The Only Time A Doctor Should Tell You, "It's All In Your Head."
Sometimes, hearing the mishaps of the medical system is just an occupational hazard if you choose to be a practitioner of "Complementary and Alternative Medicine" (CAM) Therapies.
Most people try the usual "chain of command"-- primary care doctor, specialist, subspecialist, then wait a while, get fed up, find a CAM Therapy practitioner (chiropractor, massage therapist, reiki, acupuncturist, Rolfer, biofrequency, herbalist, etc).
The CAM therapist gets the people on their last shred of hope. These people have been around the block a time or two, and yet one line unites most of their unique and harrowing stories: "my doctor told me it wasn't that bad, or implied it was basically all in my head."
So I've been thinking about this. And in a way, they are not wrong. The mind is the most powerful thing, and it's believed that 40% of treatment efficacy of any drug, therapy, etc is due to the placebo effect-- the idea that we want it to work, so it does. Maybe you can see where I'm going here.
The unfortunate part is that very oversimplification of your disease being solely contained within your brain is simply not true. It may change your heartbeat, your throat may feel tight, you may feel mental states of fatigue that challenge you to show up as a spouse, an employee, business owner, parent, sibling, or friend. You may feel pain that has no injurious cause, but it's real and you know it.
The practitioner that finally validates the earnest existence of a condition will do better to tell the patient/client that, "your disease is real, but the healing takes place in your head. If your mental intention is not clear, if your mindset is not optimistic, if you have not mentally visualized your successful version of healthy, then your condition will continue to be real."
The mind controls the heart, the tension of the muscles, the mental perception of ease with which we navigate through life. But we must honor the existence of injury or illness first (or at least dig deeper to objectively confirm it with appropriate testing), apply treatment, and help the patient understand that healing oneself is a mental game. One that takes more effort between your ears than in any vitamin, herb, or needle I can administer.
But isn't that freeing? To know that your condition, with the help of CAM or conventional medical intervention, can be, to a certain extent, within your own power?
Let it be understood that not every single condition is mitigated by ~happy thoughts~, but for the folks who have been told "it's all in your head" this is who I'm speaking to. Seek alternatives, more importantly, speak with someone who will validate you as a human being with an equal degree of perception and experience as the person whose help you seek.
Healing: it's all in your head. (mostly)