If you could write a prescription for your self-healing, would you do it? To be completely honest, it’s one of the reasons I started this blog.
Let’s go back to Summer 2013.
I had spent almost 6 months basically in bed. I wasn’t allowed to put weight on my leg, I was in pain, I was depressed, I ate ice cream everyday (aka I was at my heaviest weight ever), my anxiety was off the charts and I was super emotional.
I knew I wanted help to get out of the hole I had dug myself into, but I just didn’t know what to do.
One of the best things I did was to seek out professional help – first I went to a psychiatrist, but I found my real healing with a therapist.
The second best thing I did was buy the book Mind Over Medicine.
I started reading and actually finished it on a family vacation to Florida. Laying on the beach, I remember flipping through the pages – highlighting great ideas and dog earring others that I knew I’d want to revisit at a later point.
This book was so inspiring to me. Why was it so inspiring?
Because it opened me up to a whole new possibility of healing. It opened me up to exploring myself and realizing the true root of my illness and heath problems.
The first chapter of Dr. Rankin’s book details the ‘placebo effect’. What I like about Dr. Rankin is she’s a medical doctor, based in science, but completely open to the body’s natural healing mechanisms. She goes into great detail talking about how injections of water helped heal patients with tumors because they believed it was a miracle drug and how fake operations successfully helped other patients.
The second chapter looks at the opposite – the ‘nocebo effect’.
“While the placebo effect demonstrates the power of positive thinking, expectation, hope and nitrating care, the nocebo effect demonstrates the power of negative belief.” (Mind Over Medicine, Page 21, Dr. Lissa Rankin)
Dr. Rankin talks about how it’s scientifically proven that the more you focus on all the different ways something could go wrong, the more likely it is you’ll experience those things.
When we keep our thoughts and beliefs positive, our parasympathetic nervous system is able to kick in and activate our body’s self-repair mechanisms. Whenever we focus on the negatives, our brain perceives it as a threat and puts our body into high alert. This high alert stage is called ‘fight or flight’. When our body is in this stage, only the bodily functions required for survival continue on, all the others stop and your body starts looking for the ‘threat’ it’s supposed to fight off. Therefore, if we’re constantly in a fight or flight mode, our body isn’t allowing itself to repair damaged cells, to attack off free radicals circulating in our body, to fight the signs of aging, to combat the cancer cells… it’s only focused on doing the bare minimum until the ‘threat’ is gone.
Well, unfortunately in today’s world we seem to always be focusing on the negative or are always ‘stressed out’ (another way our bodies are kicked into the f or f mode!). It seems our bodies are constantly in fight or flight mode. This can be very, very, very bad for our health.
Ok, so I’ll just be more positive. That should fix it, right?
Well, yes and no.
Dr. Rankin cites that we operate 95% of the time from our subconscious mind. That means we can be telling ourselves all the positive things in the world, but if our subconscious doesn’t believe it, then nothing will change.
You may not think much about what may be stored in your subconscious mind, but I bet there’s a whole hell of a lot more in there than you think.
Throughout our lives we get attached to beliefs about ourselves. Maybe we’re too fat or too tall or we think our hair is too thin. These thoughts get engrained in our minds and pretty soon they just become a part of us. By exploring your beliefs you can take the first step to reprogramming your subconscious.
And yes, your subconscious CAN be reprogrammed!
In Mind Over Medicine, There are 6 Steps To Healing Yourself.
Step One is Believing You Can Heal Yourself.
I talk to so many chronically fabulous patients every day and many attach diagnosis or certain words to themselves. Chronic, incurable, terminal, sick, disabled, broken, flawed . . . I could go on and on. When we start to identify with certain terms like this, we start to limit ourselves. We start to live so much smaller than we should be. We start to believe that we are broken, we are sick, we are incurable…
I can’t say this is a concept I attached to over night, it took a lot of time to get engrained in my subconscious. BUT once I truly opened up to the possibility of healing … and once I truly started looking at the beliefs that I followed without question, THAT’S when I started feeling my best.
Sure, autoimmunity isn’t curable (YET), but I truly believe in my heart that if I’m giving my body the fuel it needs – mind, body and spiritually – then my body will be able to work at it’s best. And how can I be upset with myself if I know my body is giving its best effort?
So how can you start to believe you can heal yourself?
There are a few ways you can do this.
1. Meditate And Visualize Healing.
One of the greatest tools I’ve been given is meditation. By closing my eyes, tapping into myself and visualizing myself healing itself – I feel SO EMPOWERED!
If you’re new to meditation, that concept might sound so hippie/far out that you’re completely turned off. But I have to tell you – Before I started doing it, that’s exactly what I thought! I thought meditation was for the wackos in movies that were super weird and didn’t shower. But that couldn’t be further from the truth! Now, realizing the potential meditation can give us, I think the ones who DON’T meditate are the wackos (can’t really say about showering or not? haha!)
If you visit Dr. Rankin’s Mind Over Medicine page, you can download her FREE Self Healing Kit. In this download, there is a self-healing meditation.
This video mixes both of my favorite people! Dr. Lissa Rankin & Gabrielle Bernstein!
2. Identify Your Beliefs And Start To Explore The Inner Workings Of Yourself.
When you’re HONEST with yourself, you can really start to shed the layers holding you back/holding you in. In Mind Over Medicine, there are a TON of questions that help you explore the inner workings of YOU. You can actually download these same questions in Dr. Rankin’s Free Self Healing Kit.
It’s honestly such an amazing exercise to go through. It took me awhile to actually get through all of the questions and truthfully answer them, but in the end I was shocked by what I TRULY believed. Thoughts that my subconscious worked on – that were driving 95% of my actions!
It really started to make me wonder . . .
Did I have psoriatic arthritis because of my limiting beliefs around having such a bad immune system?
Did I have avascular necrosis because I always used to say that the doctors believed I’d have a knee replacement before 30?
Why was I still holding on to the thought my 11th grade english teacher put in my head when she told me I was one of the worst writers she ever taught?
The first few questions are all about your beliefs, but answering all of the questions gives you a full picture of your belief systems. Do yourself a HUGE favor – print out the questions and resolve to answer a few every night! Work on it in small chunks and write out your answers. You will be completely surprised by some of the answers you get.
3. Fake It Til You BECOME It!
Make affirmations your friend!!!!
I am self healing.
I’m healing from the inside out.
I am happy and healthy.
Today I am perfect.
I am love.
I embrace my inner guide and amplify healing.
Whatever comes to your mind – use it! Write it everywhere! Put post it’s on your mirror, on your computer, in your car, set alarms to go off on your phone reminding you to say them… If you repeat it enough, it will become engrained in you.
Using the same way negative statements engrained in our brains, we can retrain our brains to believe positive ones.
If you only do ONE thing, make it this…
Every night before you go to bed, tell yourself that you’re open to healing.
If you open your heart and your mind to healing, anything is possible!!!
Wishing You A Pain Free Day!
Check out my post I just did on Dr. Rankin’s newest book The Fear Cure.
Check out this Ted Talk by Dr. Lissa Rankin “Is There Scientific Proof We Can Heal Ourselves?”