In preparation for this weekend’s Mind Over Medicine workshop, I asked several clients and friends what self-healing means to them. I got some great answers and even more great questions. I would love to hear what you think. Do you believe your body has the power to heal itself?

My doctor told me I have to take my medication for the rest of my life, but it’s giving me really unpleasant side effects. Is it possible for me to ever break free from it?

Absolutely. I once had a doctor that put me on Paxil because I was struggling with panic attacks. After a few days I called to tell him that the medication was actually making me depressed to the point where I was feeling suicidal. It was an awful feeling. He told me to double the dose! I told him, “you’re crazy” and I threw the pills in the garbage.

We look at indigenous cultures as being primitive, uncivilized, uneducated, but did you realize that most of every pharmaceutical drug we take come from plants whose medicinal properties were discovered in jungles by shamans, medicine men and women and aboriginal tribes? In the Amazon there are more than 6500 plants and we use only about 2% of those in our medicines. What if we did more research on plant medicine… and got the chemicals–which is the cause of most of the side effects–out of it?

I brought up the topic of self-healing to my doctor, and he basically told me that it doesn’t exist. Why would he say this?

There are many doctors that don’t believe in healing. It wasn’t seen as credible or taught in medical school. But because of physicans like Lissa Rankin, the paradigm is changing rapidly. Instead of asking why he would say this I would ask – when it comes to your health, do you want a doctor that doesn’t believe in the same things you do? Who is in charge… You or the doctor?

If self-healing is so effective– like if people are curing their own cancer and stuff, why don’t we hear about it in the news?

I think we are hearing about it more, case in point.. Dr. Rankin’s book was a best seller. Hospitals across the country are adding integrative medicine departments to include treatments like Reiki, Healing Touch, Qi Gong, Aromatherapthy, Yoga, meditation and much more. We have the greatest medical technology in the world, but people are getting sicker and they are looking for alternatives.

But to answer your question…. There’s no money in self healing. Economically there would be a lot of people out of work if we–let’s say–found a cure for cancer.

Is there a difference between healing and curing?

Yes. This is about healing, not curing. There is a difference. You can be cured without being healed and you can be healed without being cured. You can die healed, and you can live being “cured” and still have a lot of healing to do. To cure is the absence of disease, to heal means to become whole. Healing is reestablishing the connection in any area of your life that is out of balance , it can be anything from changing your diet, to changing your thoughts – changing your job, your home environment, looking at your relationships, your financial health, all of these areas and more effect your health. When you reduce stress hormones, you activate the body’s self repair system and that is how you create the potential for the body to heal.

I had a bad cough and my “woo woo” friend told me I should express my feelings more and it might get better. I was thinking more along the lines of Robitussin DM. What’s more effective?

I think they are both effective. In fact, I just had the flu and Mucinex was one of my medicinal choices. We are physical beings and sometimes when we are in pain or the body is ill, conventional medicine can be a blessing. But it is also important to remember that our thoughts and emotions do affect out bodies and hiding your feelings can definitely contribute to your illness. During my bout with the flu I had a lot of time to acknowledge what was coming up for me… What was I burying that my body was “coughing up.” In Chinese medicine, the lungs are where we hold grief. The week I go the flu was the 1-year anniversary of the passing of a very close relative–my mother’s remaining sister, who as “coincidence” passed from emphysema (another lung related disease). Today I learned that that same week that I got the flu, my cousin was diagnosed with lung cancer.

Cigarettes aren’t the only thing that causes cancer–so does a lifetime of unexpressed emotions. I see healing as a complement to allopathic medicine in addition to being a standalone method. It’s up to you to decide what course of treatment is in your best interest.

I’ve just started looking into holistic medicine and I am at the same time fascinated and overwhelmed. How do I know what is right for me, between acupuncture, Reiki and homeopathy and so many other choices?

We live in a society where we are more in tune with our iPhones than our SELF. We were all born with a sixth sense, but we have forgotten how to use it.

Step 3 in the 6 steps of Healing is tapping into your intuition. No one else but you is the expert. Trust what you feel. Your Inner Pilot Light is that wise healer inside of you.

It always knows what your body needs, and it is always trying to communicate with us… You just need to learn how to listen. Tune into how your body feels and trust it.

The right choice for you may be acupuncture and for someone else Reiki. Your body never lies. Try them on and notice how you feel. But remember this–first, be patient. It may take a few sessions before you notice any significant changes and secondly, find a practitioner that you like and trust. You’re the CEO of your health. Who do you want on your team?

I have tried every alternative medicine/treatment under the sun for a chronic condition and I am not finding any relief. I have begun to believe that I am stuck with this condition for the rest of my life. What can I do now?

Surrender. Release your attachment to any expected outcome. We can do everything right and still wind up sick, and dying. In fact the one thing that we can guarantee is that we will all one day face death. So after we’ve done everything we can, there’s nothing else to do but let it go.

We have to look at that.. we can be dedicated, determined and willing to do whatever it takes to make our bodies ready for a miracle but in the end it is not up to us. We all want to heal and be cured–who doesn’t? But the truth is there’s no guarantee that it will happen. And it’s nobody’s fault. Its out of our hands.

Hopefully I have shed a little light on the topic of self-healing here. I am happy to answer any other questions you have. Feel free to put your question in the comments below!

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