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Mind Over Medicine


When I was 18 my mom took me to see a horoscope specialist. My mom was not a fan of the boy I was dating and I was pretty positive that she had paid the woman to tell me he was bad news. I don’t remember what she said about my boyfriend, but I have never forgotten one thing she told me: you will suffer from a serious illness before you are 40 years old.

That sentence lurked behind me with every move I made, every choice I chose, and with every birthday that passed, I wondered: when is it coming? Now, I have no doubt about it, when cancer struck me at age 32, it was because I had worked every day since 18 to pull cancer towards me.

Sounds crazy, right? No one would willingly pull cancer towards themselves. This horoscope woman placed a fear inside of me that I could not shake. There I was in my most vulnerable state: stressed, working crazy hours, not taking care of myself and this fear pounced. I am not trying to praise this woman’s psychic powers; I didn’t have cancer because she was right, I had cancer because I placed inside my mind this idea that cancer, or some other serious disease, was inevitably mine.

While traveling to London a few weeks ago, I read Lissa Rankin’s Mind Over Medicine. It’s an extraordinary book based on Lissa’s research into healing, disease and the power of thought. I was fortunate enough to go see Lissa speak last week in LA and it really brought forth my own journey with my thoughts and how they influenced my life and my health.

Lissa shared the following thoughts that I completely agree with:

  • The medical system can actually harm us- the #3 killer is power medical care. Especially now with liability so high, we are often over diagnosed and told the worst-case scenario.
  • The medical community does not give its patients the opportunity to tell them what is wrong. When is the last time you went to a doctor and they asked, “tell me more about how you feel. What’s going on in your life right now? What’s going wrong?”
  • Self help cannot work without self acceptance.
  • When we define ourselves by our wounds, we burden and ose our physical and spiritual energy and open ourselves up to the risk of illness. And not everyone who is wounded or ill wants the full recovery of their health.
  • Only when someone is willing and able to proclaim that they are responsible for their illness can real healing begin.
  • Our beliefs get downloaded into our subconscious by age 7. If you have a bad first couple years of your life, even if you don’t remember them, you will have a lot of healing to do.
  • We have the power to turn on and off our genes, your biography does not have to become your biology. We need to learn how to participate in our own illness.
  • Just as the mind can think itself well, it can think itself sick. Patients receiving shots of saline and told it’s chemotherapy still vomit and lose their hair.
  • We survive on the “fight or flight” instinct. Stress triggers this response in the nervous system and our bodies can’t tell if we are stressed over a parking ticket or stressed over being chased by a lion. When the body thinks it has to deal with a vicious lion, it stops worrying about the long-term health. It stops it’s self-repair. Who cares about killing off cancer cells when there’s a lion coming after you? We need to take care of our stress.

As Lissa says, we all wear stress as a badge of honor but stress is just another word for fear. This is why cancer and disease are on the rise. We all have cancer in us, but it’s fear that brings cancer forth.

We all have the ability to have the lives we’ve imagined for ourselves- healthy, happy, stress-free, but we have to really want it and believe that we deserve it. This book is a must read for everyone. This isn’t just some fluffy, affirmational reading. It’s real and it’s science-based and it just might change your life.




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