The Top 10 Health Questions Your Doctor Isn’t Asking You
In a recent article by Lissa Rankin, M.D., she offers ten health questions your doctor probably isn’t asking you, but which she considers critical. Dr. Rankin is founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute training program for physicians and other health care providers, as well as the New York Times bestselling author of Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself. Ask yourself these questions:
1. What is my body saying no to?
Dr. Rankin believes our bodies speak to us in flashes of intuition, our inner feelings, or dreams. But we often resist the information, and if we don’t listen to our bodies, they start to complain more loudly. Initially, we may feel a tightness in the chest, or back pain or headaches. Later more acute symptoms may develop.
Your body may be trying to tell you something you are ignoring. Perhaps it’s time to leave a job, or change careers. Maybe it is time to walk away from a relationship. Your mind, emotions and body are tightly linked.
2. What does my body need in order to heal?
While your doctor knows more anatomy than you do, and knows a lot about disease, you are the ultimate expert on your body. Ask your body what it needs to heal, and you might realize you need to change your diet, do a particular type of exercise, or change your sleep patterns.
You may also realize you need to set better boundaries in relationship, or take an action that seems far removed from physical health. Trust your body.
3. What’s out of balance in my life?
In her book, Dr. Rankin says “whole health” is not just about what you eat, or how much you exercise or sleep. It is also about the health of your relationships, your work, your creativity, spirituality, even your financial health. Pay attention to all aspects of your life.
4. Am I in touch with my life’s purpose?
To achieve optimal health, make sure you are living in alignment with your life purpose. Are you trading comfort and security for the calling you feel in your soul?
5. Am I lonely?
People who feel they belong to a “tribe” live longer than people who are feel lonely and isolated. Research shows loneliness may be a bigger health risk than a bad diet, lack of exercise or even smoking.
6. Do I feel sexually satisfied?
Research proves that sex increases longevity, reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke and breast cancer, supports your immune system, helps with sleep, relieves pain, and reduces stress and depression.
7. Do I feel depressed, anxious, or frequently afraid?
Studies show happy people live up to ten years longer than depressed people. Fear and anxiety also make you vulnerable to heart disease, cancer and other diseases.
8. Am I an optimist or a pessimist?
Attitude definitely influences health. We know optimists are likely to have better health outcomes than pessimists.
9. Do I often feel helpless?
When we feel powerless, our immune system is weakened and we are more vulnerable to illness. Psychologist Martin Seligman says that “learned helplessness” has been proved to lessen the ability of rats in studies to fight off cancer.
10. Do I believe in a Higher Power?
In one study, people who attend religious services were shown to live up to 14 years longer than those who do not. But people who describe themselves as “spiritual but not religious” also have improvements in health outcomes. Experts speculate that is because trust in a Higher Power reduces stress and activates the body’s own repair mechanisms.
If you agree that these questions are important, you may want to seek out a physician who believes in mind/body medicine. Dr. Rankin offers this list of doctors certified by the Whole Health Medicine Institute.