Blog, Self Heal

The Art of Healing Yourself

Many of us seek for the answers to our health issues everywhere we can and constantly on the lookout for the ultimate healer who can fix us. But what if you discovered that there is only one person, in the whole world, that can heal you? What if you discovered that this person is in very close proximity to you? What if you discovered that this person is not me (too easy;), but it is you?

Picture by Amit Shlagman

Why would this person be you? Because you are the only one who can bring your own body to meet its survival needs. And why would that be important? Because when body’s survival needs are met, our nervous system can shift into a deep relaxed state which will signal to every cell in our body that “War is over!”. And what would that do? When the body is in a state of peace, inflammation will no longer be needed. Thus, any condition, which was aggravated by the flux of inflammation, will get the opportunity to settle down, or in other words – heal.

What are these survival needs? Think about babies – what do they need? To sleep, to eat, to be touched, to be soothed, to be clean, to move and to learn how to coexist with others in the world. We may have grown out of our baby stage, but our needs have not changed. However, now, we are engaged with so many responsibilities which have become a priority over our basic needs.

Here begins our part as self healers, by tending to our basic needs and helping our body meet them. How can we do that? Simply by going back to basics – returning to all the actions that we usually skip through our busy life. These actions are also known as the pillars of Traditional Naturopathy: Nourishment, Bodywork, Rest/sleep, Energy work, Herbal medicine, Hydrotherapy, Education, and Movement.

Here is my understanding of these pillars and some thoughts of how to apply them into our busy lives:

What does it mean Nourishment?

Picture by Amit Shlagman

Nourishment means supplying our cells with the materials they need in order to function in their most efficient way. How can we nourish our body? By eating real food. Food that was not processed or changed by human hand. Food that existed here for thousands of years and is not new. Food that your grandparents will recognize when you take them shopping – ask them which foods they ate as kids and learn from them. These foods probably have been protecting them from what they are eating now.

The word “Food” is not always a synonym to Nourishment. It does not matter how much we eat or how we look, but if our cells are not being nourished, we will always be hungry and always seek for something to eat. That’s why we want to look for Real food.

Real food is not about being vegetarian, or vegan, or paleo, or follow a certain diet. It is about eating a product that our cells recognize and not replacing it with something containing harmful ingredients. Some examples of real food could be Fruits (preferably organic), vegetables (preferably organic), grass-fed / organic meats, Free range chicken /eggs / chicken soup, pickles, sauerkraut, avocado, full fat grass-fed dairy / butter….

Nourishment is not a sophisticated philosophy. Nourishing food has become less socially acceptable since it takes more effort to make it or find it. Sometimes we might avoid eating nourishing foods out of embarrassment to be the only one doing so, or simply because we are too tired or too busy to make the effort. If this is the case, maybe you want to sow the following seeds of thought and see where it takes you:

  • Am I too busy working for others that I cannot find a moment to cook my own meal?
  • Am I too busy running after everyone’s needs (my spouse, my kids, my cat, my dog, my friends, my neighbors, my, my, my, my, my…. Oh my) that I don’t have few minutes to sit down and eat nourishing foods to resolve my own issues?
  • Am I too busy being busy that I cannot find a daily hour to heal myself?

What does it mean Bodywork?

Picture by Amit Shlagman

Referring to the word “bodywork”, the most common association would be of someone applying touch on you. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have an in-home-(any type of)-bodyworker working on you 24/7? Or, maybe having the resources to pay for daily sessions? Probably…
But since this would be just a fantasy for most of us, we might want to look into other creative solutions, or maybe slightly shift our thinking to an efficient route. Even if you are blessed with an in-home-(any type of)-bodyworker, or you are seeing someone periodically (weekly/monthly/yearly or anything in between) – these professionals will see you only for a limited time. So that would be it? What is happening in between these times? What if you don’t see anyone?

My belief is that touch is not exclusive as an external act only. Could touching our own tissue be regarded as bodywork? Of course!! A gentle touch is very nourishing to our nervous system. And the main benefit is that it is free and unlimited!

This kind of touch is not only physical. It is mostly emotional and mental, as we allow our cells to open. Everything we kept closed inside, suddenly has the permission to come to light: Every feeling that we buried, every thought that we concealed, and even memories that we dismissed without processing. Once these memories / thoughts / feelings start to flood us, we have the choice to hide them again or to accept them into our lives.

