No matter your medicine or treatment, this can make it work better
September 9, 2015 | Dr. Mark Wiley
Dr. Mark Wiley
is an internationally renowned mind-body health practitioner, author, motivational speaker and teacher. He holds doctorates in both Oriental and alternative medicine, has done research in eight countries and has developed a model of health and wellness grounded in a self-directed, self-cure approach.He narrates his approach
“There is almost nothing more hurtful to recovery from illness than a closed mind. Just like polarized political views I find most people have strong polarized beliefs when it comes to health and healing. But don’t we just want to improve our lives by healing our ills? If this truly is the goal, then a combined outlook — an open mind — is the strongest way forward. I grew up with constant, chronic headaches, shoulder pain and back pain. When it was overcast and humid, I felt sick and tired. When it rained, the headaches were a compounded trifecta: sinus, migraine and tension. The varied and wide approach to treatment forged my open mind about health and healing. And I realized, for me, something more was needed than the therapies I had received.And it was hit or miss with those treatments, My pain and suffering led me to become a healer myself. I immersed myself in the study of traditional Chinese medicine (acupuncture, bone setting, bodywork, horology, energy medicine), spiritual healing arts of Malaysia and the Philippines, and the latest in Western understandings of nutritional supplements, alternative medicine and consciousness studies.I was not just someone interested in medicine, but what anthropologists call a “participant observer.” While in the medical offices of Western doctors and in the clinics or rooms of traditional healers, I was both patient, observer and student.
I wanted to heal myself because no one else could. While I trusted the work of all the doctors and healers I encountered, I came to understand each was limited to their own, often very narrow, view of healing. And yet at the same time, I knew each held an important key in a larger key ring.No singular healing system holds all the answers. For humans, there is always a physical component, a mental/psychological component, a philosophical component and a spiritual component to our health.
We have different beliefs about the role of diet, exercise, meditation, religion, faith, supplements and so on in our daily lives. It makes sense that all these components be addressed in our healing as well. Does it not make sense that a person with deep faith in God should also not require a spiritual aspect to their healing? At the same time, a person who is health conscious about their food choices need also include herbs as part of their healing.
For the best overall effect I believe, and have found, that when multiple approaches to wellness are embraced the chances for faster recovery are had. We don’t get an ulcer in a vacuum, and so taking a pill to manage it will not do the trick. There is an overt mind/body relationship that includes mental and emotional states, beliefs, stress and these all lead to a physical problem. And so the symptom of the ulcer cannot be cured by a pill alone. Nor by biofeedback alone.
The answer is that I see health and wellness as a continuum. On the one side is striving for optimal wellness as a means of preventing illness. Here, natural foods and supplements and meditation, and the like, are most useful.
At the other extreme is serious injury or illness, like from a car accident or late-stage cancer, where only the best in high-tech treatment and medicine can relieve pain and begin the healing process In the middle of this continuum, which is where most of us live, is the space where one can use both alternative and mainstream medicine as well as spiritual practices to maintain a balance in their health.Why should anyone be so headstrong toward one side or the other? Why limit your choices when it comes to feeling better and healing? Why not remain open minded and accept all methods — weighing options and embracing the safest and most effective you can, given time and circumstance?
A closed mind does nothing but hurt you and dampen your chances of wellness success.”