According to Rankin, it’s crucial to have a community of care during your healing journey. “You can heal yourself, and you can’t do it alone. That’s a paradox of healing,” she says. “We need each other so that the body can self-repair. We need other people to co-regulate our dysregulated nervous systems, because being sick is scary, and the fear can make us [feel worse].”
She recommends creating what she calls a “circle of healing,” where you invite a community of people (perhaps your doctor, therapist, acupuncturist, yoga teacher, best friend, etc.) to help support you on your healing journey. If you’re unable to create your own circle of healing, Rankin has also started a nonprofit called Heal At Last, where you can engage in small in-person healing groups and feel empowered.
On that note, Rankin emphasizes including those in your circle who are open and supportive, not controlling. “Absolutely let people educate you about your options, but if anybody is trying to interfere with your healing journey and control you, that’s not the way,” she explains. “Only include people who are co-regulating your nervous system and trusting that you know what’s best for you.”