Apr
06

Heal Yourself, Heal Others

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Personal note: When I sit down to write a blog, I always pray for God to guide what I say. Today, what came forth was very surprising to me. A whole new idea, maybe a whole new approach to my work!

And, possibly, a way for you to contribute to the healing of the world!

In my recent series on Learning to See, I’ve been talking about the quantum field and how we are all connected on an energetic level.

Now I want to share something very exciting.

Because we are all connected, what we do for ourselves touches others, and can even help heal others and contribute to healing in the world.

This concept isn’t actually all that new. Many people have had an intuitive sense of it for a long time.

You’ve heard that your level of success will be on a par with that of the five people you’re closest to.

Women’s menstrual cycles tend to synchronize with either the moon or those with whom she lives.

a group of white and grey objects

Photo by Jacek Ulinski

Explanation? We attune to other people energetically, and tend to move toward a collective synchronization. It’s like when you have a bunch of tuning forks in the same room, and you strike one, the others will begin to vibrate at the same frequency.

What is the “tuning fork” for us? The body.

And the “language of the body” is frequency–vibration. Which is why energy medicine works at the source. The Healing Codes in particular change the frequency in the cellular memories you’re trying to heal, which frees up more energy in your body to work on healing whatever is out of balance—which is the body’s main goal.

time lapse photography of water reaction

Photo by Jackson Hendry

When you heal yourself, that healing energy ripples out to others, whether you’re aware of it or not.

And when we get very intentional about our healing helping others, it’s even more powerful.

We can get intentional in two ways.

1. Release your Healing Code to others with a simple prayer at the end. “I release the full effects of this healing to [names], in love, insofar as this issue affects them.” (More on this here.)

2. You can intentionally do Healing Codes for other people. I have published a number of articles on this as well as a video.

Doing Healing Codes for others, or even just releasing your Codes to those closest to you, can be a wonderful ministry. I remember one woman in a church I went to said excitedly, “You can start Healing Codes Circles where the group prays and does Healing Codes for others!”

group of people near bonfire near trees during nighttime

Photo by Tegan Mierlepra

I thought that was an excellent idea. Sadly, she was the only one in that church who had that vision. I now attend another church, and so far I haven’t found anyone in leadership who supports that kind of thing. As I mentioned in my last article, most people in the Christian churches are steeped in the Newtonian view (which is not really biblical), and consider quantum physics off limits (or at least, this application of it).

But if you have people in your circle who both pray and are open to the Healing Codes, what a wonderful ministry that would be! I would also include doing a Healing Code to “push hack the darkness” in the world in general, and send that out.

If you do start a Healing Codes Circle like this, let me know! I’ll get you a custom Healing Code for the general “push back the darkness” intention. Even if you meet with just one other person, it can be very powerful.

And if you’re interested in doing an online version of this together, let me know!

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Learning to See–Part Four

I promised in Part 3 of this Learning to See series that I would talk about a paradigm shift that can change everything for you.

a man holding a camera up to his face

Photo by Tri Vo

It can change your belief in your ability to heal, and ignite healing.

It can help you understand our medical and other institutions better, and make more informed decisions about your health and other matters.

It can change how you experience the world, yourself, God, other people.

It can change the way you vote.

It can open the way for miracles to happen so often that they can seem commonplace.

AND—it will cause you to swim against the current culture.

However, that will be a bit easier because you will understand more of what’s underneath the current forces of culture and develop a strong sense of agency, that you can create change and make choices. Read More→

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I have a pine tree outside of my office window.

From the outside, the tree look rather unsightly. People have told me I should cut it down. “It’s ugly.” “It’s too near the house.”

However, as I sit at my computer and look out at the tree, a whole world of nature opens up.

The branches, and blue sky between.

I enjoy seeing the birds that often come to sit in the branches and chirp away. Or the squirrels that climb up the limbs. Occasionally I’ll even see a chipmunk racing up the trunk, or picking off the berries in autumn.

I will not cut down that tree. It offers me too much joy. My perspective “from the inside” is completely different from someone who sees this tree from the outside.

