Health & Harmony

Bringing Reiki, life and wellbeing to Galashiels and the rest of the Scottish Borders

Reiki and Mind over Medicine

I would like to introduce you to someone whose work correlates with our Reiki teaching and practice.


Lissa Rankin MD

Lissa Rankin MD

Lissa Rankin is a medical doctor in the USA who practiced as an Obstetrics/Gynaecological physician for eight years.  Her own declining health, failed marriages and high stress levels caused her to investigate on a deeper level what was wrong with her own life.  This led her to join with another MD start a holistic mind-body medicine practice that included massage, chiropractic, acupuncture and Reiki as part of the care plan she offered her patients.  Lissa also developed an unusual intake form, in which she asked such questions as, ‘How do you express yourself creatively?  Do you feel supported in your life?  Are you doing work that you love?’  In addition, Lissa always asked her patients, ‘What is missing from your life?’ and ‘What does your body need to heal?’  As she says, there is a lot that goes into making you vital.

Lissa left clinical medicine in 2010 to follow her dream to heal health care.  She began to write a book – Mind over Medicine , published by Hay House this year.  Her research lead her to the Spontaneous Remission Project, where over 3,500 cases are written up by MDs, detailing examples of spontaneous remission that have defied medical logic.  Also to strike up a friendship with Dr Kelly Turner, who was writing her PhD thesis on people who had spontaneous remissions from stage 4 cancer.  This all fuelled her passion to get to the roots of health and ill health.

In her own words, Lissa asks, ‘How can I optimise the health of my body through thinks like:
being happy in a community that supports me?
making sure that I am doing work that I love?
making sure that I am developing and enriching my spiritual life?
that I am expressing my creative side?
that I am not worrying about finances all the time?
that I am healthy in my mind?
that I have positive, hopeful, optimistic thoughts?
that I have positive beliefs about my health?
… all of these are as essential, or more essential, than whether or not I eat a good diet or exercise daily or avoid bad habits, or take my vitamins.’

Lissa tells us that it has been proved that the body has natural self-repair mechanisms that are capable of fighting infections, curing cancer, etc.  The nervous system has two operating systems: the stress-response, and the relaxation response, but only one of these systems can operate at any one time.  The relaxation response, or the parasympathetic nervous system, is the homoeostatic state of the body, but whenever the body is in fight or flight, our self-repair mechanisms get flipped off, they only function in the relaxation response.

Research shows us that we have more than 50 stress responses in a day, which includes every time you have a negative thought – an angry thought, a fearful thought, a resentful thought, a pessimistic thought!  The thought ‘I am being chased by a tiger’, or ‘I am going to lose all my money’, or ‘My partner is going to leave me’, or ‘I spilled red wine on my carpet’ – those thoughts are all equally threatening, and each time we have one of those thoughts we turn off the body’s self repair mechanisms.  If you are stressed all day at work, that is a long time for your self-repair mechanisms to be switched off.

Do you expect to hand your body to your MD to be healed in the same way that you hand your car to the garage to be fixed, or do you feel, ‘My body is my business, and I am in an equal partnership with my MD?  When it comes to ‘what does my body need to heal’ nobody knows the answer better than you.  It is an inside job, but the scientific data shows that it is much more effective if we do it in partnership with the right healer – be it MD, therapist, life coach – whoever, the evidence shows that having somebody on your team who supports you is essential to the healing process.  Lissa says the ‘right healer’ because the data shows whether or not the healer believes you can get well really affects your outcomes.  You need to work with an MD or therapist who believes you can get well – whether it is diabetes or cancer.

The data also tells us that joining a community is more important to long-term health and longevity than quitting smoking or starting to exercise, and emphasises the incredible importance of feeling loved, connected and nurtured by other people.

Most of what Lissa says correlates with our Reiki teaching and practice.  Our participation in an equal partnership in our health, and the importance of maintaining a balance between our body, mind, emotions, and spirit.  It also underlines the importance of our Reiki community, and the unconditional support that is there whenever it is needed – for all of us, me included.  The blessings of meeting together, for example at our monthly Reiki shares, flow out way beyond the treatment itself, into our melding as a community and really getting to know each other.  Do you have ideas to help us do this?  If so, I would love to hear from you and have your help.

It is easy to remember our Reiki practice when we have a pain somewhere, but when all is well it is easy to neglect our self treatments and our Reiki shares.  In addition to the physical benefits, our Reiki practice leads us to ask the deeper questions of ourselves, ‘what does my body need to heal’ and, more importantly, our quiet time of self treatment allows us the space to listen to the answers.  The practice of aligning with the vibrations of the Reiki energy also brings greater awareness of the discordant areas of our lives, for example areas where we have self-sabotaging beliefs, and encourages us to make choices – and sometimes changes – that support us and add to our happiness.  Remember, only when you are truly happy and fulfilled can you really be there for your loved ones.

Would you like to connect with Lissa too?  My introduction to Lissa was in May 2010 through a podcast to which I subscribe called ‘Conscious Shift’, where the presenter Julie Ann Turner interviews various entrepreneurs and innovators.  A couple of months ago Julie Ann interviewed Lissa again as her book was launched.  Lissa is an impassioned and interesting speaker and I would recommend the podcasts, or search out one of Lissa’s TEDx talks.   Mind over Medicine is a worthwhile and inspiring read too.

If you do nothing else, I would recommend that you go to her website ( and download her Self Healing Kit from the panel on the right hand side of the Home page.  The Self Healing Kit includes:

● a guided meditation (where the music is specially composed to be part of the healing process) that is intended as a relaxation response activator (and it really does!)
● an very interesting ebook called 10 Steps to Healing Yourself
● and a diagnosis journal that asks you the kind of searching questions that Lissa asked in her intake form.

This is a really good Kit, and well worth telling your friends and family about – not only those who are unwell, but also those who wish to stay well … and while you are about it, why not tell them about your own healing practice with Reiki.

If you wish to know more about Lissa’s book, go to:

If you wish to know more about Lissa’s project the Whole Health Medicine Institute, which was founded to train doctors (and in 2014, nurses, alternative and other health care providers) about mind-body medicine.  Faculty members include Martha Beck, Christine Northrup, Bernie Siegel, Larry Dossey, and Bruce Lipton, go to:

Lissa is also a professional artist who works mainly with beeswax and acrylic, go to:

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