Volume 2, Issue 4
January 22, 2009

Time to change — or die

You've heard a lot about change lately. We just started a New Year. We have a new president. And with both of these, we have a new attitude. Most people say they like change. But most doctors will tell you that people hate to change.

Let's say you have 10 people, and each person hears the same thing from his doctor: "You are going to die from this condition unless you change the way you live." How many people would you think actually made the changes the doctor talked about? 80%? 60%? 20%? If you're like me, you will be surprised at the answer.

This is not just a hypothetical question. This is a situation that doctors live with every day. And researchers have studied it. Several studies have looked at how often people change their self destructive behaviors when faced with a life-or-death scenario. And each study has repeatedly shown that the average number of people who change is about 10%. I find this amazing, but it just goes to show us how stubborn we can be. Keep in mind that the changes they are talking about were not necessarily all that difficult. Often it amounted to no more than taking one pill a day.

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I tell almost every single one of my patients they have to change something. Many don't have any disease. But if they don't change, they will have a disease. So if only 10% will change when faced with death, how many of my patients do you think change just to have a better future?

Well, that's not really a fair question. Because my success rate in getting people to change is much better than 10%, I would say that I'm running in the 80-90% category. I find that very few of my patients don't make at least some of the changes that I discuss with them.

But why? Is it that I am such a good motivator? Is it because the information I have is better? Is it because I'm a better communicator than the doctors in these studies? It's possible. I do absolutely believe in what I'm doing. I live it myself. And I love helping others feel great and improve their health. But there is more to change than that.

I know that one of the major reasons my patients are so willing to change has to do with word of mouth. That is how I have always gotten the majority of my patients. So by the time they are walking into the office, they are already convinced that they can change because they know other patients who have been successful.

Another reason has to do with the nature of the people that come to see me. They are more responsible and self accountable than the average person. They aren't looking for the quick and easy take-a-pill-a-day method. They want the real thing.

Another reason is that I make sure to help my patients make the changes they need. I help with information and encouragement. We have a trainer to help with exercise and fitness. We have a menu planner to help people adjust to and be happy with a newer and healthier way of eating.

And finally, I help with setting goals. The best goal I use is Bio-Energy Testing. Bio-Energy Testing is a simple way to measure how well your body is converting oxygen into energy. The better you do this, the longer you will live and the healthier you will be. Nothing is more motivational to someone than showing him or her how the changes they have made have improved their Bio-Energy Testing scores. You can learn more about it by reading the articles on my website. And you can find a list of doctors currently using it at www.bioenergytesting.com.

So if your New Year's resolution includes changing some of your less-than-desirable habits, think of these things. Make sure that you get all the information you need to feel fully motivated. See if you can't find someone you know who has made a similar change. Also, be sure to enlist doctors, trainers, dieticians, councelors, whatever you need to offer you encouragement and accountability.

And lastly, give yourself a series of goals. Although the best goal is Bio-Energy Testing, anything can work: your blood pressure, your waste measurement, how far up the street you can walk — anything. I believe if you approach the change in this systematic way, the odds are better than 10% that you will find success.

Finding your Real Cures,

Frank Shallenberger, MD

REF: Deutschman, Alan. "Change Or Die." (New York: HarperCollins Books, 2007).

Copyright 2009 Soundview Publishing, LLC

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