Many people believe that health is an absence of symptoms. And the Western medical system supports this. In medical school, we were taught to think in terms of absolutes—curable or incurable.
Yet today more people than ever are dealing with chronic diseases, mystery illnesses, and other symptoms that cannot easily be cured with Western medicine, such as autoimmune disease, cancer, diabetes, chronic fatigue/fibromyalgia, arthritis, and more.
Now, when it’s possible, curing is wonderful. But focusing solely on curing disease often puts people into “battle mode,” which can be the very opposite of what is necessary for true healing.
The good news is that while not all diseases can be cured, everyone has the power to heal.
Curing versus Healing
In order to heal, you have to understand the difference between healing and curing.
Curing in Western medicine is usually about relieving symptoms. Often this involves taking pills, getting injections, and using other interventions to stop pain and make your body and its functions fit within certain numbers (think blood pressure, weight, cholesterol, inflammation markers, and more). Curing is also about saving lives. This is often in an emergency room setting.
There is definitely a time and a place for curing. And thanks to Western medicine and its many advances in technology, we have the luxury to choose from different modalities when treating illnesses.
So, what is healing? In most literature, healing is referred to as becoming whole. And healing can certainly be a movement toward physical health. But it also addresses your emotional health. That’s why in order to restore balance and heal physically, you typically need to address your body’s dis-ease from the inside out.
True healing must address the emotional, mental, and spiritual imbalances that are associated with the disease. It is about far more than treating symptoms. The cause often begins with some type of emotional trauma and the toxic emotions that result. Eckhart Tolle refers to these toxic emotions as “the pain body.” This pain body—like all living things—needs to eat to keep itself alive. And what does it consume? Negative emotions of all kinds, suffering, violence, and other pain bodies that match its vibration. Hence the saying “Misery loves company.” The most important way to dissolve one’s pain-body is by recognizing it, being present with it, and choosing not to feed it any longer.
Healing also typically includes lifestyle choices and natural means, including diet, exercise, meditation, and more. Healing can happen instantly (you’ve heard of spontaneous remission) or overtime.
The main difference between curing and healing is that, while curing eliminates symptoms, healing transforms your life and often, though not always, produces a physical cure.
What Healing Is Not
It’s important to know that healing is different from remission but can include it. Remission is the absence of clinical symptoms. But the absence of symptoms does not necessarily mean you are healed. And some people who are healed will still have symptoms.
Healing is not simply managing a disease or its symptoms. Healing is much more than just living well with disease. We all know people who have received so-called cures but have not experienced healing, for example, women who have had hysterectomies for heavy vaginal bleeding but never address their fear about their pelvic organs and never learn to accept or value them. When this happens, other symptoms may take their place. That’s because, in all disease, there is an underlying emotional pattern.
We can’t heal if we hold onto self-destructive beliefs about ourselves and our self-worth. And the saying “In order to heal, you need to feel” is true. In order to heal, you must release the emotional patterns that are contributing to your illness. This is how you address and dissolve the pain body. But remember, the pain body is addictive. And to dissolve it, you must realize how the ego loves drama, bad news, and watching or participating in violence of some sort—whether subtle or overt. Criticizing yourself or calling yourself stupid or unworthy is a form of violence against yourself.
To shamans, the cause of disease is due to the imprints of trauma stored in the “Light Body”—a person’s Luminous Energetic Field. During his studies with the shamans, Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D., discovered that a person’s Luminous Energetic Field registers “scratch marks” of trauma that are repeatedly triggered. Healing happens when we clear these marks from the luminous matrix that envelops and informs our lives.
7 Action Steps to Help You Heal
While healing, we measure success by feelings of increased well-being, a sense of newfound peace and empowerment, and a feeling of communion with all life. Healing is a transformative experience that is reflected in every aspect of life, including your relationships, your diet, your job, and how you experience wellness and illness.
Here are 7 steps to help you heal from just about anything:
Step 1 – Uncover and update your legacy.
In order to heal, you need to leave wounding behind. This requires naming your experiences for what they are—no matter how painful. Remember, your thoughts and emotions mediate your immune, endocrine, and nervous systems. The consciousness that is creating your cells can get locked in the past. If you want to stop creating the same patterns, you need to change your consciousness. Explore your past to find clues to how you are creating your present condition. Then name the experiences that have contributed to your dis-ease. Feel them fully. Have a good friend or a therapist witness them. Only then can you release them.
Step 2 – Sort through your beliefs.