Any issue we are dealing with requires lots of energy from us. But hiding that issue (mainly from ourselves) requires much more energy, which eventually can deplete our vitality.  The wiser (aka older) we grow, the more energy our body requires for daily functions, and we have less energy to spare for other purposes.
As we grow wiser, we may feel more exhausted and sense that our body is not servicing us as before. Physical check would be a great venue to take to see what is happening, but along with that, it is imperative to take a deeper look and watch for hidden burdens. Since we are so accustomed to keep moving through our routines, it is not very obvious to us that we may disregard our feelings. When we touch and feel what is happening in our body, we can learn to use our energy in the most efficient way so healing can rise.

Nourishing touch should be regarded as a practice, like yoga or meditation, in order for our body to start trusting and letting go. The more we nourish with touch, the healthier we get, and the closer we become to real things – real food, real touch, real outdoor activities, real relationships, real emotional expression, real/honest reactions – which will promote us to real healing. Nourishing our Emotional, Mental and Spiritual aspects is essential simply because Physical nourishment is not enough. And Touch will probably cover them all…

Sometimes, we might be too busy or too tired to apply touch on our own tissue. If this is the case, maybe you want to sow the following seeds of thought and see where it takes you:

  • Am I too busy working for others that I cannot find a moment to apply touch on my own tissue?
  • Am I too busy running after everyone’s needs (my spouse, my kids, my cat, my dog, my friends, my neighbors, my, my, my, my, my…. Oh my) that I don’t have few minutes to understand what my own issues are simply by touching and feeling the differences in my tissue?
  • Am I too busy being busy that I cannot find a daily hour to heal myself?

What does it mean Rest/Sleep?

Picture by Amit Shlagman

Rest is not a synonym of laziness. According to Harvard university, sleep enhances memory, immune system, focus, improves mood and provides vitality for us to be productive. We can achieve much more of our goals in much shorter time when we are rested, rather than running constantly without stopping.

Over thinking, over worrying, and living with anxieties may prevent us from either falling asleep or getting a good night sleep to feel rested in the morning.
When we have sleeping issues – our nervous system needs some nourishing attention. We have to be mindful that when nervous system compromises, all other systems compromise as well (digestive, immune, hormonal, reproductive…).
There are many ways to calm the nervous system, but I will share here only one, aiding sleeping: Using Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) either as a tincture or as tea, is a very effective gentle way to calm the nervous system. I love the tea version as a great ending to a hectic day – sitting and enjoying a hot cup of tea. Yes, sitting is a huge part of enhancing relaxation… and with its great taste, even kids enjoy drinking Lemon balm tea. Lemon balm tea can be made with fresh or dried herb – simply pour boiling water onto the leaves (usually 1 tsp herbs for 1 cup of water, but you can always increase or decrease the amount of this herb).

The nice thing about lemon balm (and herbs in general) is that it is not causing you to be tired, but it shows you how tired you are, and actually forces you to take an action about it, trusting that taking breaks from our life missions will actually help us complete these tasks much faster and more efficiently.

Combining this tea with an application of a castor oil pack, when going to sleep, will bring the nervous system to a very deep state of relaxation, which will allow the whole body to recover through the night. It may take your nervous system few days to adjust and trust your nourishing efforts, and therefore, you may want to set a routine of daily drinking the tea and applying the castor pack for at least a week or two. Watch for minor changes. Don’t look for the extreme. Look for these little, subtle shifts, that may actually save your life in the long run. For example, watch your reactions to the events around you. watch your mood. watch your thoughts before you go to sleep. Has anything change? are you less reactive? are you happier? are you feeling lighter? are you more focused on your actions? are you thinking more clearly? Small steps, but what a difference they make!

Sometimes, we might be too worried or too busy to find time to take a nap or to sleep for a decent number of hours. If this is the case, maybe you want to sow the following seeds of thought and see where it takes you:

  • Am I too busy working for others that I cannot find a moment for myself to take a short rest?
  • Am I too busy running after everyone’s needs (my spouse, my kids, my cat, my dog, my friends, my neighbors, my, my, my, my, my…. Oh my) that I cannot find few minutes to calm my worries which prevent me from having a good night sleep?
  • Am I too busy being busy that I cannot find a daily hour to heal myself?

What does it mean Energy work?

Picture by Amit Shlagman

Energy work is often linked to many modalities as Reiki, Therapeutic touch, Craniosacral therapy, EFT, Chakra balancing, Polarity and many others. Every offered energy modality is amazing and can manifest an enormous shift in all states of emotional, physical, mental and spiritual. However, none of them can give their great results without counting the personal intention of the person who offers the energy work.

The most special and purest environment for healing sets when we offer healing from our hearts, while setting our intention to the highest good of the receiver, without seeking benefits for ourselves. This is why we have to remember, when looking beyond all the offered modalities, that each one of us is made of energy. We are giving and receiving energy all the time.  So, even just by our presence, without any knowledge of any particular modality, we are actually offering energy work. And this offering may be the most important of all, as we are engaged with it throughout the whole 24 hours of the day and not in just a specific hour of a session.

