In my teleseminar last week on “Building a Fabulous Support Team” I mentioned one kind of support that can make a huge difference in your healing: successful role models – people who have or had a health condition similar to yours and have significantly improved their health the way that you want to improve yours.
This is one of the most valuable supports you can get because it can save you years by helping you choose a successful healing path sooner. These people can be fountains of wisdom and support and can help you think outside of your particular box and explore new modes of healing. They can introduce you to effective healing regimes or medical treatments, help you avoid re-inventing the wheel, and give you valuable tips on adopting any new self-care practices or managing any treatment that you choose. I got a few questions about it afterwards – How do you find these people? How useful is it really? How do you decide what to try? etc . . .
So, I wanted to dive into the issue a bit more. Before I do, I want to acknowledge that doing this kind of research can take time and be emotionally draining as you separate the wheat from the chaff. It’s a good idea to get friends or family to do it with you, or listen to you vent after you do it. It’s also a good idea to keep expectations low at the beginning of the search and be patient as you look for the right people.
I spent years googling my condition and symptoms looking for cures, but I wish that I had focused on finding these role models earlier in my quest for whole health. In late 2007, after five years of trying a gzillion alternative and conventional treatments, I decided that I wasn’t going to try another health intervention until I found at least two people with chronic Lyme Disease and/or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (also called ME or CFIDS) who had been completely healed by it. Within six months I found three people who had been completely cured by a raw vegan diet and accompanying self-care practices. Six months after I found and spoke with them, I was well on my way to full health.
The key to this is to avoid just trolling the internet for “cures” or ideas (which I had done for years previously.) Rather, to make this effective, you want to look for people who meet very specific criteria, and with whom you can talk; people who:
- Had or have your health condition or a set of symptoms similar to yours.
- Have fully achieved the health goal that you are trying to achieve. (For me that meant feeling strong and energetic and not being limited by illness.)
- Have been in their new, improved healthier state for at least one full year, preferably two. (In the past, I had often been referred to “successfully healed” patients by health care providers, only to find out that they had only been using the treatment for six months and had some mild success, or that they relapsed into illness again six months later.)
- Do not seem to be trying to get rich off of selling their “miracle cure.” Respectfully marketing a book or offering coaching is great, but be wary of hard sellers, or people who refuse to give away their “secret” until you pay them.
- Do not have a whole set of permanent side effects from their treatment that were almost as debilitating as the illness itself.
- Are available to contact by email or phone to set up a 30-minute conversation.
- Sound balanced, grounded, and trustworthy when speaking to them.
So, how does one go about looking for these healing models? Below is a list of possible routes to try, keeping in mind the two seemingly opposing truths that 1) There are a lot of scammers out there who are trying to make money with “I healed!” advertising and 2) You never know who or what might give you the information and inspiration you need, so keep an open mind.
Search the internet using a variety of keywords.
I realize that this may be obvious, but here it is: Do an internet search for your health condition or symptoms in combination with words like the following:
Got off medications
You can also do a search of your condition or symptoms combined with names of treatments that you have heard about in the past. For me it was “Chronic Lyme Disease” and “raw foods” or “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” and “Chelation,” among many others.
This internet search effort can be overwhelming, disheartening, and sometimes inspiring. So, don’t do it for too long at any given time. Bookmark the pages that look like they might be promising and make a list of people and treatments that interest you. Keep in mind that the most heavily promoted sites show up on the first pages and gems can be hidden in the later pages.
Other ways to look for role models include
1. Ask in chat forums, FB groups, and email listservs on your health condition.
2. Ask health care providers whom you trust for leads.
3. Ask your friends and family to keep their eyes and ears out.
4. Make it a high priority research project. Think like an investigative journalist.
5. Always keep a list of treatments you want to try and people whom you want to contact. For example, here is what my list of possible treatments looked like in the year before I healed:
- Low-dose anti-depressants combined with lots of exercise and a sugar-free, gluten-free diet.
- Trauma therapy.with EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
- High-dose antibiotic treatment with Lyme Disease Specialist.
- Intense Detoxification and vitamin/mineral infusion through Chelation and IV therapy.
- Raw foods diet
In the end, raw foods was the only treatment for which I could readily find a group of people who were fully healed. That is why I decided to dive in wholeheartedly to that treatment effort.
Lastly, I want to acknowledge that this search does not guarantee success. But, no matter what happens, you will meet some amazing, inspiring people and learn a great deal about the healing options that are out there for you. You may even find the key to unlock the best health you could possibly imagine. You don’t have to do this alone. You deserve mentors and role models to help you through it.
I wish you good luck in your search. Keep me posted. If you try this now or have tried it in the past, I would like to hear how it has been for you.
Write me an email at janette@HealforRealNow.com or leave me a comment below.
To your good health!