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Your body and all of its systems are comprising a perfect, self healing organism. One that comes fully equipped with natural self repair mechanisms to kill the cancer cells we produce, fight infectious agents, repair broken proteins, keep our coronary arteries open and naturally fight the aging process on anongoing basis, every day.

Moreover, the human autonomic nervous system actually consists of two systems, the sympathetic nervous system which produces the body's stress response, also known as fight or flight; and the parasympathetic nervous system which produces the body's relaxation response, also known as rest and digest.

Further, since rest and digest is our homeostatic state when the body is in equilibrium, its natural self repair mechanisms can only function optimally when the nervous system is in relaxation response. The human stress response serves a purpose, if you're getting chased by something that wants to eat you, your body will automatically release a burst of chemicals which are intended to focus all its power to pump up your heart rate and activate your large muscle groups in order that hopefully, you may escape from getting eaten.

Many modern day humans are in fight or flight all the time, even though these stress responses are meant to be limited to life threatening danger. Additionally, every stressful thought, feeling or belief disables the body's ability to repair itself, your brain can't tell the difference, as far as the nervous system is concerned, you are getting chased by a hungry bear that wants to eat you. The stressful thoughts, feelings and the bear are all the same to the brain, they all signal imminent danger and that is what stress really is.

While researching scientific data for my new book, Mind Over Medicine, I learned what really makes us sick: Did you know, for example, that lonely people have double the rate of heart disease than those who are part of a supportive community, and that researchers have found that loneliness may be a greater risk factor for your health than smoking or not exercising? Did you know that optimists have a 77 percent lower risk of heart disease than pessimists, or that happy people live seven to 10 years longer than unhappy people?

Has your body lost the ability to self-repair?

The Medicine We Really Need

The scientific literature shows that to keep the nervous system in relaxation response so the body can heal itself, we need a different kind of medicine.
To the nervous system, medicine is being loved just as you are. It's helping those in need. Medicine is expressing your creative genius. It's seeing the glass half full, and laughing out loud.

Medicine is the unconditional love of animals. It's speaking your truth, and knowing you belong. Medicine is communing with nature, and nourishing the body with real food. Medicine is tapping into your higher power. It's being unapologetically you.

When you give yourself this medicine, you turn off your stress responses, turn on your relaxation responses and allow the body to do one of the things it does best – heal.

That's why you can't hand your body over to your doctor like you would your car — nobody but you knows the medicine you really need.

Maybe to finally get well, you need to quit your soul-sucking job or escape a toxic relationship. Maybe you need to meditate more, or move to the country. Maybe you need to find your calling and do your part to save the world. Maybe you need to paint.

Your body is your business because nobody but you knows what triggers your stress responses or, equally important, how you might activate more of your relaxation responses. Thus, the power lies in your hands.