As a physician, I frequently meet people who have suffered from devastating health challenges. Whether its chronic pain, cancer, fibromyalgia or another condition, one of the things I have noticed is how easily affected people are by what their doctors tell them. “You will have this pain for the rest of your life. I’m sorry. There is nothing that can be done beyond what we are doing” or “The best we can do is manage your symptoms with medications, and you will need to take them for the rest of your life.”
These are statements that many people hear. And when I speak with them, there is a sense of deflation, of hopelessness, of despair, of resignation. And of course, that is a natural response to hearing and accepting bad news. Most people would be tempted to accept their prognosis, accept what their medical team is telling them, and do their best to work with what life has thrown them.
I like to take a different approach in these situations. I have met quite a few patients who suffered for YEARS for debilitating symptoms and then something changed for them and things turned out. As an example, I know a man who developed severe spinal stenosis in his 50s. He had been healthy, active and living “right” by medical standards his whole life until one day he starting noticing weakness in his legs and back pain. This progressed over the course of a few months to severe weakness. He could no longer exercise and eventually he could no longer walk. His doctors told him that they would need to operate, but it was a risky operation and he should expect to be wheelchair-bound within the following few months. He was devastated. He tried all sorts of conventional and non-conventional medical treatments, hoping something would help. Nothing did. Until one day he came across a particular natural supplement which was new on the market and had a powerful combination of herbs in it designed to reduce the effects of oxidative stress on the body. Within WEEKS. he was feeling better and within months, he was walking and exercising. Within a year, he was fully back to his old self, with no signs of the back pain or leg weakness.
Here is another example: I had a patient who was suffering from chronic fatigue for years. She could barely get out of bed in the morning. And getting to work and functioning throughout a workday was nearly impossible for her. She was irritable and exhausted and unable to function at even 10% of her capacity. She had tried the conventional medical route; however, it didn’t help significantly and she had poor tolerance to the medications offered to her. She was on bio-identical hormones and seeing a naturopath who was giving her IV vitamin treatments. Her improvements were coming at a snail’s pace. I would see her every few months to monitor her hormones and she would say, “Nothing is helping. I still feel terrible.” And the truth is: With chronic fatigue, hormones are an important piece to address, as many people with chronic fatigue are low in hormones (DHEA, testosterone, progesterone) However, balancing the hormones does not often fix the symptoms. There are so many other contributing factors. So this woman had adjusted her diet, was doing stress management techniques and meditation, receiving IV vitamin therapy, taking bioidentical hormones, and doing everything she could to help heal herself. This went for a few years. Finally, this one day when I saw her, she was different. She told me she had found a practitioner who worked with energy medicine. And since she started working with this person, she has been feeling better and having more energy. I could tell by her voice she even sounded different. She sounded HAPPY and relaxed. It had been three months since she started this energy work and things were changing quickly for her, for the better. It has been over 2 years now, and I have not seen her once – because she is doing well and hasn’t needed anything from me (I consider this to be a good thing!)
I have countless stories I could share about people who were suffering immensely and then at some point things change and start to turn around. And I think everyone who is going through something challenging needs to know this: Things can change at ANY time. No matter WHAT people tell you, no matter what the statistics or prognosis, no matter how long you have been suffering, THINGS CAN CHANGE AT ANY TIME. We all need to have this hope, because the hope in itself is healing and frees us from the prison of despair and resignation we put ourselves in.
You never know what it will be that is the key to the change in your circumstances. That’s why you need to always keep an open mind. For some it was a natural supplement. For others, it was an energy medicine. Maybe what it really is is the HOPE that this new treatment provides. Or maybe you have changed your perceptions and attitudes about the world and your body can release something that no longer is serving it. We cannot deny the strong connection that exists between our mind, our thoughts, and feelings, and our physicality.
If there is one message that I think everyone needs to hear and know, it is this: Everything can change in a split second. We need to surround ourselves with stories of success and inspiration. Because if our minds start thinking like this all the time and we start believing that self-healing and change can happen instantly, we will start experiencing this more and more. What we believe is possible WILL BE POSSIBLE. It is our job to take responsibility for which beliefs we choose to maintain and which we choose to let go, for who we surround ourselves with and what thought patterns we allow to influence us. If we can control this, then we have a much better chance of changing the things we want to change in our lives.