Last week I shared a summary and thoughts on Elaine Aron’s article about High Sensitivity and Health, highlighting the importance of decreasing our stress responses. This remains key to enhancing our immune systems and staying healthy.
Another very important piece of navigating the landscape of our health is listening to and honoring our intuition, our inner guidance.
There’s often quite a gap between western medicine practices and ‘alternative’ viewpoints. The former tends to see humans as machines breaking down in one particular area or part where the focus should lie, and often purports that pharmaceuticals and/or surgery are the best answers. The latter provides a holistic lens…everything is connected and our minds and emotions are just as important as our physical bodies.
Western medicine has a place…setting bones and removing ruptured organs, scanning for diagnoses is certainly of great benefit. For many conditions and illnesses, however, it can be short sided, and at times misleading. Did you know that various sources report that over 100,000 people die annually from prescription drugs prescribed and taken correctly…as much as 5 times more than those who die from overdose of pain meds or heroin!? (That’s not shared widely; in fact if you search for ‘deaths by pharmaceuticals’ pretty much the only thing that comes up is overdose data. You really have to search.)
I don’t want this to be a doom and gloom article, but it’s important background for what I’m going to share about health.
Sometimes things are not good for us, even if they might be ok for someone else, and a one-size-fits-all prescribing mentality can be dangerous…even fatal.
Other Options for Health
Often alternative practitioners, who take into account the whole person and consider causes and solutions outside of the Western medical box, can help us refine our perception and see new potential resolution to our challenges. They look at how everything in our lives, and in our mindset, may be affecting our situation.
Ultimately, though, it’s important to remember that we actually have our own answers; our bodies (and subconscious minds) know best what we need. It’s not always easy, of course, to access this knowledge.
So, back to our intuition. We need to learn to ask ourselves what’s good for us, then listen. I’m constantly working to improve my ability to hear what my inner guidance is saying. I do believe it has all of the answers; I just have to get my logical thinking mind out of the way.
it used to drive me crazy when I’d hear about a condition or issue my grandparents were dealing with and their response to why they were taking a certain medication or not considering other options: “Well, I’m just doing whatever the doctor says.” Aaahhh!
They didn’t have any interest in hearing that there might be another way; they put their full trust in their particular doctor no matter what. It didn’t occur to them to take charge of their own health journey.
Honest, forthcoming doctors will acknowledge that they, and medicine in general, don’t know everything.
When considering a medication…even a supplement, or potential surgery or any kind of procedure, just because someone recommends it doesn’t mean it’s right for us and we really need to start checking in with ourselves. Does it FEEL like the right course of action? Does it feel odd or off?
There are many ways for us to heal ourselves, which really means getting out of the way and letting ourselves heal. And many practitioners can be helpful in that journey.
A couple of years ago, after some initial and then worsening pain over a few months, I discovered that I had a 50% torn rotator cuff tendon. Surgery was recommended, but I’d gone that route with my other shoulder many years ago and decided I didn’t want to repeat it. I wanted to let my body heal. Interestingly, my body took that cue and developed frozen shoulder so I, in fact, couldn’t use that arm for much of anything for quite a while.
I’m convinced that the frozen shoulder was my body’s way of making sure I took the time to let the tendon heal, without overdoing or just not listening to it. And the result? I’m at about 90% function regarding the tightness from the frozen experience (I still need to do my stretches regularly to get to 100%, and I’ve been lazy about it), and all of the pain and mobility limitations from the tear have resolved completely. With no surgery. Yea for me!
I’m not saying never go to a doctor (though if that’s your choice, that’s fine, too), but remember that what they offer is advice. You’re free to take it, or not. If you don’t like what they say, ask for an alternative. If they won’t listen or help you, go to another practitioner, perhaps an alternative one.
And this is something I’ve experienced multiple times, unfortunately: if you tell your doctor that a movement or a medication or some kind of recommendation created some adverse results and they say, “Oh, that can’t happen,” it’s time to move on.
We know what we’re experiencing, even if we don’t yet know why. We don’t have to follow recommendations if they don’t feel right or we don’t like the results. We can choose to wait and see, to connect with someone who will listen to our full experience without judgment, to try healing on our own through a variety of practices.
Years ago my friend Teresa Bruni was diagnosed by Western doctors with a debilitating illness and told she didn’t have many options. She didn’t agree with that prognosis nor the treatment options she was given. Ultimately she healed herself and now helps others do the same. She just published a new book: Why You’re Sick and How to Get Well (Revealing Everything Western Medicine Isn’t Telling You).
I recommend the book, and her work, whether you’re suffering from a condition and not finding answers, or want to prevent issues in the future.
We’re in charge of us, so we need to take charge of our healthcare. If you would like to make some changes in your self care practice, or if it’s lacking, I’d love to help you with that. It’s one giant step toward minimizing stress responses and maintaining health.