WORTH A READ
Mind Over Medicine, Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself
Book review by Debra Saxton
In Mind Over Medicine, Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself, author Dr. Lissa Rankin argues that,
as it stands, mainstream medicine isn’t working and that there is more to healing patients than just
employing traditional medical protocols. By just treating the symptoms, and not taking into consideration
the patient as a whole, she believes doctors are currently doing their patients a disservice. She feels the
health care industry will not improve until doctors go beyond what traditional medicine has taught them, and
also take into consideration the mental, emotional and spiritual states, as well as life circumstances, when
developing the health care plans of their patients. Her premise includes that there is a distinct mind/body
connection when it comes to illness or health, and that we, as individuals, have the ability to heal ourselves.
Frustrated by the inability of Western Medicine to address her own health issues, Dr. Rankin began researching what makes people healthy and what really predisposes them to illness. She was intrigued by stories that came her way about spontaneous healing and recoveries from incurable or terminal diseases that should not have occurred. She wanted to learn more about improving her own health as well as what more she could do, as a doctor, to help patients recover from their own health challenges.
The more she researched the more questions arose. Is there a mind/body connection? Do patients have the ability to heal themselves? What proof is there that the power of the mind can transform the body? Her desire to find answers to these questions, and more, bordered on obsession. This book is the culmination of her research, and how it changed her beliefs about how health care should be approached; how she came to believe in the mind’s ability to heal the body or cause the body dis-ease; and what led her to believe that it is not doctors alone that hold the key to optimal health (patients play an equally important role).
Dr. Rankin presents her findings in three parts. The first part covers how the mind can alter the body physiologically using a combination of positive belief and increased nurturing by health-care providers. In the second part, she shows how the mind can alter the body’s physiology based on life circumstances (relationships, sex life, work, finances, creative outlets, optimism, pessimism, levels of happiness, and leisurely activities). Part three is a wellness model guiding individuals through self-assessments and developing plans for self-healing.