Although we may be treated by a healthcare professional or have the help of our family, being sick can be a lonely affair. Pain, discomfort, worry, and fear are experiences that may be thrust upon us that we need to bear, moment by moment. No one can do it for us.
I speak and write about health and have my own practices for taking care of myself, but I also experience times when I’m not feeling as well. Physical and emotional discomfort are part of having a body and a physical experience on earth. Rather than being circumstances to shy away from, they are useful information. They indicate when we may need to change our behavior or when our life is going in a direction that doesn’t match what we want deep down. It may also happen when we interact with a layer of stuck energy inside, or simply give us clues to what’s injured when we have an accident or infection.
How we think about pain or discomfort makes a difference, not only in our experience of it, but in our treatment outcomes. Like any other circumstance, if you accept your condition as it is, you can let go of your stress, fear, and worry about it. Such negative emotions can worsen your condition if you keep dwelling on them. On the other hand, making peace with your situation can reduce the pain and discomfort you feel.
I often tell people to use their body to heal their body. Our body has its own wisdom. If we listen to that wisdom, we can help its natural healing mechanisms bring our body back to full health more quickly and easily. We can even have many awakenings about ourselves in the process.
Our bodies are speaking to us all the time. They let us know when they need to eat or drink. They tell us when to move or rest. And they guide us in how to move in order to release pain, tension, or stagnant energy.
When I was thrown off a horse and injured my back, I was bedridden for a while and could barely move. But that didn’t stop me from using my body to help my condition. I made subtle vibrations using small movements as I lay in bed. With time, those vibrations helped my back return to normal without surgery.
Listening to your body is a sense that can be developed through training. It’s a trust in your body that is forged with experience, just like any relationship. The Brain Education exercises that I teach involve concentrating on what your brain and body are saying as you do them. For that period of time, you ignore external stimuli and focus within, honing your ability to notice and understand what’s going on inside. Rather than dwelling on the thoughts or emotions you have, you tune into your physical sensations, bringing your consciousness solidly into your body and grounding it in the here and now.
Focusing on your body in this way not only helps you feel calmer and more centered, it also helps energy to flow more easily in your body. Wherever your mind concentrates is where your energy gathers and moves. Physical sensations such as pain, discomfort, heat, cold, or vibration are manifestations of energy. As you bring your awareness to them, any energy that is stuck will start to flow and any energy that is depleted will fill up. This is the essence of energy healing.
The ability to listen to your body can then be used when you’re not training as well. When your concentration improves, you can hear what your body is saying even while going about your daily life. This ongoing conversation with your body can guide your behavior so that you can prevent illness and injury.
Your body is like a wonder drug. It’s the best doctor you can have. Whenever you’re not feeling well, no matter what else you do, ask your body for help. Bring your attention inside yourself and connect to your body. Let it show you how it needs to move, to breathe, to eat, and to rest so that it can return to its natural state of health.