Over the next several months I will be writing about the connections between mind and body and how each influences and affects the other in terms of our health.
This is part of a Meta Health approach to understanding the different mind-body-emotion aspects that can be implicated in your health conditions.
It is not a substitute for going to or receiving advice and medical care from your GP, but it is an additional resource for you to begin to think about and critically question the emotional or psychological components of your health and wellbeing. You may be surprised at what you find. This will only go to help and support your health care, whether you are receiving allopathic, herbal or complementary health interventions.
As you may be aware, thyroid issues, and particularly Hypothyroidism is a speciality area of mine, and I will be writing extensively around these issues and the multiple symptoms associated with thyroid disorders via the connected, but specialised thyroid detective series.
The Thyroid Detective Series is part of this larger set of writings (‘The Mind-Body Detective Series’) and is available to read on my sister website: www.hypothyroidfree.com
These are sets of writings that will explore the mind-body connections to many of the symptoms that are associated with particular diseases.
There will be two parts to each article:
- The ‘body’ aspect of the disease – biological symptoms and the purpose of the body function in a disease process – this is the science bit!
- The ‘mind’ aspect of the dis-ease – how the body is interpreting the ‘mind’ itself in order to find a solution to the minds ‘perceived problem’ – this is the magical bit!
Over time, the Mind-Body Detective Series will become a collective set of resources to provide an understanding of the framework that underpins the mind-body-emotion connections that are part of the whole experience of disease and ill-health.
Looking at all Sides of the ‘Health’ coin
The mind and emotions are often the flip side of the ‘health coin’ that is often overlooked in allopathic medicine, or may only be briefly mentioned in many cases of health interventions, with the body being the main focus of attention.
We do have a fantastic health service in the UK, and the ability to go to visit a GP at any time is a wonderful privilege that many people in the World do not necessarily have easy access to. We have emergency services that can respond in life-threatening situations, and long-term health care for people with chronic conditions.
However, the health care system is primarily set up to deal with the physical symptoms, even at the level of chemical manipulation of what the body cells are doing, the health system aims to ‘change’ the biological process through medication, and sometimes also uses physical manipulation techniques and occasionally will also refer to talk therapies, or cognitive behavioural therapies.
These are all good, and have a place in our overall health and recovery from disease.
However, the missing link in the chain is often the effect of ill-health on a persons individual mind and emotions; and equally, and even more powerfully, is the important focus on the mind and emotions and how they actively influence and affect how our body responds to those stresses and its ability to fully and completely heal!
Whilst some people may receive their prescribed medication and continue without any further thoughts of their symptoms within their daily lives, there are some people who find that medication does seem to work so well for them, and also a growing number of people who are mindful that their disease may just be ‘telling them something’ more deep and profound.
Neither of these approaches or experiences is ‘right or wrong’!
There is no good or bad way to address your own experiences of health, or disease. No-one can tell you that your approach, your emotions or your thoughts around your own situation and health is correct or not.
We are all individuals – and we have different needs, thinking, experiences and symptoms.
Some may react well to pharmaceuticals they are provided with, which aim to primarily change the physical-biological processes, whilst other people may have a different experience.
When we address our health from multiple aspects that include our own thinking, our emotions, our experiences and our beliefs, we begin to understand how all of these different aspects inform and shape our lives – and our health!
Very often, before we experience our physical symptoms, we may be receiving ‘signs’ that something is not quite right.
It may be ‘lighter’ physical symptoms, but often it can be stressful experiences, emotional traumas, or other indicators. Unfortunately, we are very good at ‘ignoring’ these signs, and trying to overcome them by ‘carrying on’. Sometimes this works for us – but sometimes not.
However, at some point, we may recognise that we do want to address these areas in order to really regain our health or wellbeing.
When we address our health issues in this way, we are no longer completely and only reliant on ‘other people’ to fix us – this is the point when we chose to engage in our own health journey towards health and wellbeing.
