There are thousands of books by doctors, nutritionists, PhDs, nurses, scientists, and other health professionals. The Mending Map is different because it comes from the heart of patient who has walked the walk. Chocked full of ideas from her personal archives on her roads back to recovery from life-altering illnesses and injuries, Margery Phelps tells us in simple language that “We are more than we think we are, and our minds and spirits are our most valuable assets when it comes to healing.”
When we are sick or injured, our healing MUST COME FROM WITHIN:
and what we feed it...
and what we think...
and what we believe.
I’m not a health professional -- I’m a journalist -- but it seems to me that many people do not understand healing. When the body is injured or ill the patient must be responsible for healing because HEALING MUST COME FROM WITHIN:
I’ve had a number of serious health challenges in my 75 years and I’ve been told on more than one occasion that my affliction was permanent, that I’d never recover. Well, I not only recovered, I regained my health, and this is the formula that worked for me. All three steps are vital -- like a three-legged stool -- without all three true healing cannot occur.
1. Find a Guide - this first step is the most important -- but it’s also easy because you don’t have to do it. It’s done by a surgeon while you are asleep on an operating table. Find the best surgeon to make the repairs and be sure to follow his/her advice afterwards. If you don’t get well in spite of the expert work, you have no grounds for complaint if you don’t do your part, which includes everything else on this list.
2. Ready, Set, Go - Getting prepared – your house, your pet, your checkbook - making your financial arrangements when planning your visit to the hospital. Preparing for the big event – pre-writing your bill payment checks, who’ll sign your checks, collect your mail, water your plants, walk the dog, feed the fish.
3. Do no harm - this is an ethic of the Hippocratic Oath but I personally believe every patient should swear to uphold this principle. I once had a physical therapist who violated this rule by doing inappropriate manipulations that exacerbated my condition. And I was also at fault because I didn’t stop him. My next physical therapist NEVER hurt me -- and lo and behold, I started to get better immediately. Do no harm!
4. Diet - you are what you eat. Your body replaces hundreds of millions of cells daily. You can’t replace injured cells with healthy cells if you don’t put the proper nutrients into your body. And don’t forget water -- you need plenty of it. Colas and coffee don’t count.
5. Sleep - stage 4 restorative sleep is essential to healing. Because chronic pain can be either exacerbated by a serotonin deficiency or lead to a serotonin deficiency (serotonin is necessary for sleep) talk to your doctor about a sleep aid that will increase your serotonin so you can get the restorative sleep you need.
6. Herbs &Supplements - don’t pooh-pah this! Very few people get the nutrients they need from food, especially if they are recovering from illness or injury. Different ailments require different nutrients. Find out what you need from your doctor and buy them at a good health food store (most of the national brands are worthless). Herbs can also be effective -- like St. John’s Wort for depression. If the label does not say ‘standardized’ you’re wasting your money. Make sure your doctor knows what you’re taking to prevent inappropriate reactions with pharmaceutical drugs.
7. Don’t fear alternatives - I prefer to call them complementary; they do work when done properly. So seek out a medical doctor who has not only the skills but also the training, such as a licensed physician acupuncturist. I once used both acupuncture and hot castor oil packs on a bad shoulder and got a great deal of relief from pain and tremendous increase in mobility.
8. Physical Therapy - your recovery ally
9. Playing it Safe - Safety Tips – during recovery and for the long-haul, too.
1. Think positive - no one ever recovers while thinking ‘I’ll never be well.’ What you think about is what you’ll get so make your thoughts positive.
2. Don’t despair over set backs or plateaus - your body is just taking a rest before it reaches for the next level of recovery. Think of it as reaching another landing on a long stair case. Enjoy the breather.
3. Let go of stress and pain - we all want to recover quickly but pushing too hard can create more stress which will ultimately slow healing. Allow yourself to heal and don’t feel guilty about the time it takes.
4. Affirmations, meditation, and visualizations - get in a comfortable position, take several deep breaths, close your eyes, relax, and picture yourself as well. Be creative and allow your mind to work on the body parts that need to heal. I did a meditation every day where I literally scraped the debris and scarring off a rotator cuff repair that decided to freeze up on me. As a result, I avoided a return trip to the operating room.
5. Don’t play the blame game - if your recovery is slow don’t blame your doctor; no two people heal the same and your health professional will be your best ally if you communicate with them properly; if you play the blame game you can expect them to get defensive and the stress you create will only inhibit your recovery. You can be bitter or you can get better, but you can’t do both – and the choice is yours.
6. Keep a sense of humor - laughing releases endorphins; endorphins help control pain and make you feel better naturally -- without drugs. So rent a funny movie and have a good laugh.
7. PTSD, EP and EFT – Emotional Freedom Technique - this relatively new modality has been endorsed by the American Psychological Association and could be described as "acupuncture for the mind without the needles." Tapping on various meridian points around the head and upper body calm the amygdala and reaps wonderful benefits.
1. Stay in touch with your higher power - prayer is a powerful healing tool and it has been proven effective in a number of scientific double-blind studies. Ask friends and family to pray for you, too. Meditation -- which is simply quieting your mind -- is also effective.
2. Follow your intuition - you know what’s best for you, so do it. I once had nightmares that a therapy would destroy my ability to write; I ignored those warnings and went right on with the same therapist with terrible results. My higher self was warning me -- but I didn’t listen.
