We are so conditioned to believe that the doctor holds all the power to heal our pain that we rarely think about who’s in charge of keeping our body healthy. So oblivious are we about how our body works that we forget, if we ever knew, that the body has the build in capacity to transform itself from being ill to being healthy. This is not to advocate for self-healing via the internet, but rather to advocate for our taking an active role in determining what needs to be done.
A Holistic Approach to Chronic Pain
Healing is not just a matter of physical health. Have you noticed that when we talk about our health, we almost always speak of physical ailments? Invariably someone says,” have you gone to the doctor?”Nowhere is this more apparent than when dealing with chronic pain. Our mind and our inner spirit are intimately connected with every cell of our body. Yet when did you ever hear someone say, “I have a back ache and I think it’s coming from all the anger I hold in about the way I’m treated at work?” Pills and potions may provide short-term relief of symptoms, but in the case of chronic pain, we must go much deeper to find healing.
Eastern medicine has always recognized the role the mind and spirit have in physical health. Western medicine, however, has led us to a point where this idea is not only ignored but ridiculed. The mind is an elusive reality. In spite of amazing advances in the study of the brain, science still falls short of revealing the power that our thoughts, our emotions and feelings have on our physical body. Fortunately, medical science is making strides in this direction but we have a long way to go in understanding how to use self-healing to transform the chronically ill body into a healthy, vibrant one.
Taking responsibility for our own health begins by understanding that all the pills in the world won’t replace a healthy diet or daily exercise . If your idea of exercise is moving from the chair to the couch with a soft drink and a bag of chips in hand, you’ll likely continue to beat a path to the doctor in order to get yet another ineffective pill. If however, you say “enough is enough” and make a commitment to life style changes you will go a long way to taking ownership for your health.
No one says it’s easy. We have been brought up as mindless recipients of “doctor knows best” thinking. Marcus Whelby is alive and well. There are, however, some basic things we can do to support our own healing program that neither cost a lot of money nor require years of medical school. Along with healthy eating and regular exercise, a mainstay of my daily routine is meditation. At the very least meditation will help you experience inner peace, increase your energy and quiet the mind chatter. Enduring long-term chronic pain is exhausting, both physically and emotionally. Feelings of frustration, fear, and anger all weigh heavy on your energy reserves. If you are to find relief from, or at least, find a way to live with chronic pain there is no better way than through healthy eating, exercise and meditation.
There are three important steps to take in supporting your own health.
- Sifting through the “fake news” surrounding the topic of what constitutes a healthy diet will be the topic of a subsequent post, but balance and investing time in really understanding your own body should determine what is good for you.
- Consider your exercise. A relaxing walk every day will do wonders for your physical and mental well-being. If you haven’t done so, try aquafit (https://susanneeden.comaquafit:exercise for life) or some other activity you enjoy. Just do something!
- In two previous posts, I provide information about meditation as an alternative to medication (https://susanneeden.com/meditation-and-heal/ https://susanneeden.com/guided-meditation/
- As you begin to explore how meditation can help you, keep in mind:
- Meditation puts you in touch with your spiritual self. If this makes you uncomfortable and perhaps even embarrassed don’t jump into meditation expecting a quick fix. Take it slowly beginning with basic relaxation through deep breathing exercises.
- Focus your attention on your body as you breathe slowly in through the nose and out through the mouth relaxing each part of your body.
- Create a mantra that captures your needs. One that I created is “restore my body; refresh my mind; rekindle my spirit”.
- Make use of music to help you let go of negative energy and refresh your mind.
- Developing a habit of gratitude through use of a gratitude journal is foundational to gain the benefits of meditation.
- Search out inspirational books or other sources that can feed your mind. My favorite at the moment is The Awakened Woman by Tererai Trent.
Something to Think About
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself”.
Geo. Bernard Shaw
Pills and potions may provide short-term relief of symptoms, but in the case of chronic pain, we must go much deeper to find healing.