In Mind Over Medicine, in my latest TEDx talk and in many blog posts like this one, I talk about how the body is equipped with natural self-repair mechanisms that can be flipped on or off with thoughts, beliefs, and feelings that originate in the mind. This is great news, because it means, in essence, that you can heal yourself.
Mind Over Medicine has a whole section which teaches you the 6 Steps To Healing Yourself (you can read it for yourself by buying the book here.) But one of the many simple ways you can flip on your body’s self-repair mechanisms is via meditation.
What Does It Mean To Meditate?
Dictionary.com defines meditation as “continued or extended thought; reflection; contemplation,” but I prefer Harvard professor Dr. Herbert Benson’s definition. He defines it as “Repetition of a word, sound, phrase, prayer, or muscular activity while passively disregarding everyday thoughts that inevitably come to mind and returning to your repetition.”
With this definition of meditation, anything can be a meditation - not just sitting with your eyes closed in the lotus position, but walking, making art, cooking, shopping, dancing, driving… whatever.
How The Body Heals Itself
In my medical training, we were not taught that the body knows how to heal itself. It is equipped with natural self-repair mechanisms that repair broken proteins, kill cancer cells, fight infections, prevent aging, and maintain the homeostasis of the body. When the body gets sick, whether from the common cold or something more serious, like heart disease or cancer, it’s almost always because the body’s self-repair mechanisms have broken down, usually because of stress.
When the nervous system is stressed, as it is during the “fight-or-flight” stress response that is so commonly triggered in modern day life, these self-repair mechanisms are disabled and the body is at risk for disease. Only when the counterbalancing relaxation response is activated, when the sympathetic nervous system is turned off and the parasympathetic nervous system is turned on, can the body heal itself.
May 7th ends more than three years of gestating my next book, Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself. Like any pregnant mama, I’m jonesing to bring this baby into the world, not because my back hurts or my ankles are swollen, but because everyone on this planet needs to learn the shocking data I uncovered proving unequivocally how the mind can heal - or harm - the body.
I promise that once you read this book, your mind will be as blown open as mine, and you’ll want to send this book to every sick person you know, every health care provider who cares for you, and every loved one you hope thrives until they’re 100. (Really, I’m not kidding. When you find out the one surprising thing that benefits your health more than exercise, a healthy diet, or quitting your bad habits, you’re gonna want to shout it from the rooftops.)
Is There Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself?
You betcha. There’s proof that you can radically alter your body’s physiology just by changing your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. There’s also proof that you can make yourself sick when your mind thinks unhealthy thoughts. And it’s not just mental. It’s physiologic. How does a thought, feeling, or belief translate into real physiological changes in your cells and organs? Don’t worry, I explain exactly how unhealthy thoughts and feelings translate into disease and how healthy thoughts and feelings prevent disease, increase longevity, prevent aging, and help the body repair itself when it breaks down.
The Media Loves It
This book has been blessed with great national media attention (an O Magazine feature, a special that will be featured on PBS, Health magazine, Shape magazine, Women’s Health magazine, interest from the Dr. Oz Show, and more trickling in every day.) This kind of attention affirms what we already knew - that learning how to activate your body’s natural self-repair mechanisms for both prevention and cure is something many people are ready to learn, and that healing our broken health care system from the inside out is high on everyone’s priority lists.
Soon, I’ll be debuting a video trailer - and hitting the road to meet many of you in person, beginning with Hay House’s I Can Do It! 2013 in Atlanta on May 3. But first - A SALE!
The Mind Over Medicine Preorder Sale!
Because I’m so committed to helping this book reach as many people as possible in the first week of its birth, I’m offering a special sale for those who’d like to pre-order the book - just for yourself or to share with friends, family members, or even clients who you think might benefit from the self-healing message of Mind Over Medicine.
In exchange for your book purchases, I’m throwing in some extra special goodies meant to help you apply the gems in this book to your life and the lives of your loved ones.
As a physician, I’ve been exposed to a variety of wellness models, most of them pie charts and pyramids detailing what it takes to be optimally healthy - a nutritious diet, an exercise regimen, enough sleep - you catch my drift.
But something about these wellness models always left me feeling like something was missing. First, it was the format. A pie chart implies that you can take out a piece of the pie and still keep the rest of the uneaten pie intact. The same is true for a pyramid - if you take a strip out of a pyramid - you wind up with a shorter, but still stable pyramid.
Some wellness models are more holistic than others, accounting not only for conventionally “healthy” behaviors, but also for other facets of what makes a good life - social network, professional life, etc. Even still, I never found one that spoke to my soul. None of them ever felt expansive enough, comprehensive enough, or acknowledging of the interdependency of all the facets of what makes us whole and how these life factors affect the body.
From the day I launched OwningPink.com on April 26, 2009, my intention was to create a blog that explored all the facets of what I believed led to a healthy life - relationships, work/life purpose, creativity, spirituality, sexuality, your environment, finances, mental health, and physical health. My hypothesis was that each of these facets had to be in balance, not only with each other, but with the truth of who you are, the part of you I call your “Inner Pilot Light.” In other words, it’s not enough to be in a relationship if your relationship is out of alignment with your truth. It’s not enough to be having sex if you’re selling out your authentic sexual desires. It’s not enough to go to church if you really find communion with Source in nature instead. For years, my blog focused on helping people understand health in this kind of expanded way, but it didn’t fit neatly into an elevator speech or any wellness model I’d ever stumbled across.