Sunday, February 27, 2011

Are Two Heads Better Than One?

The answer is ... yes!

Jordan S. Rubin, N.M.D., C.N.C., author of Patient Heal Thyself, touches on the second central nervous system of our body. Located in the enteric nervous system, buried under layers of tissue lining the esophagus, stomach, small intestine and colon, the "other" brain is as good an indicator of our emotions, feelings and medical well being as is the brain in our head.

The "gut" is another part of our physiology that develops early on in embryogenesis. From a division of a clump of tissue called the neural crest, and early on in fetal development, comes our brain and gut through different migratory paths.

Let me explain why I am writing about this topic.

Years ago, while dealing with my own health issues, I was given this book to read. An alternative to basic medical procedures and protocols, it opened up my eyes to the fact that there can always be another approach. It's not always out there and readily seen or available, but through determination, research and an openness to other options, may be discovered.

Every day we hear about a family member, friend or acquaintance that has been heavily burdened with a serious health issue. It is neither easy for the patient nor the patient's family and friends. The expression "health is everything" is a truism.

Addressing the "two brains" of our bodies is not the only two heads to which I am referring. We often ask for second opinions when it comes to medical situations. In support of all who are dealing with serious health challenges, I encourage you to stay positive and seek alternative solutions in addition to the standardized methods and treatments of the medical world. I am forever grateful for medical research and our community of doctors and hospitals, yet, additionally, there are many other amazing, lesser known options available to us.

Patient Heal Thyself is just one of many ways to open up our minds. Jordan almost died of Crohn's disease, but through a tenacious desire to live, and live healthily, found a cure for what ailed him.

Whatever your medical challenge, stay vigilant. Look for cutting edge research and development. Be optimistic. Surround yourself with positives and good energy. Have several servings of humor per day. Jordan's book's dedication, "To all people afflicted with illnesses that leave them fearful and hopeless and who suffer needlessly and don't experience the abundant life we were all meant to enjoy", expresses his desire that we all overcome our medical obstacles. Further, he writes, "This book and my prayers go out to each and every one of you."

I dedicate this column to all of you – patients, caregivers and concerned friends. Please know that you are not alone. We have all been, at one time or another, a patient, caregiver, or concerned friend. Be proactive in your daily lives, because caring starts with caring for ourselves. May the capacity for healing find us all.

Sending love, positive energy and light to guide you on your journey.