Bringing Safety and Balance to the Body
Self-healing is a subject really close to me. I have had my own experience with healing naturally from Cronh’s disease and I’m absolutely passionate about it. I’m really excited to create this post on the subject for you. I could write pages and pages about it but I will try to keep it short and simple for you.
First, I believe is important to determine what I mean by “healing”. I’m not just talking about the healing of a physical wound. I’m not only referring to physical healing, like healing from a condition or illness. I’m also talking about energetic healing, which also includes the realm of emotions and spirit.
Self-healing has 3 basic foundations: mind-body-spirit. Today I’ll be just focusing briefly on the body and in further post we’ll explore other ideas. Mind, body and soul are interconnected. They might become unbalanced because of our past experiences and the fast pace of our current society. Self-healing involves bringing all those areas back to its innate balance.
Human beings are extremely complex. In our current society we sometimes focus on one specific area and we tend to forget about the bigger picture. However, everything is interconnected, so by really digging into the root of our symptoms we can heal other areas that were consequentially affected. In Western medicine we are following a really limited paradigm that doesn’t take into account “new discoveries from science” like epigenetics or quantum physics; Which in reality they are not really new, because other communities have been using them for years. When we look at the eastern world, we are able to see how they adopt practises that take into account the concept of wholeness and interconnectedness. They already acknowledged one of the most important connections that exist: the mind-body-soul connection.
Thus, when we want to embrace a self-healing journey, it is important to work on creating safety in the body. I’ll be talking a bit more about that in the post but in order to make it easier to understand I want to touch a little bit on emotions, how they get stored in the body and how they affect our nervous system.
Stuck emotions and sympathetic response:
"Emotion" means energy in motion. This is already giving us an idea of how emotions can affect our bodies and lives. These emotions, that are just energy, can get stuck in the body making us feel sick. When we live an experience that is emotionally intense or emotionally charged, the energy gets stored in our cells. For example, imagine that you are having an argument with your partner and it gets a bit heated, you might be feeling a lot of anger, or sadness, or whatever emotion that feels really strong and intense. When we don’t safely process these emotions, this energy gets stored in the body. Because our body was really reactive due to the conversation we had, it pays more attention to the environment, it’s trying to see the reason and cause of the intensity within your body. The more intense, the more attention we pay to the event or situation and the stronger the memory is formed in our mind.
Due to the level of intensity and because our bodies might be sensing the circumstances as dangerous or threating, the body releases different chemicals. Furthermore, when we think about the experience, maybe a few hours later, as the memory was strongly built, we might experience the same emotion and, consequently, the same hormones might be triggered just by thought alone. The mind is not able to distinguish between what’s real or imagined. So if we think about the argument, the body will react as if it was in that moment of the past. And not just that, when we encounter other situations in life that might remind us (even unconsciously) of that situation, our body will react the same exact way again.
This is extremely important because it means that this energy is affecting matter in the sense that the thoughts and memories will trigger a physical reaction. And the more we recall the experience, the stronger we are creating a neural connection in our brains, which means they will get used; it will become a habit, a programming of our subconscious mind.
When the body reacts as if there’s a threat, we are switching to the fight-or-flight response. To put it simple, it is the response of our nervous system to danger or threat in the environment. For example, if we were living in the jungle, and we are faced with a puma, our body will help us overcome this threat by racing our heart rate, increasing blood flow, breathing faster, tensing the muscles and stopping other processes like digestion, in order to invest all the available energy into running or fighting the threat.
The problem is that our nervous system can switch into fight-or-flight with other situations that are not a real danger for our life like stress. When this situation becomes chronic, we might not be giving the time to our bodies to heal, repair and restore. So, if we are always recalling the same memories, triggered by the same situations or events, etc. our bodies are always working under the hormones of stress and the nervous system becomes dysregulated.
Possible symptoms of a dysregulated nervous system:
Some possible symptoms are: mood swings, anxiety, terror, panic attacks, shame, guilt, blame, overwhelm, feeling of disconnection, loneliness, feeling numb, not being able to think clear, autoimmune disorders, migraines, muscle tension, digestion problems, insomnia, nightmares, difficulty connecting with people in relationships, difficulty setting boundaries, chronic fatigue, etc. This list is not exclusive at all.
If you are experiencing any of that, if you are feeling hopeless, know that I’m here with you. Healing is possible. Actually even being aware of this is already a huge step in your journey.
We can start to heal just by noticing our reactions, our triggers, our responses, our symptoms. I believe self-awareness is the first step in the path to your true-self.
Start by noticing how your body responds to different situations, by checking in with yourself in events that trigger you. At the end, the body is just trying to communicate with us in the only way that it knows. The body can’t talk but it can clearly communicate messages through other channels like physical or emotional reactions. When we look inward and observe without judgement, we are accessing really valuable information for our healing.
