Forgiveness Therapy in the Doctor’s Office

Established institutions are quick to cite the health benefits of forgiveness, but few medical centers practice what they preach.

By Margo Mae, DiscoverHealing Staff

When Dabney had a patient he knew just what to say, “You can still pursue damages through an attorney. You’re entitled to be angry, but for now I’m asking you to abandon your entitlement and let it go, to direct your energy toward healing, and turn this over to God or nature or whoever you worship.”

The healing power of forgiveness is well-respected in the therapeutic field, but Dabney was no therapist. He was a burn surgeon. And his office was a New Orleans emergency room.

Dabney Ewin, M.D., described his patients as “all burned up” – physically and emotionally. They were often angry and bitter, due to someone else’s negligence or their own. “Their attitude affected the healing of their burns,” he said. “This was particularly true of skin grafts. With someone who’s real angry, we’d put three or four skin grafts on, but his body would reject them.

Patients who took the surgeon’s advice to forgive often experienced shorter recovery times. “I’d say…’It’s not up to you to get revenge on yourself or someone else. When you know at a feeling level that you’re letting it go, raise your hand,’” he recounted. “Then I’d shut up, they’d raise their hand, and I’d know that skin graft was gonna take.”

Holding a grudge has long been attributed to a host of health problems like high blood pressure, anxiety, stress, and an increased risk of depression, heart disease, and diabetes. “I don’t think people realize the damage they do by repeating the same negative thought over and over again,” says Fred Luskin, Ph.D., head of the Stanford University Forgiveness Project. “If you don’t like someone, if you are mad at your boyfriend or your boss, and you have the same upsetting thought 40 times a day, then 40 times a day your body is getting a jolt of adrenaline — which has a wearing-down effect on the organs of your body.”

While established institutions like Johns Hopkins Medicine, The Mayo Clinic, and Cancer Treatment Centers of America are quick to cite the health benefits of forgiveness, few medical centers practice what they preach. A patient visiting his doctor for high blood pressure is vastly more likely to be prescribed a medication than encouraged to forgive.

If your healthcare professional does not include forgiveness therapy in their healing regimen, you may want to learn more about The Emotion Code. This self-study natural healing course enables anyone to identify negative Trapped Emotions in the body (like anger, blaming and resentment) that contribute to physical illness. You can easily release these Trapped Emotions on your own, or schedule a healing session with one of the thousands of Certified Practitioners located across the globe.

Twenty years ago, the medical research on forgiveness was slim. “A picture is emerging that forgiveness may be important not just as a religious practice but as a component of a comprehensive vision of health,” Luskin speculated in a 1999 article for Stanford Medicine. Today, that vision is clear. Though it may take some time for forgiveness therapy to become an integral part of Western Medicine, The Emotion Code allows you to easily dismiss negative emotions from your body, and reap the health benefits of a forgiving heart.


Learn more about forgiveness therapy!

Article: The Art of Forgiveness

Tip of the Week: Forgiveness

Article: How Men’s Thoughts and Emotions Impact Their Health



Bettencourt, Megan (2015) The science of forgiveness: “When you don’t forgive you release all the chemicals of the stress response.” Salon. Retrieved from

BeWell@Stanford. Forgive For Good. Stanford University. Retrieved from

Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Learn How To Forgive For Better Health. Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Retrieved from

Johns Hopkins Medicine. Forgiveness: Your Health Depends On It. Johns Hopkins Medicine. Retrieved from

Johnson, Lorie. The Deadly Consequences of Unforgiveness. CBN News. Retrieved from

Luskin, Frederic. The Art and Science of Forgiveness. Stanford Medicine, Volume 16, Number 4, Summer 1999. Retrieved from

Mayo Clinic. Forgiveness: Letting Go of Grudges and Bitterness. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from

2017-10-06T12:57:50+00:00July 6th, 2016|Articles|0 Comments

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  1. Nick Temple July 13, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    I’ve been practicing forgiveness / gratefulness as part of my morning ritual for the past 6 months … it’s interesting how modern medicine can sometimes ignore simple yet effective techniques.

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