Playing with perspectives is a fun way to gain mental agility and even develop more compassion.

rain drops on clear glass windshield

Photo by Ashwini Chaudhary(Monty)

For instance, how often were you cut off in traffic? What were your first thoughts?

“What an inconsiderate person. They could cause an accident.” Anger and judgment rise up as you clench your teeth and your blood pressure rises.

What if you noticed this automatic way of thinking, and deliberately shifted to non-judgmental curiosity about what else might have caused the person to rush and cut you off?

What if that person just got bad news that a loved one is in the hospital, and they are rushing to get there before the person passes away?

What if they got delayed at work, and are rushing to pick up their child from school so the child does not feel abandoned?

How would those thoughts color your feelings and even, how your body responds?

Our perspective colors and even creates our reality.

person holding crystal ball

Photo by Nadine Shaabana

To test this out for yourself, I invite you to think of a common scenario in your life that annoys, frustrates, upsets you. Perhaps it’s that you have to remind your spouse yet again to take out the trash, and it’s 10pm and you’re tired and you just want to go to bed?

Your thoughts might be: Why can’t he remember? Trash day is always on Tuesdays, and here it is, 10pm on Monday and he’s still watching TV, oblivious.

Notice your thoughts. Notice what’s going on in your body as you think these thoughts.

Now, what if you shifted your thoughts to review the day from your spouse’s perspective? What did he actually do that day? Was his day particularly busy? Did he seem stressed? Did he mention that he had a tough day at the office?

How might that color your perspective? Your feelings? What’s going on in your body?

Our thoughts are energy, and our thoughts help to create our reality. Especially our emotional and physical reality.

Getting back to the Bates Method of vision improvement, he talks about how we can easily create tunnel vision. “Poor vision habits” is one of the three causes he cites for declining vision. Bates encouraged people to use their eyes in various ways, such as following the outline of a window or a painting on the wall, or shifting your gaze from near to far. This both rests and exercises the eye, and widens the ability to see in a wider range.

a man standing on top of a mountain with his arms wide open

Photo by Ryan Hoffman

One hundred years later, when we’re all staring at screens, tunnel vision is probably even more of a problem. The antidote is to get up, move your eyes as mentioned, gaze at something very near, then very far.

Dr. Liz Stanley, in her book Widen the Window, says that slowly moving your head and neck to gaze at neutral objects in the room calms the “survival brain” and allows the “thinking brain” more access to solutions and insights.

The physical ways to change perspective point to more metaphorical ways of “widening our window” to allow for several perspectives.

When you can begin to “see” from different perspectives, different points of view, it deepens your ability to be more compassionate, with other people, and even with yourself.

This is very good for your nervous system. The fear response does all kinds of nasty things to your body, when it becomes chronic. A neuroscientist, Dr. Jim Wilder, once told me that the circuit in the brain that’s associated with fear is the same one that curiosity rides on. So, if you consciously get curious about something that scares you, you interrupt that fear response. Your nervous system is not activated, and your higher functioning “thinking brain” can take over.

gray owl on brown wooden fence during daytime

Photo by Josh Mills

Curiosity, by its very nature, counters fear. It encourages us to explore and understand rather than avoid and fear the unknown. It is a great antidote to the uncertainty of these unprecedented times.

Next time you feel anxious, worried, or fearful because you’re facing uncertainty (possibly in the next two minutes), notice those feelings and then switch to curiosity. Try on different perspectives, as mentioned in my examples and the suggestions below. Train yourself to “see” multiple viewpoints at the same time.

Not only will that quell fear and anxiety, but it’s a whole lot more fun. It’s akin to the eye exercises Dr. Bates suggests retrain your eye muscles to their proper functioning. You’re training your “neurological muscles” to “see” in different ways, thus opening you up to new possibilities and countering the rigid thinking that locks you in fear.

Here are some fun things to try.

