Faith, Lifestyle, Reflections

What If The Mind Really Is the Key to Optimal Health?

Whatever you hold onto in your mind, that is not beneficial, is the beginning of disease in your body. If you’re wondering how I could make such a bold statement, let me explain. In our society today, we hear quite regularly about mindset and how important it is to accomplishing anything. For example, I have a nascent network marketing business and in our field, mindset is everything. We stress all the time that the belief in one’s self is the key to creating growth and interest. We pay hundreds maybe thousands of dollars to learn from the experts on how to grow our businesses, how to attract customers, how to serve, influence, etc. The list goes on. But it doesn’t stop with this industry, we talk mindset in sports, on the job, or pretty much anything that you can think of, but I rarely hear anything about mindset when it comes to our physical health. I wonder if looking beyond what we can measure, quantify or see will move us in the direction of optimal health versus the allopathic model of declining is health inevitable.

Now, that I am enrolled in a Functional Nutrition program, with the goal of becoming a certified Nutritional Counselor, I have had the opportunity to contemplate what true or optimal health actually is. This is important because when I begin taking clients it will be necessary for me to see them and not just what is presented on a piece of paper or lab report. Although important, that information is only part of the whole. Just recently, I began reading a book called ” Molecules of Emotion” written by Candace B. Pert, Ph.D, and it made me think that perhaps dis-ease is not necessarily rooted in the physiology or anatomy, but is instead rooted much more deeply, perhaps in spiritual and emotional trauma that may later manifest itself in the form of a physical or psychological ailment that leads to specific, signs, symptoms or diagnoses.

This is fascinating for several reasons. Years ago, my now almost twelve year daughter was diagnosed with eczema and allergies. After seeing her eczema worsen after each allergy shot, I thought to myself, this can’t be the right approach so that led to my first step into the world of “alternative” medicine. I took her to see a Naturopath and after several months, probably a year, her eczema and allergies resolved. Because of my daughter’s success I sought the help of that same naturopath for my son, who by that time, age three, had been diagnosed with iatrogenic autism, in other words he wasn’t born with it. We tried a number of remedies that he responded to, but they just weren’t quite enough for him to lose his diagnosis, but it never prevented me from forging ahead because my mind was rooted in the physical. I could only process what I could measure, quantify and see.

After several sessions, my Naturopath said something to me that I had never heard before that actually made me pay attention, actually it made me cry. She said that “you and your son are more connected than you realize; when you heal yourself, you will heal him.” What? Her words made no sense to me. I was physically fine, there was nothing wrong with me. I wanted her to help me to fix him. I didn’t need to hear anything about myself. My son needed her help, not some motivational speech. I’d like to say that I stopped and truly heeded her guidance, but alas I did not. I actually relocated my family to another state for what I thought would be the answer, it wasn’t. I did however, finally get diagnosed with my own autoimmune condition, I got divorced and faced the reality that what I had been doing was not the entire answer at all. There was a missing piece.

Which brings me to the point of this post, yes, our bodies do have physical disorders that need to be addressed, but perhaps addressing what is rooted in the mind, will allow the seeds of optimal healing to germinate and move us beyond our perceived reality to what is possible when we marry our beliefs with the tools that bring nurture and healing to our bodies.

One of my most favorite passages of scripture is the story of the woman who had an issue with blood for many years, Mark 5:25-34. This woman had suffered under the care of physicians and spent countless dollars for twelve years, when she decided that if she could just touch the hem of Jesus’ garment, she would be made well. Yes, I know you’re going to say that she touched Jesus and that is true, but I think the root of her healing began before she touched him. Her mindset changed and she then knew who her healing would come from. Unfortunately, we no longer believe. Our faith is so shallow now that, if the a doctor says it can’t be done, it can’t be done. We question nothing and we close ourselves off from joy.

Let me make this a little more personal, my mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in April 2004. Obviously, that news was devastating to our entire family. Me in particular because I worked in the pharmaceutical industry, specifically on clinical trials, (the period before the drug is approved for commercial use) so I knew that her diagnosis was a death sentence. I even called her oncologist and spoke with him about her prognosis. His professional opinion was that my mother would be dead in six months. I drove home that weekend hearbroken, with the idea that I would be saying good-bye to my best friend in a few short months. You see how easily I believed words of that doctor? I let his dispassion override my own beliefs. Confident in my own experience and abilities, I tried to discuss my mother’s options, but being the faithful woman that she was, she hugged me and she said that she was going to see her grandchildren grow up, and she would see me get married. Say what? Once again, my belief was not there. I thought that I was being the adult and responsible in the direction that I tried to give. I was in that moment, still the child in need of direction from my mother, I was the one who was unwell, even though it was her body that held the cancer.

She did get to see me get married on the Island of St. Lucia and she had more time with her already born grandchildren. And it was my mother who told me I was pregnant before I took the home pregnancy test and it was my mother that told me in my swollen belly was a girl that would carry her name, Emily. That was in August of 2008. My mother did not pass from this life until October 5, 2008, her namesake was delivered healthy that following February. My mother’s faith and her belief that she could be well gave her four more years when the doctors said it would only be six months at best.

What if what we believe is truly the key that unlocks the door to optimal healing?

With joyful intention!

Angela

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