4 Self-Healing Lessons by Dr. Bernie Siegel
“As doctors, we are not trained to communicate and understand the power of our words as they relate to a patient’s ability and desire to survive”
-Dr. Bernie Siegel, MD
Not everyone would agree that mind and body connection is considered a mental health topic, but it truly is. The state of your mind and what you believe often precedes what your body will do. This is precisely why healing begins in the mind. Be an active participant in your wellness and it will make all the difference.
We all know that there’s a mind and body connection. Today, I want to empower you to act upon this knowledge and to improve your life by sharing with you 4 Self-Healing Lessons by Dr. Bernie Siegel.
Dr. Bernie Siegel was born in New York and trained for over 12 years to become a pediatric and adult surgeon. He retired from his medical practice in 1989 and since then, he’s talked to patients and caregivers about mental health. In 1978, he originated what he called the Exceptional Cancer Patients group, which he still runs in part. One of his famous books is Love, Medicine & Miracles in which he outlines the importance of mental health and self-care in the process of recovery from any physical challenge.
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Bernie, as he likes to be called, so as not to hide behind his medical degree, says that he was very sad when interviewing new doctors in training. When he asked them to draw a picture of themselves in 5 years, the majority of medical school students draw themselves dressed in a prestigious uniform, hospital scrub or medical coat. If they do include a patient, it is only with them touching them with a thermometer, stethoscope or other instrument. The concern Bernie has is that we are not viewing our clients as people or as part of the equation of why we are becoming doctors. Our main goal is to help them!
While it is certainly true that doctors must have boundaries in order to best help the client and so that they don’t take home the problems, there still needs to be human contact and human compassion. The distance doctors create with their patients most often leads to poor medical care.
Here are the 4 Self-Healing Lessons by Dr. Bernie Siegel:
- Our desire to live brings life: Bernie asks all of his clients, “Are you ready and wanting to live to 100 years old?!” Our desire to live can prolong our lives and help us fight through challenges.
- Pay attention to dreams and art. Bernie has his clients draw a picture of their ailment and of its cure. This reveals so much and has great therapeutic value.
- Love is healing. We all need love to belong and to be nurtured.
- Our own inner strength and knowledge are vital. Trust your innate knowledge and honor it.
In my own work with clients, I’m often asked how one can know that he or she has completed the therapy process. My answer is always the same. When you believe in yourself more strongly that I believe in you, then you know that you are done.
Check out Dr. Siegel’s website. Experience has shown all of us that the mind and body connection is real. Clients that come in and say, “I have cancer and I am going to die soon” actually end up being right. Many who come in and say, “I have a huge problem, but I’m going to fight it!” end up living longer on average. We only live once so let’s commit to be gentle with ourselves and to believe in our ability to heal and to get better so that we can enjoy life.
3 Key Points:
- Doctors need to learn how to communicate with their patients WITHOUT the barriers of superiority.
- As caregivers and doctors—SHOW that you believe in your patients and that you care about their health.
- What your mind believes, your body follows.