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Understanding Modern Healthcare Practices

I was sitting in a local radio station for an interview on the topic of my first book, Finding My Way, Facing My Journey with Courage. The chiropractor, conducting the interview wanted to know the reason behind my writing my story.

I answered, “I just want to educate others on the importance of understanding modern healthcare practices. When symptoms arise in your body, the normal course of action is you go the doctor, and depending on the severity of your symptoms, you may go through some testing. From there you receive a diagnosis. In my case, when I was going through severe, universal joint pain, the doctor told me that I had Rheumatoid Arthritis. I went to a specialist who took some tests and then told me I would most likely have to live with the condition, and that it will improve somewhat with medication. The prescribed medication worked to a degree, but I was living with several side effects, which prohibited me from living a high-quality life. But, because I believed in what the doctor said, I took the medication. We often believe this to be our only option because that is the current model of modern medicine. After you can put a name to your symptoms, you walk out of the doctor’s office, with a new label to wear on your back, surrendering your future health to this label."

An Outdated Health Paradigm

Most Western medical physicians have little to no training in lifestyle modification strategies, such as whole foods nutrition, exercise and physical activity, stress management, sleep, gut health, alternative treatment therapies, mind-body practices, and self-care. So, what do they have in their toolbox? Prescription drugs.

Pharmaceutical drugs and propaganda, and the pharmaceutical companies largely drive our health care system today, and they know whom their target market is. These companies spend over 5 billion dollars a year on direct advertising to consumers. They relentlessly market the aging baby-boomer generation, who are watching prime-time network shows. So, when a patient walks into their doctor’s office, they already know the name of the medication they want to treat their symptoms. The pharmaceutical companies market these drugs, using cartoon characters, downplaying their serious health risks, not to mention the insult to our intelligence. Do the marketing geniuses behind these advertisements think we need a cartoon character to understand what a drug can do?

The average time a doctor gets to spend with a patient range anywhere from 10-20 minutes. If you read my last book, Finding My Way, Facing My Journey with Courage, you would know that I went through a lot of inner turmoil early in life, due to my perception of life. My chronic neck, shoulder and back pain, started when I was in my 30’s and 40’s. I was also living with depression, anxiety, and insomnia. I now know that the reason for my suffering was that I was not addressing my negative emotions. They were there for many reasons. I had a job that I disliked; I did not speak up for myself when I needed to, feeling unworthy and having low self-esteem.

I kept my stuffed emotions deep inside of me, not addressing the “why.” Why did I feel that way? What was happening in my life that I was not addressing? Why did I fear making changes in my life? I was habitually in a sympathetic state, that “fight or flight” response, much the same way I watched my mother respond to her life. She would go into a screaming fit, throw objects, anything she could find in her wake, slamming doors, cabinets, causing her to be in horrific pain for days afterward. Through my research, I’ve learned that during the first six years of a child’s life, their subconscious minds act like computers, downloading everything they see and hear. This means they take in every situation, and every response in their environment. That information is then stored deep into their subconscious mind. It made total sense why I was not able to handle any kind of stress, whether that was outside or internal stress. I downloaded my mother’s response to simple things most people take in stride, and as an adult, I reacted the same way she did without even realizing it. My body remained in a chronic stress state. My muscles were taught and tense, and always in a constant state of being on guard for the next perceived threat. I allowed only negative emotions to be worthy of my attention, adding to my stress, causing pain in my body and depression. To make matters worse, I would go to the doctor and was subscribed various SSRI medications, muscle relaxers, and sedatives, to ease my pain. I didn’t know any better back then. The modern medicine approach to treating symptoms is very backwards. This approach is like a putting a band-aid on a wound, hoping it heals. Covering up my internal conflicts only got worse and I never got to the root of the problem. Like a tree, if we don’t nourish our roots, our foundation, eventually weakens over time. We can’t keep putting bandages on our symptoms and hope they get better.

