Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness, Self-Nurture

The Self-Healing Body

Ever wonder how the body heals itself after a cut or scrape?  (I’m dangerous in the kitchen with a sharp knife so I’ve witnessed my body heal too many times to count)  It seems small, but somehow the body finds its way to wholeness.  Could we really be created to self-heal?  I think it’s an important question because when we reframe ideas or beliefs it can impact how we live our lives.  When diagnosed with an illness it’s important to begin thinking about how are we clogging the path to self-healing.  What are we doing, believing, thinking that puts a kink in the hose preventing the healing powers flow through our body.  Of course we need to realize that we’re not utilizing enough of our brain to heal all illnesses, but what part of each illness can be self-healed?

We live in a culture that prides itself on busy-busy-busy.  I can’t tell you how many phone calls I get that start with the words, “I’m so overwhelmed…”.  That can’t be good for the body.  So how do we afford ourselves the opportunity to self-heal?  Think very carefully about the following four areas of your life and take a good, honest look at how you rate in each category.

Nutrition:  Are you eating good food?  Are you eating?  If you can only eat a small amount are you making the most of the calorie intake and the level of nutrition?

Exercise: This isn’t about running marathons, but it is about the body moving.  Even if all you can do is watch and episode of “sit and be fit” then you’re making progress.  I remember coming back from Japan years ago and about 1 hour before we landed the flight attendant came over the intercom and instructed us in airplane aerobics.  They want us to stretch and oxygenate our bodies, revinvorating the cells before we got off the plane.

Rest: Rest doesn’t always mean sleep, but sleep ranks high (unless that’s all you do, then there may be other issues at play).  The body needs time to rejuvenate and regenerate itself.  When we sleep we dream and that’s one way to discharge stress from our bodies.  Rest means taking a moment without an agenda and letting your body have some down time.  I differentiate between rest and sleep because issues like pain may impact sleep, but rest may serve you.

Connections:  We’re social creatures so how are you being social.  I’m not saying you should spend every night out on the town, but regular contact with friends and family reduces our feelings of isolation.  This is especially important when facing a chronic or life-threatening illness.  We need to nourish our souls and our emotional life and we do this by staying connected to others.

So how did you do?  Do you give yourself high marks for aiding your self-healing powers?  All four are important no matter what your health status, but they get amplified following an illness diagnosis.  Let me know how you’re doing and how you’ve achieved these accomplishments.  Also let me know where you’re getting stuck and we can focus on those areas in coming articles.

If you haven’t visited the website check out  I just launched a new site that offers videos with helpful hints to improve your health and healing.  Check out


I've lived my life in service to others. I'm focused on mental health and how it impacts our relationships, culture, and society. Through creative expression and narrative I believe we can impact change.

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