You have to pay attention to your body and notice what works and doesn’t work to be well

Self ResponsibilityNaturopathy is based on a belief in a special energy called vital energy or vital force that guides the bodily processes. This vital energy is intelligent and is always seeking homeostasis or health. Naturopathy honors the body’s innate wisdom to heal. As a naturopath, my role is neither to diagnose or treat but to support this amazing innate healing process.

I want you to understand that when you embark on a natural healing path you assume something I call “self responsibility.” You agree to pay attention to your own body, your mental and emotional state, and notice what moves you in a positive direction and what takes you backwards.

Each and every one of us is so unique. When you are dealing with natural modalities, each individual has a unique chemistry, set of beliefs, social structure, and environment. Manipulating these factors to allow healing to take place is unique to each person. You have to find what works for each individual.

I have a dear friend who saw many people being successful on a very calorie-restricted diet, and she wanted to try it. Each time she did, she would get faint or aggravate her heart arrhythmia. It is important to recognize when something is not right for your body. Or, recognize if your body is not strong enough to deal with it at the time.

Many years ago a book hit the holistic movement called Eating Right for Your Type, describing experiments that defined how certain foods were better for different blood types. I remember people saying, “I loved the book because I tried to be a vegetarian because I thought that was the right thing to do, and now I know why I felt worse. ” This book explained that people with the blood type O needed meat. You see when you pay attention to your body, it knows and can tell you. The problem is most of us want outside validation for what we already know.

Bottom line is you have to pay attention to your body and your life!

A finer line is when you start a healthier diet, cleanse, or give up an addictive substance you can have withdrawals or detoxification. This can cause a temporary worsening of symptoms before you see the light at the end of the tunnel. Based on your current level of health, you may need to be closely monitored by a doctor. Again, bottom line is you need to pay attention to your body.

A client was doing an intense colon cleanse and decided to take a puff of a cigarette. She described remaining conscious and being able to see everything but it felt like a dark cloud surrounded her. You see, the liver was dealing with so many toxins from the cleanse that the cigarette, which the body could normally deal with, was now one thing too much. Luckily the strange feeling quickly passed. But this was something to PAY ATTENTION TO!

When you are dealing with allopathic medicine, it deals in structure. You can easily measure a blood pressure, heart rate, see an x-ray, read a lab result. But even medicine itself is not a science. They call it the art of medicine. Again it would pay off to be self responsible and know what is being put in your body and what the potential side effects are. If you have side effects, discuss with your doctor other options that might work better for your body and your lifestyle. For example, if the doctor puts you on a blood pressure pill and you have swelling or a decrease in libido, ask him to try another medication. It is important to find a doctor that is willing to partner with YOU on YOUR health.

When a person does not fit in “a box,” where the diagnosis and treatment are clear, a very sad thing can happen: that person can be left with the feeling it is in their head. They desperately need help but the doctors cannot find the cause in their model. I remember many years ago people coming into our practice frustrated because no one could help them. This was before there was a diagnosis for chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, or other autoimmune diseases. What makes us so arrogant that we think we know everything now? We can laugh now at the ignorance of earlier generations thinking the world was flat. One day there may be future generations laughing at our ignorance. There are so many answers still needing to be found.

Each and every thing that exists has a purpose. There are so many intelligent, well-meaning, and devoted people in the field of medicine. So many people are helped daily in doctors’ offices and hospitals.

The problem is that when we wait until a disease shows up structurally, we have something that is not easily reversed and is very expensive. Right now our healthcare system is stressed. It is too expensive to provide this type of care to our population. The hospitals are realizing they are going to have to get far more efficient to survive this economic and health crisis they are facing.

Your best defense is to take care of your health NOW!

On this blog we will cover how to best support the mind, body, and spirit in moving towards optimum health. Remember…I am not diagnosing, treating, or prescribing therapies for you to participate in. I am educating you as to a new way to look at your health—a way to be self responsible.

Take it easy on yourself. It is a lifelong journey.

Author: Debra Kahnen, RN, ND, is the CEO of Life Mastery LLC. With over three decades of healthcare experience—as both a nursing leader in the largest not-for-profit health system in Texas and as a naturopath focusing on wellness—her view is radically different. Debra is a renowned expert in stress management and wellness. She helps people improve their health and emotional well-being to allow for more peace, joy, and personal satisfaction. Get a free special short video eCourse, "Take back control of your life NOW!, so you can experience more balance and ease in your life.

Article Photo: courtesy of renjith krishnan / Free Digital Photos

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