Dr. Lissa Rankin is on a mission to merge science and spirituality. A certified MD and expert in integrative health, Lissa is a thought leader in mind-body medicine. This week, we'll be featuring some of her advice on how to feel your absolute best, inside and out. If you're inspired to learn more, check out her new course: Getting Back to 100 Percent: A Six-Step Process for Radical Self-Healing.
In my book, Mind Over Medicine, and in the training program I run for doctors and other health care providers, the Whole Health Medicine Institute, I teach the "6 steps to healing yourself" and step 5 is always to write your own prescription.
I’m a physician, so it might sound strange for me to suggest that you may be able to write a prescription for yourself. Let me clarify: I’m NOT talking about having you steal a prescription pad so you can write an illegal script for your own Xanax. Nor am I telling you to listen to all those direct-to-consumer marketing ads that suggest "asking your doctor” for whatever expensive new wonder drug is on the market. (Did you know that direct-to-consumer marketing for prescription drugs is only legal in two countries in the world — the U.S. and New Zealand? But that’s a topic for another blog post.)
What I’m suggesting is something radically different.
While conventional medical treatment options — drugs, surgeries, or other standard medical interventions — will get you far, I'm asking you to go even deeper. I'm encouraging you to diagnose the root cause of your illness or, if you’re not sick, the root cause of why you're not feeling 100 percent. In other words, find the aspect of your life that's predisposing you to illness or manifesting itself as sluggish energy or chronic fatigue. Here's how to do it:
1. Address the root cause of illness.
In order to address the root causes making you susceptible to illness, you’ll really need to listen to your “Inner Pilot Light" — that wise inner doctor who knows what’s best for you.
Let’s suppose that someone with cancer or another serious illness feels lonely, works in a soul-sucking job, or has underlying depression. If you're sick and you’re not addressing your loneliness, stress, or depression, taking medicine may help in the short term, but the changes won't necessarily be permanent. Your illness may come back, or you might wind up with some other ailment because your body is still at the mercy of the root cause that put you at risk in the first place.
I’m not suggesting that you refuse a doctor’s conventional recommendations. If your Inner Pilot Light says, “Hell yeah” to drugs, surgery, or any other treatment, do it. Modern medicine can work miracles, but so can your intuition.
2. Take charge of your health (with humility).
Part of writing the prescription for yourself is stepping up to the plate as the head honcho of your health care. Remember, you’re the boss. Everyone else is in service to you. This doesn’t give you license to be a jerk to your doctor or anyone else who is doing his or her best to help you. Entitlement will not help you, but empowerment will.
Make your body ripe for miracles by staying both empowered and humble. Let go of any victim story or perceived power imbalance between you and your doctor. You can call upon doctors and healers for their expertise, opinions, and support without relinquishing your power or violating your intuition.
If your body is physically ill, sure, your doctor will help you diagnose what’s wrong, write prescriptions, and recommend surgery when they think it's necessary. But it’s up to you whether you take those drugs or submit to that surgery. If you do feel guided to partake of what conventional medicine has to offer, don’t stop there! Conventional medical treatment may be part of your larger prescription to health, but don’t use it as a crutch to avoid doing the deep inner work that helps you heal at the soul level.
3. Have the courage to heal from the root.
By writing a prescription for yourself, you're refusing to allow medical treatment to serve as a Band-Aid that keeps you from facing the truth about where your life is out of alignment. Every individual’s prescription is going to be unique.
Maybe your prescription, in addition to medicine, will include adjusting your wellness routine by cutting out carbs, starting an exercise regimen, or adding green juice to your diet. Or it might include actions like finding a community, leaving your job, finding your calling, or prioritizing self-care.
When you’re willing to be honest with yourself about what your body might be saying “no” to, you come face to face with the truth of who you are and what your soul needs in order to fully express its glorious radiance.
Once you heal any soul sickness that's interfering with your health, you'll not only start to feel better — you'll start to glow. You'll open yourself to synchronicity and move closer to finding and fulfilling your calling in the world. Optimal health is just one of many magical unfoldings that often accompanies doing the deep inner work of writing your own prescription.