If your body could talk, what would it say about your health? Would it joyfully celebrate in vibrancy and radiance? Or would it trudge from place to place, painfully murmuring in throbs and sharp stings? What exactly does your body say? And when it talks, do you actually take the time to listen?
Sometimes I think that we take our bodies for granted. We forget that we are fearfully and wonderfully made and how our Creator has designed them to heal, recover, and overcome many of the obstacles and challenges we place before them. It is our temple, and we are called to show reverence to our temples with moral choices, and I believe, wholesome nourishment.
By God’s design, when we are spiritually sound and nourished physically, our bodies most likely will provide us with strength, energy, and vitality. When we are malnourished, albeit from lack of food or poor diet choices, it fights for our survival, often warning us with outward symptoms of pains, aches, or discomfort. It is at this point that we get to choose vitality or a mask to cover the pain. Oftentimes, we don’t think twice about popping pills for everything from that dull headache to the shoulder pain that just won’t quit. We pop more for that lingering cold or the lack of energy we’ve been experiencing. We keep popping pills until the pains begin to multiply, and what was once an acute issue has now become chronic.
What we seem to ignore is that we were designed to experience symptoms. Symptoms is how our body speaks; it is the language it uses to warn us of things that are wrong. The amazing part about this is that when we listen and act, we allow our body to reach the balance it needs for health and wellness, and we’re able to stay strong and healthy. It’s part of His perfect design!
Do you listen when your body talks? Or do you let it “talk to the hand”? Do you take natural steps to recovery? Or do you look for the quick fix that will shut it up as long as possible? Let’s take a quick look at what happens when we ignore God’s little whistle blowers.
Let’s say I put my hand on a hot stove. The symptom my body will use to “speak” to me will be a burning, stinging sensation on the palm of my hand. The translation? “This thing that you’re touching is way too hot, and if you keep your hand on it, it will scald you!”
So, what do I do upon hearing all this? I take my hand off the stove, right? I apply some warm water over the affected area, maybe some mayonnaise, or take a homeopathic like Boiron – Cantharis 30c for healing, and then go on my merry way, trusting that since I identified the cause of the pain and have treated it naturally and effectively, the symptom will eventually go away on its own.
Sounds pretty simple, huh?
Unfortunately, that’s not usually the case in our country.
In reality, what we tend to do is go to a doctor and tell him/her about the burning, stinging sensation we have on our hand. (Bear with me on this analogy.) We show him our hand, get a diagnosis (something ending with -itis), and then walk away with a prescription to dull the pain or symptom. The prescription, however, usually does not address the cause (ie. avoiding the hot stove), and instead comes with a number of other symptoms (side effects) that we can expect to encounter in the future. Nevertheless, after just a few minutes, the pain goes away, and we feel so much better, so we don’t give the side effects too much thought.
Things seem to go well until we happen to put our hand on the hot stove again. We call the doctor quickly because that burning, stinging pain has come back! The doctor seems confused, and after a few minutes, we both decide that the medication must not be working. Finally, he decides to call in a stronger medication for me to pick up at my local pharmacy. I take the medication and things seem to be getting better. I don’t feel the pain too much anymore.
Except that for the next couple of weeks, I keep putting my hand on the hot stove. Over and over again. I’m applying the stronger medication but at the end of the two weeks, not only has that stinging sensation come back, I now have blisters all over my hand! This just can’t be right. Something must be terribly wrong, I think to myself and quickly schedule another appointment with my doctor.
At his office, we discuss the white blisters that have appeared out of nowhere. He takes a good look at them, gives me a fancy name for them, then takes out his pad and writes another prescription.
When I get home that night, I make sure to take my pain medication for the stinging sensation and apply the ointment for the blisters, but because I don’t know any better, I keep putting my hand on the hot stove over and over again. Or what do you know? This time I put my other hand on the hot stove and now, I have pain and blisters on both hands! The disease must be spreading!
I also notice that I haven’t been sleeping as well ever since I started taking the stronger pain medication and have developed a slight rash in the area where I apply the ointment for the blisters. I call the doctor, and he says they’re side effects of the medications and calls in something to help me sleep and a cream for the rash.
And so the cycle continues. Because at the end of the day, all I’m doing is chasing and suppressing the symptoms. Add in the side effects of the medications that can easily fill a page, and now my body has a lot of “screaming” to do, and a lot more “symptoms” for me to deal with.
