When I was in college, I took a course on child education. We did an experiment with two children to test how patient they can be and what their motivation is when it comes to rewards. Our subjects were twin girls at the age of 5. They didn’t know why they were coming in or what was going to happen. Our experiment began with separating the twins into 2 different rooms. One room had our subject Stacey, and the other had her sister Valerie. They couldn’t see, or hear each other between the room which validated that they won’t copy each other and there are no other influences. This experiment we were testing is called the marshmallow test. By tempting the child with a marshmallow on a plate you explain that if they are willing to wait 10 minutes without eating the marshmallow, you will be rewarded a second marshmallow at the end of the 10 minutes. But if the subject eats the marshmallow before the 10 minutes are up, there will not be a second marshmallow.
The experiment began when the instructors explained the rules to the girls in their separate rooms and the instructors placed the giant, delicious marshmallow in front of them and then left the room. We were able to monitor them through a tinted window but they weren’t able to see us. We watched the instructors leave the room and as they did, the girls’ eyes were locked on the marshmallows. Stacey would try and distract herself, avoiding the temptation by poking the marshmallow, looking at other things, playing with her fingers. 5 minutes have gone by and she is still avoiding the temptation. She would lie on her hands just staring at the marshmallow, until the 10 minute mark hit and the instructor came and congratulated her with praise for being patient and gave her a second marshmallow. Now as for Valerie, the minute the instructor walked out, Valerie was poking and prodding the marshmallow, all her focus was on that marshmallow. She would sit and pick it up lick at it but not eat it, then place it back on the plate. As far as 7 minutes into the experiment the temptation was too much and she was ready to chow down on the delicious treat, which we could see she thoroughly enjoyed. At 10 minutes the instructor came in and asking, “What happened to your marshmallow?” as Valerie shrugged with innocence. And she clearly didn’t get a second marshmallow.
With two opposite results, we found that some kids have the patience to wait to reap the benefits of a greater reward while others want what they want then and now getting the satisfaction when they please. This shows in their personality where Stacey is more introverted, patient, and shy and Valerie more boisterous, extraverted, and is confident in what she wants. Now you may be asking what does this story has to do with herbs?
More and more over the years, patients ask me about our herbal treatments, how it works, what the process is and the most prominent question is, “how long is this going to take?” For years this question asked over and over again and the answer is always, “I don’t know.” So many factors go into the healing process it is impossible to know the exact amount of time it will take for you to get better, and anyone who is in the health care profession that claims to know how long a treatment will take or how long it will take for you to heal then they are obviously lying and fabricating the idea that your problems will go away fast which it doesn’t.
When it comes to health and specifically herbal treatments, time is your enemy or your friend whichever way you want to look at it, but time is a major factor. Everyone expects magic herbs that will all of a sudden heal their ailment in a moment’s notice. But the reality of it is this, whatever time it took you to acquire this ailment or illness is about the same amount of time it will take to cure it or even longer!
Unless you like the concept of western medicine where they will cure your symptoms by giving you magic antibiotic pills that will make things worse in the long run but take care of your current symptoms right away then go for it! There is your “magic” cure. But when it comes to herbal medicine, the herbs work to build your immune system to work with your body, not against it, and after years of mistreating, years of poor eating, and years of bad habits, it will take a long while to build that immunity back.
The herbs start by detoxifying the body. If we have to put a time frame on it, usually 3 months is about when the detoxification process is at its peak, that is if you are eating right, exercising, drinking water, sleeping well, not in stress, and taking the herbs to detox on a regular basis. In 3 months any one of the factors I mentioned can be interfered with so that time gets extended to 5-6 months. Right there you are at 6 months into the healing process.
The second part of the process is building your immune system back up. If you are still continuously making the better, healthy choices then your immunity builds up to heal whatever your health problems are. But if you are still in the detoxification process than it will still take longer for you to build the immunity.
As time drags on you are wondering, will I ever get better? The answer is up to you! It is your choices, your habits, and your willingness to achieve optimal health. You are the one that wants to get better, so work toward it! For examples sake you won’t simply get a marshmallow just because you asked for it! It requires patience.
Patience is a rather difficult virtue to obtain this day and age. Everything is so fast paced, fast food, fast cars, fast commercials, fast schedules who has time to be patient? You’ve got better things to do rather than work with your ailment or illness. But it is that very mindset that gets you in trouble in the first place. Have you ever had a project where you worked through it real fast but the outcome of the project was only half –assed and not as great as it could have been if you were to take time and do it right? The same applies to health. The more you tend to your health and the more time and effort you put into it, the more likely you will get better fully.
It’s easy to fantasize that there is a magic cure that can make things better right away, but with patience, you will find that when you work toward improving yourself, let the herbs take its course, and let time heal your wounds then and only then will you achieve optimal health. The old saying goes, good things will come to those who wait. Just wait…and you will get the marshmallow, maybe even two!