Stress & Acceptance Physiology
There is a natural intelligence to our bodies. It is clearly evident that our bodies know how to coordinate a zillion biochemical process each day without us even being aware of it. Modern medicine has barely scratched the surface in understanding the complexity of the way that our body operates and functions. While it has made advances in looking at the physical components and parts it almost never steps back to see what is the operating force for this physical body in the first place.
It is obvious that when we cut or injure ourselves that our body initiates a sequence of events to heal the tissue. Different tissues tend to repair at different rates. Many of what we label disease processes are the body’s intelligence attempting to recalibrate or heal itself in the best way it can given the situation it finds itself within. Even when things seem maladaptive to us, meaning producing some kind of symptoms, this is often an intelligent process that is initiated to help adapt and heal the body. This is also why simply eliminating symptoms can be dangerous as the body created them for a purpose, which is to support homeostasis and healing. The adaptability and capacity of this body intelligence is really quite astounding and one that we often don’t give much attention to unless it seems to not be working correctly.
This begs the question as to why it seems that this intelligence fails us at times. Why does the body not repair after injury or find that perfect balance in its internal processes that we maybe once experienced? Why does the body’s intelligence sometimes need external or outside assistance? Lets start with the most significant cases first and work our way backwards. In the most significant of cases an injury or insult to the body structure is so great that the body’s intelligence can’t reconnect and revitalize that part of the body despite its best attempts to do so. You might see this with a car accident where there is loss of a limb or a stroke when a portion of the brain dies. Connection has been severed and the body’s intelligence simply can’t reach or reconnect to that part. When a part of this body is disconnected from its intelligence source its energetic resource is limited and it eventually ceases to function. This is what we would call a death process of that part. When intelligence completely ceases to inform this body structure that is what we call a full or complete death of this physical form. Again this is the most significant of cases.
Now at the body level we experience death processes every minute and this does not mean that a portion of the body or the entire body dies. Believe it or not millions of cells die each second and millions of new ones are born each second. Unbelievable I know but look it up for yourself. The death process is actually a very important part of the regulation and health of this body, so much so that I would say that our resistance to a death process occurring is one of the major factors that interferes with our ability to heal. Wait, what did I just say? Yep you read correctly. Due to our often impatience, fear, loss of stability in our body of what once was and wanting to go back to how we felt in our body before a pain or symptom arose we tend not want to let go of what once was. We thus create a state of resistance aka stress physiology in our body and we are attempting to live in the past which always creates suffering because its impossible to do so. In this way we interfere with the emergence of the new (which is on the other side of every death) by holding onto the old with the grips of our current idea of life. When we are unwilling to accept what is, including the potential or actual death of the way that things were, we get stuck. When we are stuck we desperately seek for some answer or some clarity that will bring us back to the knowing we once knew rather than this new state of uncertainty and instability that we find ourselves in.
Now back to the body’s intelligence. The body’s intelligence is always programmed towards health, vitality and wholeness in its actions. When communication between our body tissues and the intelligence that informs them are intact and not interfered with this information is effortlessly communicated behind the scenes of our conscious awareness and our body functions optimally. However if this information cannot reach the tissues of the body for some reason then the communication cannot get relayed. In my opinion and experience the number one thing that interferes with this communication process is us. Meaning we create the interference in the system through the inner state of being that we are choosing. Now are there other things that interfere with this communication besides our inner state of being? The answer is most definitely yes. Not creating a good physical environment for the body by consuming crappy foods, crappy thoughts and not taking care of the physical body in the ways it needs all interfere. These things are vitally important to our physical health and vitality, but they are not the entire story.
The good news is that in many cases reconnection can be re-established. The sometimes hard to swallow news is that we first have to accept the current-present-now state of our body before that connection comes back to life and our tissues can be re-vitalized. On a body level this means that we have drop resistance, drop fight/flight mode, drop stress physiology so that the body intelligence can reconnect. The physiology of stress (aka resistance) blocks physical healing and blocks the communication of the intelligence of the body with the body tissues. Stress and healing physiologically work in opposition. On a mental-emotional level this often means we have to stop thinking and start feeling the loss of what was, feeling the pain of not being able to go back, and feeling all of the other difficult emotions that are connected to not feeling or experiencing how you want to be feeling and experiencing being in your body.
Acceptance physiology is radically different than stress physiology. It’s the physiology of flowing, communicating, non-interfered with body intelligence. When we quit holding onto what was, which is embracing the death of what we once knew, only then will we see the new that can emerge. The clarity that we were so hungry for when we were feeling stuck begins to illuminate our experience. We can see what needs to be done and take actions accordingly. We become increasingly ready for whatever we need to do and be. Our physical body may still be experiencing some symptoms but our relationship to their expression has dramatically changed such that we don’t even really mind that their present if they are. This is the power of acceptance. You have this power. We all have this power.
Dr. Amanda Hessel, Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado