August 2014

A Matter of Health

A Matter of Health 

It is often said that long life and good health are two of the most valuable gifts we can have in life. Yet too often we see individuals developing illnesses and diseases during childhood, adulthood and even into the so called "golden years." More and more people are now looking for answers, the secrets of life, that will help protect them from illness and disease.

To emphasize this problem major portion of the U.S. economy is directed at treating illness and its aftermath. Unfortunately there is comparatively little interest on the part of the medical and pharmaceutical establishment in creating cures or providing prevention. In truth, few people really know or understand what disease or good health is really all about. It may be for this reason that so many people end up robbed of their "good health."

To understand the concepts of disease and health we must first do away with the myth that disease and good health are enemies for they are not. Disease is the condition or state that occurs when the individual is "out of ease" with his or herself. That is, out of balance. It is at this time of "imbalance" that the immune system which normally protects us may fail. Good health, on the other hand, is the state where we are in balance with ourselves and with the rest of the universe.


The Six Major Aspects

Another way of looking at this is to say that what we think of as "good health" is really a state of balance of the major aspects of our life. Each person has six major aspects which require balancing. These major aspects make up the substance of our lives. The term, major aspect, is used to describe the six major parts of our existence: our work, our mental and spiritual aspects, our family, physical and Self aspects. Each of these "aspects" may have one or more subcategories which make them up, such as the Self which is made up of hobbies, skills, interests, etc. The physical aspect is made up of our body image, grooming, physical activities, and the physical body itself.

When all of these major aspects are in balance, we have harmony and balance in our life. We are in harmony with the people and world around us and with who and what we really are. We generally have good health.

On the other hand, when these aspects are out of balance or out of harmony with who we are, then we may have the potential of problems. The greater the "imbalance" the greater the potential for creating a major conflict. As these imbalances increase, there becomes a greater and greater possibility of creating changes in the physical, emotional and mental aspects of the individual. At a certain point these changes will create enough dysfunction to create changes in the physical body, imbalances in the body's chemistry and imbalances in the body's ability to resist disease. Ultimately these imbalances will affect a reduction in the body's ability to heal and repair itself.

 

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Diagram 1.

 


What Balance Looks Like:

 

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Diagram 2.

 


What Imbalance Looks Like:

 

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 Diagram 3.

 
When these imbalances become significant enough to impair the body's defense system (and hence its ability to cope with outside invaders, bacteria, viruses, parasites, and toxins) or when the body is no longer able to competently heal itself, then a process called Disease begins. In order for a disease to take hold the immune system must fail in some way. It could cause the body to attack itself creating an autoimmune disease. It could interfere with the appetite, food intake, absorption, or elimination of bodily waste products leading to nutritional deficiencies. It could also create a breakdown in the body chemistry or metabolic systems causing a metabolic disease. Or it could allow invaders to penetrate the body's defenses leading to infection. Without a completely competent immune system to defend the body, invaders can take hold, grow and even flourish. Disease, therefore, occurs when the body is sufficiently out of balance to maintain competent protection or when the ability to heal itself is impaired.

 
What Disease Looks Like:

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  Diagram 4. 

 

In Diagram 2 we see an individual who lives a relatively balanced and harmonious life. All aspects are in balance with each other. In Diagram 3 an imbalance occurs. For whatever reason a great amount of time and effort is being spent around work. This might be a primary problem related to needing to work to pay the bills or it may be a career decision or a secondary problem related to getting into debt from over spending and having to work more to pay off this debt. While cause is vital, in this example lets us just accept that there is one and go forward from there to explain what can happen next. At first the other aspects may not suffer too much, but over time the increased amount of time and effort spent at work may lead to changes in the other aspects.

Since so much time and effort is spent at work this individual soon has less time to spend on himself, his hobbies or at relaxation. He has less energy and time for his family, less for spiritual matters (meditation, religion, nature, love, etc.). His need for mental effort may increase disproportionately as well.

Over a period of time internal (and probably external) stress builds. The physical aspect, the body its immune system and healing and repair systems may falter. At some point the body begins to communicate the conflict, physical, mental or emotional symptoms may occur.

They may initially be in the form of fatigue, difficulty sleeping, a loss of or increased appetite, increased cravings, changes in diet or eating habits, constipation or diarrhea. The symptoms may occur in the form of mild depression, anxiety, loss of memory, making mistakes accidents, using drugs, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking or any one of a hundred or more vague and indeterminate signs and symptoms. See our section on Stress Related Disorders for more information on this subject.

As time passes the symptoms become more specific. A simple case of occasional acid indigestion may gradually escalate into intermittent abdominal pain and eventually a full-fledged ulcer might occur —a state of Disease has been created.

Diagram 4 demonstrates what happens as the process progresses. Here we see that the resulting imbalance ultimately leads to impairment of the physical aspect and his health suffers. The balance between the six aspects has been altered and this throws the body, mind and spirit "out of alignment."

So far we have talked only about imbalance and disease. However, the purpose of this article is really to talk about healing. Healing occurs through a number of different mechanisms. Some of these mechanisms are external to the individual. While one can take medication, have surgery, have acupuncture performed on them or submit to hypnosis to treat symptoms, but if the original problem or conflict is not solved the imbalance may not be corrected. Possibly an example will help to demonstrate that if an individual works too hard (a conflict) and subsequently loses his or her resistance and gets a sore throat, penicillin will "cure" the sore throat, but it will not solve the problem of the original imbalance - over working. If the original conflict is not solved, the imbalance will persist. This imbalance will continue affecting the individual's ability to maintain their "balance." The individual may well continue to have not only recurrent sore throats but other signs and symptoms may well occur such as recurrent colds, sinus infections, upper respiratory infections, or even accidents or other entirely different types of problems.

