Your sickness is not your fault

Your sickness is not your fault 

Symptoms don’t mean anything about you

Upset girl feel down having relationships problems“What did I do wrong” is the question we frequently ask ourselves when we are experiencing some kind of sickness, pain or illness in our body.  There is the tendency to blame ourselves for those things that manifest in our physical body, and we go to great lengths to attempt to figure out exactly what is was that we have done wrong.  Often this means losing sleep, feeling tense and confused, and spinning our minds in an attempt to figure it out.  We think if only we could figure out what we’ve done wrong we could fix it.  

The first thing to address here is that your sickness is not your fault.  This doesn’t mean that there aren’t certain things that would be helpful for you to change in your life, but fundamentally your sickness doesn’t mean anything about you. You are not bad, wrong or imperfect because your body has a particular sensation or is expressing something that’s been labelled illness.  One of the ideas that the alternative health community has made more prevalent in the last 10 years is this idea that your “symptoms mean something.”  Many people have taken this to mean that something is fundamentally wrong with them and they must figure out it is so that they can stop their body from expressing in a particular way.  If they could just fix themselves then they could fix their body.  This erroneous thought pattern sends people into a spiral of self blame and shame about having symptoms and doesn’t bring people closer to healing but instead further from it.  

Instead the idea that your symptoms mean something should only be viewed through the lens of seeing symptoms as a  red light that says hey stop for a moment, pay attention and see what needs to be done differently in your life.  It is not about saying that something is wrong with you or even that you’ve done anything wrong in the past.  Its simply a call for a different way of interacting with life now without any judgment on the previous way you’ve been interacting.  Rather than choosing the endless search for meaning instead ask yourself questions such as “how could I interact differently, how could I show up differently, what is life asking of me now in this moment or rhythm in my life, what is this expression currently perfect for.”  The answers to these questions should flow in naturally, and not be forced or figured out.     

Disempowered to Empowered Health

Feeling bad to feeling good

healing and transformation

Making this switch from “what did I do or what am I doing wrong to make this current scenario in my body happen” to “what is life asking of my now” moves you from a state of disempowered helplessness into present moment empowerment.  From a disempowered state of being you don’t get clarity and you endlessly seek answers to the problems you are perceiving with very little change or result.  In empowered health you realize that nothing was ever wrong and still is not wrong, but instead life is guiding you through these “symptom expressions” to help bring forth another part or version of you that is ready to emerge.    

Only when we view symptoms, pain, illness, or anything in our life for that matter as wrong, do we feel bad.  Feeling bad does not make us feel good or make us healthy.  Obvious point yes, yet many people insist of feeling bad about what is happening to their body, circumstances or situations.  Feeling bad about what is does not promote healing, does not provide the energy we need for our lives and for physical healing, and does not promote us participating in our life in the ways that we desire.  Again I am not saying that symptoms don’t indicate some kind of change is wanting to happen in your life, they almost always indicate that some kind of change is eminent, but its not about self-blame and shame and thinking that something is inherently wrong with you.  

Sometimes symptoms do require extreme measures to resolve in the immediate, particularly if they are life threatening.  I am not suggesting to ignore symptoms when they arise, in fact I’m suggesting the exact opposite.  We all must work with the symptoms that arise in our body in whatever ways feel best to us and our in resonance with our being.  We must all evaluate this for ourselves.  To choose that which feels empowering to us rather than reacting out of fear.  

When you move into an empowered state of being things flow in.  You know what you need to do.  Things seem feasible and possible.  Healing will happen.  Change will occur.  Rather than searching around in the dark for answers you know and that knowing comes from inside of you.  You know what must change, you know who you need to seek out for help and support, it isn’t a guessing game anymore.  The outcome is still uncertain, as that is always a mystery, but the certainty in yourself is there.  You are listening to yourself, your own guidance and your own knowing.  This brings inner peace and calm no matter what outcome ensues.  

Dr. Amanda Hessel, Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado

Our need to know what’s “wrong”

Our need to know what’s “wrong”

Labels, names, patterns and diagnoses

22175536 - set of tagsWe have a compulsion in our society to know what is “wrong”.  We somehow think that if we can figure out what’s wrong with us by giving it a label, name, pattern identification or diagnosis that some how we will be better equipped to fix it, heal it or change it.  Unfortunately this perspective is flawed.  

When we give something a label or name we make it more solid, fixed and “real”.  Though this gives our mind the ease it often needs by naming a previously “out of control” experience, sensation or feeling it simultaneously does little in helping us realize our wholeness which is true healing.  

Some might argue that when they discover a name for their state of being or condition that they then have a path or means in how to address their issue or condition.  Say for example you have a set of symptoms and you go to your doctor and he/she looks at your set of symptoms and says, “ah yes you have multiple sclerosis”.  Now you can take drugs or do therapies that address the symptoms that you are experiencing to try and repress them or get them to go away.  Some level of comfort or success may be felt by all parties yet has any actual healing happened; any return to a more unified and whole state?  

