One Key Can Open Many Doors

If there’s one thing my dermatology practice has taught me, it is that skin is not superficial! Skin is your body’s largest organ and it is also your body’s window to wellness. That’s why, when I examine a patient, I’m looking at a lot more than their skin; I’m asking myself what their skin is telling me about what may be going on beneath the surface—on a physical and even an emotional level. I know that if I treat only the presenting symptoms—the acne, the eczema, the growth—but don’t address the root cause, the symptoms are likely to return when the prescription runs out, or the underlying condition is re-encountered.

Conversely, however, whenever we can address a root cause, that one key can open many doors!

In my little book by the same name, I tell the story of a patient, “Elisa,” who came to me with a skin condition and a host of other ailments, both physical and emotional. All had started after a painful divorce the year prior. I treated her skin condition, but also suggested that her feelings about the divorce might be indirectly related to her physical health.

“Yes,” she agreed, “but there’s nothing I can do now to change the past.”

“Right,” I told her, “but you can change the way you relate to the past.”

A few weeks later, when Elisa returned for her follow-up visit, I was startled to see a dramatically transformed young woman. Instead of the dispirited and defeated patient I’d seen initially, Elisa was filled with vitality. Her skin condition had cleared completely; she was sleeping well; and her health was visibly improved.

What had changed?

Our conversation had unlocked something in her heart, she said. She’d gone home determined to rid herself of feelings she’d held on to for too long. She began by cleaning out a closet stuffed with photographs and other mementoes of her married life. Before long, she’d cleaned out all the other drawers and closets of her house and eventually moved out of that house and neighborhood altogether. She got a different job, bought new clothes, and in time, found a new and more rewarding relationship. That one key—the realization that her unhealthy emotions were taking a toll on her physical well-being—unlocked all of the doors standing between her and happiness.

Listen to understand your body’s needs.

Our bodies have a lot to teach us, but we have to learn our body’s language and pay attention to the signals it is sending us. We may be placing ourselves under far too much stress. We may be working much too hard. We may be eating too much of the wrong foods and not enough of the right ones. We may be isolating ourselves from people we care about, the healing power of touch, and the sights, sounds, and beauty of nature. Our bodies invariably respond to these things—but only we can take the appropriate corrective action. The most immediate corrective step is often mental: we must choose to live our lives differently. Then we must support our choice with a healthy thought diet. I’ve included many of these healthy, helpful thoughts in One Key Can Open Many Doors. Others are included in my Insights cards and in my book, Creating a Healthy Life. Still more can be delivered to you daily by downloading my Inspirations app.

The 24-hour demands of modern living are not going to manage themselves; it’s up to each of us to manage them. Doing so is the key to #ModernWellness. And that key can open many doors!


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