Our intention has an astonishingly important role in our healing process and understanding the importance of this role may have an great impact on the way we manage our lives. When we are mindful of our intentions, towards ourselves or others, we may shift the energies surrounding us and create the proper environment for our healing. Our attitude, our inner response, our thinking – all affect our energy.

As energy beings, we are more affected by the transmitted energy rather than said or written words. We understand messages from a much wider perspective, and this may cause physical response. When our energy is weak or depleted or wounded in a certain area, the physical organs or tissues or cells in that area may suffer as well. Donna Eden, a pioneer in the field of energy medicine, refers to energy as “body’s natural self-healing elixir, it’s natural medicine which feeds body and soul and attending to it restores natural vitality”. She explains that our bodies continually vibrating at a subtle level, moving energy and information through the connective tissues that encase us. Donna Eden mentions that we resonate with energies in our environment, matching our frequencies of the vibrations to the ones around us. Shifting an energy field can have an effect on body’s chemistry. While disturbed energy precedes illnesses in the physical body, Donna believes that it is possible to correct energy imbalances before they coagulate into illness. Maintaining a healthy energy field is a powerful strategy for maintaining health and preventing illness.

Healing resides within us. The energy we bring from within comes from our choice and is owned by us. The more conscious and mindful we are about our own energies, our own intentions, the more we can direct them towards our own healing and healing of our surroundings.

We can protect ourselves from outside energies by warming our own energy. When energy is cold, it is like ice – if something hits us, then we shatter and break. But when energy is warm, it is like fluid – if something hits us, it will flow with the stream and eventually move out of our body. We want to keep our selves flowing and not stagnant. A good way to warm our energy is by taking a moment to visualize heat wrapping us until we feel warm. Adding a physical heating source can be a great idea to help enhance this visualization. And yes, a castor oil pack can do wonders here as well.

Sometimes, we might be too entangled in our worries to find time to mind our attitude to ourselves or others. If this is the case, maybe you want to sow the following seeds of thought and see where it takes you:

  • Am I too busy working for others that I cannot find a moment to be kind to myself?
  • Am I too busy running after everyone’s needs (my spouse, my kids, my cat, my dog, my friends, my neighbors, my, my, my, my, my…. Oh my) that I cannot take few minutes to shift my thinking and attitude to resolve my own issues?
  • Am I too busy being busy that I cannot find a daily hour to heal myself?

What Does it mean Herbal medicine?

Picture by Amit Shlagman

Plants have been used for nourishing and healing for thousands of years. And yet, in modern life, we grew farther from our natural surroundings, forfeiting earth’s offerings to us. Moreover, when Herbs are defined as weeds that we need to eradicate, we surround ourselves with chemicals that manipulate our nervous system. This manipulation is an insult to our nervous system which puts us in a fight-or-flight mode and prevents our body to reach a deep state of relaxation.

Would it be possible that the same herbs that we are trying to eradicate can be used to calm this response? Of course!! Simple teas as Mint, Chamomile, Lemon Balm, Nettle, Calendula, or Oat straw can be amazingly restorative. Simple spices as Oregano, Turmeric, Cayenne, Cinnamon, Thyme added to our foods will revive the flavor along with boosting our Immune & Digestive systems.

The beauty with herbs is that they affect us physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually, no matter how you consume them: Walking in the woods and being surrounded by plants, watching them in your yard (or your neighbor’s yard), drinking a tea, taking a tincture, blending in cooking, taking them in a pill form, topically applying them on your body as an oil or a salve, using as a compress, or defusing their aromatic smells.

Sometimes, our overactive life might prevent us from taking a moment to look at the nature around us and to appreciate it. If this is the case, maybe you want to sow the following seeds of thought and see where it takes you:

  • Am I too busy working for others that I cannot find a moment to make and drink a cup of tea?
  • Am I too busy running after everyone’s needs (my spouse, my kids, my cat, my dog, my friends, my neighbors, my, my, my, my, my…. Oh my) that I don’t have few minutes to sit in my garden or to walk in the woods and welcome nature’s offerings into my life?
  • Am I too busy being busy that I cannot find a daily hour to heal myself?

What does it mean Hydrotherapy?

Picture by Amit Shlagman

Hydrotherapy means healing with Water. What could be simpler than that?
Drinking, showering, bathing, soaking, hot water bottles/castor oil packs, hot/cold applications, teas, soups, sauna, hot tubs, and everything else you can think of.

Water has been used for healing for thousands of years, as it has many beneficial qualities, to name some: it’s reviving everything it touches; It can be astringent, tightening what’s needed, and at the same time it can be emollient, softening and soothing; it can be anti – antiseptic, antidemic (reduce swelling), antispasmodic, and at the same time it can be pro – stimulating, laxative, diuretic; It can constrict blood vessels (cold water), and at the same time it can dilate (hot water).

Sometimes, we are too burdened with our chores that we cannot find time to drink a cup of water or to enjoy a long Epsom bath. If this is the case, maybe you want to sow the following seeds of thought and see where it takes you:

  • Am I too busy working for others that I cannot find a moment to fill up my water bottle and drink?
  • Am I too busy running after everyone’s needs (my spouse, my kids, my cat, my dog, my friends, my neighbors, my, my, my, my, my…. Oh my) that I don’t have few minutes to sit in an Epsom bath or to do a castor pack to resolve my own issues?
  • Am I too busy being busy that I cannot find a daily hour to heal myself?

What does it mean Movement?

Picture by Amit Shlagman

Finding any type of movement that is enjoyable to you and that you would want to continue doing it without feeling forced to do so is the key to movement. (And it can be even something that you invent and only you know how to do it….).

There is no need to go for an extreme movement, unless you really enjoy it – a simple act of walking in nature can be very restorative to our nervous system, respiratory system, digestive system, and circulatory system.

Sometimes, since movement is time demanding, we might struggle to find time to commit to a movement activity. If this is the case, maybe you want to sow the following seeds of thought and see where it takes you:

  • Am I too busy working for others that I cannot spare a moment to park my car further than I am used to and walk to where I need to go?
  • Am I too busy running after everyone’s needs (my spouse, my kids, my cat, my dog, my friends, my neighbors, my, my, my, my, my…. Oh my) that I cannot spare few minutes to commit to a movement activity (walk, yoga, swim, bike, dance, kayak…..) to resolve my own issues?
  • Am I too busy being busy that I cannot find a daily hour to heal myself?

What does it mean Education?

Picture by Amit Shlagman

“We don’t need a title to lead. What we need is nothing more or nothing less than a burning desire to make a positive difference in our lives” Mark Sanborn, CSP, CPAE

Education is not about getting another certificate or degree. It is about the need to understand what is happening in our own body, without depending on others’ opinions and suggestions, which may not always be suitable to our unique situation. Taking the time to be in our body and research about our inward discoveries (by reading books/articles, watching informative movies…) can lower anxieties and fears from the unknown.

Sometimes, we are too overwhelmed with assignments which we need to accomplish daily, that we might not find the time to educate ourselves regarding our health. If this is the case, maybe you want to sow the following seeds of thought and see where it takes you:

  • Am I too busy working for others that I cannot find a moment to read a book or an article regarding my own condition?
  • Am I too busy running after everyone’s needs (my spouse, my kids, my cat, my dog, my friends, my neighbors, my, my, my, my, my…. Oh my) that I don’t have few minutes to process my researched information within listening to my own unique needs?
  • Am I too busy being busy that I cannot find a daily hour to heal myself?

Yes, it is an enormous mission to be the sole proprietor of your own body, but isn’t it a blessing to discover that you are also the sole proprietor of the greatest healer of your own body?

Picture by Amit Shlagman

The art of healing yourself begins with sowing seeds and continues in the way you allow them to sprout and develop. Sowing the above-mentioned seeds might be plenty for today, but even this tiny action will always be much more than doing nothing.

Remembering that you are unique, and that your healing is your own personal journey, will help you seek out the professional healers that will teach you how to progress on your healing path and how to adjust their advice to your unique lifestyle. All this while keeping in mind that it doesn’t matter how big of a miracle the professional healer can do in one hour of their session, because there are no limits to the enormity of miracles that you can do in the rest of the twenty-three!

Picture by Amit Shlagman

4 thoughts on “The Art of Healing Yourself”

  1. Dear Anat,

    Thank you for your informative newsletter ! They are always so informative and easy to read and understand. I also realize that they also take a lot of work and time. Thank you for sharing this valuable knowledge.

    I look forward to our next session,

    Richard

    On Tue, Apr 5, 2022 at 10:20 PM Traditionally Empowered Healing LLC wrote:

    > Anat Shlagman Traditional Naturopath posted: ” Many of us seek for the > answers to our health issues everywhere we can and constantly on the > lookout for the ultimate healer who can fix us. But what if you discovered > that there is only one person, in the whole world, that can heal you? What > if you disc” >

    Liked by 1 person

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