Eventually, the immune system loses its ability to protect and to mediate healing. This may lead to one or another chronic disease or even a disease like cancer where the immune system is no longer able to protect the individual from his own self. This may not occur for many years after the original problem began. It may not even be possible to associate the original problem with the end result. Along the way one might see relationships (Family) affected. The individual's children might be getting into trouble, "You're never around!" "You must not love me!" "You don't care any more!" The family may break down. Divorce - an irreversible breakdown of the "marital body,"a symptom of its inability to heal the marital relationship may ultimately occur. Job problems, financial problems, general unhappiness may occur. Often these conditions are mistakenly considered to be "just part of life," normal and even expected. The individual may not recognize these as signs of a destructive imbalance in his life.

Today medical practitioners generally treat problems generated by these imbalances with medication alone. However, this is a very narrow view of the "holistic" organism called human beings. Human beings are not just their body. Human beings are the totality of their existence. Only through maintaining natural balance and harmony can we stay whole and healthy.

The mind is not the cause of disease but it may be where disease begins and ends. The mind/brain can "lie" to us and these "lies" can lead to imbalances in the way we live our life. Imbalances can be potentiated by our inability or unwillingness to "catch these lies" and make appropriate corrective changes, this allows the process to remain and even worsen. When we live a lie of any kind we create more imbalances as inwardly we are aware that we are living a lie even if we chose to ignore it outwardly, we experience guilt, and we may even sabotage ourselves to punish ourselves. We may experience a lack of worthiness, loss of self esteem even self anger and abuse.

 
Understanding This Process Can Help Us To Protect Our Health and Well-Being

How then can we protect our self? We must recognize that symptoms we are experiencing are the body's response to the imbalances we have created. The mind, body and spirit are connected to each other. In fact, they are really one in the same. Rather then talking about mind, body and spirit as separate entities, we should talk about a mind/body/spirit unit.

The mind is our tool to protect us and maintain our survival. One might look at the mind as if it were a very highly sophisticated computer-like-device designed to perform an infinite number of functions. That which we are is "all" of us. Our life force and the essence of who and what we are is embodied deep within us. This life force appears to be maintained only within a "living body." In order for the body to stay alive we must have a mind. The mind is the control tower of the computer which filters data continuously. This data must be filtered so that we can focus on specific tasks such as finding food and protecting ourselves. It tells our body how and where to move us to and from food and away from danger and toward pleasure. And, equally as important, how to solve problems.

The mind also filters this data to eliminate unnecessary information. That which is not relevant to our survival. Many scientists believe that the mind is located within the brain. Others believe that the brain is merely a switching or organizing center, and the mind not only includes the brain, but the entire body.

This mind/brain/body combination collects all data all the time. It knows everything there is to know about you and a great deal about the world around you. It knows when we are healthy and when we are sick. It knows when we are in balance and when we are out of balance. It even knows why we are out of balance and how to put us back into balance. To facilitate this all we have to do is to ask our body/mind, why it is out of balance and how it can be returned to a state of harmony and balance. Then we must listen and it will tell you.

The most common reason that most people do not know why and how they got out of balance or when they fell out of balance is that they do not want to know and they are unwilling to ask. If they do ask, they usually do not listen to the answers they receive. The secret is not just to ask, but to listen for the answers. In this case, listening means that there is a willingness to hear everything that is said, felt, thought or dreamed, whether we agree with it or not.

Over the years we have generally lied to ourselves many times, we have heard the messages from our body, mind and spiritual aspects but too often we have not listened or learned. Our mind, body and spirit may no longer trusts us to either listen, or hear. We miss the truth when it is told to us. Because we don't hear and act, we fall out of balance. Ultimately, as we stated above, this can lead to illness and disease.

To get back into balance one must first make a commitment to our inner, knowing Self. This is the part of us which knows who we really are. This is also the part of our self that tells us the truth. That part of us that does not worry about disease or death, nor what people think of the outer body, nor of what we say or even of what we think or do. We refer to this part of us as our Core. This is that part of us where we go to when we meditate, do Yoga, when we pray or when we trust our self. This part knows who and what we really are and loves us for it. In our material on Huna we call this aspect by a different name, the Higher Self, but it is basically the same part of us.


How Do We Get Back Into Balance?

To get back into balance we must learn to "trust" and "come from" this part of our inner self. One starts this process simply by recognizing that there are imbalances. Once these imbalances are acknowledged then the next step is to find and then correct the problem or problems that have causes the imbalances. To do this you evaluate the symptoms, listen to the body, ask what it is trying to tell you, look at your life and see what you are getting (for what you are getting must be what some part of you wants or feels you deserve) then open yourself to hear the answers that you get. This approach generally works, however, sometimes a part of our personality will not allow the truth to come up and solution to occur. When this happens the individual needs to work it through in a therapy situation. However, not just any therapist will do. The therapist chosen must be trained to evaluate, guide and teach the individual how to see the imbalances and correct them. Such therapy should be designed to find causes and solve problems.

Life Dynamic Therapy is one such approach which is directed at helping the individual to hear, listen and correct. It is neither complicated nor painful. While it is not easy to break old patterns, this process works and the results - good health and a good feeling about yourself - are worth it. It is the most important and valuable gift we can give to ourselves and our family.


Summary:

The first step in healing is to recognize that imbalance exists, the next step is to make the decision to do something about it. The third is to train yourself or get competent help to assist you.