I am very committed to the idea of self-healing. This means taking responsibility for my own physical condition. There is a lot that people can do to heal themselves of all kinds of health conditions. Sometimes we may need to see a doctor, but we may also find that many conditions that doctors may treat with drugs and surgery can be better treated with simple measures that we can take for ourselves. There are many conditions that doctors don't seem to have much help for, and when drugs and surgery are the answer, this may not be acceptable for some people. And there is the issue of monetary expense. Sometimes people cannot afford expensive health care. The way of self-healing can be a way to take care of yourself without having to spend a lot of money.
Here are some of my ideas on self-healing:
You Can Change Your Physical Condition.
We all have an ideal physical state that we can attain. Some may be close to it, others may be far from their potential. If you have ever felt different after eating something then you can accept that we can influence our physical condition by what we eat. If you have ever done an exercise (like a pushup) every day for a while and seen that you could do more over time, then you can accept that it is possible to strengthen muscles. If you have ever been able to stretch farther after doing a stretch regularly then you can accept that we can increase our flexibility through stretching. There are an infinite number of ways to vary our diet, an infinite number of possible strengthening exercises, and an infinite number of ways to stretch. There is no end to the possibilites of how we can change our physical bodies. And because of the way that all the systems of the body interact, the more "in shape" you get, the more you improve all aspects of your health. If you are trying to change some specific condition, it may take some time to figure out what to do. But if you have a poor diet and any problems in the musculoskeletal system, it might make sense to start there. Your body is programmed to heal itself, you just need to find out what is keeping your innate healing power from working.
Most Problems are not Genetic.
Actually there may be plenty of serious conditions that are genetic and that can't be "cured". But there are definitely many widespread conditions that are just caused by deep chronic tension and which are thought to be genetic either because they have existed since birth or childhood or because this seems to be the only way to explain why "this happens to some people and not to others". There may also be many conditions for which some people may have a "genetic predisposition". This does not have to mean that the condition will occur or that it cannot be fixed.
Most Physical Problems are Caused by Tension in Muscles or by Improper Diet.
There are genetic problems, injuries, and infectious diseases. Self-healing concepts can be applied to these problems, but my focus is on the conditions that are caused by tension in muscles or by diet. This may comprise about 90% of the physical complaints people have. Lack of sufficient dietary fiber can cause conditions such as constipation and hemorrhoids. Lack of suffient nutrition (vitamins, proteins, etc) can cause all kinds of problems. Consumption of drugs such as sugar, caffeine, alcohol and tobacco can cause all kinds of problems. Most illegal drugs and most legal prescription and over-the-counter drugs can have harmful effects. Tension in muscles can be seen in all kinds of conditions of the musculo-skeletal system. Few people's skeletons are in completely proper allignment.
Many Conditions Are Not Entirely Understood and
Successfully Treated by Modern Medicine.
This is because most physical problems are caused by tension in muscles or by improper diet and these two main causitive factors are often overlooked. These factors are also just beginning to be understood. It is always possible that some knowledge exists outside of the mainstream. Doctors aren't going to tell you that they can "cure" arthritis or scoliosis or carpal tunnel syndrome. So you can accept it or you can look elsewhere for help.
Treatment Should Be Holistic.
Body/Mind/Emotions/Spirit are interconnected. You can work on any of these aspects to improve all aspects. One reason that modern science does not yet fully understand the causes and effects of muscular tension is that the mind is also involved. And all parts of the physical body are interconnected. The problem may not be entirely where you think it is.
Take Responsibility for Your Own Health.
No matter what kind of help you get, you will have do the main work of healing yourself. And it is you who can control the healing process. It is you who will reap the benefit of quick and effective healing. It is you who will suffer the result of slow or ineffective or inappropriate techniques. It is you who can keep healthy and avoid many potential problems.
You Can Get Help If You Need It.
Consulting with or receiving treatment from doctors, healers, teachers, therapists or anyone else is not excluded from the path of self-healing. You should always be learning as much as possible from whoever has the knowledge you need and you should get whatever help you need, which may include drugs or surgery. Just keep the attitude that you are your chief physician.
Education is the Key to Self-healing.