1. At different times of the day, check in with yourself and how you are seeing. What is my current perspective on what’s happening? Is this current way of seeing helpful? If it is not helpful, ask yourself: Can I shift my perception to a different way of seeing this? If you do shift your way of looking, evaluate: What changes? What changes in your experience of yourself (thoughts, feelings, body sensations), of others, of the world around you?

2. Like trying on different pairs of glasses, you can also “try on” different ways of seeing very deliberately.

man holding eyeglasses

Photo by Nathan Dumlao

Some different “glasses” to try on and play with:

  • different emotions (anger, anxiety, shame, sadness, joy, tenderness, etc.)
  • a hurried, running-late person, or a sleep-deprived person, or a stressed person
  • some role(s) you hold (e.g. parent, child, spouse, professional role)
  • some identities you hold (e.g. your gender, race, age, ethnicity, nationality, religious identity)
  • open, spacious awareness
  • a person of faith, or a person with no faith

As you try on these different “glasses,” notice how you feel about yourself, what you notice about your mind state, body sensations and energy level, body posture, values, thought patterns, emotions, voice, and behavior.

You can also notice where your attention and awareness are drawn. With these “glasses” on, which cues are most prevalent about yourself and about the world around you? Notice how that way of looking affects your actual experience of yourself and others and the world.

3. Finally, you can start noticing the way others are perceiving the world, themselves, and other people. As you consume news, social media, and talk with people, notice their default ways of looking, and how that may be creating their experience of reality.

Does being able to see from their perspective open up new ways of understanding them for you? Does your appreciation of their perspective shift the way you perceive and relate to them? Can you bring non-judgmental curiosity to their ways of looking, even if they’re different from yours? Why or why not?

I hope you have fun with these exercises! In Part Four I will talk about a paradigm shift that can change everything.

If you would like more, ongoing help in healing and transforming your perspective (a.k.a. your whole life), check out my Align with Your Divine DesignTM program.

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Mar
16

Learning to See-Part Two

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In “Learning to See-Part 1” I talked about physical seeing, and how we might be able to improve vision through the Bates Method by correcting the sources of poor vision: mental and physical strain (i.e. stress), poor vision habits, and wearing glasses.

Now I’d like to address another aspect of “seeing”–perhaps the most crucial.

Besides seeing with our eyes, we also “see” with the non-physical aspects of our being, whether you want to call it the mind, heart, or spirit. (Maybe it’s all three?)

This kind of seeing is all about perspective.

gray and brown stones on gray ground

Photo by Ana Municio

Often it starts with asking questions. Curiosity tends to open the mind to new perspectives.

Getting back to the Dr. Bates Method, as an ophthalmologist he noticed some of his patients improved, and he wanted to know why. He reasoned, “If a remedy (in this case, glasses) works, the dose should be weakened as the patient gets stronger.”

That’s not what happens with glasses, however. Usually the eyes weaken, and stronger and stronger lenses are prescribed. He concluded from his research that body and mind tension produces eyestrain and creates vision problems. Vision problems were a result of three things: mental strain; poor vision habits, and eyeglasses, which he saw as crutches that impede the eye from “working out,” as it were.

Bates started weaning his patients off of glasses, and their vision improved as they did his other practices. He taught other doctors to do the same, and their patients’ vision improved.

However, this was not what the mainstream believed at the time. Their perspective was pretty much what the current modern perspective is: we can’t know the root cause of poor vision, and we just need to treat the symptom (by prescribing glasses, of course). End of story.

Dr. Bates was expelled from his organization in 1891 for his unorthodox views.

He went on to open free vision clinics, and apparently cured a lot of people, including children, of their vision problems. I wonder if his methods would still be in use today, more than 100 years later, if they didn’t help at least somewhat.

Vision problems marked my life since I was born really (eye surgery to correct strabysmus, then lazy eye, poor vision overall, and now dry eye and cataracts). I’ve worn glasses since I had the eye surgery at age 4. Notably, my glasses prescription has not gotten much worse since I’ve been doing The Healing Codes, which would lend some strength to Dr. Bates’s theory, since The Healing Codes deal with stress.

