We live in a modern day culture where illness and disease are feared. There is a pill and a potion to ‘fix’ or ‘fight’ everything from the common cold right through to more serious illnesses like heart disease and cancer. We have been bombarded with so many advertising messages for decades about fighting this and that, that it often seems like there is a full on war going on for us to stay in good health. So, what if we were to look at illness in a different way? What if our bodies becoming ill serve an important purpose?
We are still encouraged to view our bodies as just sterile vessels (even in medical training!?) and not that of a complex system of bacteria. This view formulated an opportunity for big pharmaceuticals to find just the right drug to ‘kill off’ the germs that might potentially invade us for each and every illness. This view makes us less accountable for our own health and completely takes away the power we have for our wellbeing. The continued thinking that disease can be eradicated still seems absurd, though the vast majority still buys into it.
We have all heard of pasteurisation (the process Louis Pasteur developed along with the introduction of vaccinations), which came about from germ theory. Our whole modern health system has been built on this same germ theory, even though Pasteur claimed on his deathbed that he had it all wrong and that in fact, as many other researchers had found at that time and for many years since, that “…the microbe is nothing, the terrain is everything”. That is to say that it is our internal environment that dictates our level of wellbeing and not our ability to avoid or fight the germs around us. In fact we would die without bacteria in our bodies.
Why is it then that some people get sick and some do not? It’s interesting to take a closer look at disease and the true cause of healing, (hint- and it doesn’t come from a pill). Of course we are all very unique in our susceptibility to certain illnesses, but eating a healthy diet, eliminating toxins from our environment as much as possible, drinking good quality water, taking regular exercise and being aware of our thinking patterns all go a long way to keep us in great health.
A tummy upset or a cold is the body’s way of bringing in the cleaners and removing toxicity in the most efficient way. The last thing we want to be doing is interfering with that process with pharmaceuticals, which puts more stress on the liver, where the liver plays a vital role in clearing toxicity and shifting any illness. Our bodies are full of bacteria, some ‘good’, some ‘bad’. A sure sign that we have more ‘good’ than ‘bad’ is having a strong immune system that has us dealing with any illness quickly and efficiently. The state of our health is entirely attributable to the state of our gut.
Years ago when I had chronic fatigue syndrome, naturopathic nutrition quite literally saved me from the very dark reality I was living in at that time. I looked into all of the lifestyle factors I mentioned above; environmental toxins, diet, good quality drinking water, exercise and started to get curious about emotional health. The years of healing took a different turn once I was back to functioning properly on a daily basis. That was a realisation that there was a very strong mind: body connection to my illness. I have touched on this subject before a few months back when I wrote about the experience of my illness - http://www.nutsabouthealth.co.uk/healthblog/chronic-fatigue
There was a realisation that there was an emotional healing that needed to take place as well. I see it with pretty much every client I work with too, there is the odd exception for example supplementing a straightforward B12 deficiency (when I say straightforward, it can be straightforward to remedy, but it is certainly life threatening if not treated).
I have spent a few years researching personal development areas both for myself and to find answers to help my clients on a level that would change their whole experience of wellbeing and health and pull it up to a whole new level. I struck gold back in 2013 when I came across the work of Jamie Smart and the 3 Principles. Jamie is now my mentor and working with him has helped me to see what the missing link was all along.
What Jamie teaches along with many others within the 3 Principles community is the huge insight that a man by the name of Sydney Banks had back in the 1970’s. Sydney Banks’ insight was that our feelings are ALWAYS created from our thought taking form moment to moment. It sounds simple right? Just because it’s simple, it doesn’t make it easy. Like all my favourite ‘aha’ moments, this was a very empowering discovery. Why? Because it makes us totally responsible for how we feel and no longer are we playing the role of victim in ANY circumstance, which by now if you’ve followed my blog for a while you’ll know I’m all for. We have a choice to change our thoughts, which in turn changes our feelings around a situation. This too changes our internal environment. Our thoughts quite literally change our chemistry in our body with the potential to calm the autonomic nervous system, which has a huge implication for a whole range of illnesses, including CFS.
Our thinking can be pretty unreliable when it comes to interpreting what is reality and so trusting the feelings that arise from our thinking is not always a wise choice. I am sure we can all think of examples when we have been so certain of our understanding of a situation, only then to find we were completely off target.
We collect scripts throughout our lives that skew us to think in certain ways. Some scripts are really helpful, like our parents teaching us to cross the road safely. There are other scripts that are less helpful, for example that perfection in a task will give the best result. Unfortunately as we grow up it is difficult to segregate the helpful scripts from the unhelpful ones. These scripts become so embedded into our reality that it is difficult to interpret anything other than ‘our scripts’. The more misunderstandings or unhelpful scripts we run then the more challenging life can become.
Our bodies have a clever way of flagging up when we are running unhelpful scripts, even if our mind chooses to ignore them. I believe that was part of what happened to me in my illness. ‘My reality’ now is a very different one to the one I had 10 years ago and why I believe I am in such great health these days (along with a healthy diet and lifestyle).
The reason I chose naturopathic nutrition to heal and then to train in to help others was because it didn’t use a palliative or allopathic approach, like sticking a sticky plaster on a problem but to look at the underlying causes. I saw the same beautiful approach with the 3 Principles. Unlike other therapies or coaching, the 3 Principles doesn’t get you to think in a certain way, for example the thankless tool of repeating affirmations, it gets in at grass roots level and shows us that it’s not about changing our thoughts but coming to an understanding of how unreliable our thoughts can be when interpreting a situation and not to pay so much attention to them. We are always looking at our truth of a situation, our interpretation not the reality. We are living in a world of thinking that constantly changes. When we quiet the mind down then our own intuition has a chance to show up.
Over the years I have noticed some distinct patterns in illness. And how they relate to uncomfortable thought patterns, and certainly that chronic illness invariably goes hand in hand with a head full of thinking and misunderstandings. I am very reflective when I look back on my illness and see that my body was slowing me down to become more in touch with my own intuition and to become more present to be in full communication with my body and mind.
We can only work with the awareness we have, so if you think you want to work on increasing your awareness and health then here is a link to the form where you can contact me for an enlightening conversation around your health:
Alternatively you can call me on 07786 687444 or you can email me email@example.com.
If you found this article interesting and informative then please share with your friends, family or work colleagues.
Signing up for my fortnightly health blog can be done here:
Don't forget to join the discussion by leaving a comment in the box below. I always love to hear your thoughts.