Musings: How To Turn Self-Care Into Self-Cure
“The times are urgent enough for us to slow down.” — Bayo Akomolafe
Fifteen years ago my dear friend Patricia Burke, an energy sensitive canary-in-the-coal-mine coping with living in a wifi world, sent me “Healing Wombs: The Arvigo® Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy,” an article to publish in Spirit of Change. (See Pat’s “Bio-electricity” article this issue on page 32.) Reading it I was amazed to learn that many women suffer reproductive, urinary, digestive, skeletal, hormonal and emotional disturbances due to a wandering womb, and that simple self-care massage techniques performed over clothing can reset a fallen, prolapsed or tipped uterus, bringing much more than just the uterus back into balance. The techniques also work for the prevention and treatment of benign prostate enlargement in men. Indigenous people have used these therapies for centuries to heal and stay healthy without surgery or drugs, yet our most advanced medical system in the world knows nothing about it.
One line in the article has stayed with me all these years: “And we saved Catherine’s uterus.” That’s powerful medicine for something as simple as self-massage, breathing and a little body re-education to save an organ from becoming an “ectomy,” and has served as my metaphor for the power of self-care ever since. So when my own time came to address these issues at menopause, I was already equipped with the knowledge that there are options to drugs and surgery, and I made a beeline to my nearest Arvigo® practitioner. There I learned how I could use my body to heal itself, and that pelvic intelligence resides within me, just like brain and gut intelligence. I definitely felt the bump in my healing IQ!
The longer I’ve practiced alternative medicine and self-care, the more I have come to trust that I am a self-healing organism and my body knows exactly how to make that happen. The trick, of course, is how to decipher the instructions. I find that my body will tell me the steps I can take to relieve a symptom by inspiring me with thoughts about the remedy, or drawing my attention if it pops up in an article or news item, or I hear it again in conversation for the twentieth time. Then it’s my job to listen, follow through, take the time, make the effort and do it. The more self-care you do, the bigger your healing intelligence bank grows. As every saver knows, making regular deposits will give you something to draw upon when you need it most. Practicing self-care daily even when you are not sick lets your healing benefits and intelligence accrue.
It seems to me that the human body must be equipped with a self-contained medicine bag — tools that are universal and timeless. These six are the most important in my bag for turning self-care into self-cure.
BREATH How ironic that something invisible, immeasurable, and nothing more than a puff of air, is actually your strongest healing medicine. Breath makes healing possible. Learning to consciously breathe makes it happen faster. Breath can clear debris, nourish and repair, do surgery, move muscles and tendons and even bones in ways that perhaps only qigong masters can truly understand and explain. Consciously breathing when you meditate, move or exercise builds qi in your body; let your healing intelligence do the rest. If you consciously breathe when you cook, your food is infused with healing qi.
MOVEMENT Ancient yogis developed Yoga as a way to meditate and reach higher states of consciousness. Moving your body activates energy meridians that can heal you. Do your yoga poses, your physical therapy exercises, your Arvigo self-care or your gym workout when you want to heal. Then also do your housework, gardening, home repair and any other activities of daily living with the knowledge that just moving your body is healing.
WATER I came across Dr. Batmanghelidj’s book Your Body’s Many Cries For Water when it first came out in 1992 and was initially skeptical of his claims to have facilitated cures for nearly every condition imaginable just by drinking various amounts of water on schedule. Yet I’ve experienced remarkable symptom relief myself from hot flashes, insomnia, indigestion, constipation, headaches and more by drinking lots of water. I find that I need to chug 12-16 ounces several times a day to make a difference; sipping doesn’t do it.
SALT To quote Danish author Karen Blixen, “The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.” Regular mouth rinsing with salt water supports good oral health, while daily gargling with salt water will prevent many illnesses, colds and flus. It is unknown exactly how valuable a salt bath is in removing toxins, aches and pains from the body, but don’t let that stop you from enjoying one. For all we know, salt baths could pull potential illnesses right out through your feet and send them down the drain without you ever being the wiser.
TIME This is perhaps the most valuable remedy of all. Self-care and healing require time. There are no shortcuts here. No one can put in the time needed for healing your body but you, whether it’s cutting back activity and sleeping or taking the time to brew your tea or do your yoga stretches or start a morning routine or visit healing practitioners. Your body needs time to do its work. This time can only come from you.
INTENTION: You can heal your body. Your healing intelligence is just waiting for you to acknowledge its presence and put your willpower to work and take on that awesome power and responsibility to heal yourself. When you are tempted to skip self-care, remind yourself that doing it matters; the only way to benefit from self-care is to do it. Your good health is worth it, you are worth it. Keep going. When it feels like nothing is happening, still keep going.
Carol Bedrosian is the publisher of Spirit of Change Magazine. www.spiritofchange.org.