I’ve written about the two ways of viewing the body before. It seems to me it’s hugely important how you see your body if you want to improve your health.

doctors doing surgery inside emergency room

Photo by Natanael Melchor

One view, the prevailing view, has you dependent on the medical industry. If there’s something wrong, you need something outside yourself to fix it (medication, surgery, eyeglasses, etc.).

If you get a diagnosis, for example that you have cancer, the doctors will bombard you with all sorts of options for treatments. Do they believe the body has an innate intelligence, that maybe the body is trying to communicate something, and that possibly you can use those resources to overcome the cancer?

Do they try to find the root cause and create change on that level, and support the body’s natural drive to survive?

Not usually.

I tell my clients, when they get a diagnosis, to remind themselves of the truth: that doctors have found a condition they label as X, but it is actually simply a description of what they think they know based on a lot of other people’s experience (which is what research essentially is).

I’m not knocking that. We need research. We need doctors and hospitals. Surgery, medication, or other treatments can be life-saving and the best options.

But if you want to get to the root cause, so that the condition actually heals and does not recur, remember that you are an individual, and the cause of your condition might be completely different from the root of someone else’s similar condition. Doesn’t it make sense to at least attempt to find the root cause, along with addressing the symptoms?

Which brings me to another way of “seeing” that’s all too common: black and white, either/or thinking.

What if vision problems are caused by stress, poor vision habits, and wearing glasses? What if you can improve, if not totally correct, the vision issues by addressing stress and poor vision habits, and at least stop the assumed “inevitable” eye deterioration by improving the functioning of the eye and the brain?

Wouldn’t that be worth considering?

man in white long sleeve shirt looking at Apple laptop computer

Photo by Varun Gaba

My optometrist told me that one reason I was having trouble seeing well was “dry eye.” “Are you on the computer a lot?” she inquired.

Yes, I admitted.

She explained that normally we blink our eyes 15-20 times per minute, but when at the computer, or reading, we blink far less often. Blinking lubricates the eyeball. When you blink less often, you don’t lubricate the eyeball.

What was the remedy? Warm compresses (and she recommended a microwavable eye mask, which of course she sells), eye drops (I got a sample and coupons for buying more). Though “blinking less often” was the cause of the dry eye, she only mentioned “blinking more” in passing.

“Blink more often” is part of the Bates Method. Palming is also recommended, which my vision teacher tells me is better than eye masks because you have the energy of your own hands going into the eyes. Also, breathing to relax yourself while palming helps a lot.

Since I believe in energy as a healing force, I am trying the palming and breathing and blinking, along with other practices. Already my eyesight is improving somewhat, and I have not even been super diligent about the Bates Method suggestions. It will be interesting when I see the ophthalmologist in April, to find out if there are any objective changes. I’m open, but not convinced—as I was when I started doing The Healing Codes, by the way. What convinced me was seeing remarkable results.

I’m also exploring any “heart issues” that might be connected to vision. I believe that “heart issues” are often mirrored metaphorically in the body. For instance: was there something in my family growing up that I didn’t want to “see” clearly? Hmmm, we might be onto something. . . .

Could the “dry eye” be connected to the memory from fifth grade, when I witnessed two teachers bullying a boy for crying, and I vowed nobody would ever do that to me again? I didn’t cry much after that; I consciously suppressed my sensitivity. Is the “dry eye” about tears unshed, that need to be shed?

These are possibilities seem worth considering.

What do you ever lose by being open to possibilities? More importantly, what might you gain?

If you got a cancer diagnosis, wouldn’t it make sense to explore conventional treatments and also look for and heal any root emotional causes?

