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Have You Sold Out Your Body?

Have You Sold Out Your Body?

No, I知 not talking about prostitution here. I知 talking about honoring the temple your spirit inhabits. What I値l be talking about ishow to be in your body andwhy. But first, a story about what inspired this post.

Last month, Martha Beck, Koelle Simpson, Bridgette Boudreau, Melanie Bates, and I launched the inaugural class of the 9 month Whole Health Medicine Institute Physician Training with a 滴eal The Healers workshop in Pismo Beach, California. We began the 4 day event by asking the doctors to tell their stories about how they betrayed their bodies in order to become doctors.

How We Traumatized Our Bodies

Picture 17 doctors curled up in our PJs, lying on pillows, snuggled under blankets, spending the night on the coast for a group retreat where the salty breeze blew in and the sound of ocean waves competed with the sounds of laughter and tears.

We went around the circle, telling our stories and bearing witness to those stories, one by one. I told the story of how I showed up with the flu when I was a second year resident on my oncology rotation, expecting to get sent home because I was throwing up nonstop and had nearly constant diarrhea, as well as a high fever.

But I wasn稚 sent home. A nurse put an IV in me, loaded me up with fluids, shot me up with some drugs under the orders from my attending physician, and fitted me with a Depends diaper. I was then ordered to scrub into surgery.

I did as I was told and promptly passed out in the operating room, dropping my surgical instruments into the patient痴 belly and falling onto the floor, where I was lifted onto a gurney, taken back to the recovery room, given more intravenous fluids and more drugs, outfitted with a clean diaper, and asked to scrub back into surgery.

How We Dissociate

It痴 no wonder I started numbing out from my body. And I wasn稚 alone. Turns out that most of us had dissociated from our bodies as a coping mechanism. After all, who wants to feel your body when you池e holding retractors at odd angles that are ergonomic nightmares in the operating room? During your training and even in practice once you池e done training you can稚 always eat when you池e hungry, sleep when you池e tired, or pee when you need to. So you numb out. You stop feeling. And then you betray your body even more because you no longer even feel what you池e doing to it.

My story was the least traumatic of the bunch. The ways in which we doctors sold out our bodies in order to survive our training would shock you. But I suspect it痴 not just doctors who have sold out our bodies.

Have You Betrayed Your Body?

Think back to what you may have done in order to get ahead. Did you pull all-nighters? Deprive yourself of necessary sleep?Skip meals? Hole up in a cubicle when your body wanted to be outside? Neglect exercise?Give yourself carpal tunnel syndrome because you池e at the computer all the time?

Or have you done even worse? As I share inMind Over Medicine (you can preorder it here), there痴 copious data in the medical literature proving that work stress can reduce your life expectancy and increase your risk of many illnesses, particularly heart disease. Have you overworked your way to a heart attack? Has neglect of your self care predisposed you to cancer? Might a chronic illness be the result of sacrifices you致e made for your career?

Are you ready to treat your body like the temple that it is?

Write Your Own Prescription

What could you do starting today to reinhabit your body, tend it, love it, and honor it? Ask your body what it needs right now, then listen up.

Here are some ideas scientifically proven to improve the health of the body, in case any of them trigger a resounding 添es! (Mind Over Medicine offers even more tips!)

  • Dance-Nia Technique is great for somatic awareness, but all types of dance help you to be in your body
  • Sleep
  • Do a green juice detox cleanse
  • Set boundaries at work
  • Get a massage
  • Meditate
  • Do yoga
  • Engage in a creative project
  • Go for a hike
  • Give yourself permission to have down cycles
  • Have sex with a partner or by yourself
  • Take a long bath
  • Feed your body a vegan meal
  • Attend services in a spiritual community
  • Follow a passion
  • See an energy healer

Have any other ideas? Tell us what you池e prescribing for your body in the comments below.

With love and more body awareness,

Lissa Rankin

Lissa Rankin, MD: Creator of the health and wellness, author of Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself (Hay House, 2013),TEDx speaker, and Health Care Evolutionary.Join her newsletter list for free guidance on healing yourself, and check her out onTwitter andFacebook.

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Lissa Rankin

Lissa Rankin, MD is a mind-body medicine physician, founder of theWhole Health Medicine Institute training program for physicians and other health care providers, and the New York Times bestselling author ofMind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself. She is on a grassroots mission to heal health care, while empowering you to heal yourself. Lissa blogs and also created two online communities She is also the author of two other books, a professional artist, an amateur ski bum, and an avid hiker. Lissa lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and daughter.


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6:02AM PDT on Jun 12, 2013

Thank you

12:31PM PDT on May 17, 2013

Most important advice I've been given is, Observe and Listen to your own body, and it will "talk" to you...

1:46PM PDT on May 16, 2013

Thank you Lissa, for Sharing this!

9:44PM PDT on May 9, 2013

Yup, I pretty much could say that being an ED doctor, I put up with the above on a regular basis (not peeing when I need to, eating when I'm hungry, getting enough sleep) - and you only get sent home when you're sick if your colleagues are feeling sympathetic! But I've started taking sick days when I need them because I'll only get sicker if I go to work sick, not to mention spread my germs. As for the list of things my body wants, it said 'Yes' to most of the activities listed!

5:39PM PDT on May 5, 2013


4:57AM PDT on May 5, 2013

A necessary reminder for the welfare of our body, yes, the temple of the soul or whatever you may call this not nameable. In our daily activities we are too often don't realize what our body wants to tell us. And every-body has of course different needs.

2:26AM PDT on May 5, 2013

Thanks for sharing.

3:28PM PDT on May 4, 2013

Sounds like a hospital to avoid like the plague! Or to just avoid so as NOT to get the plague! Give us a clue (initials) of what hospital it was in...yeow! Must be cutting a deal with nearby funeral homes...sending them clients!

2:04PM PDT on May 4, 2013

Thanks for the reminders..after decades of allowing myself to abuse my temple and be numb, I am now listening to my body. I participate in at least 10 of the suggestons regularly and it is making all the difference.

12:43PM PDT on May 4, 2013


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people are talking

Awesome! Thank you!

Very cool read :)

Good for you Anne Great points by Sen

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