The Ecologist meets… Dr Fabrizio Mancini
18th January, 2012
The concept of ‘self-healing’ might sound like mumbo jumbo but it’s actually a sensible way of giving our lifestyles a healthy overhaul says Dr Fabrizio Mancini - starting with organic food, plenty of sleep and lots of exercise
Sometimes an idea comes along that seems so simple and so obvious, you’re left wondering why no-one had thought of doing it before. Eating food that hasn’t been doused in pesticides for instance. Or the realisation that a Breton jumper isn’t just for rural French people. But wait, you say. Haven’t those things already been done a long time ago? Well yes. The clever bit is working out that not only are they still relevant; they’re also a lot better than the alternative. All of which brings me to Dr. Fabrizio Mancini.
A practising chiropractor, youthful winner of a lifetime achievement award from the Chiropractic Leadership Alliance and president of Texas’ Parker University, he’s made a career out of promoting holistic healing and natural wellness, publishing several books along the way. The latest of these is called The Power of Self-Healing and in it, Dr. Mancini sets out to show that a healthier, additive-free lifestyle is the key to overall wellbeing. Like organic food and classic clothes, he’s not exactly reinventing the wheel but what he is doing is making it relevant, practical and, in our straitened times, affordable.
‘My intention for writing this book is the fact that I see, as I travel lecturing around the world, [that] most countries are re-evaluating their healthcare systems because of economic challenges,’ he explains. ‘That means we’re spending money on things that may not be addressing the health challenges of today. For instance here in the United States, almost one third of our budget is dedicated to healthcare expenses. It’s one of the biggest expenses that keeps going up every year and then the challenge that we see when we look at these statistics is that over 80 per cent of the expense is coming from individuals and the choices that they’re making for their lifestyle.’ This is what’s really at the heart of Mancini’s work. Simply put, if we all lived a bit more healthily – ate organic, got a proper night’s sleep, quit the fags, kept fit and so on – we’d experience fewer minor ailments such as headaches and stomach upsets and wouldn’t have to rely on expensive pharmaceutical solutions as a result. It might sound obvious but for far too many of us, it’s not.
‘Most people when they think that they need to live well only look at one component of it,’ says Dr. Mancini. ‘Like “I have to have a special diet to lose weight” or “I want to be able to have more energy, what do I do?” “Or I’m not sleeping enough.” These are all evidence [of things] that are keeping people from self-healing. And what I wanted to do was just show what the things that really make a difference right now are. It’s interesting because I talk about some of the evidence that shows that giving hugs and how that helps healing, because science supports that when you give hugs to another person that lowers your heart rate, it reduces blood pressure, it accelerates the recovery from an illness, it makes you feel connected to something greater so it makes you feel like people care where maybe you feel like nobody out there really understands or cares what you’re going through.’
Hugs notwithstanding, one of the most striking statistics in the book (and there are plenty) is that 50 per cent of iillnesses can heal themselves. In other words, there’s no real reason to pop aspirin at the first sign of pain, nor take them every day as a preventative. While the big pharmaceutical companies might beg to differ, Dr. Mancini is horrified by our collective reliance on drugs and thinks that it’s both disempowering and closes our eyes to better alternatives. ‘We live in a world where we’ve been managing symptoms for too long,’ says Dr. Mancini. ‘But they’re not really solving the healthcare problems of today and they’re definitely costing us way too much in order to manage our budgets as a country. So I’m looking for individuals to just think a little bit different, to open themselves up to the possibility that maybe they haven’t explored before because there’s plenty of evidence and plenty of case studies and testimonials from people that show that certain things are really working across the world and some of these disciplines and some of these behaviours and mindsets do have tremendous impact on the way that we self-heal.’
Intriguingly, as Dr. Mancini points out, resistance to holistic methods of healing is largely a feature of Western society, with Latin America, the Far East and India all embracing natural wellness. While India, the country that gave the world Ayurveda, isn’t much of a surprise, Latin America is. ‘When I go to Latin America, Mexico and Colombia and Argentina and even Brazil – these are countries that tend to look for things that are more natural driven [rather than] think that “I have to have a pharmaceutical to help me with this symptom”,’ says Dr. Mancini. ‘Then I go to other countries that use homeopathy because they want to try that before they something else in their bodies. And then I go to Asia and I see a lot of acupuncture being done and nutritional supplements or nutritional foods that are helping people maintain their health without the traditional conventional medicine that we all have grown up with.’ So why is overreliance on pharmaceuticals such a problem in the West? For Dr. Mancini, it’s society that’s to blame along with lack of choice. But if he gets his way though, that could be about to change.
‘I believe that [we are seeing] a paradigm shift,’ he explains. ‘I believe that society is recognising that what we have been doing for so long may not be the only answer out there. I know that traditional medicine has tremendous accomplishments. It has helped a tremendous amount of people, especially dealing with very urgent issues, but I’m looking at the statistics every year growing when it comes to diabetes, hypertension, cancers that are considered chronic illnesses that have been there for a long time. They are also the ones that we need to pay attention to because that’s really hurting us mentally and physically and as a society.’ And whether you call it self-healing, healthy living or Ayurveda, Dr. Mancini might just have the answer.
The Power of Self-Healing: Unlock Your Natural Healing Potential in 21 Days by Dr. Fabrizio Mancini (£12.99, Hay House) is available from Amazon
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