The mindbodygreen Podcast

Lissa Rankin, M.D., and Kelly Turner, Ph.D., have both spent years studying how people use spirituality to overcome illness against all odds. And what they've found is fascinating.

Turner, a researcher who has spent time with over 1,500 hospice patients, has identified nine keys to healing—and only two of them are physical. The others, things like releasing suppressed emotions and identifying your reasons for living, may be difficult to write a prescription for, but they provide a potent medicine. Rankin is intimately familiar with these more emotional approaches to healing too, and she has spent the last seven years traveling to lands near and far to study other cultures' sacred healing practices.

When Turner and Rankin took to the revitalize stage this year, the topic of trauma inevitably came up. When trauma, no matter how severe, is left unattended to, it can spiral into the types of illnesses that these two New York Times bestselling authors are so intimately familiar with.

"The more of those 'Big T' and 'Little T' traumas that build up in the system, the greater the risk of disease, especially as we get older," Rankin explained. Luckily, she added, recent science suggests that trauma is completely treatable.

Turner agreed, saying, "We have the science now to apply to emotional interventions, and that's the marriage that I'm excited to finally be seeing. It's like, let's not just see what happens when you take this supplement or eat this new diet. What happens when you go through an eight-week forgiveness course? What happens to your body?"

Here are four techniques that Turner and Rankin said show promise in getting to the root of trauma and helping us work through it so it doesn't continue to grow and intensify over time.

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