Once you have acknowledged and named your legacy, you need to sort through the health-eroding beliefs you have inherited. This includes your family legacy, which affects your energy, health, and potential for change. For example, if all women in your family have had hysterectomies before age 50, you may be influenced by this self-fulfilling medical family prophecy around the uterus that has nothing to do with your genetics and everything to do with your beliefs. Other conditions and situations that often go unacknowledged include alcoholism, premature death of a parent, loss of a beloved pet, or loss of a significant relationship.
Step 3 – Change your relationship with time.
In his book The Big Leap, Gay Hendricks, Ph.D., states that our perception bends time. People often operate under the impression that they are running out of time. This is a stressful perception, especially during times of illness. But we can become masters of time by becoming fully present in each moment. Here’s a liberating thought: “I am where time comes from.” Or, try this affirmation: “Time is on my side. Time is standing lusciously still for me. I am creating timeless time. I have enough time. I’m having the time of my life.”
Step 4 – Respect and release your emotions.
Emotions are a vital part of our inner guidance. And all diseases have emotional roots—often from childhood. Because no matter who you are or what your parents were like, pretty much all of us experienced strong negative emotions in childhood that were painful. And the only way to tolerate the pain—in the absence of a truly conscious adult to help—was to not feel. The energy of the negative emotion doesn’t go away, though. It gets “stored” in your tissues until it gets triggered later on. Where you experience dis-ease in your body can be a clue to what emotion or hidden trauma you are suppressing. One of my all-time favorite books for deciphering the emotional roots of physical symptoms is Heal Your Body by Louise Hay. You can use it to look up the location of your symptom to gain an understanding of what emotion or trauma you may be suppressing. Once you have identified the location and meaning of your symptom, you need to express the emotion(s) associated with it.
Start by placing a hand on your body part and say, “This hurts,” if you have pain, or describe the dis-ease you feel. If you feel symptoms in more than one place, move your hand from one place to the other and simply repeat what you feel. Then say, “I choose to release this symptom,” and name the emotion or event associated with it. You can say, “I now clear my anger, resentment, and fear (or whatever emotions you need to clear) out of my body.” This process will help you peel away the layers and uncover the root cause of your dis-ease.
Step 5 – Learn to listen to your body.
To become healthy and whole, you need to have the courage to be in touch with the wisdom of your female body. Pay attention to how your body feels. Do some parts feel numb? Or tired?
Do parts of you feel like crying? Make note of those things in your life that are difficult, painful, and joyful. As these things come up, notice your breathing, heart rate, and any other bodily sensations. What are they? Where are they? What fears do you hold about your body? For example, are you afraid to touch your breasts for fear of finding a lump? What parts of your body have you disowned?
Understand that your health is at risk if you are constantly undermining certain parts or functions of your body. Your body believes every word you tell it and every thought you hold about it. Illness is your body’s way of getting your attention. Are you willing to be open to messages that your symptoms or illness may have for you? Are you able to appreciate your body and your symptoms as part of your inner guidance system? When you experience bodily sensations—headaches, back pain, gut reactions—pay attention and see if you can pinpoint the emotion or situation that triggered it.
Step 6 – Understand that you are not your genes.
Your environment plays the biggest role in how and whether disease is expressed. And your thoughts are your environment! Some time ago, I met a woman whose son had cystic fibrosis, a genetic disorder associated with severe respiratory illness and premature death. She decided she was not going to “activate” her son’s disease. So, she never restricted his activity or protected him from germs. At the time we spoke, her son was 12 years old and hadn’t had a single hospitalization.
Notice how you talk about your health. Your words literally land in your body. Acknowledge what diseases run in your family—it’s important to be able to fill this out on your medical intake forms—but don’t let it take up too much space in your brain, and don’t speak as if it’s inevitable that you will end up like your family members. If you are considering genetic testing for any reason, ask yourself what you would do with the information. Know that your body has the ability to become and stay healthy throughout your life.
Step 7 – Acknowledge a higher power.
Our bodies are permeated and nourished by spiritual energy and guidance. Using Divine Love is the most potent energy in the world. It is the most practical, concrete way to help ourselves heal. Each of us is capable of sending and receiving Divine Love. Engineer Robert Fritchie, founder of the World Service Institute, has documented many healings using Divine Love—everything from environmental pollution to cancer.
To use the Divine Love petition, you simply direct your energy toward your healing by bringing the Creator’s Love to you. Start by using the petitions, also called healing statements, created by Robert Fritchie. Divine Love petitions give you the power to readjust your energy to maximize your healing. It works for everyone because we are all made of energy. Just as our energy can manifest as disease, it can be influenced to heal.
Finally, remember that healing is an intensely personal, subjective experience. And everyone has the ability to self-heal.
What steps have you taken to heal? Please leave your comments below.