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Own Your Health

  
Owning My Health and Well Being
 
I never planned to own my health. My plan was to have a pretty straightforward “normal” life and, if I had a health problem, to go to a doctor and be cured. Because that’s what most of us do and that is, after all, what doctors are for, is it not?
 
Then I landed on my head playing volleyball at university and, in the weeks, months and years that followed, I learned a lot about how both the medical profession and my body actually work. 
 
I learned that if the presenting symptoms do not deliver a clear diagnosis based on the allopathic reductionist model (ie identify what appears to be the issue, be it bacterial, biochemical etc and then either burn/poison or cut it out), I was either prescribed toxic quantities of very strong painkillers (remove the symptom, at least for now, regardless of the cause) or relegated to the category of neurotic/hypochondriac/too-difficult-so-come-back-in-six-months-when-you-might-have-a-condition-bad-enough-to-diagnose.
 
I’m am not saying this to malign doctors. There are excellent doctors and excellent procedures. In some instances though that excellence is of limited, if any, assistance.
 
I wish I knew then what I know now. I wish I had known EFT and started tapping the moment I sustained my injury. I wish I had understood nutrition and the need to provide my body with the building blocks it needs to heal and nourish itself. I wish I had appreciated the need to forgive myself as well as others, and the impact of kindness on all concerned. I wish I was aware of my body’s innate wisdom and ability to heal itself.
 
Yet for all that wishing I am thankful of that experience, because it forced me to open my mind and be more willing to seek healing and health in places I may otherwise have simply dismissed. Bear in mind that I was training as a lawyer in Thatcher’s Britain, so my discipline was very much left brain with little room for hippy self help, especially in the late 1980s when capitalism was king and a company car was far more coveted than a yoga retreat.
 
Perhaps my greatest learning has been the need to take responsibility for my health and well being. To own it and do what is called for, accepting that if I do not care for me, no-one else will. There are always other kind souls willing to help but, it all starts and ends with me. As I am the only one who is always present, day in, day out, in every line, clause and chapter of The Story of My Health and Well Being, I am best placed to help me!
 
So I did not expect to find myself in casualty over Christmas, for the first time in some years seeking help in a conventional medical setting. I had suffered pain all night, which EFT had not alleviated and, totally exhausted and in terrible pain, was taken to the emergency department at the local hospital the next morning. I was looked after with care and kindness. I appreciated the efforts of the nurses, doctors and radiologists and I was glad to take the strong painkillers they offered me to take away the pain. 
 
I am sharing this story because I noticed one very important difference about myself, being in front of a doctor after all these years : I did not surrender my mind the moment the doctor in the white coat appeared. I asked the questions I needed to ask and I did not simply accept at face value what I was being told (including the dosage and need for the painkillers). I felt I made informed choices in the procedure I was part of, rather than simply accepting what this figure of authority decided for me.
 
Because that, for me, is one of the major issues in health today : even those amongst us who are intelligent, well adjusted and well-informed tend to park that ability to think for ourselves at the door when we walk into a doctor’s surgery. Suddenly we are back at school being told what is best for us. Feeling down? Anti-depressants! (no mention of lifestyle, walking, sunlight, nutrition or the many non-addictive modalities which might help). High blood pressure? Hand full of pills for an indefinite (probably lifetime) duration! (no exercise, diet and relaxation plan as a first line of action). Itchy skin? Steroid prescription! (limited checking of allergens and causal factors).
 
Doctors have limited time to spend with each patient, and so offer the best they can in that environment. What we as individuals really need to do is reclaim ownership for our health, before we ever visit the surgery. Then, if we do see a doctor, be clear that we are in control and can make a choice as to which way next. We don’t have to do what we are being told, this is just one (often restricted) viewpoint!
 
Of course, when you are in terrible pain or clinically depressed, that is so much easier said than done, but that is all the more reason to own your health whilst you are well. I am just glad that, by the grace of God, I have ended up (literally by accident more than design) on a path where I am entirely open to considering as a healing possibility many things which do not fit neatly either into my local hospital’s protocols or my doctor’s training (yet!).
 
I understand now that my health is mine so, whilst others will help, it’s down to me if I want a vibrant, healthy life. I still have more questions than answers, so I know the teachers will appear and I will continue to learn and evolve. That’s the great thing about journeys, there’s always another view just out of sight from where you are standing right now. You just have to be willing to travel, keep your eyes open and sometimes just accept that for which you have no words .
 
Posts in the Category “Own Your Health” relate to this journey in general, rather than to any particular stop off point or modality. Maybe in time I will migrate to a more sophisticated format of blog that lets me distribute my posts more easily to specific pages!
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