In a recent Mindfulness Drop In we were asking about how we manage our own health. Mindfulness teaches us to reconnect to our bodies, thoughts and emotions in a more connected way. Watching, noticing what happens to our bodies when are thoughts are racing, what signals our bodies may be trying to give to our brains. Which leads me to say – maybe a little controversially – that pain is a very useful and has a positive part to play in trying to balance our ecosystems so we can be healthy and fulfilled. Pain is the sign the body is giving to tell us that something is wrong. It maybe simple such as a headache caused from hard contracted muscles in the neck and shoulders preventing the brain from getting enough oxygen. Maybe a result of bad posture sitting at a computer screen all day. It may be much more complex and difficult to track than that. Can your doctor really know this, or do you need to investigate it yourself also?
Someone said their doctor had said to her” I’m only as good as my prescription pad”. Are doctors now more technicians for pharmaceuticals, understanding the body parts and applying the medication for that body part, rather than assessing the whole person, mind, body and spirit? Doctors no longer the alchemists, prescribing herbal potions to heal the soul and emotions, as a direct link to body.
Ruby Wax says in her book “Sane New World” – “some day we will laugh our heads off when we remember that a doctor did not look inside your brain before he wrote you a prescription”. Now we are told we can only discuss one ailment in your allotted time at the surgery!
So what about us taking back our own responsibility for healing ourselves? We can choose to self regulate, we know that our brains are adaptable and can be rewired. We know we can overcome old programming, habits and biases that are not serving us well. Self-awareness is the starting point for understanding what is and isn’t serving us well. In the decades I have studied psychology and self-awareness, finding Mindfulness to me was the gateway I had missed. Becoming aware of yourself as a whole, respecting how the body is closely linked to the mind and its interconnectivity, leads me to start believing in the field of metaphysics, (a better word without the conations that psychosomatic holds), and find myself referring to Lise Bourbeau’s book “Your body is telling you: Love Yourself” more often than ever before!