You Can Think Yourself Into Illness
“I’ve been worrying myself sick” an old wives tale that has a great deal of truth in its proverbial message. Sometimes we need to listen to the old wisdom of generations past. They didn’t have the medical achievements we have today and they had to pay a great deal of attention to what they did and said to keep from getting sick. And back then, getting a cold might mean the difference between living through it or dying.
From the Metaphysical perspective there are two potential approaches to understanding illness in the body. The first deals with karma and past life experiences that affect the current incarnation. Viewing an issue from a karmic perspective can sometimes answer the “why” did this have to happen question. But don’t assume that means negative karma is being worked out or that someone is being punished in some karmic fashion. We are all here to learn lessons and sometimes that means allowing someone to sacrifice their existence for the spiritual advancement of others.
My favorite example of this is Helen Keller. Being born mute and deaf some might say she was repaying a big piece of negative karma. But consider what her personal struggle accomplished during her life. Millions of people who are born with this ailment can now communicate with braille and sign language because of the work she and her teacher shared through their lives. Her sacrifice was a great gift to generations of people who would otherwise live in solitude.
The second approach deals with the ability of our conscious and subconscious minds to create thought patterns in our life that affects our physical condition. We can create negative thoughts that play over and over within our mind and that mental “dis-ease” with self slowly creates ailments and disease in our physical body. How you think, creates how you feel. When the mind is not at ease with itself, negative patterns begin to set in and those patterns of thought generate negative energy that impact the physical body.
Think of it as an electric wire on a lamp. If that wire is damaged and copper wire is exposed, the electrical flow through that wire can create hazards in your home including starting a fire. The electrical impulses within your brain can do the same thing. Each time you allow these negative patterns to enter your thoughts, you’re sending electrical impulses through your body. Over time that uneasy feeling can create minor discomforts that try to send you a message. If you ignore those little messages, they continue to have an affect building their impact and feeding the “dis-ease” in the physical and spiritual bodies.
Regardless of either approach it doesn’t mean that you can forgo mainstream medicine all together. Sometimes when you don’t listen to the messages of your body; the issue progresses and requires more severe or aggressive medical attention. These metaphysical concepts can help you understand why the illness formed from a spiritual perspective, and how you can include metaphysical practices to help support the medical treatment from your physician. But it cannot and should not replace mainstream approaches.
Many people talk about the three aspects of the human being in the form of Mind, Body and Spirit. Ignoring any one of these aspects could mean you’re only address part of the problem. Western medicine is finally getting the idea that this isn’t simply a fluffy white light spiritual approach, but rather that there is some validity to treating the whole person and not only the physical. More and more, doctors and hospitals are including services that treat the mental and spiritual sides of illness. While these approaches vary, it’s at least a step in the right direction.
This week PsychCentral shares a news story that helps explain the difference between Eastern and Western approaches to medical treatment. In their article “Spirituality and Prevention Drive Chinese Medicine” examines six aspects of traditional Chinese medicine: its history; its fundamental beliefs; spirituality in traditional Chinese healing rituals; spirituality in the traditional Chinese pharmacy; spirituality in health maintenance theories; and spirituality of master doctors of traditional Chinese medicine. The investigators show that among other things, the underlying premise of Chinese medicine is that the mind and body of a person are inseparable.
The approach isn’t segregated to Eastern perspectives alone. Many spiritual civilizations have known about this connection of mind, body and spirit as well. But somewhere along the way in western cultures, those approaches were slowly dismissed as magikal or mystical fantasy that had no basis in truth. After nearly a century or more of this thinking, Western medicine is finally waking up to their ignorance and “looking into” how treating the whole person actually benefits their attention to physical disease.
From the thought pattern perspective our own thought affect the health of our body and mind. Each emotional thought pattern is really an underlying “cause” of a physical illness. Understanding the illness can help you address the cause and thereby work to fight the disease.
This Metaphysical approach looks at each part of the body as having a corresponding emotion that relates to the way you think, feel and react to situations. If you know the positive and negative aspects of these areas, you can direct healing energy to that section of the body that will need healing the most and you can work to change the underlying thought pattern that goes with it.
There are many ways to help this along, from having a holistic healing treatment to reciting an affirmation each day. But just reciting the affirmation isn’t enough. You have to listen to it, and attempt to apply its wisdom to your daily life. One of the best resources I’ve found on this subject is “Heal Your Body” by Louise Hay and it’s her affirmations I use in my practice or that have inspired the general affirmations I’ve created to help those who want to apply the approach to their physical healing treatments.
But how do these approaches work and what do they tell us? Let’s start with which side of the body the ailment is on. Knowing this can provide insight into the underlying cause of “dis-ease”. Ailments can manifest on one particular side of the body as the result of our own view of ourselves, or from the attitude we hold through the dealings with another person or people in general.
The left side of the body is associated with feminine energy, intuitive senses, our own spirituality or through an issue that we have with a particular woman. The right side is associated with masculine energy, intellectual senses and the physical or through an issue with a man.
Let’s say a person has an issue with handling a particular situation at work or school with a female co-worker or student. The first indication of this underlying issue may manifest in the left wrist. Now think about what the wrist does for you. It provides flexibility in the way you handle things. So think about how inflexible you’re being with the way you’re handling the situation at school or work.
If thoughts create how we feel how does that explain genetic disease. From a spiritual concept this is an easy one to answer. We develop our views and how we look at things in the world through our environment and the influences of family. If they think a certain way about themselves, they’re likely to pass that view on to their children. Who pass it on to their children. This is true with the way we look at things, to how we react to situations in our life and how we eat or exercise and so on. It takes a concerted effort to change those patterns and break the pattern.
A more serious example that I get a great deal of email about is the “why did I get cancer? It doesn’t run in my family.” Cancer suggests “something is eating away at you”. Where the cancer is located will further explain the thought pattern. Breast cancer for instance is an issue with nurturing. It deals with not feeling nurtured (if it’s in the right breast) or constantly nurturing everyone else but the self (if it’s in the left breast). You can read more about this approach and learning how to listen to your own body and its messages through my article Deciphering the Ailment Message.
Understanding the ailment message is only the start to bring about change. As mentioned one way to bring about change in your life is to replace the negative thought pattern with a positive one. That’s where affirmations come in to help. By themselves they are ineffective. But by reciting the affirmation and bringing its energy into your life on a daily basis; you can bring about a change in the way you think, act and react to situations.
I strongly suggest reading the article on Spring’s Haven about “Affirmations Evolving The Spirit” where you can learn about the process of Acknowledgment, Acceptance , Forgiveness, Action and Letting Go. This article covers how affirmations affect our subconscious, how to use affirmations in your daily life, and how to create your own affirmations if you so desire.You can also check out my Affirmations For Change that address common thought patterns found in society today.
Allowing these thought patterns to reside in your subconscious, allows them to dictate your choices in life, which at times can be detrimental to self-growth and enlightenment. You’re the only one who can make a real difference in your life. Don’t you think you’re worth the effort? When you take positive active action to change the way you think and react, you build self-confidence, compassion for your self and more importantly, a healthier you.
© 2012 Springwolf, D.D., Ph.D. Springwolf Reflections / Springs Haven, LLC. All Rights Reserved.