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Joanne Pizzino, MD, MPH
Thomas Goddard, JD, PhD

Joanne Pizzino, MD, MPH, is board-certified in Preventive Medicine and diplomate-certified in Integrative Medicine. After her own self-empowered healing epiphany in 1997, she has empowered people to live healthier through both Eastern and Western medicine, ancient and ultra-high-tech healing. She and Thomas Goddard, JD, PhD, a psychologist, with decades of experience in a diverse array of modalities, have created Practical Yum, a practice dedicated to supporting and informing the process of Self-Empowered Healing

Self-Empowered Healing:
Can DIY Really Heal
Serious Health Conditions?

By Joanne Pizzino, MD, MPH
Medical Editor of Health&Healing

Do-It-Yourselfers have always enjoyed keeping their homes and cars in tip-top shape. With the scope of the Internet, one can extend this can-do/get ’er done attitude to everything from homemade essential oil remedies to promoting your own stem cell activity. Still, one has to sort through an overwhelming amount of DIY health information

Dr. Pizzino

Whether you take the same supplements as your favorite celeb, follow the training regimen of the athlete you root for, or update your diet to that of the latest health guru, it is likely you have at least tried to maintain or repair your physical or mental health. So, how’s that working for you? Did going gluten-free actually solve your health concern? Can you notice a material difference if you forget to take your supplements? Are you, in fact, regularly using that gym membership? And what if you have done all that and are still crawling through your day?

Healing Is an Inside Job

In general, almost every form of health care leads us to rely on something outside of ourselves for help. Whether it was the shaman of our ancestors, or an acupuncturist, herbalist, chiropractor, surgeon, or internal medicine dispenser of prescriptions, we depend on and expect healing to come from outside ourselves. A pill, potion, device, procedure, etc.

The Do-It-Yourself approach, however, knows that, ultimately, all healing is an inside job. All those external activities are just designed to stimulate our innate healing abilities: the truly awesome mechanisms evolution already built into our bodies for homeostasis. If we don’t work at that level, all those external substances and activities will not lead to healing. 

Having empowered a few thousand people to heal themselves over my 50-year health care career, I know that just having enough (and the right) information is not enough to budge the needle on some health conditions. Even great motivation and the best tracking apps don’t always yield results. And what if you have a truly complex and serious health condition, such as cancer or autoimmune disease? Is DIY even a realistic option? What if taking the middle ground, using self-empowered actions to amplify and expand the options of modern medical science could combine the best of both worlds, leading to lasting change in your physical and mental health?

Taking Control

Let’s start by looking at the vast amount of research that overwhelmingly supports strong beneficial results from taking control over the three things over which we actually do have control: what we ingest, how we move, and what we focus our minds on. Since there is a plethora of information and opinions on those first two areas of personal control, I will focus on the data that illustrates the power of your mind to actually effect physical change in the body.

First, we can look at decades of sound data showing that techniques such as breathing exercises and mindfulness actually can lower blood pressure, improve brain wave patterns, change heart rate variability (HRV), and overcome problems from sleep disturbance—to name just a few. Certain mind-body techniques can even lead to improved chemotherapy outcomes with less nausea and other side effects. 

The Role of Stress, the Power of Placebo

And what about stress? Does stress actually cause physical disease? Even just this one statistic should answer that question: The most frequent time for heart attacks is between 6:00 and 9:00 a.m. on Monday mornings. Anecdotally, the evidence is overwhelming. As one patient recently told me: “I haven’t been happy with my job for 14 years, and I know it is costing me my health.” Or in the case of another patient—his ulcers went away when he got a divorce.

And, you may say: “I’m handling the stress just fine.” Or, “I thrive on stress.” While that may be true and you have a strong mind and can decide how to approach stress, your body will still react in myriad ways that show it is in fight or flight—with hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, thyroid disease, memory problems, and more.

Moreover, a body under stress is unable to turn on the parasympathetic “rest, digest and repair” needed to keep us resilient. Thus, the epidemic of sleep disorders, digestive issues, immune disorders, and hormonal problems when we don’t get those essential repairs done. We must use specially directed mind-body techniques to get down into the subconscious mind, which controls the autonomic nervous system and the endocrine systems in order to turn on healing from the place it originates in our bodies. 

Finally, let’s consider the placebo effect. The enormous amount of research about this well-known phenomenon shows that mind and body truly can never be separated. There are so many examples: Fake knee surgeries that relieved pain and increased mobility for years afterward; anti-depressant drug trials where 80 percent of participants improved on placebos (medications that have no actual action on the body); a coronary artery disease study that showed the sham procedure recipients actually had better outcomes than those treated by standard protocols.

Science is chock-full of research showing powerful mind-body interactions. To learn more about the thousands of studies showing very clear benefit from mind-body interactions and how to apply brain science to empower your own healing, I recommend any of the books, podcasts, or programs by Dr. Joe Dispenza.

I want to state clearly that all disease does not arise in your head, and bad things still happen to very good people. What I want to draw your attention to is very real science that supports that taking control of your mind and your lifestyle yields very positive physical benefits, when combined with necessary medications and surgeries, or not.

Unfortunately, you may not have heard a lot about these options because they are mostly free. They do not make some corporation big bucks. And, to be forthright, they do require you to invest your time, generally 30-60 minutes per day, repeatedly, consistently. Isn’t that what DIYers do? They invest their time to solve a problem, or create something new instead of looking outside themselves for results. And even home DIYers still consult YouTube and DIY shows.

Would you like a guide to help you apply science-based self-empowered healing techniques which cost very little yet can yield dramatic results? Twenty-five years of extensive study in this area after my own self-empowered healing miracle has taught me the details of what does work, and approaches that may not be the best fit for a given individual. Schedule a free Discovery session at to find out how to harness self-empowered healing to get the health results you need.