I would like to invite you to offer yourself love and compassion, whatever your circumstances are. You probably haven’t been told this before, nobody might have modelled you how to regulate your nervous system and be able to heal. So how else could you know? We are always doing our best with the tools that we have in each moment. I like to say this because I personally have an inner part that is really harsh and critic with myself. When I started this journey (and even nowadays sometimes) I was feeling ashamed, being hard, blaming myself and comparing myself to others. If you can relate to this, and you also have a perfectionist part within, I really suggest you to see this beautiful journey through the lenses of compassion, love and understanding.
Your inner magic power to influence your gene expression:
We certainly have more power than we think. I believe our current medical system takes away a lot of responsibility and empowerment from the patient and it gives it to the health care professional or the pill. But I truly think that we are incredible magical creatures capable of things that are difficult to imagine. When I was sick, I was exhausted of having people telling me what to do all the time. I felt powerless, lost and confused because deep inside all of that didn’t feel good to me. Just by taking responsibility and control of my situation I was able to dig deeper in my past, my wounds, my body and recognise the places that were asking for my attention. So, for the first time in my life, I looked at illness not just from the perspective of symptoms but seeing the entire story behind it. By doing that I was able to heal and flourish in ways that I have never imagined.
The science of epigenetics studies the way in which environmental factors can select, modify and regulate our gene activity. Just to put it simple, think about our genes as a computer. In order to make it work in a certain way we need to install an operating system. (I’m not an expert of computers, but I guess you get the point). Genes act in a similar way. We can give them instructions in order to change their activity. This is extremely powerful because we can modify our gene activity. We have access to a switch on and off button. When I talk about environment, I refer to internal and external environment. So what we eat, drink, breath, how we feel, our emotions, what we do, what we think, what we believe, our lifestyle, etc. All of these are factors that can modify gene activity.
4 practises to balance your body and allow true-healing to happen:
These activities are great basic body needs that will help the body feel safe and will help us heal and restore. They might sound simple, but when done mindfully and consistently they can be absolutely life changing.
1) Homemade nourishing plant-based meals:
I know for some of us this might feel extreme, and maybe you don’t have time, or you don’t know how to start. I feel you. I know it can be challenging. I would invite you to start small. Maybe start by cooking one single meal a day at home. Just a plate full of veggies, plant protein like tofu or legumes, healthy fats and omega 3, like avocado or hemp seeds, greens, whole grains and maybe some fruit on the side. Make sure that you cook a colourful plate full of nourishing plants. I have a lot of recipes on my blog in case you want to check that out.
2) Good quality sleep:
Sounds so simple but how many of us are really getting enough hours of good quality sleep? Maybe trying to go to bed earlier so you make sure that you’ll get 8 to 9 hours of sleep. If you can, take a nap during your day if your body feels like it needs it. Listen to it, and just sleep. I used to think that sleeping was wasting my time, and I was even feeling guilty for allowing myself to sleep. But now, it’s one of the most important moments of my day and I’m really clear about my boundaries around sleeping time. I also love incorporating rituals around sleeping time just to prepare my body and mind for this sacred moment. I like using essential oils, incenses, etc. I turn my phone off 2 hours before bedtime; I stay away from screens and read, journal or meditate. I would invite you to find something that makes you feel good and relaxed that you can do before going to bed to make it even more exciting and calming.
3) Deep belly breathing:
By breathing to our bellies we can stimulate our vagus nerve. This nerve signals safety to the brain and it helps us switch to the rest and digest mode. You can start by taking a few minutes every day, to just sit or lie down and breathe. There’s nothing else required from you but breathing.
4) Movement that feels good:
Moving your body is a great way to allow your energy to flow, to release stagnant energetic blocks and stored emotions. I personally love doing yoga but I try to check with myself every morning to make sure that I choose movement that feels aligned that day. Just find whatever activity that you enjoy and allow your body to move. This can be as simple as dancing to a song, jumping or shaking your body. Just by doing that you can really create change and allow your energy to flow easily.
I know this can be scary for some. If you are feeling overwhelmed, I hear you. There’s no need to start all at once, you don’t even have to do it. I invite you to give yourself permission to start slowly just keeping one small promise a day. This can look so different for each one of us. We are all in different moments of our journeys and that’s perfectly fine. So if for you that looks like just sleeping 30 min more a day, that’s ok! That is already a huge step.
Remember compassion, love and understanding are key foundations for healing This starts by honouring and respecting where we are.
The 3 main takeaways to bring with you today are:
The foundation of self-healing is bringing mind-body-spirit to balance.
Build a foundation of love and compassion for yourself through this journey, respecting and honouring where you are and knowing that we always act according to the tools that we have in each moment.
We have more power than we think and by being mindful of our internal and external environment we can change gene activity and allow healing to happen.
Thank you for reading.
[DISCLAIMER: I’m not a doctor and this is not a substitute for medical treatment. Also, this is just my opinion and my own experience and I truly invite you to find what feels good for you. You don’t have to agree with everything that I say. Please connect with the space in your womb and find your own truth. I truly love and honour whatever your opinion is on the subject because is yours]