I am reading this book “The Healing Self” written by Deepak Chopra and Rudolph E. Tanzi. In the pages the authors powerfully demonstrate that ‘ our first line of healing lies within us, and the choices we make today are crucial to lifelong wellness”.
Can you dare to believe that YOU could be the major player in getting well (or better) and staying healthy?
Or do you fear that your health is largely out of your hands and that an improved sense of wellbeing may not be possible, for everyone?
Many people in my state of Victoria have already been hit by this year’s flu. It is only April and Drs are concerned about how early people are being lain down by the influenza virus, forcing them into their beds for up to weeks at a time. Despite being a healthy individual, armed with all the remedies and knowledge I need to keep well, I am one of these statistics. 2 weeks ago I woke with a throbbing headache and since then I had days of raging fever, extreme lethargy, unable to stay upright for too long, lost sense of appetite, head cold symptoms with aching body that shivered intermittently and made me feel nauseous. I asked my GP for a blood test but he said there was no use. I simply had to try sleep it off. With children, a business, a day-time job and school holiday kid-wrangling to do, sleeping at least 3 times a day was hardly manageable. And yet I had to succumb – there was no option.
During my forced rest I had time to devour Chopra’s book. His primary message is that ‘how we see ourselves today makes a huge difference and how our body will be tomorrow’. To this end he teaches that our immunity can be transformed but not by restricting our focus on the physical. The mind must be given equal importance which is why the self is the key word in healing’.
Most of us wait until symptoms arise before we seek healing. We’ll go to an outside healer (General Practitioner) for symptomatic relief and to try understand what our symptoms are telling us. By then it is, of course, too late. We are trying to control a horse that is already racing. The greatest power for any of us is lays in the prevention of sickness, activating that healer within us to optimise our wellbeing, beyond current expectations and experiences. Unlike cases of the cold or flu, we’re now referring to more serious illness and disease. Think of heart disease – for 50 years we’ve known how to prevent this, and yet a great percentage of us still die from heart attack and stoke. Our actions today put in place our likelihood of disease tomorrow – even when these signs are not evident to the eye (initially). The trick is in doing what is good for us now, even if we can’t see the immediate results of our efforts.
Chopra calls this “incremental medicine” whereby, right throughout our lifetime we make effort to gradually honour and nourish our body’s in order to prevent lifestyle related disease and attack, which ultimately are the real killers in our lifetime.
At the end of July 2017 a startling medical story was published in the prestigious British medical journal The Lancet – on dementia and alzheimers – the greatest health threat around the world. 24 experts had come together to assess our overall chances of preventing dementia in our own lives, identifying 9 specific factors that account for around 35% of dementia cases. The standards were included like avoiding social isolation and exercising and reducing depression. But one of the most alarming factors was this: staying in school until at least the age of 15 was listed as a top 10% cause of preventing dementia in later life. That is, what you do as a teenager can reduce something life debilitating in your older years. But who on earth would be worrying about such a thing, decades before?!
That’s right, you can prevent dementia when you’re 15 years old!
This reminds us that unlike an attack like the flu lifestyle diseases are more stealth – their incubation period is invisible but very long – slowly progressing and depleting you over years and decades – and once manifest it is already too late; the damage done. And this is exactly why health professionals are showing us there is a new vision of disease management now.
Drs are probing into what we do with ourselves 20 to 30 years before symptoms appear and disease has developed. ie TODAY COUNTS!
It reiterates the great importance of all known lifestyle factors – managing stress, keeping weight at healthy levels, minimising alcohol, not smoking etc. But most importantly, the wholistic approach where self care matters DAILY. Investing in your health.. seeking to nourish and improve it, consciously. That is your liquid gold.
There are many threats likely to attack our body’s. Cancer incidence is on the rise, everybody knows someone who unfortunately has been affected by it. And yet there is one great hope- preventative measures taken before anything goes wrong, to enhance and maintain our immunity. In this state we are empowered because turning into a drug-dependant culture is dangerous – by then we place ourselves in a more precarious space – of managing adverse pharmaceutical effects with our condition and being on the back foot.
If we manage our inflammation levels now our susceptibility to disease is greatly lowered. If we listen and learn from our bodies, we are in better stead than others. Because, remember, by shutting down the messenger (our symptoms) we miss the chance to improve and hone our illness recovery abilities. Gone are the days when most of us would be hit down with sickness, and yet eventually rise above stronger and somehow wiser from our experience. Now most of us will shut any discord down – painkillers helping us to keep soldiering on. There is no honour in suffering for glory! And yet, there IS power in listening to what our body’s are trying to tell us… before they start to scream.
This message is the premise of my own book, being launched next week. Your Body is Your Teacher. Let us learn from all the incremental times of sickness, the annoying symptoms, the little reminders that we’re out of kilter. Let’s rest and sleep well, use our brains pro-actively, honour our aches and stay on top of any health conditions, before the damage is done, and it’s too late.
As quoted in my book, according to Edgar Heim ‘in the course of a fifty year life-span, the average adult suffers one life-threatening illness, twenty serious illnesses and around two hundred fairly serious illnesses. Considering these statistics, it’s interesting that we try to rid ourselves of any signs of sickness in our body. Are we avoiding the inevitable?
My suggestion is to start taking seriously our health – we don’t need to be sick to get better. And this improvement of wellness may not be physically visible – however you can rest assured it is an effort with far-reaching benefits. Because once you’re in later years it’s already too late. Today is the time to hone the healer within you. And help reduce your incidence of disease for a better quality experience of life, while you’re still here.