Seek knowledge. Keep an open mind. Be open to learning from anyone and anything. Immerse yourself in books on self-healing. Read, read some more, reread. Imprint knowledge in your mind. Take responsibilty for your education. That means don't just accept what anyone says, including me, and including doctors. Check it out for yourself. Get some other perspectives. It can be very worthwhile to spend some money on books. But in true no-expense self-help style, you can also get them from libraries, even using interlibrary loan. You can also get books cheap on eBay or in used bookstores or at garage sales. Amazon even sells used books now. Never think you know the whole answer. The more you look the more there is to know.
Keep a Positive Attitude. Have Faith.
This faith can be maintained by surrounding yourself with positive books on self-healing. And it can be based on the knowledge that you gain by learning about yourself and by making changes in your condition.
The worse your conditions get, the more this should motivate you to work on getting better. Don't give up. Keep looking for new information. You may be amazed at how there is always more to learn. And you have to be dedicated enough to put in the time to practice self-therapy everyday and to put in some time on self-education everyday. Don't even think you "don't have time". Choosing to make time to heal yourself is where motivation, dedication and willpower come in.
Explore and Be Creative.
Don't just go through the motions when doing physical exercises. Bring great awareness. Feel what is happening. You may need to really get into a certain stretch to find out just how you need to do it. You may need to spend a long time on it. Although you need to "follow the rules" when learning a traditional physical discipline from a teacher, you should be creative when practicing on your own. You are unique. Your condition is unique. The best and most expedient path for your own self-healing is unique. And there may be many paths that will work for you. "One-size fits all" may not fit you. Its OK to explore and modify and combine. Synthesizing information from various sources is a powerful way to learn.
Things May Get Worse Before They Get Better
Maybe because thats just the way things are going. Or there may be some reasons why this can happen even when you are in the midst of lots of healing practices. If you are working with diet and cleansing, toxins stored deep in the body can be released into the bloodstream. This can be referred to as a "healing crisis". Some people get pretty sick as they begin to work on healing themselves. As far as the musculo-skeletal system goes, as you remove patterns of tension, new aches and pains may develop. Muscular tension can be very deep and you won't be getting it all out at once. So as you straighten out some areas, you may uncover or create new misallignments which will then need attention in their own time. These things can be frustrating and cause people to question whether they are making progress. So just expect it and don't lose faith.
Not Everything Can Be Competely Cured
That may not really be true (I believe in miracles). But like what if your arm was chopped off? Probably it won't grow back. So for some conditions, we may need to just work towards getting better and be happy with any progess instead of being attached to an idea of a total cure. We may just have to learn to live with some conditions. But don't give up quickly, many very serious problems can be solved with unexpected methods. If you have made any improvement in your condition, then you can make more. And even if things are just getting worse, that doesn't mean that they can't still get better. It can take a long time to figure out what will work for you.
You Must Find You Own Path
There is no "one-size-fits-all".
Check out the links on my Health Page
Check out the books on my Body Books Page
Check out the books on my Qigong Books Page
Check out my pages of yoga links and yoga books for more info on yoga. I especially recommend Sam Dworkis' books, Recovery Yoga and ExTension. Check out his website - Extensionyoga.com, tons of good info there. The best way to learn about yoga is to take some classes, they are usually not too expensive. It can be a good idea to try lots of different yoga classes to see what type of yoga or what teacher appeals to you.
This is a movement awareness technique. You may want to see a teacher, but you can dig exercises out of books. Relaxercise is a good book to start with. Here is a page with links to more info about Feldenkrais
Get the book Pain Free by Pete Egoscue.
His book 7 Steps to a Pain Free Life gives 7 exercises for back pain and 7 exercises for neck pain. Since the back is so important, these exercises may help with all kinds of problems.
Even if not suffering from hand problems, I recommend her book Conquering Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Other Repetitive Strain Injuries Great info on soft-tissue injuries and on how to do focused, gentle stretching. This is my favorite book on self-healing. Notice the first word in the title. Check out her website here: www.selfcare4rsi.com
This guy cured himself of blindness! He then dedicated his life to helping others and he mainly teaches self-healing. He has a great book called Manual of Self-Healing. Also has a video called Yoga for Your Eyes.
There are a lot of tools that can be used for self-massage.
Check out my page of Self Massage Tools for more
info on MA Roller, Footsie Roller, Thera Cane, ArmAid, Dolphin Massager.
Here is a source for lots of massage tools:
"A doctor is a person who entertains the patient, while the body heals itself." - Voltaire
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Revised 06/24/07 (first posted 03/27/01) - Terry Slade