Now let’s take a step back and think about this for a bit. How many people do you know who are on a daily medication? Is it just the elderly? How about children? How many pop over-the-counter pain killers, like Tylenol or Aleve, and don’t even think twice about it? What about all of those allergy medications? Were we always so medicated as a society? Can we really say we are healthier if we live dependently on drugs? With all of the latest medical research, shouldn’t we be healthier?
So, let’s get back to the simplistic scenario for just a bit. If instead of looking and diagnosing the symptom, ie. the burning, stinging sensation, what if we addressed the cause? Then I’d find that what was causing the burning sensation was the hot stove, and I would be able to know not to put my hand on the stove. I would then avoid the extra medications, blisters, rash, trouble sleeping, etc., and be much healthier at the end of the day.
Now I realize that this example is obviously very simplistic, and it’s not always that easy to find the cause. I also realize that there may be a time when medication is needed, such as in the event of an emergency or in order to improve someone’s quality of life, albeit for a sudden, unknown disease or a chronic one that developed over years of masking the “symptoms”. Please understand that I am not minimizing the pain or burden of illness.
What I am offering, however, is hope, hope for those who are somewhere at the beginning or middle of the journey to chronic illness. My plea is this. Don’t ever stop looking for the cause and treat it! Or even better, stimulate your body’s natural ability to heal with an all-natural medicine like homeopathy, which celebrates symptoms and uses them to find the correct remedy for restoring overall wellness without toxic side effects.
Remember that the majority of conventional medications are only made to suppress symptoms, which may make you feel better temporarily, but often leaves you unhealthier, and needing another medication, in the long run. When you have a symptom, your body is not crying for a pill, it is trying to keep you alive, and if you listen to it and act quickly, it has an amazing ability to heal itself.
So, let’s get back to our stove analogy. For me, my “hot stove” was food intolerances, specifically to gluten, dairy, soy, egg, and yeast. For many, many years, I did exactly what the analogy presented. I saw doctor after doctor after doctor and took the pills they gave me, sometimes 3-6 a day: some for the pain, others for the nausea, some to prevent the migraines, others to help me get through the day. Did I ever get better? No. I kept eating gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, and yeast and so I kept putting my hand back on “the hot stove.” It was then that my body started screaming at me, and my health progressively deteriorated. The migraines, once an acute event every so many months, had become chronic. And sadly, this is what often happens when acutes are treated with suppression.
Fortunately by God’s good grace, I found a doctor who was willing to help me find my “hot stove” or cause, and without a single medication, helped me regain my health over time.
I encourage you to find a doctor, healthcare practitioner, or homeopath who will listen and treat you as a whole person, not as a list of symptoms or a diagnosis. Pray about it. Search for the root . . . because no symptom is too small to ignore if it is beginning to come with greater frequency and intensity. It will only get worse over time.
It’s not just a headache or a migraine. It’s your body trying to tell you something! Are you dehydrated? Did you get enough sleep? Was it something you ate? And it’s not just gas or bloating or IBS (irritable bowel syndrome–really?). You’re not supposed to feel sick or tired after you eat. Find out what’s causing it and fix it!
Most of the time we get sick because of a food sensitivity, poor diet, or an overload of toxins. As a matter of fact, most Western chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, etc. can be attributed to these very factors. It is an accumulation of poor choices and a suppression of symptoms over time. Genetic predispositions may play a small role in it all, but ultimately, it is the environment that “triggers” the genes to disease. Fortunately, it takes time for chronic illnesses to develop, so as long as we listen to our body’s symptoms early on, we can most likely find healing and recovery.
*Slowly reduce the medications you’re taking
*Find out which food(s) you may be reacting to and avoid them if need be
*Cut out sodas and junk food
*Eat nutritious, whole foods that don’t come from a box
*Limit your exposure to toxins by using all-natural products on your skin and in your home
*Build up your immune system
The changes may not always be convenient or easy, but the sooner you act on the minor symptoms, the greater your chances of enabling your body to do what it was designed to do—heal. Unfortunately, the opposite can also be said. If you keep taking those pills to suppress the small symptoms AND keep putting your hand on the stove, your body will only get louder and louder . . . until one day, sadly, the stove will be the least of your problems. I pray that you listen.