The Healing Code – The Psychology of Health Recovery
In many respects this chapter which addresses the mental aspect of health recovery is the most important part of the Healing Code. Unless you approach The Healing Code with the optimal mind-set I think it is far more challenging to implement to program. When I was initially diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis I went to a very dark place and alongside this psychological downturn I witnessed a physical decline in my condition. An observation I made an early stage however was that with regard to life challenging illnesses there seemed to be a number of common threads amongst those “survivors” who seemed to fair really well in their battle against illness. These were:
1) A positive belief and expectation of recovery on the part of the person with the condition
2) A positive belief and expectation on the part of the health care professionals supporting the recovery
3) A good relationship between the person recovering and their healthcare team
4) A view taken by the person with the condition that the illness has had a positive on their life in the long term.
Just weeks before I was diagnosed with MS I attended a conference in Los Angeles where I met Lance Armstrong as a guest speaker. Soon after my own diagnosis I examined Lance’s remarkable recovery so as to discover what was his secret to going from just a 3% chance of surviving 6 months, to winning his first Tour de France in less than 2 years. It was really obvious that all 4 traits were to the forefront of his recovery. In his book “It’s not about the bike” Lance describes how he held a strong belief that not only would he recover but that he held an expectation that he would win the toughest cycling event in the world. His doctors too believed that he could recovery and his oncologist recognising the importance of remaining positive actually overstated his survival expectation saying he had a 50% chance of survival even though his professional opinion would have led him to believe that his chances were negligible.
What came across clearly is that he held his medical and health recovery team in the highest esteem and embraced the recommendations and treatment approach with full vigour. With regard to positioning the condition as being a positive influence on his life, it is self-evident from the work that Lance has done since his diagnosis many years ago that it had and continues to have a profoundly positive impact on his life.
Recognising this psychological framework was a key component of recovery I resolved to develop upon these four core beliefs. Just as I had witnessed a physical decline which had mirrored my initially negative psychology I soon witnessed improvements in my physical condition once my psychological framework had changed. Approaching your condition with the optimal mind-set is therefore I believe a key element to the successful implementation of the Healing Code Program and a full and lasting health recovery.