More and more experts, such as M.D. Gabor Maté and Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, author of The Body Keeps the Score, as well as the famous ACEs study, attest how often emotional issues lead to physical manifestations of disease. Many of my clients who have taken this approach of healing the heart issues have enjoyed good, and sometimes remarkable, outcomes.

a man with a blindfold over his eyes

Photo by Manuel bonadeo

Whenever I hear that “no one knows what causes X,” I immediately get curious and wonder if the root cause could be something no one is “seeing,” largely because no one is looking for it. (This “blindfolding” can happen for a number of reasons, but often personal gain is the motivator. Eyeglasses were enjoying a big boom when Dr. Bates was testing his theories, and optometrists today probably make most of their money on the glasses they sell. An anthropologist admitted this to my friend.)

These days, I like to make it almost a game to discern where someone is coming from when I read news stories, or opinions of “experts,” or media people, or social media, or medical people. There are so many different “ways of seeing,” and usually there’s a kernel of truth in almost everything. You often have to dig to get at the deepest truth.

More on that next time, in Part Three, where I’ll suggest a fun game to expand your (spiritual) vision, which will improve your relationships big time, and sharpen your discernment.

If you would like more, ongoing help in healing and transforming your perspective (a.k.a. your whole life), check out my Align with Your Divine DesignTM program.

Mar
09

Learning to See–Part One

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This is Part One of a series I will be doing on seeing—both physically and non-physically.

Here we’ll look at (pun intended) seeing physically—with our eyes. And how maybe, if we adopt the right way of seeing possibilities, we might improve our actual physical vision.

girl in blue and white floral cap sleeve shirt wearing eyeglasses

Photo by Adam Winger

My Story

Even though I’ve worn glasses since I was 3 or 4 years old, after eye surgery for strabismus, I had no idea that one can, or indeed, needed to learn how to see.

I just took for granted that I know how to see, and if there are problems, they would be corrected by glasses (or for some things, surgery). Certainly this is the dominant modern view.

I had no idea that there was any other way.

Until recently, when I started taking a class with Dr. Mila Casey, to improve my vision naturally.

Oh my goodness, what I’m learning! The eye is an amazing instrument, and wonder of wonders, you can possibly improve your vision through some simple methods that you can incorporate into your daily life.

The Bates Method of Natural Vision Improvement

Dr. Casey’s class is based on the Bates Method, which if you look up online you can find a lot of information.

Dr. William H. Bates was an ophthalmologist who concluded “after decades of researching for an alternative to prescription glasses, that mental stress is the root cause of vision problems such as myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism.” (Yet another area in which stress may be a root cause!)

Note that Wikipedia’s entry on the Bates Method is clearly full of bias from the word go. (I’ve underlined the words reflecting this bias.)

“The Bates method is an ineffective and potentially dangerous alternative therapy aimed at improving eyesight. Eye-care physician William Horatio Bates (1860–1931) held the erroneous belief that the extraocular muscles effected changes in focus and that ‘mental strain’ caused abnormal action of these muscles; hence he believed that relieving such ‘strain’ would cure defective vision. In 1952, optometry professor Elwin Marg wrote of Bates, ‘Most of his claims and almost all of his theories have been considered false by practically all visual scientists.’”

(Interestingly, the studies Wikipedia cites to disprove the Bates Method are all rather recent. Could this be when Big Media sided with Big Medicine started to debunk anything “natural” or off the beaten track?)

I have noticed that any new therapy is quickly disparaged, especially if it involves something where a whole industry will lose money (in this case, the optical industry if people don’t need glasses). The scientific method is king, and nothing else will even be considered. Often no actual research or clinical trials will even be done (or not done correctly), and that is pointed to as proof that the therapy under question is invalid.

This is especially prominent in the fascinating book, Breath by James Nestor. I can’t help but think that our modern world not only has truncated our natural ability to see correctly, but to breathe correctly. Nestor interviewed and researched many “off the beaten path” approaches to better breathing and health, most of which were disparaged or more likely, ignored by more mainstream approaches. One 3-star reviewer complained that Nestor “tends to rely on ‘rebel sources’ – doctors whose ideas have been largely discredited by the medical community.”

I always have to ask, “Why are so many novel ideas discredited by the medical community?” One has only to think of the recent pandemic debacle to find an answer.

