was being taken care of. If you were not in the habit of remembering and writing down your dreams you would not even be aware of the healing process going on without your intervention.
  4. Gaining deep insight into specific health issues over a period of time. The symbol of a particular ailment may change over time, reflecting the change in the ailment itself—for better or worse that may help the dreamer better deal with the ailment.
  5. Giving clues as what will be the outcomes for certain choices. Dreams will often present scenarios that can and do come true in waking life.  So when an alarming dream happens, it is important to write it down, reflect on it and learn for it. For example, a friend of mine had disconcerting repetitive dreams about being arrested for drunk driving. While he is a moderate drinker, there is probably little likelihood this will happen but certainly the warning is there to help him make good choices about drinking and driving. And if he should make a wrong choice, this dream could very well come true. Also, because dreams can have multiple meanings, I told him his dream might actually be about something else entirely. Only he could know for sure.
  6. Accessing information that gives me choices. Therefore, the power of dreams is not so much that they can look into the future; it’s that when remembered, they give us the opportunity to make a different choice than the one we made in the dream— if we want to. They give us a chance to test drive a decision before it pans out in real life. From a lifetime of recording my dreams I have found that all major issues in life seem to be “worked through” with a choice made in dream time prior to my need to make that decision in waking time. It’s like there is a program that has been set by a decision I have already made in dream time that will manifest itself in waking life. Having all my dreams written down lets me go back and see how an issue, especially a health related one that I am facing now, got resolved earlier in a dream. If I liked the way it turned out then, then I can resolve it as I did in the dream. If I did not like the outcome, I can simply make a different choice as I did in the following instance.

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