Posted by: Jenny Everett King
There is a common, if obvious, theme among the many modalities we offer at Healing Hands: All are meant to promote health and overall well-being. But the commonalities run deeper than that. All the modalities we offer, as well as other practices that we often recommend, have a very specific goal in common: All are meant to improve your health from within your own body.
Much of conventional medicine teaches us to work against our bodies’ natural responses to stimuli. Numb the pain. Lower the fever. Kill the disease. Above all else, be in control.
But we cannot “control” our health entirely. Recent news on MRSA and antibiotics, childhood vaccination questions, and the side effects of prescription medications has indicated that our cultural control mindset can have disastrous results as well as miraculous ones.
The distinction between alternative and conventional medicine is about more than methodology; it’s about mentality. Alternative healing views the body as a friend to work with, rather than an enemy to fight against.
Easier said than done.
It runs counter to our culture to view the body as an ally. Women, in part, tend to have a difficult time even tolerating their bodies, let alone befriending or loving them! In my yoga classes I encourage my students (both men and women) to appreciate their bodies as they are in that moment, rather than focusing on trying to change them. Yes, positive physical changes will happen with time and effort. But we must first accept ourselves – mind and body – in order to help those changes happen in the healthiest way possible.
Similarly, women planning unmedicated childbirth often find that in order to have a fulfilling experience, they must first surrender to their bodies’ innate knowledge. The underlying concept here is even more foreign than befriending the body: In these instances, one has to actually surrender the mind and let the body take control. That’s a pretty daunting task for most of us. (Especially we Type “A” personalities. . .)
The commitment to natural health requires strength in areas where we as modern Americans are often lacking: Self-discipline. Patience. Perhaps most importantly, trust in ourselves. We tend to perceive the absence of control as an indication of weakness. But the ability to align our minds with our bodies, to approach our health, in fact, “holistically,” demands strength on a much deeper level.