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Thinking Our Way to Health

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Sometimes my back gets unhappy. Usually, a particular combination of twinges and aches sends me to the chiropractor, where I get relief. Recently, though, I decided that I wanted to heal the condition on my own.

First, I decided to see how I viewed the condition.

"My mother had this condition. My father had this condition. Therefore, it's hereditary. It usually happens when I lift something too heavy or move the wrong way. Sometimes it happens when I'm stressed out. I get angry at my back when it happens. The only thing that helps is going to the chiropractor, and the sooner I get there, the better. However, it will return. It always does."

The above statement describes what I've observed about the situation. It contains no possibility for change.

Einstein said: "The significant problems we face cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them."

This describes the obstacles most people face when they want to improve their health-or any aspect of their lives. We need to imagine what isn't or what isn't yet in order to change what is.

Changing the Is

I'm going to break down my general statement into specific pieces.

"It's In My Genes."

Designating a condition as hereditary is one of the most permanent and hopeless labels we give physical conditions. If it's genetic, people believe they may be able to alleviate it, but it will never go away completely.

The "Nature versus Nurture" argument has been going on for a long time, and no one has won it. For the past several decades, though, I have heard many stories of people who have overcome what looked like "bad" genes to become completely well. The power of desire and intention has effected these cures.

In terms of the back situation, I decided this: "I grew up hearing both my parents complaining about back pain, so I must have thought this was normal. I can change what I think about it. I can decide that a healthy, good-feeling back is normal. I choose to believe this."

"It Happens When. . . ."

I don't go out of my way to lift very heavy objects or subject my body to wild gyrations. I also do my best to be mindful about stress. This is preventive maintenance.

However, sometimes the conditions that I think cause back pain occur. If I'm lifting a box and I think, "Now my back is going to go out," I'm creating an expectation and a reality. If, instead, I say, "I'm going to lift this thing because I need to, and it's going to be ok," I'm creating a different expectation. I'm breaking the chain of "It happens when. . . ."

"I Get Angry at My Body When It Happens."

Do I think that my body, punished by my anger, is going to whimper briefly and whisper, "I'm sorry, I'll do better"? It's going to hurt more.

I've discovered that when I'm feeling this way about my body, it helps to open a dialogue with it. I describe this process more fully in "To Your Health," another article in this series (coming soon).

"The Only Thing that Helps Is. . . ."

I don't mind visiting the chiropractor, and neither does my body. However, when I believe it's the only solution, I feel powerless and resent the necessity. Powerlessness and resentment don't encourage health.

I have seen people go from practitioner to practitioner, a behavior that says, "The answer is out there somewhere." It's much more helpful to say, "The answer is in here somewhere."

Changing the belief that I need another person to heal me isn't an overnight process. You will find this especially true if you are dealing with a major and chronic condition. The change occurs a step at a time. When drug companies bombard us with promises of instant relief, we need to adopt an attitude of patience. A good affirmation for peace with gradual improvement might be: "I've changed my attitude, and the physical changes are happening every day. Every hopeful thought brings me closer. Every feeling of confidence takes me even further."

"It Always Comes Back."

Again, this statement expresses powerlessness and resentment. It also reflects resignation. I hear a hidden statement within it, "It doesn't matter what I do."

I respond by thinking, "It does matter what I do. Positive attitudes heal. I believe in my body's ability to heal itself. I believe in my mental and emotional healing capabilities. People recover from conditions far worse than mine all the time."

"It's Mine."

While writing this, I counted at least four times when I was about to write "my back pain." Ownership of a condition is one of the biggest obstacles to releasing it.

When a child says, "That's mine," it means he's claiming possession, and he's not going to let go of it. When someone says, "My diabetes" or "my heart condition," she's, without knowing it, also claiming possession. It's much easier to let go of a condition that you regard as a visitor who will soon not be part of your life. The one you call "mine" has set up permanent residence. However, it can still be evicted.

General Applications

I deliberately chose a relatively simple and non-life-threatening condition to illustrate these principles. For a more serious condition, you will find more elements: perhaps more parts of your body to talk to. You may need to address issues of fear. Helplessness may be more deeply ingrained. You may already be involved in the medical system, which often requires more focused attention on a positive attitude.

You will want to evaluate your doctor and other medical practitioners carefully. Are they saying hopeful things? Are their statements full of limitations? An article later on in this series goes into more details.

If you are in a support group, online or real-time, for your condition, make sure you aren't getting support for staying sick. Make sure the general perspective is that of mutual support for getting well.

Be cautious about people who sympathize. If someone says, "You poor thing," and you feel like a poor thing, you may want to respond by saying, "I'm doing a lot of things to improve myself, and I've found that attitude is everything."

It really is.

Thinking Crystals

Smoky Quartz can help in several ways. As a grounding stone, it helps us to connect happily to the physical plane. This both helps us to love our bodies more and to connect to the healing energy of the earth. It's also a stone that helps us to manifest our desires more quickly. As an energizer, it can help to relieve depression. In meditation, it's best placed at the feet or held in one hand while holding a clear quartz in the other.

At Beyond the Rainbow, we call carnelian the "be here now" stone. It helps us to appreciate the present moment. Because of its connection, it can help us make the choices that suit who we are now.

Green Calcite is especially helpful for cooling anger. If you take the experimental approach of viewing a part of the body that hurts as one that's holding anger, you can place a green calcite on that spot and imagine cooling, soothing energy filling that area. It's also a good stone to hold at night while sleeping.

Charoite addresses the fear aspect of illness, working with both known and unknown fears. In meditation it's best placed on the third eye (between and above the two physical eyes). If you are feeling fearful, meditate with this stone and trust that it will release fear. Often, after meditating, you may find yourself experiencing surprising insights.

Rhodonite is for general patience; while tiger's eye helps to guide us in terms of when to wait and not act and when to leap upon a solution.

Essences

All the essences described below are Bach Flower Remedies

Gorse is for those who have little hope left, but who continue to see new practitioners. Often they do so because well-meaning family members or friends urge them to. They don't think it will do much good, but they go anyway.

Wild Rose is for resignation. In this emotional state, one is beyond despair, anguish, anger or any responsive emotion. One has given up, and often numbness sets in.

Impatiens is the easiest Bach Flower Remedy to remember because it's for impatience. It especially helps to quiet the restless mind that wants things to be better right now.

Mimulus is for known fears. Aspen is for unknown and/or unacknowledged fears.

Articles in the Healing Series

These articles are in no particular order. Choose the one that first gets your attention.

Introduction to the Healing Series
Finding Your Peaceful Center Stress is a known cause of illness. Crystals, essences, and other tools can reduce it.
Mental-Emotional Balance: Where Healing Begins Anguish, guilt, anger, and impatience can lead to illness.
You the Healer Believe in yourself and allow the healing to happen
To Your Health: Talk to your body, and listen, too.
Thinking Our Way to Health Sometimes our beliefs get in the way of healing.
You the Patient Going to a practitioner for advice doesn't mean giving up your intuition and ability to heal yourself.
The Healing Crisis It can be a rough ride. Some suggestions for smoothing the bumps.

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