Learned Helplessness In Our Current Medical System

Learned helplessness: when an organism has learned to accept and endure pain or discomfort even when it is capable of avoiding the pain. In other words, the organism has learned (wrongly) that it doesn’t have control over the situation because whatever it does or does not do will have no effect on the outcome.


Learned helplessness is now a fact of life in our current medical system.  It starts at a young age when healthy children are told to see a doctor for wellness visits, just in case something’s wrong. In my office, I recommend the same thing for a different reason. I want the child to have a healthy spine, as the spine is where the nervous system lives. The brain is on one end and the body is on the other. The nervous system controls the immune system and all its functions. A healthy spine will create a healthy nervous system.  A healthy nervous system will create and support a healthy immune system. If the spine is not healthy, the other systems will suffer.

I want the child’s immune system to fight its own battles by experiencing sickness with a healthy spine so it can learn to fight in this world without medication. Getting sick will build a strong child with a strong immune system that is ready to take on the world. Most often, this is harder on the parents than it is on the child. There is nothing worse that watching your children suffer through colds and flus. It is the same with watching them learn to walk and fall, learn to ride a bike and crash. It is hard to let go and let them experience life’s bumps and bruises, but it is what makes them strong. We wouldn’t let a soldier go to battle without having gone through boot camp; and that’s what illnesses are to a child, boot camp.

It is well-accepted that having mumps as a child provides women with protection against developing ovarian cancer. It’s not foolproof, but it’s better than medical options. Fevers are not fun but they can help stop cancer. There is a strong association between the overall number of fevers, both 'classical' (measles, mumps, rubella, pertussis, scarlet-fever and chickenpox) and a significant decreased risk of cancer. 1

My medical brethren feel that we need medication to keep us from getting sick. They feel the body needs their help in fighting diseases and sickness. What they do with this “thinking” is teach the child or the patient to be helpless, that they need them, that they need the medication to be healthy because they don’t have any control over the situation.

The most disheartening part for me, both at the office and around town, is to see so many people who feel they have no choice but to suffer. There is nothing they can do to help themselves, so why try? The truth is, their conditions are due to their lifestyle. Their lifestyle is due to their habits. Their habits (my habits too) are due to the stories we tell ourselves, the labels we apply to ourselves such as helpless, unable, unworthy, unable to change.

If you change the story behind the habit and change the way you live and the way you work, you will change the way you feel and act or react. You will heal yourself. This is what Laurie wrote about in the previous blog.  She learned to help herself after discovering what the problem was. She taught herself what to eat and she let go of her old stories, her old habits.

"Behind every failure is a set of great reasons."

What area of your life do you need to let go of, your old stories or your current reasons? There are 4 core areas where old stories, old habits and old reasons can keep us in a pit of helplessness. Those 4 areas are:

  • Body
  • Being
  • Balance
  • Business

Where are you now? Who are you now? Who do you want to be? Declare it, share it and then make it happen. Beautiful words need to be followed by beautiful actions.

Body: I want to lose 25 pounds total (first benchmark) over the next 90 days. I want to be able to run 1 mile without stopping in the next 90 days
Example: I will lose 7 pounds a month by starting the Ketogenic diet. I will start by walking and progress into running.

Being: Your relationship with God, with yourself, with your voice.
Example: I will read scripture every morning and I will spend 10 minutes meditating on his words.

Balance: Family, kids, mother, father, brother, sister.
Example: I will take my spouse out on a date night 1 x a week. I will take my kids on a day date 1 x a week.. I will take my family on a family date 1 x a week.

Business: What you do to put food on the table.
Example:  I will make 5 extra calls a day. I will schedule more time and local events. I will get out of my office and meet 3 new people a day.

We can help you achieve these goals!