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“I have an auto-immune disease and I’m always sick. I feel so poorly most days that it’s hard to think positively. How can I possibly use my thoughts to heal myself, when I can’t get out of the rut I’m in? And I beat myself up for feeling so poorly, which just makes things worse.” ~ Emily, Burlingame, CA

Dear Emily,

Thoughts control your stress response. When your stress response is hyper-activated, the immune response is triggered to produce more inflammation.

With more inflammation, your immune cells begin attacking, and in your case, they attack you. The more you beat yourself up for not “healing yourself”, the worse it makes you feel, and the more they attack.

Practice nurturing and self love instead. Relaxation techniques and a loving attitude will calm your stress response and balance your immune system.

Remember, you don’t yell at babies, you love them. See yourself in the same way. Always ask yourself, how does this thought, this activity, this food, this person nurture me and help me thrive?

Dr. Eva Selhub

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Eva M. Selhub, MD, a passionate, articulate advocate of Mind/Body Medicine, enjoys a flourishing career as a speaker, healer and media spokesperson.

Dr. Selhub is a Clinical Associate in Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Benson Henry Institute, and an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Board Certified in Internal Medicine and specializing in Integrative Medicine, she teaches and coaches clients to achieve resilience by moving beyond limiting beliefs, set diagnoses or genetic predispositions. As a teacher and motivational speaker, Dr. Selhub has lectured throughout the United States, Middle East, Far East and Europe, training healthcare professionals and coaching chief executives. She is the author of The Love Response (Ballantine/Random House 2009) and a co-author of Your Brain on Nature (Harper Collins, 2014). Dr. Selhub also have several guided meditation audio CD’s and offers an 8-week on line program to get healthy and happy along with options for individual coaching.

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  1. I understand your situation clearly Emily. My situation is similar yet likely more severe with chronic post-chemo-medical conditions. Chemo all but destroyed my immune system resulting in a very poor quality of life. Way too many diseases and conditions to mention. My point in this post is to let you know that you are not alone in the frustration and misery you feel. I was once very active, full of vitality…loved life so much. If you are on medications to help with your condition, I would strongly urge you to have a pharmacist review your meds with you! They have much greater knowledge than a typical MD with at least 3 more years of schooling just in meds. Allot of times our primary care docs really don’t look at the full picture. I was prescribed over 20 different prescriptions…of which I refused to take several of. I later learned that the dosage and interactions of some of them were “lethal” and I could have been one of the thousands of statistics of deaths due to wrong combinations of meds. Like the many Hollywood actors that loved and died from the same cocktail combo I was on. It was my MD that took me to see the pharmacist. It can change your entire quality of life! Yes, Stress plays a huge factor….so do the meds! I kept hearing that saying “physician heal thyself” like an ongoing recording…I was always sick and could barely function in daily living. Just a thought shared…take care and be well Emily! I care.

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