October 24th, 2011 12:03 EST
Dr. Marc Siegel on The Inner Pulse
The inner pulse is the spiritual and physical axis that grows stronger with good health and weaker with illness. It is the most powerful force in the body, and it can be your radar to good health or impending illness.
Here are some of the things I learned while writing The Inner Pulse:
1) A strong inner pulse is your radar that you will survive; a weakening inner pulse warns you that your health is deteriorating. The inner pulse can`t be measured but it can be sensed or intuited. It is the marker of your determination to live.
2) Dedicated physical exercise and spiritual practices including meditation can bring you more in contact with your inner pulse.
3) Severe life-threatening illnesses can put you more in touch with your inner pulse, especially as you recover from them.
4) Believe in your inner pulse and beware of doctors who would dismiss you or use simple statistics to discourage you, writing you off too soon. Look for a doctor who believes in your intuition and your own sense of your health.
5) In some cases, you might be able to influence your inner pulse.
6) A doctor becomes a true healer when he or she learns to be guided by a patient`s inner pulse rather than by preconceived notions.
Recently, Congresswoman Giffords defied the odds when many medical improbabilities occurred at exactly the same time: the bullet passed through her brain missing vital structures, an aide with a minimum of medical training held her wound together, and she happened to arrive within the "golden hour" after injury at one of the top trauma centers in the country. But beyond even these miraculous coincidences, what contributed to her recovery the most was her indomitable spirit, her powerful life force, her inner pulse.
In The Inner Pulse, I tell the story of my patients and how they survived against the odds because of the strength of their inner pulse. I have discovered this strong inner pulse in many of my patients: from one man who managed to recover even after his brain had been choked of oxygen, to another who couldn`t walk yet rose out of his wheelchair to attack a former employer who owed him millions, to a third whose fractured personality was able to control her blood sugar in some personalities but not in others. I have also found this power in myself as I overcame my own life crisis and recovered my inner strength.
I hope you learn as much about your inner pulse while reading this book as I did while writing it.