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AN EIGHT WEEK PROGRAM FOR OPTIMAL HEALING POWER
 
  All the passages below are taken from the book “Spontaneous Healing---How to Discover and Embrace Your Body’s Natural Ability to Maintain and Heal Itself” by Andrew Weil, M.D. It was published in 1995.


     I HAVE TAKEN the information in the previous chapters and arranged it in the form of week-by-week suggestions to help you change your lifestyle in a way that favors spontaneous healing. Each week’s suggestions build on what you have done in the previous week; after two months, you will have created the foundation of a healing lifestyle. Read over the program, then try to set a date when you can begin. When you finish, you can decide how many of the changes you want to incorporate into your lifestyle on a regular basis. If the program seems to move along too fast for you, do not hesitate to slow it down and go at your own pace.

 

WEEK ONE

 

Projects

• Go through your pantry and refrigerator and remove all oils other than olive oil. Get rid of any margarine, solid vegetable shortenings, and products made with them. Read labels of all food products so that you can dispose of any containing partially hydrogenated oils. If you do not have any extra-virgin olive oil on hand, buy a bottle and start using it. You might also want to buy a small bottle of organic, expeller-pressed canola oil.

 

Diet

• Start eating some fresh broccoli this week. If you do not have a favorite way of preparing it, try one of the recipes on this page–this page.

• Eat salmon, sardines, or kippers at least once this week. If you do not like fish, buy some flax seeds at a health food store, grind them, and sprinkle them over your food.

 

Supplements

• Start taking vitamin C if you do not do so already: 1,000 to 2,000 milligrams with breakfast, another dose with dinner, and a third at bedtime, if convenient.

 

Exercise
• Try to walk ten minutes a day for five days of this week. If you are already on a program of aerobic exercise other than walking, do the walk in addition.

 

Mental/Spiritual

• Think about your own experiences of healing. Make a list of illnesses or injuries or problems you have recovered from in the past two years. Note down anything you did to speed the healing process.

• Practice breath observation (see this page) for five minutes every day.

• Buy some flowers to keep in your home where you can enjoy them.

 

 

WEEK TWO

 

Projects

• Find out where your drinking water comes from if you do not know and what impurities it might contain. Stop drinking chlorinated water. Get information on a water purifying system for your home, if you do not have one. In the meantime, buy bottled water.

 

Diet

• Eat fish at least once this week.

• Go to a health food store and look through the frozen and refrigerated sections to familiarize yourself with the many different products made from soybeans. Select one to try.

• Buy some Japanese green tea and try it. If you drink coffee or black tea, try to substitute green tea for some or all of your usual beverage.

 

Supplements

• Start taking one capsule of mixed carotenes with breakfast.

 

Exercise

• Increase your daily walk to fifteen minutes and try to do it five days of the week.

 

Mental/Spiritual

• Pay attention to your mental imagery and make a few notes on kinds of images that have strong emotional impact for you. Think about how you might adapt them to use in healing visualizations.

• Visit a park or some other favorite place in nature. Spend as much time as you can there, doing nothing in particular, just feeling the energy of the place.

• Try a one-day “news fast.” Do not read, watch, or listen to any news for a day and see how you feel.

• Begin doing all of the breathing exercises described on this page–this page.

 

 

WEEK THREE

 

Projects

• Find out where you can buy organic produce. Inquire in grocery stores, health food stores, or use the resource guide at the end of this book. Make a commitment to buy organically produced fruits and vegetables, especially the ones mentioned on this page.

• If you use an electric blanket, stop. Pack it up and give it away. Remove electric clock radios from the vicinity of your bed. Buy a radiation shield for the video display of your computer. Buy a pair of UV-protective sunglasses if you do not have any.

 

Diet

• Make a conscious effort to eat an extra serving of fruits and vegetables with at least one meal this week.

• Start eating fish at least twice this week.

• Replace at least one serving of meat with a soy food of your choice.

 

Supplements

• With lunch or your largest meal take 400 to 800 IU of vitamin E and 200 to 300 micrograms of selenium.

 

Exercise

• Increase the daily walk to twenty minutes, five days of the week. If you do other aerobic exercise, consider cutting it down to two to three days and substituting an aerobic walk on the other days.

 

Mental/Spiritual

• Make a list of inspirational books you would like to read in the areas of spirituality, religion, self-help, poetry, biography, or any other category, and select one that you will begin this week.

• Make a list of friends and acquaintances in whose company you feel more alive, happier, more optimistic. Pick one whom you will spend some time with this week.

• Buy more flowers.