I have learned through my study of epigenetics, that living this stress filled way, creates a chemical response in our bodies, altering our gene expression. When diagnosed with breast cancer, hormonal issues, and autoimmune deficiencies later in life, through my research, I saw that connection. Even though I also lived with food intolerances, after a lifetime of eating processed foods, my mindset, my perceptions and my fears dictated my health. I was allowing my negative emotions be the driver of my life, tearing away at my healthy cells, which altered my genetic code, without even realizing it.

Living with chronic stress is one of the leading causes of epigenetic change. Long-term stress is the cause of numerable diseases, including cancer, autoimmune disorders, hormonal issues, digestive health, body pain, hypertension, insomnia, heart disease, etc. As we keep producing stress hormones, we’re creating an addiction to our negative emotions, and thus respond the same way over and over. It shows up as aggression, fear, anxiety, frustration, competition, hopelessness, jealousy, etc. When we stay in this automatic-pilot state, we prevent the body from healing, and going back into homeostasis towards a more balanced, healthy state.

In Joe Dispenza’s book You Are the Placebo he writes: “When we think our thoughts and feel our feelings, our bodies respond in a complex formula of biological shifts and alterations, and each experience pushes the buttons of real genetic changes within our cells. As long as you perceive your life through the lens of the past, and react to the conditions with the same neutral pattern and from the same level of mind, you’re headed toward a very specific, predetermined genetic destiny.”

Changing Your Beliefs – Invite Your Conscious Awareness to the Party

What you believe about yourself, your thoughts, your perceptions, your experiences, your conditioned mind, is what is driving your future world. Understanding this process will motivate you, the same way it did me to go to work on changing those limiting beliefs, limiting perceptions, self-sabotaging habits, to create a new reality. This was the biggest gift I gave myself, and I want the same for you. When I purposefully changed my thoughts, my perceptions and how I reacted to everyday life, using my conscious mind, I began to change the programming in my subconscious mind. As I did this, I re-wrote my subconscious programming to reflect my new reality.

Understand that 95% of the time we are operating from our subconscious mind, while only 5% of the time, we are present, using our conscious mind. The conscious mind is much more powerful than the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind doesn’t think, it acts like a tape player. It just plays back what is in the tape player. Think about driving to a friend’s house. You’re listening to a book on tape on the way over there; your conscious mind has an awareness of the present moment and is listening to that tape. You pull up to your friend’s house, without even thinking how you got there. That’s because your subconscious is ruling the show, without a second thought. That plays out constantly in your daily life. What we need to remember is that if our subconscious is not doing the things we desire, but instead, is sabotaging those very things, we need to bring that into our awareness to take action to change.

Your health and happiness depend on your ability to understand this, and to go to work on re-writing your habits and behaviors. The goal is to create new circuits in your brain to reflect your new reality.

In the neuroscience world, it is said, “neurons that wire together, fire together,” meaning that each time you repeat a thought or an action, you strengthen the connection between a set of brain cells or neurons. As the brain changes, the mind changes and changes in your mind are a result of you deliberately changing your conscious thoughts repeatedly to make a lasting change to the brain. So, if it’s more joy, inner peace, and happiness, you're after, you have the power to make it happen.

I was able to make lasting change in my mind, and you can change your mind too. I learned to reprogram my brain to reflect my conscious mind (what I truly desired - joy and happiness, instead of pain and suffering.) As I did this, I stopped abusing myself, through self-inflicting body pain, (muscle tension), anxiety and depression (my perception of life) and feeling unworthy (my beliefs about myself.)

Finding My Way Notes of Inspiration, a compilation of quotes and notes of inspiration taken from my first memoir Finding My Way, Facing My Journey With Courage is available on Amazon.

Contact me for a free Discovery Session to explore how I can support you on your journey towards losing weight, while gaining a healthy lifestyle, and how to become your own health advocate.

To your health and happiness,

Donna Markussen

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