Musings: Your Body Is Alive And Well
Sometimes the most revolutionary ideas are the most obvious — take healthcare, for instance. We’ve all watched that amazing process of a hand wound closing and healing itself where you can see the progress daily. And we’ve all weathered a fever and recovered from flus and viruses and even more serious conditions, both with and without medical help, so we’ve all felt our bodies heal themselves. Yet, for the most part, we still invest our money, our power, our wellbeing and our belief in a disease-based model of healthcare that insists its pills, procedures and prestige are a more potent prescription for what ails you than the innate medicine within you.
Has the American healthcare system been hijacked because of calculating, cold-hearted CEOs who know that treating disease is much more profitable than maintaining health? Or is it really because we just don’t believe or know how we can keep ourselves healthy anymore? Our fear of becoming a victim of disease or cut off from the healthcare system freezes our will to take charge of our health and short-circuits our confidence in our own natural healing abilities.
Living in a body means you’re going to be sick some times, be healthy other times, and eventually die when your expiration date arrives. Bodies are organic; they are growing and changing all the time, in and out of health and balance. Every cell of your body is alive with intelligence, seeking out health and striving for homeostasis despite the steady onslaught of unhealthy food, toxins, habits and thoughts that are the reality of modern life. Through our breath (one of the body’s most effective ways to release toxins) and our network of invisible energy meridians circulating life force, our bodies are naturally healing themselves continuously.
Symptoms are your body’s way of telling you “work is in progress” as it adapts to whatever imbalanced conditions it encounters. Hair loss, rashes, tooth decay, bad breath, sore feet, hot flashes, constipation, and even cancer are not attacks from within, but all valuable ways the body strives to self-regulate and communicate what it needs to maintain balance. While these symptoms may be uncomfortable, torturous or even deadly, your body’s intelligence about the needs of its 78 organs, 206 bones, 640 muscles and trillions of cells far surpasses your own or any doctor’s knowledge. You can tap into this wisdom through practices like meditation, listening to your intuition, prayer, exercise or yoga that will help you discern what is healthy for your body and what is not.
And what will you discover? That every body is unique and so is your cure, based on your genetics, timing, personal behaviors and especially what your brain perceives to be true. The surprising results of studies over many decades testing placebo drugs, surgeries and even acupuncture treatments suggest that what we believe about our health may be just as important to our wellbeing as what we actually do. A November 29, 1995, article from the New York Times, “Pessimism Is Hazardous To Health, A Study Says” describes the “nocebo” effect, where a patient gets sick because he or she believes he will. In one study of asthmatics, there was a 47.5% increase in allergy symptoms when the patient was told he was inhaling allergens rather than pure saline. The study concludes, “because the symptoms were triggered by patient beliefs did not make them less real or less costly to the patients, and the possibility that expectations could be a major factor in illness should be taken seriously.”
Taken seriously? For all we know, our brains are capable of orchestrating perfect health but we just don’t realize it. The truth is, we really don’t know how our bodies heal. Perhaps this is why some people are healed of cancer through chemotherapy and radiation while others are cured through diet and holistic therapies. Is it possible that whatever you believe will heal you is the route that will work for you — provided your expiration date on the planet hasn’t yet arrived?!
The newest healing science of epigenetics has us decoding our DNA to know which pharmaceutical prescriptions will flip our genetic switches this way or that to stay healthy and avoid disease. But if our bodies are designed to be self-healing, as we know they are, then there must be a way to flip those switches without the science and the pills. If you have the gene for turning on a disease, you also have the gene for turning it off. Somewhere the body makes a choice. Researchers are now exploring the idea that some genetic predisposition is learned behavior that flips the genetic switch. Do particular conditions run in families because they learn this behavior and pass it down in a multitude of invisible ways?
This issue of Spirit of Change features one voice after another affirming your role as the primary caretaker of your health. You can do this; your body was uniquely designed to heal and keep itself healthy far longer than anticipated. Every person you meet and piece of information you read carries the potential to flip your switches into healing mode and create new neural pathways that can take you anywhere.
Carol Bedrosian is the publisher of Spirit of Change magazine. www.spiritofchange.org. Meet her at the Natural Living Expo, November 12-13 in Marlboro, MA
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