It’s all about the approach.
You can think of this approach as being about building a toolkit. Dietary choices, lifestyle changes, treatments, supplements, health care providers.
It’s not about the one right way. It’s not even about the tools in the toolkit. It’s all about the approach of having a variety of ways to help ourselves.
And listening to our bodies as we decide what tools belong in our toolkit for TODAY, because we constantly change over time and our needs change as well.
There’s a quote that I love, from Candice Pert (author of Molecules of Emotion):
“Our bodies are more like a flickering flame than a hunk of meat.”
Since we constantly change over the living of our lives, it makes sense that the best approach to health would be learning to tap into the messages our bodies are always sending. We are already a perfect creation. We just need to remember the language of our bodies.
Sometimes you can just find a cure. But it’s not unusual for one cure to lead to new problems. How many people go on drugs for chronic conditions, only to discover that their drugs are causing high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, and now they need a drug for that?
The problem with finding a solution that always works for everyone is something called bio-individuality. One man’s medicine is another man’s poison. We are all very individual in our health needs, and a good approach will take that into account.
It’s an iterative process – we don’t just go through it once. We repeat it over and over with different issues and motivations. Most people go in and out of it, and might only recognize it in hindsight.
But knowing upfront that it’s iterative can help you – it means you don’t have to do it perfectly. You can have a “do-over”.
Any system or program for making good choices about your health is dependent on the quality of information you have access to.
GIGO: “Garbage in, Garbage out”
There’s a lot of information out there these days. There are books, there’s the Internet, which is all about information. There are health specialists and Dr. Mercola’s newsletter…
But the best source of information I know of is our own bodies. Our bodies are designed to provide specific, targeted messages about the food and drink and health choices we are making. We’re just wired that way. We just have to learn to tune in to that information stream. We need to learn to listen to our own bodies as they tell us what we need.
Where this process came from – I wanted to create a process that would serve as a roadmap to someone new to this approach and new to self-directed healing. When you first decide to take charge of your own health, it can be a scary and lonely thing.
So I designed the process based on my own experience, and that of my clients. Then I interviewed several women who had taken charge of their own health – about their own process and journey. I wanted to see if they would confirm my experience. And they did. Everyone’s journey is different, but there are key similarities, and those similarities became the basis for the 7 step process.
In working with clients, I find that people get stuck around judgment.
There’s a lot of judgment around food and health. My approach is all about releasing judgment. Because that judgment keeps us stuck.
We need to stop thinking of healthy ways as “virtuous,” and start thinking of them as pragmatic.
In other words, healthy choices are valuable because they help us to get what we want, whether that’s more energy, losing weight, releasing pain or preventing or reversing chronic illness.
They are not valuable because they make us “good people.”
Do you ever feel, like, guilty about eating something?
Like a hamburger or … bacon… or worse, a bacon cheeseburger?
Now, if you told me you wouldn’t eat a bacon cheeseburger because you haven’t had one in twenty years and you know you couldn’t digest it – that much fat would literally make you sick – then to me, that’s a pragmatic reason not to eat it. That makes sense.
But if you’re just afraid of what people will think, or what you will think, or if you’re actually afraid of certain foods – that’s the kind of judgment that is not helpful.
And I encourage people to put that judgment on hold and lighten up. Forget about lists of good and bad foods, and learn to listen to your body.
Absolutely. My approach recognizes that healing occurs on many levels. There are four dimensions in particular in which healing can occur and in which issues can arise. They are as follows:
Physical: Includes issues, illness, physical pain and dysfunction. Often problems manifesting on the physical level are caused by imbalances in the other three levels.
Emotional: All feelings, sensing and intuition occur in this dimension. Intuition is an example of a feeling that can overlap to the other dimensions. For example, physical pain can be caused by intuition trying to make itself heard.
Mental: The mental dimension includes thoughts, visions and ideas. It may be associated with the head, eyes, and sometimes the heart.
Spiritual: A dimension that goes beyond the physical, the spiritual often comes into play in healing. People experience the influence of Soul and Spirit in this dimension, and a sense of something larger than themselves.
The first thing to notice about self-direction is that you’re already doing it. You already make choices and decisions about your own health and health care, whether in a completely independent way, or by way of choosing your doctor and following her advice. You’re already responsible for your health choices.
The question to ask yourself is: How conscious are you of that responsibility?
Do you embrace the responsibility of your health choices, or do you try not to think about it? Wherever you are along the spectrum between the two poles of embracing versus avoiding, my book (Redesigning Your Health) is intended to help you move toward the embracing side of the equation.
So the way to become more self-directed in your health is to recognize that it’s your responsibility to make conscious choices about your health.
So, did you ever notice that the healthiest people always seem to have some new thing they’re trying? Some new food, some new exercise, some new herb or supplement?
What they are doing is using a synergistic approach. It’s all about integration.
It’s not about finding the magic bullet – the one right way that works for everyone.
It’s an approach that integrates multiple solutions – treatments, dietary and lifestyle changes, and protocols – into a system for health. Because that’s what the healthiest people do.
I was traveling in the south of France with a friend of mine, when she came down with a nasty cold and sore throat. With me, I had a sort of travel toolkit of vitamins and supplements, and other remedies. So I started giving her vitamin C and a supplement that supports the thymus, and we just happened to be visiting an aroma-therapist on our trip, so he told her to use sage essential oil for the sore throat. And she got better fast.
She was actually the one that suggested I write a book about how I work with my health. I guess one of the main things that make my approach different is that I use things (vitamins, treatments, protocols) in synergy, deliberately. I want them to combine and have a cumulative effect over time.
Standard American medicine needs to avoid that synergy – they call it drug interactions – and that’s one of the cool things about using alternative therapies, is that they can combine in ways that make them more effective and still be safe. Because Nature combines things all the time. So when you defeat Nature’s way of combining, and isolate and synthesize an “active ingredient”, you kind of create a sledge hammer of a remedy. And two sledge hammers working together can do some damage.
But when you use a natural product, all the balancing substances are built in by nature, and it’s capable of combining effectively with other natural products.