Becoming a physician was the last thing on my mind when I acquired an autoimmune condition that required chronic steroid treatment. Frustrated with the side effects, I started looking for alternatives. A friend at work told me about a doctor who practiced homeopathic and nutritional medicine. Within a few months of seeing this doctor, my condition began to resolve without the use of steroids. Soon after that, an automobile accident left me with chronic back and neck pain. This new doctor sent me to a traditional osteopath, who used his hands to help me relieve the pain.
These physicians helped me free myself from chronic illness and pain, and inspired me in many ways. I clearly saw the link between the food I ate and how I felt. Junk food, fast food, white sugar, white flour and dairy meant a relapse. Fresh food, minimally processed and free of additives meant I stayed well.
I clearly saw the link between my mind state and how I felt. It was as if the automobile accident knocked loose the fear and anger I had been blind to for so long. As learned the practice of mindfulness, the hurt softened and I softened. The osteopathic treatments lasted longer and were more effective. I became aware how I hid emotional pain in my body and learned to deal with it instead. I gained respect for the power of my mind.
I saw what I once called my survival instinct was really the ability of all living organisms to find a state of balance regardless of the challenges and difficulties presented to it. It's not always a pleasant place to be. My balance point was autoimmunity and pain. What's yours? Allergies? Asthma? Diabetes? Heart Disease? Cancer? Depression? Autism? What we call disease is merely the outward expression of this balance. It is the best we can do in this moment.
But, what about the next moment? You don't have to stay stuck. The balance can be shifted to a better place by creating the conditions for a new and better balance. I call it restoring health to contrast it with the more popular notion of fighting disease.
These lessons led me to commit myself to living in a way that supports life, not just mine but every life. Then I decided to help others live that way too.
That's one of my stories. We all have them. And it's where I start with every patient. The stories reveal the path to restoring health. I listen for the clues. It's a missing piece in medicine today. Let me hear your story.