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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Author Interview - Dr. Rita Hancock

Our interview this morning is with Dr. Rita Hancock, MD (and who could tag a bunch of other initials after her name), who wrote Radical Well-Being and The Eden Diet. I've enjoyed getting to know Dr. Hancock over the past couple of months, and I hope you'll enjoy this post and use it to become a bit acquainted with her, too.

Anne: As always, my first question: What inspired this book?

Dr. Hancock: After only a short time in my pain management medical practice, I noticed that some patients had physical pain in spite of negative x-rays, MRIs, and blood tests. Sometimes, those people had alignment issues or muscle spasms that caused pain. Obviously, if I found potential physical causes, I treated them. But, sometimes, even after I treated those things, my patients still hurt! Eventually, as I matured in my faith and as I matured as a physician, I got gutsier and started asking patients about past emotional traumas (and even spiritual issues) that could have been contributing. It turned out that getting my patients to talk about their issues (abandonment, neglect, abuse, fears, worries, etc.) made a huge difference in their stress levels, pain levels, and in their physical health, in general. I figured if my patients benefitted and found pain relief and relief of stress-induced illness that way, maybe others needed to hear about this, too.

Anne: It would surprise me to have a doctor ask about personal problems, but I think I would like it. I would feel a little less like a statistic and and little more human. Sometimes people tend to forget doctors are people, too, with just as many physical and mental problems to overcome as the general populace. Would you share with us about the most difficult thing in your life that God helped you overcome?

Dr. Hancock: By far, my biggest issues in life have related to body weight and body image. Basically, I grew up worshipping food more than I worshipped God. I ate gigantic portions and I ate just because the food was “there” or because it tasted good. It’s no surprise that I ballooned up to 207 pounds by the time I was 17 years old! Thankfully, before I left for college, I lost 75 pounds. But, then, I went on to develop a compulsive eating disorder while in my pre-med studies at Cornell. Up to that point in life, I never knew “normal” eating (i.e. eating in response to actual physical hunger pangs). I had always eaten in response to emotions or to the sight, smell, or thought of food. Thankfully, by the time I finished college, I discovered how to eat according to physical hunger. Fast-forward another fifteen years and things got even better when I realized that God Himself programmed us with those hunger pangs for a reason--so we’d actually FEEL them every now and then! I discuss more about my personal weight loss testimony and how God helped my overcome my weight problem in my book, The Eden Diet.

Anne: (Readers, I'll include websites for her two books at the end of this blog.) What is the most important thing you hope your readers will get from your books and why?

Dr. Hancock: I want readers to become healthy in mind, body, and spirit! My first book, The Eden Diet, was about losing weight by using hunger pangs as a compass for when and how much to eat. My second book, Radical Well-being, takes your healing to the next level and practically hands emotional and spiritual healing to you on a silver platter. Not only does emotional peace facilitate weight loss by reducing your urges to stress-eat, it also reduces the severity of your physical pain problems and stress-induced illnesses like fibromyalgia, migraines, spinal pain, IBS, TMJ pain, pelvic pain, depression, anxiety, and others.

Anne: Given that doctors also experience problems, tell us: Did you write about yourself in any of those patient stories?

Dr. Hancock: Busted! Yes, I did. I wove little pieces of my own story into a few of the patient scenarios I talk about in my second book. You see…I don’t write only from a professional point of view, I also have personally benefitted from the way of thinking I present in Radical Well-being. I know from first-hand experience how good it feels to break free from the lies that we internalize during childhood.

Anne: Just as I thought! So, are you going to continue filling your spare time with writing? Do you have another book on the horizon?

Dr. Hancock: I’m part-way finished writing a book on non-medicinal remedies for musculoskeletal pain. Interventions like manual medicine (manipulation), rolfing (deep tissue massage), massage, acupuncture, and, most importantly, addressing emotional and spiritual factors can be WAY more helpful than taking addictive narcotics in many cases.

Anne: Thanks so much for your valuable time, Dr. Hancock. I hope you'll grant me the privilege of reviewing your next book, too. I surely did enjoy Radical Well-Being.

Review of Radical Well Being on this blog:

Dr. Hancock's website for The Eden Diet:

Dr. Hancock's website for Radical Well-Being:
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