3. Find a Hero - let someone you admire be your role model or inspiration. You probably know someone who has overcome a similar health challenge. To relieve extreme pain I would think about my son. At age ten he had second and third degree burns - the most painful of all injuries. Yet he never shed a tear or complained. He was my hero and I wanted to be just like him. When a shoulder injury sidelined me, my orthopedic surgeon became my hero -- he had overcome the disabling injuries of a broken neck! Talk about a role model! If your hero can do it, you can too. 4. Believe you will be well - a urologist once told me that I would have to use a leg bag and intermittent catheterizations the rest of my life. I rejected that diagnosis and made a willing choice to be well -- and within a year I threw away that leg bag and catheter. When my medical illustrator mother had multiple breaks in her arm we told her that she would be drawing again soon even though the doctors said she’d never work again. In ten weeks she was back at her drawing board -- because she believed she would be well.
Your body is an amazing creation. It is pre-programmed for health and wellness. But it needs your help. When you take control of your body and what you put into it, your mind and what you think, your soul, and what you believe, you will put yourself on the road to wellness. Happy Healing!
Contact me for personal coaching or presentations to groups and for special discounts on bulk orders of The Mending Map.
What is health? When I was on a lecture circuit after the publication of my first health book, one of my colleagues in the nutrition and health field opened his talks with that question. Then he would proceed to tell a graphic but amusing story:
Three elderly men were sitting on the porch of the retirement home, sharing tales on the challenges of age. The first, and youngest, said, “What I wouldn’t give for a good, satisfying stream. My poor ole bladder just dribbles.”
The second gentlemen chastised him. “You think that’s bad. Well, I haven’t had a good b.m. in so long I can’t remember what it feels like to not have my bowels hurt.”
Then the third, and senior of the group, spoke up. “You punks just make me sick. Every morning at eight o’clock I have a good healthy stream. Then at ten o’clock sharp I have a good healthy bowel movement.”
He paused…. “Now, if I could just get out of bed before noon….”
Of course, the audience would roar with laughter, and the lecture would be well launched. I think there are two definitions of health:
1. Health is subjective and personal. It’s how you feel compared to how you want to feel. For the life-long diabetic, a day with stable blood sugar could be day of good health. The c
Cancer patient son chemo might say that they he/she feelspretty darn good the day after the vomiting stops. The burn patient could relish the day he doesn’t have a painful debridement, and the child with the broken arm feels great the day the cast is removed.
2. Health is defined by medical tests, measuring your results against a standard. A doctor would say that the diabetic is still diabetic, even during a day of normal blood sugar; the patient on chemo still has cancer, even if they feel on top of the world; burn victims have a variety of health challenges to overcome; and the child with the healed broken arm may still have calcium absorption problems.
How do you define your health? If you prefer the second definition, put this book down and read no further. I am not a health professional and therefore cannot and will not make any diagnoses or prescribe any treatments. There are thousands of advice books by doctors, PhDs, nurses, and nutritionists.
If you like the first definition, this book is for you. It is gleaned from years of personal experiences and research and what I have learned as a layperson and healthcare consumer. I’m not a health professional—I’m a journalist—but it seems to me that many people do not understand healing. When the body is injured or ill, the patient must be responsible for healing because HEALING MUST COME FROM WITHIN:
· from the body and what we feed it;
· from the mind and what we think;
· from the soul and what we believe.
All three steps are vital—like a three-legged stool—without all three true healing cannot occur. I’ve had a number of serious health challenges in my many years of life, and I’ve been told on more than one occasion that my affliction was permanent, that I’d never recover. Well, I not only recovered, I regained my health, and this book has the formulas that worked for me.
A few years back I ghost wrote a book for Robert A. Nash, M.D. entitled Common Sense Medicine - a medical doctor’s prescription for health care. Scattered throughout the book were Doctor Bob’s “Common Sense Prescriptions.” Since I am not a health professional, you might say that the book you are holding is the lay-person’s Guidepost to health. So, let’s get started!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
SECTION 1: THE BODY
Chapter 1 – Find A Guide
Chapter 2 – Ready, Set, Go
Chapter 3 – Do No Harm
Chapter 4 – Nutrition – you are what you eat
Chapter 5 – It’s sleepy time
Chapter 6 – Herbs and Supplements
Chapter 7 – Don’t fear Alternatives
Chapter 8 – Physical Therapy
Chapter 9 – Playing it Safe
SECTION 2: THE MIND & EMOTIONS
Chapter 10 – Think Positive
Chapter 11 – Don’t Despair - plateaus & setbacks
Chapter 12 – Let go of stress & pain
Chapter 13 – Affirmation, Meditation, Visualization
Chapter 14 – Don’t play the Blame Game
Chapter 15 – Keep a Sense of Humor
Chapter 16 – PTSD, EP and EFT —let’s get un-stuck
SECTION 3: THE SOUL
Chapter 17 – Stay in touch with your Higher Power
Chapter 18 – Follow your Intuition
Chapter 19 – Find a Hero
Chapter 20 – Believe you will be well
A. Foods can Harm, Foods can Heal
B. Drug, Herb, and Supplement Interactions
C. Plant Chemicals that protect us
IMPORTANT NOTICE TO THE READER
This book is for the general knowledge and informational use of the reader only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition. No guarantees or assurances are made to anyone with regard to any suggestions in this book.
The author and publisher assume no responsibility for errors or omissions nor any liability for damages resulting from the use of information provided
This book contains opinions and ideas of the author and is sold with the understanding that the publisher and author are not engaged in rendering any type of professional health or nutritional services or advice.
Should the reader require advice or personal treatments related to the subject matter of this publication, they are encouraged to seek the advice of a competent and licensed medical professional.