After Los Angeles native Kelly Noonan-Gores spent 20 years in front of the camera as an actress, she turned her talents to producing award-winning films like Tooken, Beneath and Take a Seat. She considers her latest, the documentary HEAL, to be her ultimate achievement. “I included as many inspiring stories of healing change as possible to expand viewers’ beliefs in what’s possible, to alter the narrative around mystery illnesses being incurable or cancer equaling death,” says Noonan-Gores.
When she was prescribed Prilosec for acid reflux at age 28, Noonan-Gores decided she was too young and otherwise healthy to become dependent on it. By taking an integrative nutrition course, she realized the possibilities of alternative healing methods, catalyzing an ongoing exploration into optimizing life and health through the powers of mind, body and spirit. “We are not the passive victims of faulty genes; our lifestyle choices, thoughts, and beliefs shape our health,” says Noonan-Gores, a longtime practitioner of yoga and meditation.
HEAL features uplifting interviews with the scientists, visionaries and healers that inspired her, including Deepak Chopra, Bruce Lipton, Marianne Williamson and patients diagnosed with diverse ailments that sought different healing modalities to take their health into their own hands.
What are some common elements in the stories of patients featured in HEAL?
One common thread revolves around our subconscious programming. From the time we’re born, we are downloading “programs” or belief systems from society, parents, teachers and whoever and whatever else is in our environment. Many have learned through their own healing journeys of negative belief systems running their lives; each one had to become aware of these beliefs in order to change.
Another is that when events are too painful, we consciously suppress or unconsciously repress them, and that trauma stays in our cells and might manifest in disease. To move that stuck energy, we must heal that emotional trauma to allow physical ailments to transform.
A third theme is understanding how stress affects our lives and immune systems, and doing things to manage or mitigate it through tools like meditation or breath work. Some of the patients worked with spiritual psychologists using Emotional Freedom Techniques to release past stress held in their body, shifting beliefs to a trusting, non-victim place.
Dietary shifts also made a difference. In acute healing, we realize the effect of different foods which can reduce or exacerbate inflammation.
Which messages in how the body and mind collaborate to promote healing are audiences keying in on?
Visualization is a powerful and widespread tool in healing; we can use imagination to reframe and tell a different story. Research has shown that visualizations can affect brain chemistry and lessen side effects.
The mind is conditioned to go to the worst-case scenario; we can instead retrain it to focus on the best-case scenario, and what we want to happen, increasing the likelihood it will occur.
What role do faith and belief systems play in the healing journey?
It all comes down to what we believe. If you believe in and expect an effect, like what we see with a placebo, the brain will create and release natural chemicals that might be prompted by a targeted drug. Believing you are a victim of genes and circumstance induces stress, whereas having faith in a loving universe produces greater ease.
How do emotions influence health and healing?
Gregg Braden and Joe Dispenza, interviewed in HEAL, discuss how rage, jealousy, trauma and fear put the body in a stress response and create inflammation and other detrimental effects. But love, kindness, joy, gratitude and compassion release healing hormones and neurochemicals like oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine. It’s empowering to know that when negative emotions arise, you can become aware of and release them, then pivot to focus on gratitude or do something that cultivates joy. It’s a moment-by-moment choice.
Healthy people require a healthy planet; how can we apply these same principles to bring our world back into balance?
The more conscious we become, the more we treat ourselves, others and our Earth with compassion. As more people awaken and demand a different response, the paradigm will shift. Health care will have to change as we apply the power in our hearts and minds. Our bodies are a microcosm of the universe; the planet can heal itself and thrive as we remove the toxins and become fully aware of what we are putting in the air, water and soil.
Connect with April Thompson, in Washington, D.C., at AprilWrites.com.