Yet, modern science generally agrees that most physical dysfunctions have their roots in stress, one way or another. So why couldn’t stress, or “mental strain” as Bates put it, also cause poor eyesight?

The proof is always in the pudding, as they say. In Nestor’s case, 79% of the 27,359 reviewers gave the book 5 stars, many attesting that changing their breathing habits changed their lives.

In terms of the Bates Method, many people, including Aldous Huxley who wrote a whole book called The Art of Seeing, have claimed they have improved their vision with the Bates Method, or some later version of it. In my class today, one woman with very severe myopia shared a video of her opthamologist expressing his amazement at how much her vision had improved (after only 4 weeks of her practicing the Bates Method).

If you see improvement but not total healing, doesn’t that indicate there’s something to the approach?

I think so.

It’s similar to The Healing Codes. Many people disparage it because they don’t understand it. People objected that there were no clinical trials. Well, now there are. So suddenly it’s OK because there are now studies validating it? I’m glad I didn’t wait until there were actual studies to try it and reap the benefits.

please stay on the path signage

Photo by Mark Duffel

If you decide to pursue natural vision therapy, note that you need to commit to daily practices. (Here is a video outlining what that might look like.) Like any other healing method or health habit, learning to see (without glasses or contacts) requires establishing new habits. Focus on the potential reward every time motivation wanes.

In Part Two I will cover another aspect of seeing—perhaps the most important if you are seeking healing of any kind.

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My neighbor and I were chatting about facing medical challenges.

Bobbi was an operating room nurse until a sudden medical condition forced her to retire earlier than she wanted. She also took care of both parents who had dementia. She has faced lots of end-of-life issues, personally and professionally.

Being Mortal by Atul Gawande on AmazonBobbi told me about a book that was very helpful to her and her father, called Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande.

I haven’t read the book myself, but was struck by three questions Bobbi shared from the book that she and her father found very helpful:

  • What is your understanding of your situation?

  • What are your fears?

  • What do you want?

I too am finding these questions helpful my husband and I ponder and discuss medical and other issues of aging (mentioned in another post).

Talking through key questions with family members can go a long way toward preventing confusion, anxiety, and misunderstandings.

Navigating Life’s Final Journey by Pat O’ConnorAnother very helpful little book for clarifying end-of-life decisions is Navigating Life’s Final Journey, by Pat O’Connor. Pat was an Advanced Practice Nurse Practitioner specializing in Primary Care as well as Hospice and Palliative Care. (She also was my college roommate for 3 ½ years—one of God’s best gifts to me!)

Pat’s book is both moving and practical. She shares stories from her own experience with patients, and also gives very straightforward advice on the kind of decisions to be made, documents you need to ensure your wishes are honored, how and when to have conversations with family members and your medical staff, and resources available such as palliative care and hospice (and the differences between these).

It’s not pleasant to face the fact that we will inevitably come to the end of this life. At least for me, though, I feel more peace in knowing I’ve faced the decisions, gotten things in order, and that family members understand what I and my husband desire in terms of the final phase of my life on earth.

Thinking through these kinds of issues clarifies what you really value. Since I don’t fear death so much as the process of dying, my decisions are based more on quality of life than length of life. Facing these questions and decisions head on gives a sense of empowerment.

Making sure your life ends your way, to the extent that you can, is your final act of autonomy.

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Feb
24

A Beautiful Story Of Healing

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A reader whom I’ll call Joyce has been sharing her healing journey with me over the past couple of months. Recently she wrote to me about the major breakthrough she experienced on two fronts.

The first breakthrough is too personal to share, except to say that for all her life (Joyce  is in her eighties) she suffered from a childhood trauma she couldn’t really remember. After doing The Healing Code (from the book) diligently, she had many breakthroughs from the beginning.

brown and white bed linen

Photo by Rehina Sultanova

When she started with The Healing Code, all she wanted to do was escape in sleep. At that time, she told me, “With the help of The Healing Code I am now finding the courage to face my guilt and anger – but there is a titanic battle raging between my subconscious and conscious.  The former wants me to get back into bed, stay there 24/7, be safe, but lose.  The latter wants me to stay awake, however hard it is, do the Code and win.”

