I’ve suffered a lot in my life. From a young age, I was so busy figuring out how to survive, that looking compassionately—with love, warmth, and kindness—upon myself was simply too hard to come by. When I was introduced to Buddhism at 16, I began in my brain to grapple with healing from within, and started to believe, intellectually at least, in the power of compassion to soothe life’s hurts.
In this great TEDX talk, my dear friend, Lissa Rankin, MD explores the scientific literature, reviewing case studies of spontaneous remission, as well as placebo and nocebo effect data, to prove that our thoughts powerfully affect our physiology when we believe we can get well.
I just finished my upcoming book Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself (Hay House, 2013), but I’m still researching the topic that has fascinated me for the past four years. I just started reading Consciousness & Healing: Integral Approaches To Mind-Body Medicine, by my friend and IONS president Marilyn Schlitz and Tina Amorok.
Here’s some juicy stuff I found:
In my upcoming book Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself (Hay House, 2013) and in many recent blog posts such as this, this, and this, I talk a lot about the mind’s power to heal the body. But when you or a loved one is sick, how do you know when to employ the mind’s self-healing powers versus when to get thee to an emergency room lickety split?
Knowing how to integrate the mind’s healing powers into the world of conventional medicine can be tricky, so I wanted to lay out some guidelines.
As I wrote about here, I believe medicine is a spiritual practice because practicing medicine is all about being vessels for Divine love, so we can facilitate the process of self-healing for our patients.
But nobody ever taught me this in medical school. I learned it by merely being human.
Because of my ability to be both human and a doctor, I have always practiced love, with a little medicine on the side.
The Power of Music to Heal!! Watch this amazing video of an old man in a nursing home who reacts to hearing music from his era.
What’s your relationship like to your breath? Do you have one?
There are days that go by when I think I take about two full breaths. Sound familiar? I have a magnet on my vision board that reminds me to breathe, and a huge “Inhale, Exhale” card obviously doing the same. But it’s still not enough. I mean, how many reminders do we need?
We’re basically lazy when it comes to breathing, don’t you think? We are so used to the breath always being with us, that we unequivocally take it for granted. We’re too so often checked out of our bodies, that we believe we breathe with our brains.
When I went to medical school, nobody ever taught me that medicine was a spiritual practice – but it is. Or at least, in Pink Medicine, it will be.
You might not think so. After all, philosophers like Descartes have been perpetuating the notion of mind-body dualism, suggesting that body, mind, and spirit have absolutely nothing to do with each other.
But I beg to differ.
We hear a lot about the importance of compassion — and the lack of it — in medicine these days. Compassion comes from Latin words meaning to “suffer with.” If taken literally, compassion in healing seems irrational. Why would a medical professional want to suffer alongside his or her patient? Suffering with one’s patient might cloud one’s professional judgment. When sick, patients need the cool-headed objectivity of their doctor and nurse — not co-suffering or sentimentality. But compassion means more than “suffering with.” It involves entering the mind-space of other persons so completely that one senses what the experience of illness is like for them.
A few months ago I had a chance to hear Gabrielle Bernstein and Kris Carr give a lecture on “Crazy Sexy Miracles” and I was completely blown away by both of these amazing dynamos. Gabrielle teaches from the metaphysical text A Course in Miracles, and she spoke about how each time we shift our perception from fear to love we create a miracle. Our internal shifts enhance our external experiences. Serenity kicks in, fear subsides and we know that all the love we need is inside us.