This entire scenario above is based on the assumption that the symptoms you experience are wrong and should be stopped or suppressed because they are interfering with the life you think you should be living.  What if there was a different scenario?  What if instead symptoms that you experience or sensations or feelings that you don’t like that you experience where simply life trying to teach you something?  What if they are meant to interrupt your life?  Would you still try to get rid of them or would you try to discover what it is they are there to teach you?  


Seeing life reorganize itself

Deep listening

8000948 - man looking through a telescope isolated on whiteI have found in my personal experience with symptoms over the years that once I’ve learned what they are there to teach me they abate on their own.  The intelligence of the body resolves them because their function is no longer needed or  useful.  Even things that would be considered “incurable” by western standards I’ve watched resolve time and time again.

So what is required to allow for this course of action?  A change in our perspective in how we view disruptive, disturbing or uncomfortable sensations or feelings.  What if symptoms were there to teach us how to love ourselves more?  Or what if they are there to teach us how to relax and be present or to guide us down a different path in life then the one that we are currently on?  These are some to the rich lessons that can be learned when we stop resisting and trying to figure out our symptoms, and rather listen to and be with them.  

This is a radical shift in perspective for most.  The tendency to resist, get rid of, change or “freak out” when we experience a sensation, feeling or state of being that doesn’t feel good or “right” is very strong.  We must first recognize our tendency to do this and catch ourselves in the act.  When we have the capacity to catch ourselves in the act we have an opportunity to change our perspective.  The perspective change is from one of operating out of wrongness and being motivated by fear to one of operating in acceptance of what is and being motivated by seeing what life is teaching us through this.  

This requires deep listening and a willingness to feel what is below the surface of our freak out. We will be different and we will transform as we change our perspective.  We will be able to see more clearly what is really going on rather than going on an epic search in the dark trying to finding the next magical cure that will be the one to fix us.  We will feel a drop into greater acceptance of what is and thus greater acceptance of ourselves.  This is the only way that true transformation can occur.  Everything else is efforting.  

We reorganize to more efficient configuration when we transform.  We essentially start to “work” better.  Though it may be challenging to really shift perspectives when we do a whole new world of possibilities becomes available to us.  

Dr. Amanda Hessel, Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado

Use symptoms to empower your body!

Use symptoms to empower your body! 

Elevate your body’s consciousness

Every now and then life gives us an opportunity (or struggle if you choose to see it that way) to show us areas where we still feel, think or behave disempowered.  Our bodies are often the source of such opportunities.  We have historically called those opportunities “symptoms” and have viewed them as nuisances or threats.

no way outIn general disempowerment occurs when you have an experience where you want to feel, think, see or do something and you feel like you can’t.  It is an unresourceful inner state that says “I’m powerless, helpless here” and there is no possibility that the situation or you could ever change.

Your body is always responding to your inner state or perspective (your consciousness).  How you feel determines how you feel.  Sounds logical and obvious however most people don’t really get this.  They have not been told that they are the choosers of their state and hence don’t realize that they hold the power to choose and feel differently.

Your body is a perfect “physical” mirror to help you see your unconscious patterns that are creating your current reality including how your body is functioning.   To elevate your body’s consciousness you must elevate and empower your own.

Using symptoms 

The opportunity of symptoms

The next questions to tackle then is, how to use symptoms to elevate your consciousness and empower your body?  When symptoms are “physical” we have the tendency to believe that they are real, fixed or static and require aggressive physical measures to change.  Hence the creation of our current mechanical medical model; it perfectly suited our belief systems at one point in our evolution.  We are in a new era now where we have scientifically proven research, that our nonphysical self (emotions, thoughts, soul) inform our physical self (body).  Not everyone has upgraded their belief system yet to include this new information, which is ok, we are a work in progress.

25045469 - young woman with pain in her stomach isolated over white backgroundIn order to use symptoms you must first shift your relationship to them.  We have been very focused on getting rid of symptoms as our relationship to them has been that they threaten us in some way.  Perhaps we think  they are a threat to our health or an activity we want to participate in.  The symptom however, despite what you currently believe, is not the problem.  It is only an effect of an out of alignment belief system and its only purpose is to show you that you are out of alignment.  They tell you “hey- something in your emotions, thoughts, beliefs or behaviors is ready for an upgrade”.  When you shift your perspective in this way you open the door to new possibilities.  You are elevating your consciousness right there.  When you elevate you can hear your body talk in a different way.  Instead of just hearing “this hurts”, you hear new information that may say “hey, you need to stop trying to control everything in your life, you’re making us (muscles, belly, etc.) tense up and hurt”.  Now you have more useful information that you can do something with and you are empowered because you can do something about it if you choose.  When you are empowered and make changes, your body is empowered, and it naturally begins to heal.

At Chiropractic Alchemy we specialize in helping empower people through how their body is expressing, so that you can get the insight, wisdom and create conscious change in your life.

Dr. Amanda Hessel, DC, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado