Mind Games

I’ve been thinking lately about talking myself into becoming healthy.  Others more learned than I have researched possible health benefit links.  Dr. Bernie Siegel of New Haven swears by his method of group and individual psychotherapy, imagery and dream work in helping treat his cancer patients and others with chronic illnesses like MS. He’s written and lectured about the relationship between the patient and the healing process for years and insists we can help ourselves. He claims that unresolved emotional distress strongly contributes to physical ailments.

Of course, none of that can be proven definitively, but we’ve seen over and over the cases where those patients given a placebo (sugar pill) had the same positive results as those patients given the proper medicine. How can this be? Well, for starters, the human brain is capable of extraordinary things. So, one cannot say  Dr. Siegel’s method is inferior to other ways of healing. I’ve decided to look into this phenomenon with regards to MS because if MS involves brain trouble, it should obviously be repaired by making the brain fix itself.

MS is an incurable autoimmune disease. The best weapons so far are DMDs (disease modifying drugs). These DMDs are not to be confused with WMDs. These DMDs are actually real things and thank God for them. They’ve been proven to slow the acceleration of MS and sufferers would be foolish not to take advantage of them. Of course, as always, there are exceptions and some people just cannot tolerate them. So where does this leave them, or us, too, for that matter? If these drugs only can do so much (the Copaxone I’m taking reduces flareups by only 35% which means there is that pesky 65% to worry about), I feel maybe it’s time for a little mano a mano with the old bod.

The first thing I tried in talking myself into good health was examining my life for unresolved issues. If Dr. Siegel is right, clearing these things away will clear a path for healing. The only trouble with this plan is choosing, among legions, which issues were the culprits. I defy anyone, healthy or sick, to do this. Maybe if you’re ten years old this wouldn’t seem so daunting, but I’ve got enough history behind me to have lots of things that didn’t get resolved. I guess this is where personalized professional help is needed to sort through the chaff.

Anyway, other self-help books suggest, also unproven,  starting a regime of waking each morning and telling yourself how great and healthy you feel. I think this is supposed to trick your body into thinking that this is so. I’ve done this only for a few mornings but gave up. I got the unpleasant feeling that by lying to my body it would get revenge somehow.

I think I’ll just stick to taking my medicine and being annoyingly optimistic. I’ll leave the power of suggestion to others. I haven’t the head for it.


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