I encouraged her to stick with it, and she did, step by step. She is definitely a fighter!

She shared about her strange physical responses after doing The Healing Code (“yawning, passing wind non-stop, itching non-stop, coughing, eyes streaming . . .”). I assured her these were good signs of nervous system release of trauma.

Some days all she could do was sleep. I encouraged her to do so; her system was processing the healing. I also suggested she slow down on doing the Code as often or as long, when she felt like all she could do is sleep.

Joyce carried on. Read More→

I just read an article in Bottom Line Personal called “You Can Think Your Way to Better Health.” BLP interviewed Ellen Langer, PhD and author of The Mindful Body, who cited numerous studies to show how just reframing the way you think about exercise, eating, diagnoses, and symptoms can drastically affect outcomes.

For instance:

  • In one of Dr. Langer’s studies, researchers encouraged a group of hotel chambermaids to view their everyday work as exercise. Result: those chambermaids lost weight and experienced reduced blood pressure compared to the chambermaids that were not instructed to think of their work as exercise.

  • Other research from Stanford University further found that people who don’t perceive themselves as physically active have significantly higher mortality rates than those who do perceive themselves to be active—regardless of how active they actually are.

How physically active do you think YOU are? You might want to up that perception. Take into account all the housework, yard work, shopping, etc., not just what is normally considered “exercise.” I recently remarked to my husband that if we ever moved to a house with less stairs, as people “of age” are suggested to do, maybe it wouldn’t actually be as good for us.

I love this one: you can imagine yourself eating your favorite, but not necessarily healthiest, foods—and actually reduce your desire to eat. Imagining eating and actually eating are not all that different to the brain. So if you imagine yourself eating, for example, cheese, as test subjects did, you will likely eat less of it if offered, because you would feel fairly full already from just imagining eating it.

The authors suggest next time you’re tempted to eat something you know isn’t good for you, imagine in great detail the experience of eating it. I love pizza, but it’s “death on a plate” for me, with everything that doesn’t agree with me: gluten, cheese, tomato sauce. I can try imagining not only the taste, but the smell, the warmth of the cheese, and the feel of the crust in my mouth. (Yum!)

What about your view of medical matters in general, about the state of your own health, and about how (and whether) the body can heal?

According to Dr. Langer, how you view your medical diagnoses, such as borderline test results and chronic symptoms, can influence your health outcomes.

I often tell my clients who have been handed a devastating diagnosis, “This is just a label for some observations people have made about a group of symptoms. They cite statistics from large groups of people. You are an individual. You can control a number of factors that will determine YOUR ultimate outcome.”

A big part of that control is how you view your health status.

“Compared to other people your age, would you say your health is: poor, fair, good, very good, or excellent?”

This was a question I was asked at my recent Medicare wellness checkup.

I answered “good,” despite my various “diagnoses,” and my doctor agreed. She told me that because of my lifestyle (and perhaps, attitude), I have a very different health trajectory than many people she sees that are my age with my “conditions.”

Why? Because I live as healthy a lifestyle and I can, and because of how I view the body and health.

Image of rusty car, to illustrate one view of the body: that it's mechanical and will rust outimage of thriving plant, to illustrate how the body heals when you respect and support its intelligenceI wrote a blog post called “How the Body Heals: Two Views” in which I contrast the modern Western mechanistic view of the body with a more organic approach. Read it here.

Which view do you adopt? Your answer to this, and the other question about your comparative health, could affect the trajectory of your own health outcomes.

What about symptoms?

What is a healthy way to view symptoms, especially if you have chronic health issues?

The typical way symptoms are viewed is that it’s something gone wrong with the body (mechanistic view), and that the answer is to medicate away the symptom.

The trouble is, medications often cause side effects, which are then treated as symptoms to be relieved. Thus you fall into the medical mill where you’re taking multiple medications to treat symptoms often caused by the medications themselves, while no one bothers to find out what the root causes of the symptoms were.

