My experience with chronic illness and disease lasted a long time. Or, at least I thought it had, until I realized that my struggle had only lasted as long as I had allowed it to. The radical turnaround from hurting to healing didn’t happen because some practitioner or therapist, actually “did” something to me to change what was happening in my body. It didn’t happen because doctors had arrived at a definitive diagnosis, or a particular therapy or treatment that was being administered had started making a difference in the way I felt, or had been successful in slowing down the progression of my disease.
As a chronically ill person, I had spent years in the allopathic medical system being poked and prodded at and exposed to all kinds of diagnostic imagery and testing….nerve block, prolotherapy and cortisone injections; xrays; MRIs; CT scans; bone scans; blood tests; genetic tests; and physiotherapy to name a few. I remember laughing at the doctors, who stood at the ready to give me an injection of some sort, into another muscle, a facet joint or nerve in my back or hip, referring to myself a “veritable pin cushion”. Perhaps I was making light of a secret hope I possessed that one day, just once, an intervention would make a difference and give me some relief. But my hope faded as time went on.
Once I began to explore and read more widely on alternative and complementary medicine, I started to see that so much of the focus in the allopathic practice focuses on finding answers in the physical body. The amount of scientific evidence that is available today which supports this view is quite astounding. I have often wondered about this, as it seems to all too common that science tends to create theories and principles around what can be seen or measured. In this way, ironically, conventional medicine has self-imposed its own conceptual and perceptual limitations around its purely scientific approach. But for centuries, if the answer for those who are ill, remains solutions that are physical, then why aren’t people getting better? Why is disease so prevalent and the predicted outcome for many with chronic diseases so dismal? As I write about in my latest work, INTERNAL MIND-BODY MEDICINE: Altering Genetic Destiny and Disease Outcomes from Within, allopathic approaches, rarely, and perhaps only recently, acknowledge that other factors, including emotional, mental and spiritual, along with physical environmental aspects, have an equally important influence on our health, if not more.
Healing happened for me, when I finally gave up looking for a completely external, physical solution to my problems. As they say, “The WAY OUT is the WAY IN”. We must work from the inside out to affect the change we desire. As difficult as this might seem at times, particularly when we are ill, this represents a tremendous opportunity for lasting change within ourselves at all levels. I could see then, how we are far more likely to be destined for failure, if we remain stuck in our personal or societal self-limiting beliefs that tell us it is merely a physical problem- that it is in our genes, or our disease has made us a victim of uncontrollable events for which there is no recourse. I could even understand how allopathic approaches might lead some to believe that if we are really sick, then we must require a corresponding form of major physical intervention or treatment.
Instead, the solution to healing can be remarkably simple when we recognize that we are designed and meant to heal. The real work began when I finally surrendered and truly embodied a genuine intent to heal (surrender being the operative word). I believe that it is often much more important to “allow”, than to understand exactly what is wrong with us, or the precise mechanism for our disease. When we focus mentally and emotionally on the disease, we tend to bring our attention (and energy) to the physical body itself, and the superficial causes of disease described by medical science, often to the degree that it becomes a part of our identity. Instead, we need to release the tightly held aspects of ourselves that only serve to perpetuate our conditions and our often desperate need to control the situation in times of illness. Somehow when people “do” things to us, as part of our medical intervention, we think we are in control and that we are fixing things, when actually it is the opposite. I am not necessarily purporting that this means we should deny all forms of intervention or assistance. On the contrary, sometimes when we enlist the help of our inner self in the healing process, when we do receive the external support we need for our physical body, the impact is far more favorable and the outcome positive. Regardless, and most certainly, when we drop all forms of resistance and our need to control our external world and turn towards our internal world instead, that’s when the true process of healing unfolds.