Hope Health Healing

Mind Body Connection

Do any of you have a book that you’ve read that’s made a huge impact on your life?

One night about 7 1/2 years ago, in the wee small hours, I was lying awake in a lot pain, I was looking over at my new gorgeous wee baby girl in her moses basket beside my bed and my mind was going crazy, “How am I ever going to look after this precious miracle when I’m such a mess?”

I will never forget that feeling of despair and fear amidst this undeniable urge and desperation to be well again…. It lead me to frantically Google anything I could on somehow controlling my pain and my mind to stop me from going crazy.

It was that night that I stumbled across this author and book – Mind Over Medicine by Dr Lissa Rankin.

In a nutshell, this book is all about the proof behind how you can heal your body by healing your thoughts and lifestyle. This might sound a little ‘outside the box’ to a lot of you and I know that there are so many of us with physical, structural or biological damage/disease… but even if a little bit of what you’re experiencing can be eased then surely it’s worth a shot?

Lissa talks about cairns, stacks of balancing stones… comparing the simultaneous strength and fragility of them to our own lives. “A well built cairn can withstand the crashing of the waves upon it, yet if you move one stone too far out of balance, the whole thing topples. All stones depend on the others for stability.”

She goes on to say, “Like a cairn, the body is awe-inspiringly strong and resilient, and at the same time, fragile and easy to tip out of balance.”

Credit: Lissa Rankin Cairn

In Lissa’s diagram of these stones ,they are all balanced on top of each other, the foundation stone, the one on which everything else stands, is named the ‘inner pilot light’… that inner knowing, the healing wisdom of your body and soul that knows what’s true for you and guides you, in your own unique way, back to better health. At the very top of the ‘Whole Health Cairn’ as she calls it, is where your body’s physical health rests.

In-between are stones stacked up upon each other, which are vital to the healing process;

  • Work/Life purpose
  • Relationships
  • Spirituality
  • Sexuality
  • Creativity
  • Environment
  • Money
  • Mental Health

Surrounding this cairn in the “healing bubble” lies love, gratitude, service and pleasure – the glue that holds everything in balance.

Most wellness models teach that the body is the foundation for everything in life, that without a healthy body, everything else suffers. But Lissa concludes that we’ve got this all backwards. The body isn’t the foundation of your health. The body is the physical manifestation of the sum of your life experiences. When your life is out of alignment with you inner pilot light and the stones of your whole health cairn are out of balance, your mind gets stressed, and when your mind is under stress, your body suffers.

So for me, taking a step back and looking individually at the different ‘stones’ balanced in my own cairn, shed a little light on why things were so acute… this was actually one of the catalysts for me changing my career. I started to do more of the things that made ‘me’ feel good, that made me laugh or feel relaxed… and over time I noticed a big difference.

If any of this rings true to you or if it’s something you’d like to look a little more into, I’ve included the link to one of Dr Lissa Rankin’s TEDx talks below;


I hope you enjoy!

Sarah x
Hope, Health & Healing Acupuncture


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