Have you every noticed that people with bad attitudes are less healthy and have more back pain and health issues? I have so every Tuesday, I hold a health care class in my office where we discuss various things that should bee addressed in order to be healthy. One thing we spend some time on is a person’s attitude about health and how they think about their illness or injury.
I am not the only one who has noticed a relationship between back pain, health and attitude. Dr. Bernie Siegel is an oncologist who previously worked at Yale Medical Hospital. If you have ever had the privilege of listening to him speak or read any of his works you would know that during his treatment of cancer patients he discovered and studied a very interesting phenomena. He recognized that there are two kinds of cancer patients: those that survived and those that don’t. It sounds obvious but it made him curious to discover why 2 people with the same disease had different outcomes. During his study of the survivors he recognized that the ones that survived had better things to do than succumb to their disease. They had places to go and people to see…they wanted to see little Johnnie graduate from college and he was in 5th grade. In other words they were not going to let their condition get the better of them. Dr. Siegel also recognized that the ones that didn’t survive, gave up…they lost their “will to live”.
I am also sure you have experienced this back pain, health and attitude relationship. Have you ever known someone or have heard of someone who seemed healthy, yet lost a spouse or loved one and passed soon after. They also lost that “will to live”. The will to live is not something you can purchase “out there”. It is internal, your self talk. In other words, you will get what you ask for.
I have two kinds of patients as I am sure medical doctors and physical therapists and all types of health care providers have. Let’s say they both have back pain. The first patient will enter the office and say things like “I am dying, I can’t stand the pain, this isn’t working, I am dying…” Of course the emphasis is on the words “dying, pain and isn’t working”. Upon further questioning, I find out that the patient has been doing quite well until the last hour or so when the pain returned or increased to the point where he is “dying”. The second type of patient will come in and say things such as “I feel great, I can’t believe how wonderful I am doing, you’re a miracle worker”. Again upon questioning, I find out that they were in pain most of the day, but this last hour or so is great and they feel wonderful. Who do you think has the better attitude…the better “will to live”? Who do you think will get better faster and most importantly who do you want to be around?
The point that I am trying to make is to be healthy one must accept and acknowledge the small improvements one gains with what every type of treatment you are getting whether it be Chiropractic, Medicine, Physical Therapy, Acupuncture or other. Even if it is small gains, acknowledging it, owning it and enjoying it will make more gains occur and occur faster. Read Dr. Siegel’s book “Love, Medicine and Miracles” or a new book that is available called “The Secret” and you will understand how strong and important the mind is in the healing process. Positive affirmations help condition the mind because again, you will get what you ask for. Using these techniques will help you with small (or not so small) problems such a back pain or with big challenges such as Cancer.