Commitment & Mentorship for Radical Self-Care


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Joanne Pizzino, MD, MPH
Medical Editor
Health&Healing in the Triangle

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 guided people to live healthier through both Eastern and Western medicine, ancient and ultra-high-tech healing. She now practices telemedicine in 10 states allowing you to see the doctor from the comfort of your home or office.

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

The sage Heraclitus said, “You cannot step into the same river twice, for other waters are continually flowing on.” When we want a condition in our bodies or mood to heal or resolve, we cannot keep living our same lives, doing the same things every day, simply expecting change to happen because we say affirmations or wish it with all our hearts.

Medical science now has confirmed impressive evidence that prayer, meditation, and other mind-body techniques can indeed shift our physical and mental health in very real measurable ways. Still, crossing the river of change to actually being in a new life, free of pain or dis-ease is rarely a simple or quick process. Nonetheless, it CAN be done. Researchers such as Dr. Joe Dispenza are proving that applying a specific, step-by-step process in a focused, committed manner can yield amazing results. People in wheelchairs are moving out of them on their own. CT scans are showing that cancers are indeed gone. So, how does someone wake up to a new life with a disease-free body?

Ninety-five percent of what we do each day is simply a habitual repetition of what we did yesterday, and many yesterdays before. If we get out of bed, brush our teeth, make coffee, get dressed, go to work, react the same way with our co-workers, commute home and behave the same way with our family, we are habitually reinforcing the environment and circumstances in which symptoms and disease arose in the first place. It is therefore extremely likely that the autonomic nervous system, which controls all the fundamental background processes of our bodies, will continue to respond in a way that created the terrain or conditions for disease to sprout. If we want to be a new person, a person without XYZ disease label, we must create the new environment that will signal homeostasis, the repair and balance mechanisms innately built into our bodies.

In most cases of chronic conditions or disease, medications help control symptoms, but are not actually signaling homeostasis to turn on our nervous system, hormones, immune system, etc., to change to their optimal, healthy, life-sustaining processes. If we are really aiming for healing, wellness, well-being, taking personal responsibility for creating the terrain to promote these states of wholeness is the first step. Medical science has repeatedly proven that cultivating certain lifestyle behaviors and mind-body practices that are under our control (that is, self-empowered) can greatly enhance our chances for healing. At the very least, they can minimize side effects (as has been proven for chemotherapy) and hasten resolution of the disease (which has been shown even for viruses such as the common cold.)

In addition to grasping our own power by taking personal responsibility, there is another mindset essential to crossing from the shore of pain and disease to the freedom of a healthy body which waits across the river of change: commitment. When we are committed—that is, when we make up our minds to overcome challenges and persist to actually achieve our dream—all manner of obstacles become smaller. Doors open to us unexpectedly. Commitment helps us keep our eyes on the goal, even though the water in the river is icy, the current rough, and unknown terrors lurk below the surface. Personal responsibility and commitment keep us turning over rocks, searching for solutions, believing in our own power to heal. My own journey has shown that buddies, guides, and mentors can also keep me crossing that river when the going gets tough. Once, while on retreat in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains near Asheville, on an early spring day as buds popped open, a fellow retreatant dared me to dive into the still frigid water of a pond we sat beside. I’ve never been a member of the “polar bear club,” so I declined. Yet, when he offered his hand, and said he would do it with me, I found the courage to overcome my fear, and jumped in with him. It was still glacially cold, yet I felt proud that I had pushed beyond my limitations. I also made a memorable friend who always warms my heart when I see him or even think about him. Having a hand to hold onto, finding a guide who can help lead us to the knowledge needed, or trusted mentor can make all the difference as we cross the river of change on our self-empowered healing journey. When you are committed to creating your disease-free body, asking for help is power.