20 Jun Mind Body Spirit
Just as every disease is a culmination of both the physical and metaphysical world, so too is no treatment complete without attending to both. In some cultures, it is believed that disease begins in our energy field and works its way in until we experience it in the physical body. Therefore, to treat the physical body alone will achieve some sense of “cure” but true sustainability of wellness occurs when we attend to repairing the energetic body also.
This is where treating the mind and the spirit is as important as treating the body and can occur through a myriad of ways but where guidance or support is often helpful. As aggressively as we treat the body with any physical therapy, sustainability is more readily achievable when the mind and spirit is treated also. The choice of physical therapy can be any one or combination of those available, conventional as well as alternative.
Addressing the metaphysical causes of illness includes healing the pain-body. Often the treatment journey itself can be enough to cause transformation to occur. On other occasions, it may be necessary to participate in a specific activity such as psychotherapy, life mentoring, spiritual introspection or any variety of that nature.
Although significant change is achievable through one’s own reading, study and dedication, when we are attempting to be our own practitioners we are limited by our already established perception of life, the one that led to illness in the first place. An objective perspective will call attention to our limited thinking and suggest a different way of living that is not yet clear. Working closely and confidentially with another can create an individualised plan that will target the specific causes that led to illness.
Below are broad guidelines based on observations and generalisations of those affected by cancer.
The mind is a powerful tool. What we think and believe is what we become, and what is projected in our reality and experienced as a result. Based on the similarities in those affected by cancer, below are ways to harness the power of the mind to achieve an optimum experience in the physical body:
- Live consciously: live life actively and mindfully rather than behaving on auto-pilot. Make deliberate choices aligned with your desires, not the expectations of others.
- Use your voice: stand up for yourself, defend yourself, when you have an idea speak up even if you think it will be shunned, do not let yourself be taken for granted or taken advantage of.
- Live your truth: live a life in alignment with your highest truth, avoid being a people-pleaser, there is no obligation to say yes to or agree with everything, it is ok to say no or have a different opinion.
- Own your power: don’t down play or trivialise what you are good at, don’t play small and hide in the background or the shadows of others you believe have more value to contribute than you.
- Exercise Self-Love: take time to love yourself in whichever way that looks, a bath, a baseball game, a yoga class, a cooking class, a sleep-in, gardening, meditating, dancing, an indulgent movie.
When each of the mind tools are honoured, it will follow that the physical world is influenced because naturally you will:
- Nourish yourself appropriately: there is not one prescriptive diet but there are a few definite agreements: eat clean, as many whole foods as possible, lots of vegetables, avoid processed foods, reduce sugar, eliminate or moderate meat and dairy, avoid toxic behaviours and hydrate.
- Exercise adequately: move in a way that feels good for you and your body, this may be a simple walk, a gym routine, a dance or yoga class or a team sport.
- Rest sufficiently: sleep is vital for your body and mind to heal and repair and with respect to your workload, it is important not to stretch yourself to your limits or beyond.
- Play effectively: leave time for a healthy dose of play in whatever form that takes, a board game, a night out with friends, taking the dog for a walk in the park, watching a comedy.
- Work appropriately: do meaningful work that feels good for you providing a balance of challenge and effortlessness and allowing time and space for nurturing yourself.
- Avoid toxic behaviours: avoid unhealthy habits such as smoking, emotional eating, drinking alcohol in excess, recreational drug abuse, being surrounded by people or in an environment that is draining of vital life force.
- Spend time in nature: the beneficial effects of spending time outdoors in nature are immeasurable. The beneficial effects of earthing have now been scientifically proven.
- Be mindful of your breathing: returning to breath in times of stress can reduce the uncomfortable experience of being in a challenging environment or circumstance.
In attending to the mind and the body, the spirit is inadvertently honoured by the behaviours and attitudes that organically follow:
- Gratitude: for self, for health, for others, for the ability to move, see, hear, taste, feel and smell.
- Appreciation: for life, for nature, for food, for fun, for opportunity, for company.
- Silence: the spirit thrives on silence, in silence is when intuition speaks loudly and is heard clearly.
- Stillness: the spirit thrives on time out to meditate and retreat from the physical world.
- Space: the spirit thrives on space from people and activity and “doing”, it retreats in the being.
Each of these will be elaborated on in future blogs but are a starting point for the holistic model of care required to achieve sustainable healing of the mind, body and spirit.
Written by Dr Carol Haddad our Integrative Oncologist to book a consultation Contact Now