Here we are coming up on one of the major holidays of the year in America. It’s a day stuffed with expectations of gratitude, family, and abundance. For many, it’s exactly that– pure joy– and for many more it’s exactly the opposite. This holiday, from now through the New Year, marks the starting line of one of the most difficult times of the year for millions of people. Stresses tag-team the joy of the holidays, in the form of loneliness, worries of money, feelings of never meeting expectations (the Martha Stewart syndrome), and pressures of time to name a few. It’s a problem of abundance (too much competition, too many parties, too much food, too many ‘shoulds’…) simultaneously glued to a problem of lack (not enough money, not enough invitations, not enough time, not enough supposed ‘will power’…)
Deeeep breaths… It’ll be okay.
I read a book this week that I loved. I strongly recommend it, especially right now while so many psyches are pushing through their limits of wellbeing. It’s by Lissa Rankin, MD and it’s called Mind Over Medicine: Scientific proof that you can heal yourself (2013). Dr. Rankin is an integrative physician who travels the world preaching the miracles of the human body. Her message is that the majority of our body’s ability to heal comes from our neurochemistry, not the man or woman in the white coat. And she writes with such a page-turning engaging style, the information is easy to assimilate. It’s so fun, it feels like a guilty pleasure to read, like snacking on junk food rather than sipping green juice, but it’s totally green juice reading!
I want everyone to read this book. Today. It’s so important.
So, one small thing I’ll share from it is a small list called:
6 Treatments That Foster Self-Healing (compiled from the Ph.D. thesis of Kelly A. Turner)–
Changing your diet. The majority of interviewees credited diet change as a powerful tool for self-healing. Most recommended eating a diet consisting primarily of whole vegetables, fruits, grains, and beans, while eliminating meat, sugar, dairy, and refined grains.
Experiencing a deepening sense of spirituality. Many of Turner’s interviewees discussed feeling an internal sensation of divine, loving energy.
Feeling love/joy/happiness. Others credited increasing love and happiness in their life with the ability to self-heal.
Releasing repressed emotions. Many interviewees believed that it was healthy to release any negative emotions they had been harboring, such as fear, anger, and grief.
Taking herbs or vitamins. Turner’s interviewees took various forms of supplements, with the belief that they would help to detoxify their body and/or boost their immune system.
Using intuition. They talked about the importance of following their intuition with regard to treatment-related decisions.
Translate these tools to any form of self-healing, including the stresses of the holidays or tax season or summer vacation…. fill in the blank. They are valid and potentially life-changing.
I think the literature on our bodies’ innate mechanisms for self-healing are mind-blowingly fascinating. So many of us get caught in a cycle of believing it’s up to something external to ourselves to “fix” us, when all those tools are sitting there right inside of us just waiting to be activated. Sure, we need each other to help activate those mechanisms, but we’re hard-wired for total biologic autonomy. It’s incredible, right?!
A few more of my favorite titles/authors on this subject are:
Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton
Molecules of Emotion by Candace Pert
You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay
Flourish by Martin Seligman
Anatomy of The Spirit by Caroline Myss
Love, Medicine, & Miracles by Bernie Siegel
Anatomy of an Illness by Norman Cousins
Good stuff! If you know of any other books on this subject which happen to be your favorites, please share them. I’m always looking to expand my library in the area of self-healing. Until then, happy reading and much love to you.