The Bottom Line Personal article talks about being mindful of symptom variability—the fact that symptoms rise and fall. This can help you be less bothered by them and thus, avoid triggering a fear loop that makes everything worse (and could cause neuroplastic pain).

I would add, there is another perspective, one that views symptoms not as signs of disease but signs of healing. The figure below summarizes the process. I wrote more about it here. 

What if symptoms were also messages from your body? Messages that, if heeded and decoded, could point you to ways to improve your health? I wrote about various aspects of that as well on my blog. The end of this article gives that list.

Could merely adopting the views that symptoms are messages from the body and/or signs of regeneration, rather than being a cause for alarm, affect the outcome?

I believe it can. When I first started doing The Healing Codes, all kinds of symptoms cropped up. That first year, I was running often to the doctor (not having made the transition fully to the organic view of the body). Slowly I began giving myself more and more time for the symptoms to resolve before going to the doctor. Invariably the symptoms would subside as I kept doing my healing work.

Important note: I am not saying don’t seek medical advice or treatment. I usually try my healing tools first, and give that time (healing often takes time). My experience has been that when I do that, often the medical interventions are not needed.

I did and do seek medical intervention when it seems warranted. Recently I had an issue that all my healing tools could not fix, because it was an anatomical problem. I had a surgery that drastically improved the quality of my life. AND I’m finding that I still need to use my healing tools to detox from the surgery and treatments themselves, because the medications used were heavy duty and I am sensitive to medications. My Truth Focus Statement for this is, “I am fully recovering in all ways from the surgery and all side effects from the medications.”

Dr. Ellen Langer and Dr. Gabor Maté. author of When the Body Says No, and no doubt other experts, say, “The body and mind are one entity.”

Who knew that our minds and hearts—and what we believe—could be so powerful?

(Trick question: I believe you already know, because you’re reading this. But it’s always encouraging to get independent confirmation from credible people, isn’t it?)

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Feb
10

The Real Reason People Retire?

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I wish an elder had told me the truth about aging—and what is perhaps the real reason people retire.

I never wanted to retire. I am one of the fortunate ones who loves what I do and feels a sense of calling, which motivates me afresh whenever my resolve wanes.

And it’s waning more and more. Not because I don’t love my work, but because of the demands of the current season of my life.

Demands I wish someone had told me ahead of time.

woman sitting on seashore

Photo by sk

But you see, in Western culture, we don’t like to talk about aging. Nor do we respect the wisdom of elders, by and large. Old age is seen as a time of decline, of growing less and less useful, of more dependency.

I don’t think it has to be that way. It’s each elder’s responsibility to do all we can to age well.

It’s quite possible. But it’s also more time-consuming than I ever imagined. Read More→

Feb
03

Music to Awaken the Mind

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It’s interesting how things sometimes come to your attention repeatedly over a short period of time.

I always pay great attention to when this happens.

lighted red text signage

Photo by Mohammad Metri

For some time, I have been fascinated by, and using, music and sound as I do my healing work.

Lately, though, various aspects of how sound and music can affect healing have come up again and again, from different sources.

That’s when I really pay attention.

In a recent post I shared some music that moves me and relaxes me before bedtime.

A few days ago, a friend that I haven’t heard from in years contacted me to ask if I still do editing.

I do not, but was able to refer her friend to someone who can help her. And in the back and forth, my friend ended up sharing a video about how music helps people living with dementia to come alive in amazing ways.

It is quite an inspiring video, and I encourage you to watch it. The healing power of music is not limited to people with dementia. It applies to all of us, because, as the documentary points out, music gets encoded in us very early in the womb.

In my Healing Hearts Circle coaching group (which will be made available again soon; sign up here to be on the waitlist), I have always used music in the background.

Now I’m exploring other ways to use sound for healing. As usual, I have been my first guinea pig, I and my husband and a few willing clients.

If you would like to be part of the test group for a whole new approach to healing that utilizes sound and can be done with The Healing Codes, email me for details.

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