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Patient, Heal Thyself

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Patient, Heal Thyself

You can be your own doctor, love.

Yes, you heard me right.

You can be your own doctor.

Iím not suggesting that you climb into the stirrups and do your own Pap smear, knock yourself out and take out your own gallbladder, or bail on your chemo. As an MD, I have a great appreciation for medical science and all we have to offer, and we certainly need doctors and other health care practitioners to do their part.

What I am suggesting is that you have way more power to optimize your vitality than you might think – more than any doctor, naturopath, therapist, chiropractor, or acupuncturist.

While others might help cure something that ails you, we all must do our part. Handing your body, mind, and spirit over to someone else and hoping theyíll juice you up, fix whatís broken, and send you on your merry way just ainít gonna cut it, my dear.

Sure, there are gifted healers out there who can help facilitate the process. But when it comes right down to it, you alone hold the greatest power. If you donít do your part, those of us who are trying to help you are essentially impotent.† Sure, we can throw drugs or supplements at you, cut things out, and recommend lifestyle modifications, but ultimately, youíre the boss. We canít do it without you.

When we get sick – or even when weíre just trying to be more well, many of us seek out the help of healing professionals who can guide us through the process. I am one of those healers. As an atypical integrative medicine physician who was trained as an OB/GYN, Iíve operated on bodies, delivered babies, helped hearts heal, and midwifed women as they rebirth themselves.

But too often we hand over all of our power and fail to recognize the innate self-healing power that lies within us all. Instead, as patients, many of us show up at the doctorís office with what we docs call ďthe chief complaint,Ē and as patients, we hand over our problems with this request:†FIX IT.

No biggie, right?

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Read more: Alternative Therapies, General Health, Guidance, Health, Men's Health, Spirit, Women's Health, , , , , , , ,

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Lissa Rankin

Lissa Rankin, MD is a mind-body medicine physician, founder of the†Whole Health Medicine Institute training program for physicians and other health care providers, and the New York Times bestselling author of†Mind 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 at†LissaRankin.com and also created two online communities -†HealHealthCareNow.com and†OwningPink.com. 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.

28 comments

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10:43PM PDT on Oct 24, 2011

Yes, and I'm trying to lose weight. I'm eating much healthier, but getting more and more sedentary because my back is locking up more and more.

My diet is really not all that bad, but, if I can't exercise, I'm not going to lose much weight. But if I can't move enough to barely wipe myself clean because my back is stiff and twisting like that hurts me terribly, how am I supposed to exercise properly w/o killing myself off?

I've already been to a ton of people. Not it's get my nerves deadened or tough luck. Thing is, I can't even get an ultra sound done, and I just know that getting an IV filled with saline and liquid antibiotics make the pain go away in about 2 days, and it stays away for a few weeks.

Btw, I drink 6-8 glasses of 8oz each water every day. My beverage of choice is the unsweetened iced tea, where I dunk tea bags into water until it's tea, and then chill - so it's still 0 calories w/ no artificial sweeteners or anything.

I eat an orange, not drink juice in the morning. I eat about 4 servings of veggies a day, probably more. My starches consist of whole foods. I only use lean meats, and I cut off excess fat from the meats, and drain fat when they're not. I use calcium tablets, not milk. And my back kills me.

I've done lots, can't get a diagnosis, and yet here I have to do home care for a job. Which is killing me further. I'm hurting terribly right now. yet I can't get help, no imaging, no disability. Heal myself? Yeah, right. Tried/fa

1:06PM PDT on Oct 21, 2011

So true. And the bigger the leap we want to make healthwise, at any level (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual), the greater our own intention and power needs to be to get us there. I've found that we can lay the groundwork with certain supplements, healing sessions, etc.; but ultimately, when we've gained enough "steam", we have to step into that space with ourSelves.

8:34AM PDT on Oct 21, 2011

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5:59AM PDT on Oct 21, 2011

Omg I loved this article. I self-diagnose and have for years. I feel like I know more about what is going on when I am sick than the doctor does. I had a fantastic primary care doctor for years that understood this and appreciated it. I would go in and be able to tell him what was wrong and 99% of the time he agreed. We would decide on a course of medicine (usually an antibiotic) and I wouldn't go back again until something else came along.
I whole-heartedly believe in the food sensitivity/intolerance relation in peoples diets is the primary cause in many debilitating illnesses that society has. Figure out what your body is telling you is wrong & change your diet.

5:58PM PDT on Oct 19, 2011

Alex I. said it as it is. My husband had chronic progressive MS and when he asked his neuro if the chronic infection he had in his ear since he was a child might have anything to do with it, the doc said no and when my husband asked for an explanation he told him he was being a "difficult" patient, so my husband left. In 7 years he went through 7 neurologists and then decided they were all idiots and he would never see one again, and he didn't. He received much better treatment from his family practice doc, but we never did get any real care until we moved to Canada.

8:16AM PDT on Oct 19, 2011

Thank you Lissa for this article. For the past 15 years I have been my own doctor and I am better off for it. I have changed to a vegan diet and learned Qigong, meditation and Pranic healing. If you have read the book "The Secret" it shows examples how people healed themselves from cancer and paralysis by just putting their mind to it and visualizing their healing.
Most doctors only treat the symptoms by giving prescription drugs with side effects that are worse than the ailment.

8:15AM PDT on Oct 19, 2011

Thank you Lissa for this article. For the past 15 years I have been my own doctor and I am better off for it. I have changed to a vegan diet and learned Qigong, meditation and Pranic healing. If you have read the book "The Secret" it shows examples how people healed themselves from cancer and paralysis by just putting their mind to it and visualizing their healing.
Most doctors only treat the symptoms by giving prescription drugs with side effects that are worse than the ailment.

5:10AM PDT on Oct 19, 2011

I've fired more than one doctor for not listening and don't have a primary care doctor at this point. Most of them want to shove pills at me that don't work. Thanks for a great article.

4:00AM PDT on Oct 19, 2011

Yeah, I had arthritis in my wrist when I was 12. I went to quite a few doctors who couldnt do anything. I knew they wouldnt be able to cause I felt I had to cure myself. Which I did :)

8:30PM PDT on Oct 18, 2011

a great idea, except most doctors take exception to the patient who has done their home work, and doesn't just hand over the reins. they decide they have to put you in your place - especially if they are male, and you are female. you are a doctor, and not used to being the patient, so this all sound quite grandiose. but it is crap. the more you try to take control of your own treatment, the more the doctors punish you, even labeling you "difficult patient" and putting that in your record. one pissed doctor who does that, will make sure that all the rest will treat you badly. and then there is the fact that when a doctor hurts you, they NEVER try to make it better. they just cover their own ass. and they cover each other as well, screwing patients as they go.
doctors DON'T CARE about your body, and they don't care about what they do to you - just get in and get out so they can get paid.
the idea is pretty, but it just isn't true. try living with a disability - the treatment you get will almost always make you worse. real issues that are not quick fixes upset doctors, because they feel they need to take too much time with you, and because if they can't fob you off with one drug, they get frustrated - AT THE PATIENT!!!
the real change needs to be with the teaching of these doctors, who really think their job, and possible embarrassment, is far more important than the patients actual body, or even life.
i live with a permanent injury because of a doc, and was too poor to su

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people are talking

These are great suggestions. If, however, you have a very large family and a lot of food waste, man…

hmmm...

That was not an apology. That was "Yes I ate the damn tissue, now shut up about it already."

Thanks--love oils+use daily.

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