Mind over medicine

I just finished reading “Mind over medicine” by Lissa Rankin, which I found to be really interesting. I strongly belief in the connection between mind and body and after reading this book possibly even more.

When I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, my gastroenterologist told me I would have to take medicines for the rest of my life. I wasn’t too happy when he said that, and already having read stories of other people diagnosed with Crohn’s disease where the disease went into (total) remission, I was convinced that someday it should be possible to get off of the medicines.

Being a doctor in conventional medicine, Lissa Rankin at first didn’t pay much attention to miracle stories about patients, sometimes with very serious diseases, that experienced a remarkable if not total remission of their diseases. But the more stories she heard, the more she wondered if there might be something else that’s important when it comes to healing the body. So, she started digging into all kinds of research to see if she could find evidence that our human mind is capable of healing our body. The result is amazing and whether or not this book convinces you that the human mind is capable of some extraordinary things, it is definitely worth reading it.

A lot of people have health issues that their doctors can’t link to any disease, but the fact is, that they do have symptoms. In this book Lissa Rankin shows how the things that are going on in your life as well as the way you handle these, can actually lead to changes in your physiology. After experiencing a rough period in her own life and having her share of symptoms, she makes an inventory of her life and a writes herself a ‘prescription’ to fix it. She turns around her life and starts working in a practice in which she gets to spend all the time she needs with her patients. Thinking of her own experiences, she started to ask her patients what they thought would cure them and much to her surprise most of them didn’t tell her that they needed a different kind of medicine or therapy, but things like, I need to quit my job, or, I need to divorce my husband.

Just to be clear on this. Lisa Rankin by no means implies that people that are ill or do not get cured have themselves to blame for it. Nor does she say that you should avoid conventional medicine. She merely says that the state of your mind can lead to changes in your physiology that may cause all kinds of symptoms and/or diseases and that it may be worthwhile to take a good look at your life. Making changes in your life doesn’t necessarily mean you will be cured, but it will still add to the quality of your life.

I have definitely some changes to make, which is the reason I started my Master NLP training and I’m still convinced that one day I can do without medicines :).