Tuesday, December 9, 2008

7 STRATEGIES OF SUCCESSFUL PATIENTS

I have now had more time to read a bit more of Dr Andrew Weil’s book ‘Spontaneous Healing’. At the back he summerises the 7 key strategies of successful patients. Weil believes if more people adopted these strategies for all illnesses, the incidence of spontaneous healing would increase dramatically.

THE 7 STRATEGIES OF SUCCESSFUL PATIENTS:
NOTE: Weil uses the term ‘patients’ when referring to people with an illness. I don’t like the term but will use for ease of understanding.

1. DON’T TAKE ‘NO’ FOR AN ANSWER:

Successful patients have not believed doctors when they have said there is no hope. These patients keep believing that someone or something can help them, or that they can help themselves. They never give up hope and always trust their intuition regarding their body and their illness.

2. ACTIVELY SEARCH FOR HELP:

Search out cure and treatment possibilities. Follow up on all leads. These patients read books, searched the internet, asked friends, wrote to authors, traveled to see practitioners who seemed promising.

Doctors often label these patients as ‘difficult, noncompliant, or simply obnoxious (I may have been called all these names in my time!!). But there is a reason the more difficult patients are more likely to get better.

One patient said: ‘There are different ways of healing for different people but there is always a way. Keep searching!’

3. SEEK OUT OTHERS WHO HAVE BEEN HEALED:

The old adage: ‘If you want to be successful, surround yourself with successful people and learn from them’. The best way to neutralize pessimism from health professional is to find someone else/others who has/ve healed themselves.

I am so high on confidence that I can heal myself until I walk into the breast surgeon, Dr Benn, rooms (and this is nothing on her). I feel this heavy, sad, panicked, passive feeling when faced with conventional medicine. I was thinking of sending Glenn to get my biopsy results on Saturday so I can keep my positivity up.


4. FORM CONSTRUCTIVE PARTNERSHIPS WITH HEALTH PROFESSIONALS:

Successful patients often ally themselves with health professionals who support them in their search for answers. What you want is a health professional who believes in you, in your ability to heal yourself, someone who empowers you on your search, and who makes you feel like you are not alone/weird for searching.

Choose a health professional that will get great pleasure out of seeing you heal, whatever methods you choose.

4. DON’T HESITATE TO MAKE RADICAL LIFE CHANGES:

Successful patients are not the same people they were at the start of the illness. They made significant changes in their lives; physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.

While change is mostly difficult; major change can be very painful. An illness often forces us to look at issues and conflicts we hoped would just disappear. Continuing to ignore these issues may block any possibility of spontaneous healing. Willingness to change is generally a strong predictor successful healing.

6. REGARD ILLNESS AS A GIFT:

Because illness is such a powerful stimulus to change, perhaps the only thing that can force some people to resolve their deepest conflicts, successful patients often come to regard their illness as the greatest opportunity they have for personal growth and development- ‘it is truly a gift’.

Seeing serious illness as a misfortune, especially one that is undeserved may obstruct the healing system. Coming to see illness as a gift that allows you to grow may unlock it.


7. CULTIVATE SELF-ACCEPTANCE:
To accept oneself, with all the imperfections, limitations, and defects that characterize every human being, represents a surrender to a higher will. Change seems more likely to occur in a climate of surrender than in a climate of confrontation with the universe.

Surrender does not mean giving up hope of recovery when ill but rather it means accepting every circumstance in your life, including the present illness, in order to move beyond them/it.

I am now focusing on acknowledging my breast cancer, loving it, and accepting it as part of me. You will have noticed that I never gave it a name, face, and only referred to it in past tense – this is one school of thought.

I love myself warts and all. I take responsibility for creating it and therefore I am able to play a part in healing myself back to balance, harmony, and wholeness.

One patient who experience spontaneous healing said:
‘The trick is to get your ego out of the way, get your concepts out the way and just let your body heal itself. It knows how to do it’.

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