What does your body actually need to heal and achieve full health?

In a recent Institute for Integrative Nutrition module, we were asked the following question:

“Joshua explains that, given half a chance, the body will heal itself. Why do you think this is the case? Why is it more effective to let clients find their own way to their truth instead of being guided step-by-step? Have you experienced self-healing of any kind? Please share below!”

A big part of the chiropractic philosophy is that the body is a self-healing, self-regulating system. This is a significant point to understand if you want to achieve health. You have all the tools and capabilities RIGHT now to be healthy. So what’s stopping that?

Our body wants us to be well. Our body is designed to be well. It’s when it doesn’t have access to all the necessary tools such as rest, vitamins and healthy relationships (just to name a few!) that it breaks down.

For example, your body isn’t designed to get a cold. It’s designed to fight a cold. When you come into contact with bacteria, your body’s immune system kicks into action to find that bacteria, capture it, destroy it and remember it for next time. All before you have a chance to cough. So why sometimes does that cold or flu take hold? Why do we end up with symptoms such as a runny nose, sore throat, green phlegm and a cough? It’s because the body doesn’t have what it needs.

What does it need?

Well that depends on the person. In my case I need rest. The only time I get sick is when I’m working too much and not getting enough sleep. My body might feel tired for a few days or a few weeks beforehand, and if I don’t listen to these subtle cues, then it says, “Ok, you’re not listening. I’m going to force you to rest!” And BAM! My muscles ache, I have a headache, I literally can’t stay awake and I rest.

The truth is (confession time!) I don’t mind being sick. Two reasons: I get to rest. Yay! Who doesn’t love staying in bed all day? And two: It means my body is working. It’s fighting off and processing whatever it needs to process. I do support my body. It gets extra vitamins, sometimes some olive leaf extract, vitamin C, lots of ginger, lemon and honey water, a chiropractic adjustment, some NET, but most of all rest. Because I know that’s what was lacking for me to get myself into that position in the first place.

This isn’t just the case with colds and flus. We are not designed to get cancer. It’s not “luck of the draw”. Cancer cells proliferate when given the opportunity. Or when our body isn’t working too its full potential and misses something. Headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, joint pains, heart disease and more are all examples of things that can “go wrong” in our body.

What is the prescription for optimal health?

  • Nutritious food
  • Good relationships
  • Sunshine
  • Exercise
  • Laughter
  • Music
  • Rest and relaxation
  • And more!
  • Whatever it is that your body needs

When you ask yourself, “What does my body need in order to heal?” what answer do you find?

What can hinder this healing?

The truth is, some people don’t want to get better. Without their illness or complaint, subconsciously they believe there would be an emptiness, nothing to talk about, nothing to define them. Finding the cause of this is a big part of the healing process for some people. Particularly with chronic conditions.

Having an answer come from within is more powerful for healing than if the answer came from outside the body (someone telling you what to do). Letting my patients realise from within, but still guiding them and being part of that epiphanic (I think I made that word up) process, means the changes are going to be more permanent or if not permanent at least more effective.

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Self-care – what it is and why you need to do it!

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What is self-care?

Self-care is the art of taking CARE of yourSELF. Each and everyday. “But I have a family,” I hear you say. “I have kids, a job, house work to do, people to take care of, errands to run!” But like the oxygen mask on the aeroplane, if you don’t take care of yourself, you will be useless for all those other people.

Self care is taking time out each day for yourself. For each person it is different. You may like to have a massage, take a long bath, go for a walk, meditate, read a book, go fishing, draw, listen to music, play in the shed, have a coffee with a friend, write in a journal. The list is literally endless.

Go and get a piece of paper. Right now. If you’re on your phone, I’m sure there is a notes section you can use too.

Now list 5 things that you enjoy doing, that leave you relaxed, rejuvenated and happy. On this list can be things that take you 5 minutes, 20 minutes, half a day or a full day. (Or even more than a day if you’re like me and LOVE holidays.)

Even if you can’t do these things each day, put them on the list anyway. If your list is more than five, then good on you!

Why practice self-care?

As I pointed out before, self-care is much like putting on your oxygen mask in an aeroplane. It is so important to look after yourself so that you are happier, healthier and in the long run more reliable for your friends and family.

While taking this time for yourself, you will also give yourself a chance to listen to your own body. At all times your body is sending you signals. Your health depends on these signals. You might feel dehydrated and need more water. You might realise you’re exhausted and need an extra hour of sleep. You might notice the tension you’re carrying in your shoulder and need a massage. You might notice that bread you shovel down at lunch time is actually what is causing your bloated stomach and those pains you’ve been ignoring for months. You might notice how grumpy you’ve been with the kids and how short you’ve been with your family. You may remember you haven’t looked your partner in the eye and had a real conversation in weeks.

And although these things might be hard to face initially. And you might think that you “don’t have time to fix these things!” I can tell you that your long term health depends on it!

Now find that piece of paper. The one with your list. Below it list the top 5 things that are causing you stress right now. Leave a large gap between each one.

Go back and write two steps to let go of, reduce those stressors or certain self-care practices you can implement when those stressors rear their ugly heads.

What self-care practice will you do tomorrow.

While we’re here, let’s plan one for next week too!

“Please ensure you have secured your mask before assisting those around you.”

 

 

Image above courtesy of © Joao Estevao Andrade De Freitas | Dreamstime Stock Photos

 

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