What exactly happens when you get sick?
Imagine your cycling along and you fall off your bike, and graze and bruise your leg. The brain registers pain, the wound bleeds so you can see why there is pain. There may be a bit of swelling and some inflammation caused by the fall. This pain is supposed to make you seek comfort. For some, it’s a matter of getting back on the horse, so to speak, and this can cause further damage. This could mean more pain, inflammation, and possible loss of function for a while.
The same thing happens when you have a cold. Here, the site of the injury is the actually the mucus membrane, which has allowed bacteria or viruses to enter the body and cause an inflammatory response. If the immune system does not have a chance to deal with the trauma at a superficial level in an efficient way, the trauma will go deeper and can affect the organs. This principle can be applied to most diseases.
Be mindful of the danger of labelling diseases, when we suddenly don’t feel well and are not enjoying good health, the focus is now on the dis-ease or un-wellness, what we need to do is treat the whole person. Of course, it is important to know what the whole problem is. In Chinese medicine, we do not confuse the naming of the disease with the treatment of the disease. It is important to reclaim your body and your vital energy, not just kill a virus or define a condition.
The danger can lay in hanging onto labels about the state of your health. We have people label themselves as conditions, it is good to hear someone say: ‘Something happened to me, it knocked me around, but I’m working on the renovations’. I use a similar term in postnatal care after a mother has had a baby, we talk about rebuilding the foundations. Sometimes dis-ease or un-wellness can shake the foundations, just like pregnancy and birth. The importance is taking time to repair.
When people label their condition it disempowers them. If they have or are something, it defines them, and slowly but surely they can believe there is no escape and that they have become their dis-ease. Denying the problem exists is counterproductive as you will just get worse quicker. When the bomb hits the label of your dis-ease don’t lament that it did, or continue living in the building pretending the foundations have not changed. It’s best to pick yourself up out of the rubble, repair the structural damage, make some changes that you’ve always wanted to make anyway, and who knows, you could find yourself with stronger foundations than when you started, like a full renovation!
It is important to have a plan for healing and recovering. Start with food that nourishes the body and soul, as good health comes from a well functioning gastrointestinal tract (GIT). Ensuring your GIT is working correctly means it is absorbing nutrients, having a good detoxifying regime works wonders for not allowing toxins to cross the gut membrane and go straight into your bloodstream and the Liver. Finding a good remedy, which doesn’t always have to be herbs or a supplement, sometimes it is as simple as breathing exercises.
For me this week marked a major milestone of being five years cancer-free. I don’t consider it to be a label, I consider it to be a warning. When your body shows up with dis-ease or un-wellness, the best thing you can do is listen, and that does not mean to others opinions, nor to the fear that rattles you to the bones. It is simply, slowing life down, making it simple, and enjoying each and every moment.
Sure there are always good and bad times, moments and sometimes days when you have uncertainty about what life is, and then you get a beautiful reminder of how wonderful it is to be alive, wake each day, and get to spend time with family and friends. It is not about the next best fix, loading your body with supplements, taking on cures that are recommended, it is the simple breath, the inhale, exhale and just being present, listening, observing and then making decisions on your own terms. For some, like me, it is the secret of healing!