Rethinking The Healing Process

rethinking-the-healing-process

Over the last several years, natural remedies have slowly but surely begun to supplant chemical treatments as the best way to maintain wellness. In fact, according to an April 2017 poll, two-thirds of Americans believe that marijuana is safer and more effective that opioid pain relievers, at least in most cases. This has been seen in the surge of popularity for cannabis oil products and medical marijuana usage.

All About Balance

At the same time, it’s important not to throw the baby out with the bathwater and recognize that modern Western medicine has a lot to offer and can fill in the gaps where natural remedies fall short. In fact, several scientific studies have already shown that there is great potential for natural remedies and Western medicine to be used together. The trick is to find that balance, and help the body heal itself. There’s also a vital component missing from this equation and, in many situations, better balance in the nervous system may speed the natural healing process even more.

Physical Balance

Pretty much ever since the Industrial Revolution, many people have believed, and medical schools have taught, that going to the doctor is a lot like going to the auto mechanic. At most garages, after a brief  “the car makes this kind of noise” consultation that may even take place over the phone, the owner retreats to a waiting room or is told to come back tomorrow, and hocus pocus, the car is better.

Lawyers call this kind of uneven give-and-take a fiduciary relationship, because the mechanics have all the power and the owners simply wait for the mechanics to wave their magic wands or do whatever it is that they do. There is no second-guessing, and no mechanics would not tolerate owners who dared try and control some of the treatment that their property received.

Too many times, a doctor’s visit has much the same vibe. After a brief “it hurts when I do this” consultation, the doctor prescribes a pill or a procedure that will supposedly fix everything while the patient essentially just waits. Once again, the doctors have all the power and the patients have almost no control over their own treatment. Additionally, some doctors are rather notorious for abhorring self-diagnosing patients who simply want the doctor to confirm the ailment they read about on a medical website.

But it’s not supposed to be that way, because given the proper conditions, the body can often heal itself, even of chronic or serious conditions.

Of course, sometimes medical science has something to contribute. Just like your car may not work because a key component is broken or missing, your body may not feel right because something technical is amiss. That’s where arch support wraps come into play. This wrap will not “cure” the planter fasciitis in your foot, because it’s not designed to do that. Instead, it eases the discomfort and helps bring your body back into emotional balance.

That should be the objective of other physical treatments as well, even things like cancer. Obviously, if it’s very aggressive, your treatment therapy should be aggressive as well. But in many other cases, intensive treatment that’s designed to “cure” the cancer may be misplaced, because the body may just need a better nervous system balance so all that’s needed is more of a jump start.

Emotional Balance

This balance must be between the body’s sympathetic nervous system (“fight or flight”) and its parasympathetic nervous system (“rest and digest”).

Back in what my kids call caveman times, the two systems were pretty well balanced, because the “fight or flight” urge only kicked in occasionally. But now, in our high-stress environment, there’s almost always something to worry about. The occasional burst of epinephrine or cortisol (the body’s primary stress hormones) is now a near-constant torrent. The body does not lapse into “rest and digest” mode nearly as much, inhibiting the natural healing process.

Aromatherapy can help you relax and bring your sympathetic nervous system into check, but a better idea may be to accentuate the positive, as the old song goes. It may sound trite, but counting your blessings is a good way to bring your body back into emotional alignment and therefore give the “rest and digest” parasympathetic nervous system an opportunity to work.

Natural pain relievers, like the aforementioned arch support for feet, play a role here as well. It’s a simple fact that people who think about pain produce more stress hormones than those who think about something else.

Making It Happen

Unfortunately, there is no natural or manmade elixir that triggers instantaneous nervous system harmonization. If there were, there would be a link to click right about here.

Even if there was something like that, you probably wouldn’t want to use it, because the change would only be artificial and/or temporary. A better approach is to start with small changes that build momentum into bigger changes. Turn off the news for a little while and watch old sitcom reruns on Netflix instead. These incremental changes will eventually become life changing, and everyone around you will benefit from the metamorphosis.

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