Why You Shouldn't Always Trust Experts With Your Health
You are the world's leading expert on you. If you believe this, you're in the driver's seat. Your life, your health, your everything, is yours to create.
But somewhere in the last 100 years or so, we've been taken out of the driver's seat when it comes to our own health. Science has advanced beyond what we can see or feel. We've been convinced that we're not expert enough in our selves to be in that driver's seat. We've handed control to what we hope are smarter, more capable hands.
When my brother got cancer, we did what people do when they get really sick. We did the research, found the experts, and went straight to the best hospital. The treatments that followed seemed crazy. He had a diagnosis on a piece of paper. He was going to die, soon. But when he walked into that hospital, he still felt like a human being. Months of treatment later, he was far from fine, and it wasn't the cancer. It was the treatment. It was crazy.
We all know this story, in our own families, and with our friends. It's really hard when you're scared. It's hard to say, "I know better than what these experts are telling me to do." But what happens when the experts don't help?
It was radical that we pulled my brother out of the hospital, packed our bags and flew to Mexico. It was radical that my brother's treatment in Tijuana was based on supporting his body to fight its own fight. And it was radical that he returned home feeling completely healthy, 100% remission.
But we got scared again. The experts back home were astonished and confused by his recovery. They convinced us to strike while the iron was hot. We did a T cell transplant. My brother never recovered from the treatment, and he died a few months later.
This is not to say we should throw away medical science and its experts. It's to say we shouldn't surrender ourselves to them.
We’re in a health crisis. Our medical system is exceptionally good at handling infections and broken bones. We’re getting better every day at repairing damaged tissue throughout our bodies. Emergency care is consistently miraculous. But for most people, every day, health care isn’t helping.
For many years I intended to practice medicine. I turned away because for so many people right in front of me, it just wasn’t getting the job done, and I wasn’t confident that it could. We’re filled to the top with stress. It’s normal to have chronic pain and disease. It’s normal to take multiple drugs that treat symptoms, not causes, and create their own cascade of additional health dilemmas. It’s normal to be obese.
We can’t afford to live this way. As much as we’re getting used to it all as our new normal, nobody wants to live this way. It doesn’t feel good. When we’re not healthy, it’s so much harder to feel, because so much is painful. So we tune out of feeling. Without feeling, we lose sight of choice. Without choice, we don’t create what we want. We create what we don’t want.
We can turn that around, in any moment. It doesn’t need to come from doctors. It can come from right where we are. It can come from you.
I want people to be healthy. Not just free from diagnosed disease, but really radiantly healthy. Healthy feels good. Feeling good, we get to tune into feeling rather than tune out of it. Tuned in, we get to see what’s possible, and respond to that. We live inspiringly capable, creative lives. We support others to do the same.
How do we start?
1. Tune in. Feel, believe what you feel, and respond to that.
2. Breathe and move. Move everything you've got in every direction you can, and do it with ease. No struggle, let the stress go. Let your body shift from defense mode into healing mode.
With all the mind-body medicine research in progress now around the globe — at Harvard, Oxford, MIT, Stanford — it happens that this is the unifying criteria that solves the health crisis. It creates happy. It creates healthy. Chronic pain, gone. Chronic disease, gone. Incurables, cured. You have to replace stress with ease, and you have to move everything you’ve got in every direction you can. You have to bring these things together in your life. You have a body, you have to move it. And you need to find your ease, in everything you do.
You have to get really, fully, into you.
Health is not a spectator sport. It's a participatory affair. Let's jump in.
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