 

 

WEEK FOUR

 

Projects

• Check on your bed, mattress, and sleeping location. Is an uncomfortable bed or noisy bedroom interfering with restful sleep? If so, consider making changes, as suggested on this page–this page.

• Find out about getting an air filter for your home or bedroom if you live in a polluted area.

 

Diet

• Begin eating some more garlic this week in any form that appeals to you.

• Try to replace another meal of animal protein with soy protein.

 

Exercise

• Increase your aerobic walk to twenty-five minutes, five days of the week.

 

Mental/Spiritual

• Try to do two days of news fasting this week.

• Continue to practice the breathing exercises. Make sure that you do the relaxing breath twice a day.

• Contact someone you know to have experienced healing or recovery from illness or injury. Ask for details of the experience.

 

 

WEEK FIVE

 

Projects

• Locate a steam bath or sauna that you can use. Use it for up to twenty minutes one day. It should be hot enough to make you sweat freely; be sure to drink plenty of pure water to replace lost fluid.

 

Diet

• Try a one-day fruit fast, eating as much fresh fruit as you like but nothing else except water and herbal tea. Take vitamin C but skip the other supplements on this day.

• Buy a piece of fresh ginger root and make yourself some ginger tea, as described on this page. Also try some crystallized ginger to see if you like it.

 

Exercise

• Increase your aerobic walk to thirty minutes, five days of the week.
 

Mental/Spiritual

• See if you can extend your news fast to three days this week.

• Practice the breathing exercises every day.

• Listen to a piece of music that you find inspirational and uplifting.

• Bring more flowers into your home this week.

 

 

WEEK SIX

 

Projects

• Look over the information on tonics on this page–this page. Decide which one is most appropriate for you and find out where to get it.

• See if you can uncover any other stories of healing in your circle of friends, acquaintances, and business associates.

• Take a steam bath or sauna twice this week.

 

Diet

• Try a one-day juice fast today: any amount of fruit and vegetable juices you care to drink, plus water and herbal tea. Take vitamin C but skip the other supplements on this day.

• Continue to eat fish twice this week and soy foods twice this week.

• Continue to eat broccoli at least twice.

 

Exercise

• Increase your aerobic walk to thirty-five minutes, five days this week.

 

Mental/Spiritual

• Extend your news fast to four days.

• Visit an art museum or try to view some work of art, sculpture, or architecture that you find beautiful and inspiring.

• Continue the breathing exercises every day.

 

 

WEEK SEVEN

 

Projects

• Think about some kind of service work that you could do this week, such as volunteering for a few hours at a hospital or charitable organization or helping someone you know who is disabled or shut in­ any activity in which you give some of your time and energy to help others.

• Continue the steam baths or saunas, three times a week if possible.

 

Diet

• For your fast day this week, drink only fruit juice, water, and herbal tea. Take vitamin C but skip the other supplements on this day.

• On the other days, continue eating as above: at least two meals of fish and two of soy protein, generous servings of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, ginger, and garlic.

 

Exercise

• Increase the aerobic walk to forty minutes, five days of the week.

 

Mental/Spiritual

• Reach out to resume connection with someone from whom you are estranged.

• Make time for flowers, music, and art.

• Increase the relaxing breath to eight cycles, twice a day.

 

 

WEEK EIGHT

 

Projects

• Review the changes you have made in your lifestyle in the past eight weeks and think about how many of them you wish to make permanent. Develop a realistic plan that you can stick to over the next eight weeks.

 

Diet

• Try a one-day water fast this week. You can have herbal tea with lemon if you like, but nothing caloric. If this proves too difficult, drink some diluted fruit juice. Take vitamin C but skip the other supplements.

• Think about how you can continue the dietary changes of this program in coming weeks.

 

Supplements
• Start taking your tonic. Make a commitment to give it a two-month trial to see what it does for your energy level, resistance, and outlook.

 

Exercise

• Reach your goal of a forty-five-minute walk, five days of the week.

 

Mental/Spiritual

• Continue the breathing exercises. Start using the relaxing breath whenever you feel anxious or upset, and be sure to do it at least twice a day.

• Try to maintain your news fast for the whole week. At the end of the week, think about how much news you want to let back into your life in coming weeks.

• Think of people who have hurt you or made you angry. Try to bring yourself to understand their actions and forgive them. Can you express forgiveness to at least one of them?

• Reward yourself with especially beautiful flowers for completing this program, and buy some flowers for someone else.

 

Congratulations! I have asked you to do a lot in the past two months, some of it unfamiliar and challenging. Know that you have been very good to yourself and your healing system. As a result of the changes you have made, you have a greater chance of experiencing spontaneous healing if the need for it arises. Try to incorporate into your life as many of these steps as you can from now on. [262-270]
 

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