90 DAYS TO SELF-HEALTH
C. Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D.
My first book, 90 DAYS TO SELF-HEALTH, on self-care came out 30 years ago. It sold well but was taken off the market after the third year because it sold only 10,000 copies that year. Since then, I have refined the contents in 90 DAYS TO STRESS-FREE LIVING..
Over a 30+ year period I worked with over 30,000 individuals who had failed everything conventional medicine had to offer. Virtually all my patients had failed surgery (often multiple times), narcotics, tranquilizers and antidepressants. Perhaps the most puzzling fact, to me, was the patients on one to several antidepressants—they were STILL depressed!
Early in my work with these tragic patients, I discovered that most of them had never been happy, had had various traumatic events in childhood, had a variety of unhealthy habits and had never learned how to deal with life itself. Most hated their parents, spouse, ex-spouse, work, or all of these. They averaged 49 symptoms and had an average of 5 medical illnesses in addition to their pain and depression. Seventy-six percent of the women and thirty-five percent of the men had been sexually abused. Two thirds of my patients were women. Ages ranged from 18 to upper 80’s. After the first couple of years our success was and remained 85%–off drugs, much more active, out of depression and pain reduced 50 to 100%.
It became obvious to me early in this work that it often did not matter what we did; our attitude was the most important factor. Unquestionably for depression, our use of the Liss Cranial Electrical Stimulator and the Shealy RelaxMate will help 85% of patients come out of depression. But to keep themselves out of depression and recurrent new illnesses, the patients need to learn that the most important “care” is self-care! Our main work was to show them enough acceptance that they began to believe they were worth it! Some patients become angry when told that taking care of themselves is far more important than anything else in life. If you do not take care of yourself, you do not have strength and energy to help others!
Why 90 days? It is well known that a habit can develop within a week but to break a habit often takes 3 months. Perhaps this is more true in learning to put self first than in any other aspect of life. Taking care of self is not narcissistic; it is simply common sense.
In America today, less than 3% of individuals take good care of themselves! A major study published less than 2 years ago revealed that less than 3% of Americans have the most essential health habits:
Body mass index 19-24 (less than 35% of Americans)
No smoking ((72% of Americans)
Eat a minimum of 5 servings daily of fruits and vegetables (less that 20% )
Exercise a minimum of 30 minutes at least 3 days per week (10% get adequate exercise. Truly adequate would be 6 or 7 days a week!)
Forty percent of Americans are clinically depressed. In talking with many thousands of people, I sense that at least another 40% have what I call a subclinical depressive miasma. I have often been asked why. To me the critical factor is the Origin of the Put-Down of Women! For the past two thousand years, the dominant Christian churches have insisted that we are conceived in sin, born in sin and are just plain sinners! It is a miracle than anyone feels OK! I personally consider these two concepts to be the greatest hoaxes perpetuated by anyone. In I’M OK—YOU’RE OK Tom Harris published a clear message. If you do not feel good about yourself, it is unlikely you will feel good about anything. And the only way to feel good about yourself is to live The Golden Rule. Love is the desire to do good to others! And it begins with you yourself!
I have long insisted to my patients, if you have not murdered anyone, raped anyone, robbed anyone or purposefully harmed anyone, you have nothing about which to feel regret. If someone else harmed you in any way, it is their karma, not yours. If you were wounded as a child, then it is your responsibility to take care of yourself and to find ways to forgive the BAST—–s who did it! Holding a grudge is like taking poison and expecting it to kill the other person. Although I think my book 90 DAYS TO STRESS-FREE LIVING is the best self care program I know, there are thousands of systems available and everyone’s major life contract is to learn optimal self care. Each day you practice physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health!