This is a pathway that is often self-empowering and can help us to make lifestyle and belief changes that will simultaneously support and enhance our allopathic healing.
It is important to remember that whatever you do to become active in your own health and recovery journey from disease, that you should always continue to receive medical advice from your specialists or general practitioners around your specific issues.
However, with a mind-body-emotion approach to your health you will be able to simultaneously address all levels of your being on a much deeper and more personal level.
The beauty of understanding what is happening within the complete mind-body-emotion aspect of a disease, is that we can begin to make small lifestyle changes that are directed by and directly linked to the stresses and triggers that may be affecting the exact tissues and cells involved in the disease process itself.
At the beginning of becoming ‘conscious’ of these connections, it is often about recognising our own processes, our own habits and our own thinking patterns – as they happen!
This might not sound like a lot, but it is absolutely critical and ultimately these changes of awareness are life changing! When we begin to notice what it is we are doing, when we understand the biological and cellular consequences and possibilities associated with those actions, thoughts and emotions, then we are empowered to stand back in that moment, and to make a choice that is conscious – about whether we actually WANT to engage in those same actions, thoughts and emotions that are driving and directing our current health patterns.
This is where we truly begin to understand our own personal INDIVIDUAL STRESSORS! And these are different for everyone!
When we get this, we can make changes about how we respond to our own stresses!
This is also when we really “get” that all disease is in fact caused by that elusive “Stress” that is often cited as being the culprit of many of todays illnesses!
Lifestyle Prescriptions is a lifestyle approach to health.
It helps us to engage in the ‘smaller’ actions and question the current habits on a day to day level.
With a lifestyle Prescription coach, you will be guided through short analysis sessions, to understand and reflect upon a key aspect of your mind-body-emotion aspects that you currently may take for granted, and begin to make conscious choices about changing that, in order to address your health issues over the long-term.
Lifestyle Prescriptions work perfectly, and go hand in hand with the deeper awareness that occurs in a Meta Health Analysis.
Lifestyle Prescriptions are shorter, quicker bursts of ongoing support from a Meta Health Trained Practitioner or specialist, whilst a Meta Health Analysis is an in-depth and sometimes fairly lengthy one to one assessment of previous and current health issues, which looks to find the connecting themes and will use a timeline to help identify critical moments of stresses that may be impacting ongoing health patterns.
‘Meta’ means “after” or “beyond”, “amongst” or “along with” something. It is a prefix used in front of a subject to designate that this subject will analyse the subject which is pre-fixed, but at a higher, more abstract level. So, for example in Meta Health, this is an overview or higher level observation and abstracted awareness of the subject of ‘health’.
It provides an ‘overarching’ or an all-encompassing approach to something.
It is the highest view possible and it makes connections between many interconnecting areas.
As an over-arching approach to looking at our health, Meta Health allows us to look at the subject and consider it from any point of entry.
By this, I mean that we can start a personal health assessment of a person via the meta health model, by beginning with the symptoms of a physical issue. Breaking that down to look at and understand the biological purpose and the cellular activities involved we begin, through a series of intelligent processes to ask questions around the symptoms and uncover the secret messages that our body and our disease process are showing up for us.
However, another point of entry for investigation in Meta health, is to begin with emotional conditions, such as anxiety, depression or anger and begin to uncover the meanings and the associated biological of psychological processes that are occurring.
Within the process of analysis itself, there are also multiple areas that we can access valuable information about a persons health, as we explore their personal timeline together. Sometimes we can access this information from the point of the emotional, or physical trauma itself, and other times perhaps we begin at the point when any issues have been resolved.
The timeline can be critical in a Meta Health Assessment and analysis, as it can give a person key pieces of information that can help them to break the repetitive cycles that are often associated with chronic and long-term illnesses, or emotional or psychological issues.
In the my next article we will be looking at the two phases of disease and how this is critical information to become conscious of in regards to the health timeline.