Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Offer Up Your Best Defense

I think it helps that I think of myself as a healthy person. And that I like being strong, physically and in every way.

I am a healthy person. I value health. I have a lot of thoughts about and approaches to being healthy.

But I believe in healing.

Healing is getting better. Not masking symptoms. Healing is physical and mental and emotional and spiritual. I had a green-stick fracture of my collar bone once (broken when a horse fell with me when jumping a ditch in the rain when I was 14). There was nothing to be done except to wear a brace to hold my shoulders back to stretch the bone out as straight as possible for it to heal. The doctor said, “Well, when this heals, it will never break there again.” That is healing.

And that is why I don’t particularly believe in allopathic medicine -- too often it doesn’t heal. Here, allopathic medicine says, take this pill for the rest of your life. Never mind the side effects; we have more pills for that. I’ll use allopathic medicine when it’s approach is healing . . . or as a stopgap when I haven’t figured out a healing approach yet.

For the past several years, I’ve had horrid allergy problems. The problems came and went and coincided with a lot of different things and I tried this and that and the other thing to no avail. I tried convincing my body that pollen really didn’t want to kill it. When that didn’t work, I’d resort to allergy pills. When that didn’t work, I’d go back again, trying to figure it out. It was really this chronic thing that I sort of got used to and sort of thought was just my normal. Hell, I deserved it anyway since I smoked for fifteen years and was raised in a pill family with antibiotics and antihistamines as the norm.

For Christmas, husband got me a neti pot. I have to say, it has been a miracle. Am I healed? Well, time will tell on that one, but I’m so much better that I have to put it in the miraculous healing department. I sleep. I don’t snork. I’m even coughing less. I don’t have to buy tissues every single time I find myself in a grocery store (because as we all know, toilet paper is never soft enough, and hankies are just too gross). I honestly expect it will continue to improve for months to come.

Most of what makes us sick, or makes us better, is in our minds. Or maybe we’re possessed by an incubus but that’s the same thing, just a different viewpoint. Maybe the neti pot just washes out my nose and sinuses. Or maybe it purifies me spiritually. Or both. Or something else.

I’ve been healed before, and in various and sundry ways. I broke my little finger and it healed crooked. So I thought it straight. I just used the idea that we replace every single cell in our bodies and thus, with intention, I should be able to talk my body into replacing those cells in a more orderly fashion. And it worked after a fashion in that my finger is not perfectly straight but it has full range of motion and is no longer so crooked that anyone would notice if I didn’t put my hand flat on a table and point it out to them.

The worst thing I ever had, probably worse than the sinus/allergy thing, was TMJD. And it was bad. I was in pain a lot, my jaw locked closed rather regularly, and I often quit eating in the middle of a meal because my jaw hurt too much to chew even soft food. The dentist I had at the time recommended an oral surgeon and said I’d have to have my jaw broken. That was not an answer I took kindly to, so every time I had my teeth cleaned, I went to a different dentist and had a TMJ consultation. They all said different things, mostly horribly interventive things, like get braces again, reset the jaw, put teflon in the joint. I would just pay them then go to a different dentist next time.

I do not know why I thought there was some other answer. Probably because I continued to hurt but I wasn’t about to let them do something, yet again, that they couldn’t undo if it didn’t work. Finally I went to a dentist who I really did not like. I mean, from the start, she and I took a dislike to one another. But when I described my problem and the solutions suggested, she said she knew a physical therapist I should go to, then she just showed me the one single exercise I should do, relaxing and opening my jaw without thrusting it. She told me to never ever pop it (why didn’t I know that already? and why hadn’t any other dentist mentioned that every time I did that I was injuring it?) and to pay attention when it hurt and to stop doing what I was doing to hurt it.

I never went back to her but she healed me. I’ve never again had a serious issue with TMJ, and I've never met another dentist who knew that exercise much less who thought it would work (most of them insist I never had TMJ since I got better).

Healing requires to keep asking the question, to never take no for an answer, and to be open to what you never even considered a possibility (which honestly most often means changing what your question is because you rarely if ever start out with the question that will lead to healing).

Without being stupidly gullible about it.


Madcap said...

This has really been the core of my life these last few years. Something that's been fascinating for me recently is osteopathy, and one of the tenets of osteopathy is that "the body moves towards health". Incorporating that into my practice, trusting that bodies want to be healthy and are willing to use almost any well-intentioned modality as a lever to get there, that's been quite the springboard for new thought.

I think it applies to minds too, but that's harder to say. Sometimes I can't believe how resistant people are to growth and dealing with stuff that's so blatantly creating roadblocks in their lives.

Lately I've been playing with the idea that if there's reincarnation, maybe it's the bodies that keep switching out souls from life to life, rather than the other way around...

So what's a nettie pot?

Alan said...

Great post! One of my favorite thinkers once said "we are not what we think we are, but what we think, we are." The universe (wearing what ever label you like)has amazing power to bring things into our lives, including healing. It does require belief, trust, and clear vision, but it works.

CG said...

I spelled it wrong. I'll go back and edit and see if I can find a link.

