What Do I Need to Do to Heal?
When you’ve just been diagnosed with a chronic disease or are experiencing uncontrollable anxiety, you might ask yourself, “What do I need to do to heal?” And that is a valid question and an important one. Without it, the process of healing cannot begin. By asking yourself what you need to do to heal, you begin to create the necessary environment and attitude to turn things around and return to health.
So what do you need to do to heal?
1. Commit to the healing process
To help your body heal, you must have a consistent and persistent level of commitment. As with starting a business, hoping it will be successful will not be as effective as committing to doing what is necessary to be successful. And that applies to healing as well. Commit to the process of healing. Understand that it took a long time to get to this point in which your body or feelings stopped autocorrecting themselves and it will be a process of reviewing (what got you here), discovering (what works), and implementing (the changes needed) until you turn your health around.
2. Treat the cause, not just the symptoms.
Symptoms are messengers. They are not the problem nor the cause of your problems. They are only pointing you in the direction of the problem. Seek to find what is the real problem and understand that your symptoms will become your barometer to tell you when you’ve begun to address the real cause of your health issues (and when you’ve slipped off the wagon in the future).
In my presentation on the wheel of health for a local MS self-help group, I discuss the eight key areas where the root cause of a problem can generate from. Only four are biological and environmental. The other four are psychological and social. Don’t only address nutrition, exercise, and toxicity (though include these), remember that your mental states contribute just as strongly if not more strongly than your physical environment.
3. Focus on eliminating any obstacles to healing your body naturally.
Our bodies are programmed to self-heal. Medicine helps empower the bodies natural abilities but does not heal. The body heals. It’s been doing that since before you could speak your first word. Automatically, the minute you have a cut, a virus, a break, your body’s healing mechanisms kick into action. When it doesn’t, such as when your immune system does not clean up cancer cells or attacks unnecessarily other cells of the body, we must assume there is an obstacle to healing and address that.
Our task is to eliminate the obstacles to healing and then allow the body to heal itself. Doing that is far more effective and easier than thinking we are responsible for healing our broken bodies! Because we are not. Our bodies will take care of that part.
To start, ask yourself, “Is there anything you are doing, thinking, avoiding, benefiting from that might be keeping your body from automatically taking care of itself?”
4. Decide on your healing remedy and keep your goal of healing in mind as you take it.
Bodies, like children, thrive from schedules and rituals. Rituals are engrained in us. We are creatures of habit. There is evidence that a good percentage of the success of most medications we take is based on the ritual of taking them. It’s what in science, we call placebo and it can be just as effective as medication and surgeries in chronic disease.
Rituals of healing give the body intention and direction. “This is what I want, and this is what I’m doing to move towards it.” The rituals we choose do not need to be sugar pills, but they do need to something we do actively and daily (or twice or three times daily) – prayer, morning papers, a gratitude journal, 10,000 steps, guided imagery, a permission card that allows you to say “n0” five times each day, supplements, detox tea, a self-help group, a walk in nature, beet juice, tapping, etc.
5. Do it with a future goal in mind and not to avoid or be rid of the disease.
Why do you want to heal? To return to how things used to be is not healing; it’s regressing, and most probably, it’s also returning to the state that got you sick in the first place. Decide on moving towards a healthy future self. Once you’ve worked through the cause, taken care of your life, and become more able to deal with life’s stressors more effectively, who do you want to be? What do you want to be doing more? What will that give you that you don’t have now? Are these answers compelling for you enough to pursue them? They better be!
Disease is an invitation to look at our lives and make the changes needed to become whole, self-loving, and more connected to our needs and our true selves. What will that future be like? Start exploring and leaning into that future. That is your journey.
Healing is a process
In summary, healing chronic disease or anything else you are struggling with, is a process – there must be a commitment to go through the process, time and support to work on the underlying cause of the problem, a daily ritual that sets the intention and direction, and a future that you are moving towards.
Your first step is deciding you will do what it takes to turn your health around.