Is It All In Your Head?

Why is it that a wellness center that focuses on natural healing with food as medicine spends so much time on mindset?

As a speech language pathologist, I was part of a brain injury rehabilitation team that consisted of physiatrists, neuropsychologists, neurologists, occupational, physical, and recreational therapists, and counselors. Each of us brought in our area of specialty and focus that was critical for the recovery of the patient following a brain injury whether it was due to a trauma such as a car accident or an acute condition such as a stroke or a degenerative disease such as cancer or ALS.

The role of the specialist varied based on the condition but generally, the physicians were more consultative, meaning that they would see the patient occasionally to assess their medical condition and whether it was improving or not and review the intervention plan including tests, medications, and therapies. The therapists tend to see the patient the most frequently, daily or several times weekly depending upon the setting and condition to “reteach” the lost behavior.

As the SLP, my role was to retrain the brain for cognition, communication, and/or swallowing. I used the analogy of a construction worker rerouting and building new pathways in the brain so that the messages that were still in there could get through by finding an alternative route around the damage.

As you can imagine, these patients were ALWAYS in crisis. One cannot experience a brain injury without it completely upending your life. Very few patients can even recall their hospital stay and rehab experience because the brain’s protective mechanism is in survival mode.

Despite the incredible insult to the brain, the relatively short window for ideal recovery, and the massive amount of skill and resources that go into this type of intervention; do you know what the best predictor of outcome is? It is universal and incredibly independent of these things. It is mindset or belief.

Do each of these specialists, the timing of intervention, and the severity of the injury matter? Of course they do! Are caregivers, families, and community important? Of course they are! Do the medications and foods matter? Of course they do! But what is so incredible to witness is that they are not the most important piece.

The PATIENT is the most important factor! Remember, we are talking about a brain injury…your hardware if you will. Your brain is where we think, regulate, initiate, and comprehend. Yet, somehow, the mindset seems to supersede that with an innate override.

Here’s what I’m talking about…

More examples than I can count, in fact, as I reflect I can’t think of an instance where the outcome was correlated to the severity, intervention, and circumstance as much as it was the patient’s desire to heal. The belief and tenacity of better days ahead and the fight to regain lost skill is inspiring and creates a momentum of change within the person.

But the opposite is also true, and sadly, as I reflect I can’t think of an instance where the outcome was correlated to the severity, intervention, and circumstance as much as it was the patient’s fear of not healing. Specifically the fear of not living the way they used to live or being a burden to those around them. In every instance, recovery was not achieved and they eventually died although often after a long and arduous battle being dependent and limited in function.

The point is that the same diagnoses, conditions, and circumstances would often yield completely different results depending on the patient’s mindset, even with a broken brain. INCREDIBLE.

What does this have to do with wellness?

I am still a construction worker! I am still helping to build new pathways and reroute. I’m still teaching how to get what has always been in there out! It’s just that now it’s lifestyle rather than brain damage. I can’t help but see the exact same phenomenon in our autoimmune community and the general population that I witnessed with the brain injury population.

Despite the crisis, the diagnosis, or the condition those who have belief and tenacity of better days ahead always seem to be healthier and happier. Likewise, those who have fear of not living the way they used to or being a burden to those around them often end up being limited and experiencing the very loss and burden they are afraid of.

Incredibly, the belief or mindset seems to be the greater indicator of outcome than any other factor. Again, it’s the INDIVIDUAL that determines the outcome. Healing really is an inside job!

I’m not going to even pretend that I understand why or how this phenomenon is true. What I am going to do is make sure that it is integrated into everything we do at the Living WOW Center because having a thriving belief or mindset is critical. What’s super exciting is that it’s also possible! Just like all the other aspects of Living WOW it’s awareness, intention, choice, and habit building.

Just as I was with my patients who were going through unthinkable crisis and loss recovering from brain injuries, I am committed to providing you my guidance, support, and resources in your journey to thriving.

My purpose and the mission of the Living WOW Center is to be that “rehab team” that brings you the education, practice, and accountability to live your best life despite the obstacles or barriers that may feel overwhelming. To empower you to be the expert in your body and understand how to create an environment to heal and thrive, naturally.

Understand that mindset, belief, love, energy, faith, and healing are all words that you will hear in courses, programs, or services at the Living WOW Center intertwined with nutrition and self care. Because it is my experience both personally and professionally that they are all co-existing. If we feed our bodies, mind, and spirit well, healing and thriving in your best life is inevitable not impossible.

With that said…

Join us for a taste of Living WOW with the Living WOW Challenge the 1st-10th of each month. The Challenge is 10 days of pre-planned meals that are 100% delicious, nutritious, and easy peasy. All meals are anti-inflammatory designed with pre and pro-biotic features to bring down systemic inflammation, repair and support gut dysbiosis, increase energy and mood.

In other words, we are focused on what and how we eat for 10 days replacing processed foods, sugar, dairy, gluten, alcohol, and fake everything with all things whole, natural, and as local and fresh as you can get in your area. This is not a vegan menu but rather a whole foods plant strong menu.

The focus is on the foods and nutrition for sure, but you know there has to be some mindset support as well! Daily affirmations and daily word of scripture are also available to uplift and remind you of your significance, divinity, and worth because let’s face it, you’re awesome!

Recipes and education to help you make intentional choices that empower you to trust your body and begin to heal. It’s only 10 short days but it has the potential to change your life. Pretty bold claims, pretty powerful experience. I hope you will join the Living WOW Challenge this month!