Your body does not need anyone to tell it how to heal itself. In fact the very narrative that many of us have when we are sick, which goes something like – “My body is broken. It gets in the way of my life. I hate my body” – is compounding the very problem that got you sick in the first place. Let me explain.
In old English hǣlan (in the sense ‘restore to sound health’), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch heelen and German heilen, also to whole. [Oxford languages]
Healing literally means to restore to sound health; to return to “the whole”.
But what has separated?
The baseline is this: your body has the wisdom to carry out life, period. Your body knew what to bring from your parents (genetics); how to survive the trauma of birth; how to respond to the environment to adapt and to develop (epigenetics) into a functioning being. Your doctor (or your acupuncturist if you are so inclined) does not need to tell your body how to heal itself or to live it’s life. So what went wrong? Why all the mess then?
Since your author is a Chinese medicine practitioner, here is my understanding of the separation that caused the mess from a Chinese medicine perspective.
Your body has all the wisdom to live out it’s full potential (Heart: Spirit). But as life happens, you get exposed to pathogens, including emotional trauma. In Chinese medicine, we identify emotional hurt as Cold (other pathogens include Heat, Dryness, Dampness, Phlegm, Wind, Toxins).
Your Heart wants only one thing: to open and to connect. It strives for infinite freedom and connection. The nature of connection and openness is Warm.
Cold is one of the serious “evil energies” in Chinese medicine. It stagnates Qi. What happens when you get into a cold shower? Your tissues contract.
When we are told “don’t be so sensitive”, “stop being so loud”, “stop making drawings, you can’t make a living being creative!”, “stop making a fuss”. These are the moments when your Heart contracts with the message that “you are not good as you are”. These messages, whether verbally explicit or not, when they land on us, are Cold in nature.
That Cold energy (Qi) can penetrate your system.
You start being “different” because the very people you desire love and connection from the most are telling you that you need to be different to receive love from them.
So you distance yourself from your Heart. This happens subconsciously of course.
You start hating yourself for your loudness (assertiveness, expressiveness), your sensitivity (emotionally attuned), your bossiness (assertiveness, care-taking, active solution seeking), to name a few.
Does your acupuncturist tell you not to eat salad all the time?
That’s because it’s Cold.
Cold is a pathogen.
Being told again and again that you should be different to how you are and what you like when you are a little child is like eating ice cubes for three meals.
Can you imagine what havoc that would cause your digestive system?
The connection to yourself and to your Heart is broken by the cold ice in between.
The mess is caused by the “hurt” of life.
It doesn’t mean your body doesn’t know how to heal it.
Nor does it mean that you are broken.
Only the connection to your heart is broken, because it’s jammed up with ice.
So how do you start healing?
(By establishing) Connection.
Restoring your relationship with your Heart and your gut intuition.
Reconnecting with your body and breath.
Reconnecting with your emotions.
All of which is Warm by nature.
Therapeutic relationships where you experience being accepted for who you are can soothe and calm your nervous system so that it can take on the warmth that is created by connecting with another human being.
There are many different ways to warm the cold in your heart. Your acupuncturist would literally use moxabustion to warm the stagnant and cold channels/organs.
Healing is not only possible for you. It is an innate skill of yours.
Your body has the power to heal itself.
So step back a moment from blaming your body, which is calling your attention to all the Cold by touching it and by paying attention. With a changed attitude and an acceptance that your body should not be any different, the warmth is created.
You are your best healer.
After you, there are healers who have gone through this process and embodied healing.
The best way to climb to Mount Everest base camp is to walk that path with a guide who has walked that way before. But remember, it is you who will have to walk the path.