Healing is an art.
It takes time.
It takes practice.
It takes love.– Maza Dohta
Is there only one way to get better?
Do all the answers to our health challenges lie outside of ourselves?
When we are diagnosed with any health condition, many of us believe that there is only ONE way to get better. And that ONE way resides outside of ourselves. That is, the solution to our problems is out there somewhere.
As a result, we wait for others to tell us what to do, what steps to take, when to start medications, and what treatments to go in for. We believe that this is the only way that we can get better.
We believe we are not “experts” for our own health, our own healing. And this is where we remain stuck, feeling helpless and powerless.
Your body knows how to heal itself
Your body has an innate ability to heal itself. If it didn’t our species would have become extinct millions of years ago.
The very fact that you and I are here is proof that our bodies have evolved to adapt to changing environments not decades or centuries but over millions of years of evolution.
Yet, we seem to not really appreciate this amazing power that we already have within ourselves. Our body knows how to heal a cut, repair most broken bones, take care of many infections and cope with many different phases of depression and anxiety.
Epidemiologist Jeremy Howick shares a few amazing facts about the human body in his book “Doctor You- Revealing the hard science of self healing“
- Pound for pound, your bones are stronger than steel; n principle (if you could prevent it from buckling – for example, by taking a piece of it), a human thigh bone can support 19,000 pounds (8,500 kilograms), which is as much as five pickup trucks.
- Your stomach acid is strong enough to melt zinc
- On average, your body is just ten years old. Your skin completely regenerates every seven days. Your liver completely regenerates itself every year or so. It has been estimated that the average cell in your body is between seven and ten years old at most
- If all the blood cells in your body were lined up end-to-end, they would be 100,000 kilometres long. This is enough to wrap around the earth more than twice
- Your heart beats one hundred thousand times per day, and over three billion times in an average lifetime. During this time, most hearts never need a repair or check-up
When we learn how to support our body’s amazing healing abilities, our lives can change.
My own healing journey
Several years ago, in 2016, I went through a phase where my energy levels were really low, my metabolism had decreased and the skin on my entire arms and legs became really dry and itchy. You see, I had never faced these issues before, I have always had smooth skin. I was also reacting to certain foods that I had well tolerated before.
As a Health Coach, I could make out that my thyroid was not functioning properly and that my body was living in a state of chronic stress. The past few years had been really tough on us as a family due to my daughter’s illness. I had been her primary caregiver and the ongoing stress had kept me in survival mode for a long time. My body was now showing the symptoms of a minor breakdown.
I did not have a diagnosis, YET.
But I knew that I needed to change something. I knew that if I didn’t take preventive measures now, I might end up with a disease diagnosis down the line. However, I also knew that I didn’t need to wait for things to become worse before making these changes.
I incorporated afternoon naps, prioritised sleep over my social life and other commitments. I changed my diet, incorporated more plant foods completely stayed away from inflammatory foods. In short, I supported my body to the best of my ability.
After a month or so I started seeing some improvements and in about 6 months my health was back to normal.
Healing can start now, where you are
When you are unwell or dealing with a chronic illness, it’s not about whether you should go in for medical treatment, take medications OR support your body’s healing process.
Often, it’s both!
Sometimes you have to get a diagnosis to take strong medications or get surgery done.
The problem is if you believe that you have to wait to get all the ANSWERS and have perfect clarity to even begin supporting your body’s healing process.
I work with women with autoimmune conditions and in some cases, diagnosis takes years and even decades. In the meantime, they get sicker and sicker, their symptoms become worse and their life comes to a standstill. All the while they were asked to wait before they made any changes in their life.
And the disease marches on and large chunks of their lives are often lost.
Supporting your body’s healing process is your responsibility
From here on, I want you to think about your own health differently.
I want you to take responsibility for your own healing journey. Only then will you feel empowered, instead of powerless, and hopeful instead of desperate. I have written more about this in an earlier post and you can read it here.
And I want you to start here
- Learn how your body works to create optimal health. Over time you can learn how to start taking preventive measures long before a disease becomes entrenched. Or even if you have an existing illness, you can prevent it from getting worse.
- Start making changes today to lay the foundations of good health. You don’t need anyone’s permission to support your body starting today itself. My clients understand the importance of eating hygiene, mindful eating, sleeping hygiene and a proper bedtime routine in the first few sessions itself
- Understand how you can create an environment in which your body feels safe and protected so that it can focus on healing and repair. This means moving your body from a “fight or flight” mode to the “rest and repair mode”
All of these can be incorporated into your daily life without having to wait for any diagnosis, medication or treatment. Healing is an art after all, not an exact science.
As Lao Tzu had said
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”