When Lissa Rankin, MD researched what optimizes the health of the body and what predisposes the body to illness, she was surprised by what she found. When asked “What’s the greatest risk factor for disease?” she found that perhaps it’s not our diet, our exercise regimen, the absence of bad habits like smoking, or genetics that most profoundly affect the health of the body. To her surprise, she found that scientific evidence suggests that loneliness may be the greatest public health issue few people are talking about. We are tribal beings, and when we feel lonely, our nervous systems sense a threat, activating stress responses that predispose the body to illness. When we come together in conscious community, our nervous systems relax and the body’s self-healing mechanisms activate, which may be the most important medicine we need. What is the cure for this underrepresented public health issue? Dr. Rankin’s prescription may surprise you.
Lissa Rankin, MD, New York Times bestselling author of Mind Over Medicine, The Fear Cure, and The Anatomy of a Calling, is a physician, speaker, founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute, and mystic. Passionate about what makes people optimally healthy and what predisposes them to illness, she hopes to merge science and spirituality in a way that not only facilitates the health of the individual, but also uplifts the collective. Bridging between seemingly disparate worlds, Lissa broadcasts not only her unique visionary ideas, but also those of cutting edge visionaries she discerns and trusts, especially in the field of her latest research into “Sacred Medicine.” Lissa has starred in two National Public Television specials and also leads workshops, both online and at retreat centers. She lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her daughter. She blogs at LissaRankin.com and posts regularly on Facebook.
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at