This is author Therese Borchard’s debut post for Blisstree, and we’re happy to announce that she’ll be blogging for us on a weekly basis about all kinds of mental health, depression, and therapy issues. Have a question for Therese? Leave it in our comments section, below.
I admit it: I am one skeptical chick when it comes to health solutions, because I read so many self-help books a week that my bookshelves can no longer hold their weight. I’ve spent close to $40,000 on therapy, outpatient treatment programs, and psych visits. I’ve also explored almost every single alternative health treatment on the market today, from acupuncture to expensive Chinese herbs.
I spend an incredible amount of time each day pursuing good emotional and physical health. I’ve been called many things, but “health slacker” is not one. If I don’t swim 150 laps before 7:30 am, then I run seven miles. I eat plenty of roughage and vegetables, keep processed foods to a minimum, and take six omega-3 capsules a day, plus vitamin D, folic acid, and calcium supplements. I meditate for 15 minutes each morning, read spiritual literature, and keep a sleep/mood journal, where I jot down the time I went to bed the night before and how many hours I slept. In between therapy visits, I practice cognitive behavioral exercises on my own — stuff like identifying the ten distorted thoughts that bestselling author David Burns tells us to watch out for. I gave up alcohol 22 years ago, and I regulate the amount of caffeine I drink. Sugar? I’m still working on it.
I don’t believe in easy answers. If there ever were any, I would have found them by now. Trust me.
Alexander Loyd, Ph.D., N.D. and Ben Johnson, M.D., D.O., N.M.D., make several good arguments in their book The Healing Code: 6 Minutes to Heal the Source of Your Health, Success, or Relationship Issue, but I’ll take a pass on buying into the Healing Code as the potential answer to all my health problems, which, I humbly admit, are substantial: A pituitary tumor, thyroid growths, Raynaud’s phenomenon, aortic valve regurgitation, and bipolar disorder.
I wanted to throw the book across the room when I read this line: “God downloaded into my mind and heart what we now call The Healing Codes.” And also these: “Following this God-given blueprint eliminated the problem that had dominated my life for more than a decade. In 45 minutes, my wife’s clinical depression was gone.”
Not that I don’t believe in prophets. I do. I believe Moses was one. And Gandhi. And Mother Teresa. But you can always tell a true prophet because they warn you that should you actually believe what they say, the path will be difficult — even more challenging than the life you’re living now. And also, real prophets don’t make any money off their ideas.
But the book, and the concept, isn’t all bad. The first “secret” is dead on: Stress is the primary source of illness and disease. As they mention, the Centers for Disease Control states that 90% of all health issues are stress-related. And not the kind of stress we can eliminate by quitting our jobs. I mean the stress that operates so automatically on a cellular level, we don’t feel a thing. The HPA, or hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis, gets a bit too much attitude, flips the bird to the limbic system (home of our emotions), and the next thing we know we’ve got a urinary tract infection, or much worse.
We could all benefit from being more cognizant of our stress levels, and reducing them by the exercises encouraged in the book: Power breathing, meditation, and energy medicine.
But I don’t believe that healing the issues of the heart can, according to Loyd and Johnson, turn the immune and healing systems back on, and therefore in six minutes heal the source of your health, success, or relationship issue. I don’t have cancer, but if I did, I can’t say that I’d be happy about hearing that if I die it’s pretty much my fault, because I failed to learn how to ignite my immune system by activating the four healing centers with my fingers.
I do believe in energy healing, and using control centers, or healing centers of our body like the bridge, temples, jaw, and Adam’s apple. I believe in the power of massage to heal physical conditions. But having been to hell and back with my bipolar disorder, I think the authors do a major disservice to folks like me who work diligently on their mental and physical health, harder than they do at their job or marriage, because they know that without their health the other two don’t stand a chance.
I cringe at simple instructions like the following, because whenever — in my disordered history — I’ve turned to easy answers, it almost cost me my life:
The [Healing Code] exercise turns on some combination of those four healing centers in a priority sequence. The priority sequence is critical to remove the stress in the body related to a particular problem and to heal the cellular memories related to that problem. The average Healing Code takes about 6 minutes to do, activating those healing centers with our fingers.
My gut says no on this one. Nothing in my health regimen has ever been that easy. Especially if it worked.
Therese J. Borchard is Associate Editor of Psych Central, where she regularly contributes to the award-winning blog, World of Psychology. She also writes the daily blog, Beyond Blue, on Beliefnet, which is featured weekly on The Huffington Post and several other websites, and moderates the popular depression support group, Beyond Blue, on Beliefnet’s community site. Therese is the author of Beyond Blue: Surviving Depression & Anxiety and Making the Most of Bad Genes and The Pocket Therapist: An Emotional Survival Kit. She resides in Annapolis, MD with her husband, Eric, and their two children.