Hitting the rumble strip Print E-mail
News - Final Word
Thursday, 28 February 2013 07:51
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Hitting the rumble strip

Listen, girlfriend, I presume you’re reading this column because you’re already on board with my total conviction that you don’t believe something because you see it. Instead, you see something because you believe it. If you’re not, save yourself the irritation quotient and stop reading right now.

What I want to talk about is a rumble strip. You know, the thing that jolts your car on a highway off-ramp just before the tollgate. Life coach Martha Beck writes that rumble strip experiences aren’t designed to punish us, but to steer us because we’re heading in the wrong direction. Like drivers who’ve fallen asleep at the wheel, the rumble strip is supposed to awaken us.

For many of us, the rumble strip experiences have to do with our health. We get ill. So, we’re programmed to listen to medical doctors’ opinions on our health. That’s why I’m going to tell you about the research that a medical doctor has done. No alternative anything to scare the living daylights out of anyone, okay?

I’m talking about MD Lissa Rankin. She discusses the placebo and nocebo effect. You know, placebo as in the healing-inducing effect patients in clinical trials experience when they believe they're getting a fancy new drug, but they’re not. It even makes warts disappear, lowers blood pressure and makes bald men grow hair. Imagine!

The same mind-body power that can heal you can also harm you. It’s called the nocebo effect. The mere suggestion that you may experience negative symptoms in response to a sugar pill may be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Patients given nothing but a placebo, but who thought it was chemotherapy, actually lost their hair.

The nocebo effect is probably most obvious in voodoo death when a person is cursed and then dies. Lissa says literature shows that patients mistakenly informed that they have only a few months to live have died within the given time frame, even when autopsy findings revealed no physiological explanation for their death.

The most-publicised case is Sam Shoeman, who was diagnosed with end-stage liver cancer and given only months to live. He died on cue. Yet the post-mortem revealed that the diagnosis was wrong. Sam did not die of cancer, but of his expectation that he would die of cancer.

Lissa says that every time your doctor tells you that you have an "incurable" illness they're essentially hexing you. Of course they don't mean to. She believes that there's no such thing as an incurable illness.

Okay, granted – it’s natural that sick people may get a bit defensive about this. After all, Lissa’s message could be read that it’s your fault if you’re still sick. While illness can be a rumble strip, it’s not necessarily some external barometer that something is sick in your mind.

Lissa says that the body speaks to us in whispers, but if we ignore the whispers, the body starts to yell. Minor illness is a chance to listen to the whispers before the rebel yells show up. Major illness can be a giant wake-up call to get us out of our ruts and bring us back into our truth.

She says that some people have done so much growth work in an attempt to cure a "terminal" illness and yet they stay ill. The body is still breaking down. Why does this happen? Are they doing something wrong?

Some, like dr Bruce Lipton, author of ‘The Biology Of Belief’, argues that, even if our conscious minds are filled with healing thoughts, our subconscious could be poisoned with toxic thoughts that we don’t even know about. Given that we have no control over how the subconscious gets programmed, it's no wonder most people struggle to change beliefs that can harm them.

So, why do some people experience spontaneous remissions and others stay sick? Lissa believes that we’re here because we've agreed to learn something. Making efforts to heal yourself doesn't guarantee immortality. Trust that everything is happening exactly as it's supposed to, and ride the wave of uncertainty. Maybe, for you, illness is a vehicle by which your soul gets to hit the rumble strip so that you can let your body teach you what it's trying to say.
Do you believe this? Then it is true. For you.

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