I add this post written by Lissa Rankin, MD…because she writes well and with passion about health and wellness. 

As a doctor, I always thought that, to be healthy, you simply had to eat well, exercise, get enough sleep, take your vitamins, and follow doctor’s orders. But after twelve years of education and ten years of medical practice, I took a job at an integrative medicine practice in Marin County near San Francisco, where most of my patients were “health nuts” doing everything right- but some of them were sicker than ever. I was baffled. I mean, these folks drank their daily green juice, ate a vegan diet, worked out with personal trainers, slept eight hours a night, took their vitamins, and saw the best doctors.

Compare this to when I worked in a clinic where many of my patients were from the inner city of Chicago. I understood why they were sick. They ate poorly, rarely exercised, smoked, drank, didn’t listen to the doctor, and got sick. That made sense to me.

But the patients in Marin didn’t. From everything I had learned in medical school, these people should have been in perfect health. But many of my patients felt tired, they weren’t sleeping well, their libido went down the tubes, their bodies ached, they gained weight, they suffered from a host of chronic medical conditions- they lost their mojo really.

So, I tried to help my patients by running batteries of tests – some of them common, some of them specialized. And, yes, sometimes I’d pick up something surprising that, would rid my patient of all his or her symptoms. But mostly, I’d find nothing earth-shattering and wind up shrugging my shoulders. It was clear that there was still a big, missing piece of the health puzzle missing. I just couldn’t figure out what it was.

So I changed my patient intake form. I started asking them things like:

  • Is anything keeping you from being the most authentic, vital you?
  • Are you in a romantic relationship? If so, are you happy? If not, do you wish you were?
  • Are you fulfilled at work? Do you feel like you’re in touch with your life purpose?
  • Do you express yourself creatively?
  • Do you feel financially healthy or is money a stressor in your life?
  • What rules do you follow that you would wish you could break?

And the two big doozies:

• What might lie at the root cause of your health condition?
• What does your body need in order to heal?

When I asked my patients what their bodies needed in order to heal, they said things like:
• I need to leave my toxic relationship
• I need to quit my job
• I need to forgive my father
• I need to finally write my novel

The patients who had the courage to follow their own “Prescriptions” started experiencing radical improvements in their health. It was as if by healing their emotional landscapes, their bodies followed! I was hooked. My new book Mind Over Medicine is the result of the exploration that followed into what really makes us healthy and what really predisposes us to illness.

What does YOUR body need in order to heal?