PocketsoftheFuture said...

I wrote a post about the neti pot we have used for years, if that is helpful. There are links there to comparisons between different pots and so on.

One of the other problems with allopathic medicine (aside from not being oriented towards healing and therefore often being ultimately ineffective) is that it distorts the human system (both mind and body) to such an extent that it is tough for the forces of healing to intervene and re-arrange back towards health.

I am glad you have a neti pot. They are so simple and very effective. And they don't have to be used only at times of overwhelming allergies. They can also be used frequently as a preventative and a daily hygiene kind of thing. A good thing to teach the children, too, I think.

Another place to point your mind with regard to easing allergies is your adrenals.

To your health!

PocketsoftheFuture said...

I apologize. I forgot to leave the link referred to above to a post about neti pots. Too busy making oatmeal and typing with frozen fingers to remember...


CG said...

I'm nasally irrigating daily, although that may fall under the thing of TMI! I personally have the sense that all auto-immune issues are symptoms of spiritual issues. oh, I have a LOT more thoughts about that but not for here!

Madeline said...

Ooo, I so agree with you here and wish I could have articulated it so well when the allopathic vs. naturopathic/preventative/healing debate happened with my brother last week. I'm impatiently healing my way through a long sinus thing and a broken toe right now and loved reading this tonight. I'm off to try the neti pot again (I only used it once a week ago). Now, if I could just figure out the spiritual - auto immune connection and fix that personally, more consistently...Do write more about this.

annetteinalaska said...

I second Madeline's request for more on the spiritual-auto immune connection. To me it's like a path I know is there, but it's still dark. Er, I think that describes what I feel. I've just got so much other stuff messing with my clarity; I'd love to have some guiding light.

CG said...

umm, I don't know that I have any information on it. It is more a sense I have. Although I did write something on my other blog which I don't actually link to but is easily found but it isn't actually about this. Anyway . . .

It is like this . . . in dreams, they will whisper and if you don't pay attention, they'll speak more loudly. Until you pay attention. Life does that. In all sorts of ways. And it is all so connected. So I think our bodies will niggle us, and if we don't pay attention, they'll speak more loudly trying to get our attention. (perhaps being around horses so much intensifies the knowledge of this because if you get bit or get kicked, it is ALWAYS because you weren't paying attention) The same way, if you have some issue out there, you will use your body to get the attention. That might be through illness or it might be through prostitution or it might be through hair dye, but it isn't healthy whatever.

Sometimes it is very difficult to interpret dreams. It takes attention and sensitivity to do it. The same with health issues. And mental/emotional issues. Time, attention, gentleness with yourself (because frankly the universe is gentle with us unless we've already refused to pay attention), persistence, a willing spirit, fiddling (try this, try that), openness, lots of stuff in those directions.

But again, without the stupid gullibility that I also see people engage in.

What do I do? Whole food, food variety, reduce stress or any source of stress, sleep, increase joy, enjoy stuff, create, avoid restriction, avoid processed food, avoid externalities, moderation in all things, think that you can get better, stuff like that.

CG said...

oh shoot! I left of THE most important to do thing -- hard, physical, productive work most every day.

Madeline said...

Hmmm. I read your first list of what you do and thought, well - that's me. Good list. Then you threw in the hard physical work.. That used to be me, alongside my farmer on our farm. But the chronic fatigue and dizziness when I turn over to do farm work stopped this in my world. But I thank you for I think you are so right and I just have to get this back in my life in a way that keeps me right side up and involves my kids. I thought you might come through with some gem. Thanks.

Deb said...

This is a great post, and I agree wholeheartedly that healing is a state of mind. I do a lot of what you say you do, and I think I have gotten over being "stupidly gullible" as you say. I know too many people for whom illness, or the perception of it, is part of their identity.

CG said...

Madeline -- squat, kneel, etc. We laugh about the form of garden yoga that we do which is this: In every day life, we, all of us, do stuff. Usually there is a stretch way to do it and a non-stretch way to do it. Always choose the stretch way. If there is a hand tool way to do it or a power tool way to do it, choose the hand tool way. Etc.

But of course, we are not trying to grow on an industrial scale as you are.

I forgot how old your kids are, but for me, I could do anything once the summer after they turned two. By the time they are four, they can be (and should be frankly) good helpers. Kids without real work to do in the world only have the opportunity to develop false self-esteem instead of real self-worth. Real work is something that actually benefits the family, makes a difference in the family's life. Hilling the corn makes a real difference. Washing the dishes makes a real difference. That's what I mean by real stuff.

Every day.

Danielle said...

I've given you an award. You can find it over at my blog.

CG said...

Thanks Danielle.

Cielo said...

Aren't neti pots wonderful?

A very wise man I know said that we can always be healed, but that doesn't necessarily mean that we're "cured". Daddy was healed in many ways even though the disease he had was never cured, if that makes any sense.

CG said...

"Disease" isn't always what is wrong with us.

But I also keep thinking about more and more things about keeping healthy and a healthy attitude and stuff. Not that I can actually think of any of them at this moment! LOL!