The words above were written by Helen Keller. Life has often been compared to a game. Unfortunately, we are not given the rules, nor instructions about how to play. We simply begin at “Go” and make our way around the board hoping we play it right.
For each of us, our health will play an integral role in this game of life—we don’t exactly know the objective of playing or what it means to actually win. And, the “winning” part of life will be different for each of us.
The first rule of the game is that the moment you arrive on earth you are given a body. The real you is stored inside this body—all the hopes, dreams, fears, expectations and beliefs that make you the unique human that you are. You are also given a DNA code which will determine to some extent your health.
Your body will be a teacher if you listen carefully. One doctor explained to me in my forties how to tap into the power of my mind to feel better every day. What if you had the ability to heal your body just by changing how you think and feel?
When we are doing everything right—eating right, exercising and sleeping well, we expect to live a longer healthier life. Yet I have come to believe that the purely physical realm of illness—the part we can diagnose with laboratory tests—is only part of the equation. It’s a big part, but not the “whole shebang.”
My personal experience with patients as well as friends has led me to the conclusion that whether we become sick or stay healthy, as well as whether we remain ill or manage to heal ourselves, might have more to do with all the many other facets of our life that make up our health.
The scientific evidence backs this up: the lifestyle choices we make can optimize our body’s relaxation response, counteract the stress response and result in physiological changes leading to better health.
As I once heard Dr. Lissa Rankin say “the body doesn’t fuel how we life our lives. Instead it is a mirror of how we live our lives. So if you are not feeling well despite doing all the right things, take a deep breath and ask yourself: What does my body need in order to heal? “
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