Mind over Medicine

Mark Light

Mark Light

Mind Over Medicine

By Mark Light, MD

“Promoting health of the body without encouraging health of the mind is an exercise in futility.”—Dr. Lissa Rankin, MD

You can heal yourself. When was the last time you heard a doctor say these words? Probably never. Dr. Lissa Rankin is one doctor who is saying those exact words.

I am joining a team of certified practitioners in this new way of practicing medicine. Whole Health Medicine blends science and spirituality as a way to find the root cause of chronic illness.

Lissa Rankin, MD, was an overwhelmed, overworked, OB-GYN in an unhappy marriage, and her health was declining at an early age.

Her physician put her on seven medications without asking her anything about her life. It was clear that the quality of her life was the cause of her poor health! Neglecting this vital information and prescribing medications actually made her health worse!

Quoting Dr. Rankin, “I discovered the key to my health was NOT just eating a nutritious diet, exercising daily, getting 8 hours of sleep, taking vitamins/supplements, balancing my hormones, and regular doctor checkups. I discovered the power to heal my body lay in changing HOW MY MIND THINKS AND FEELS.”

Dr. Rankin took a two-year sabbatical from her integrative medical practice to thoroughly research hundreds of medical articles that prove the link between spirituality and science. The results were the creation of a New York Times best seller, Mind over Medicine, as well as the Whole Health Medicine Institute.

Traditional Western medicine has “led us to believe that when we get sick, it’s our genetics or bad luck, that doctors alone hold the key to optimal health.” Contrary to this model, Dr. Rankin has trained health-care practitioners to partner with patients, helping them to discover their innate ability to self-heal.

In this unique process, the practitioner acts as the guide, a crucial role in empowering the patient’s quest for healing.

Together, the practitioner and the patient focus attention on key areas of the patient’s life: spirituality, life purpose, creativity, personal relationships, sexuality, environment, financial, and mental health. If any of these areas are unbalanced, poor health may result. These key areas are referred to as “The Whole Health Cairn.” A cairn is a formation of rocks perfectly balanced, one on top of the other. Much like the stones in a cairn, each area of one’s life must be in balance and equilibrium with all the others for optimal health to occur. Most important is the foundational base stone, which supports all the other parts of the cairn. Dr. Rankin calls this foundation the “Inner Pilot Light,” otherwise known as intuition.


“Using extraordinary cases of spontaneous healing, Dr. Rankin shows how thoughts, feelings, and beliefs can alter the body’s physiology. She lays out scientific data proving that loneliness, pessimism, depression, fear, and anxiety damage the body, while intimate relationships, gratitude, meditation, sex, and authentic self-expression flip on the body’s self-healing processes.”—Mind over Medicine


Stress has proven to be the reason for 80 percent of doctor visits. The body’s physiological stress response can be either helpful or destructive. For example, stress hormones can save a person’s life when responding to a real threat, such as a wild animal or an oncoming vehicle. However, the same stress response can also damage a person’s health in cases in which stress hormones are released in response to an imagined threat. This happens when someone anticipates a threatening situation on a mental level. We all experience this kind of stress response whenever we imagine a dreaded encounter with someone at work, or fear the worst when we haven’t heard from our spouse or child all day long. It has been estimated that in the course of a normal day a person will have at least 50 harmful stress responses! These abnormal stress responses release harmful hormones such as cortisol, which cause a wide array of symptoms. Symptoms are the result of repetitive triggering of the stress response without relaxation-response counterbalancing. The body’s relaxation response, when activated, allows the body to turn off the stress response and to repair and heal the damage done by stress hormones.

The six-step process described by Dr. Rankin teaches patients to activate the relaxation response, repairing and healing the body at each key area of the patient’s life, as described in the metaphor of the cairn. Patients are able to identify the source of the stress response at the root of their illness. Then they are able to heal by engaging in relaxation-response activities, such as meditation, creative expression, and yoga.


The six steps are:

One: Believe you can heal yourself.

Two: Find the right support.

Three: Listen to your body and intuition.

Four: Diagnose the root causes of your illness.

Five: Write the prescription for yourself.

Six: Surrender attachment to outcomes.


At Chico Integrative Health, we combine Whole Health Medicine with neurosensitivity testing and energy medicine (N.A.E.T.) to help identify and eliminate beliefs, emotions, or incidents that may be causing one’s symptoms, along with any blocks to absorbing crucial nutrients for health.

We are successfully treating a wide array of health concerns. Feel free to call us at 530-899-7300 or visit our website at http://chicointegrativehealth.com

Chico Integrative Health

1279 E. First Ave., Ste. C

Chico, CA

Email: marklightmd@gmail.com

For more information visit www.chicointegrativehealth.com