Book Review: Mind Over Medicine by Dr. Lissa Rankin

I was drawn to Mind Over Medicine by Dr. Lissa Rankin when I suddenly found myself with a back injury that altered my ability to exercise and then interfered with my day-to-day life. I felt like all of a sudden my body was breaking down in every way despite feeling like I was doing everything “right” (eating well, exercising, etc).

Feeling frustrated and helpless, I turned to Lissa’s book for some insight, and found it extremely helpful in how I viewed my health, particularly reaffirming the importance of approaching it holistically.

I enjoyed the combination of scientific research as well as anecdotes from her experiences. I’ve always been interested in psychology, but this book has opened my eyes to just how powerful the mind is, if not it being the most powerful tool we have. I loved the sense of empowerment from the book – I felt really liberated, both mentally and spiritually. After months of seeing various health professionals and feeling helpless and stuck, I felt reassured at the realization that we are ultimately our best doctor.

The big lessons I took away were:

1) Physical symptoms are usually manifestations of spiritual disconnect.

It’s our spirit’s way of expressing that we are not living authentically, which is expressed through the body. It’s important to not ignore these as it usually starts off as a nudge (e.g. headaches), but may escalate to serious illness if nothing changes.

2) Once we acknowledge that something is not right, we are in control of figuring out what needs to change.

We can write our own prescriptions with wisdom from our inner guide in order to determine what we need to do to heal ourselves. This is often challenging and takes time, and sometimes we find things we’re not ready to accept. But ultimately, we know what we need to do, even if it means having to dig deep for answers.

3) Our minds have the power to heal us.

If we wholeheartedly believe that we can be healed, chances are better that we will, as she showed through various studies presented in the book.

4) Seek lessons in every challenge.

Re-framing sickness as an opportunity to learn and grow as a person was a big one for me. It helped me to see the positives in a seemingly bad situation, and taught me to just trust in the journey. I ended up coming up with a page of lessons my back injury has taught me. I no longer hang onto the “victim” role, but instead feel empowered. Sometimes it’s hard to think beyond something as “good” or “bad”, but it’s important to give up the labelling and polarized thinking.

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