Create Your Own State Of Health

Don’t believe that your health is beyond your control. Yes, illness derives from external agents that you contract, like the flu, or genetic predispositions like a familial tendency to be overweight. But with the right mindset you can robustly improve your health and wellness.

Thoughts And Realities

We all create our own lives, a creative process that begins with our thoughts. Thoughts create realities. If you think about doing something or being something and you deeply believe you can accomplish it, then you will. On the other hand, if you think you can never achieve a particular thing (a better job, financial success or improved health), then you won’t. In both cases you format your own life experience, be it positive or negative. Although it may sound oversimplified, this is actually true.

The problem is that many people do not believe they can achieve an improved state of wellness and don’t. In contrast, others believe they can find improvement and do. The choice is yours and the results you see and feel are directed by your choices, which are directed by your thoughts, feelings and beliefs.

Your state of health is based on your personal beliefs about yourself and health. While we don’t seem to have direct control over many things in our lives, we can control our thoughts, feelings and beliefs. We do not have to internalize the ideas, statements or beliefs of others. This concept is especially important when it comes to our beliefs about our own health.

Health And Attitude

Some years ago, the National Institutes of Health published a study on low back pain that analyzed all forms of pain relief, including medication, physical therapy, massage, chiropractic, hypnosis and acupuncture. The researchers found that the most successful therapy for low back pain was acupuncture. Well, acupuncture was actually rated second to placebo, which showed the best results.

What’s more, the effectiveness of the placebo increased when the administering physician wore a white lab coat and displayed a genuine belief in the therapy. That demonstrates that the power to heal ourselves is found in our minds. In this case, once the patients believed that the therapy was going to be successful, they thought about the positive outcome and even expected it.

During this experiment, belief in the therapy was created by the physicians’ positive attitudes and lab coats. These things helped create beliefs that led to positive thoughts. These factors altered the pain level in the body. Placebo, for me, identifies the power of the mind over the health of the body, based on the beliefs about treatment.

Think Outside The Zone

Many people are uncertain about trying things outside of their comfort zone. If they don’t believe in the underlying theory of acupuncture (that there is an energy in the body that runs through invisible channels, and needles inserted in specific points shift the movement of this energy), then, most likely, acupuncture therapy will not work for them.

Nevertheless, acupuncture works for millions of people and has for thousands of years. And if you seek to find out what makes some people more treatable than others or their condition more serious, you find that the answer is, basically, nothing tangible. The difference resides in their expectations of results, which are based on their concepts about acupuncture and grounded in their beliefs about the theories or efficacy of the therapy.

If your beliefs are negative, the results are negative. If your beliefs are positive, the results will be positive. Change your beliefs, and you change your experience.

Real Belief

Here’s the caveat: Making these therapies effective is not only a matter of telling yourself you believe in them. You must sincerely believe. And you can analyze your state of belief by examining how you feel about what you think. If you truly believe a treatment will work for you, you feel good and positive about the therapy overall and you expect a positive result.

However, uncertainty or nervousness indicates that you don’t truly believe a therapy works, no matter what you may think or say. If that is the case, the effectiveness of the therapy is compromised: The therapy will be successful for only a short time, it will give you only partial relief or it will provide no relief at all. This leads to the very common statement that chronic sufferers of ill health repeat like a mantra: “I have tried everything, and nothing works for me. No one can figure out my situation.”

What You Believe

When I’ve discussed these types of issues with patients and suggested they give a particular therapy another go-round — this time doing and not merely trying — and told them that a positive attitude helps, they insist: “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

As I’ve said, the problem derives from the fact that your state of health is a reflection of your inner self. Your thoughts, feelings and beliefs about your health and your ability to improve it determine your state of health. It is impossible to experience change before you believe change is possible.

To clarify this concept, I look to the analogy of your reflection in a mirror. If you peer into a mirror and see yourself frowning, waiting for the image in the mirror to smile before you smile is illogical. The mirror shows a reflection. If you are not smiling, your image in the mirror cannot smile. You have to change your feelings and decide to smile before you see smile in the reflection.

In other words, you have to believe it before you can see it. And just like your reflection in the mirror, your current state of health reflects your thoughts, feelings and beliefs about your health that you must first change before you can see the physical manifestation of the change. You have to believe you can be healthy or pain-free before you see improvement in your physical reality.

Positive Thoughts

To be clear, I don’t advocate simple positive thinking. Instead, my point is that you must truly believe you can be healthier to have effective thoughts about your ability to reach that improved state. You must feel good about those thoughts and leave pessimism and negativity behind. That enables a positive result. Once you expect the positive result, you know you can achieve it.

Consequently, you can create improved health by making changes over time in your behaviors, actions and choices — even if they are only modest changes. You can then be said to be creating your health, not feeling powerless against forces beyond your control.

You must be the change you wish to become. You must embrace it. If not, you’re only paying lip service to change. To do this, you have to go beyond wishful thinking and believe in your own empowerment.

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Dr. Mark Wiley

By 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. Dr. Wiley has written 14 books and more than 500 articles. He serves on the Health Advisory Boards of several wellness centers and associations while focusing his attention on helping people achieve healthy and balanced lives through his work with Easy Health Options® and his company, Tambuli Media.