I am convinced that our mind is one of, if not the most, powerful healing forces at our disposal. Many of the experiences I have had in over thirty five years as a holistic chiropractor have brought me to this conclusion. In this blog I will share some of these experiences.
One of the most amazing events I have ever had in my chiropractic practice happened about thirty years ago. At that time my office accepted walk-ins and the man who "walked in" that day provided an experience that forever changed the way I viewed the mind, pain, and sickness. At the time I was reading You Can Heal Your Life, by Louise Hay. In it she states that most, if not all, health challenges begin in the mind. In the back of the book she included an alphabetical list, from acne to warts of many health conditions and the type of thoughts that may be the root of the problem.
The man who walked in was suffering severe pain between his shoulder blades. I did everything I possibly could to ease his pain. His relief was minimal, I suggested some home therapies and encouraged him to return for a follow up appointment the next day. The following day he was a "no show".
My practice was in a small town in the mountains of North Carolina, the kind of town in which news travels fast. I quickly learned the reason why he didn't show for his follow up appointment. He was in jail! Under arrest for murdering his father.
I was inspired to dig deeper into Louise Hay’s book. I turned to the index and looked up mid scapular pain. I was shocked when I read that mid back pain is often associated with guilt. There was no denying this man was suffering guilt. I was deeply affected by this experience and for the next thirty years I have been driven to pay attention to the way the mind affects our health.
Jumping ahead twenty years, my family and I had moved to a bigger city on the coast of North Carolina. I had a very busy practice and family life but still found time to learn all I could about the mind - body connection. I was reading a book on back pain and the mind written by a medical doctor, Dr John Sarno, who was becoming very popular. He had coined a new term,TMS, Tension myositis syndrome. TMS and Sarno's treatment methods had received national attention, including a segment on ABC's 20/20, an episode of Larry King Live; and an interview with Medscape;. His theory was that back pain was a symptom created by the unconscious mind as a distraction to aid in the repression of strong unconscious emotional issues. I was open to the theory but a bit turned off by the outright, boastful tone of the author.
An experience with a patient had me reevaluating the probability that Sarno was onto something. A man was carried into my office with tremendous low back pain. He happened to be a personal friend. I knew his history. He had a genetic deformity of his last lumbar vertebrae and an MRI had revealed two herniated lumbar discs.
I consulted with the neurosurgeon he had been seeing. The physician told me he was ready to do surgery immediately; However he was open to the more conservative treatment I offered as long as the patient did not lose bowel or bladder function.
My treatment allowed him to get back on his feet but he was still in considerable pain. This was a very successful business man who made frequent trips to New York, where Dr Sarno practiced. I shared what I knew about Dr Sarno with my friend. He scheduled an appointment coinciding with his next trip. I looked forward to hearing about his experience.
During our next meeting I instantly knew from the smile on his face and the bounce in his walk that he had good news to share. He was completely pain free!
"Please tell me what he did" I pleaded.
We sat down and he eagerly shared his experience.
He explained that after sharing the history of his back pain, Dr. Sarno studied the MRI films. Then he smiled and said, " Yes, you have a genetic deformity of L5. Yes, you have two herniated discs and they have nothing to do with your pain”’.
My friend was then introduced to the concept of TMS.
This man was no stranger to therapy...he had been treated by some of the most well respected natural healers in our city. He related that he had never cried in any of these sessions but for some reason he burst into tears as he talked with Dr Sarno. He left that session feeling significant relief and was scheduled to come back in a few days for a group lecture Dr Sarno would present about how to relate to back pain. That was the extent of the treatment and he was now completely pain free.
It just so happened that this man’s wife was also a patient of mine. I had been treating her for chronic neck pain. I was compelled to encourage her to seek treatment with Dr Sarno on their next trip to New York. She was also pain free upon her return. I was more convinced than ever of the tremendous power the mind has over the body.
I delved deeper into the mind/body connection. Reading everything I could on the subject from the 18th century pioneer in mind cures, Anton Mesmer, to some of the latest research on neurolinguistics. I became certified as a hypnotherapist.
I have been told countless times, by patients and students in the yoga classes I teach that my voice is soothing. An African shaman convinced me that my voice was a gift and that a gift has no value until it is given.
As I researched the world of technology and created a small recording studio in my home. I produced guided visualization audios for friends and relatives and was encouraged by them to make these recordings available to a wider audience.
In July of 2015 I introduced many of these recordings to the world on my web site Guidedmeditationsforyou.com.
The testimonials and success stories I have received during the short time these audios have been offered to the public has motivated me to continue this work. I encourage you to look through the site and see if I have produced a recording that addresses an issue that will be helpful to you.