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When Treating an Illness, Treat the Mind as Well

Believe it or not, most illness first arise in the mind. It could be due to stress or repressed feelings like anger, sorrow and grief and other negative emotions and experiences. When these feelings and emotions goes unacknowledged and not dealt with, it eventually manifest into an illness or disease.

When opting for treatment, most people will look into treating the physical symptoms of the body. Very few actually attempt to dig deeper into the root cause of it. And if we fail to treat the root cause of any illness or disease, it will eventually return- it’s like plugging weeds from your garden- if you only pull up the top of the plant without pulling out the roots, initially, you will be pleased with your clear garden. But in no time, the weeds will grow again.

Especially in cancer,  most of the time, it originate from stress and repressed emotions that were not dealt with effectively. As such, when a cancer patient opts of treatment of cancer, it is important to treat the well being of the mind. The cancer patient needs to combine both method of treatment- conventional treatment like surgery or chemotherapy as well as promoting well being of the mind. Neither should be omitted.

Most often, many people will put up with extreme stress in their workplace and personal lives until they are diagnosed with something major. No one seemed to take notice if they seemed to be very susceptible to constant recurrence of flu, cough and fever- an indication of a weak immune system. A quick visit to the doctor and armed with a prescription of antibiotics should do the trick. And if this course of antibiotics does not work, no worries, the doctor can always prescribed a stronger dosage. This trend really worries me.

Sadly, a person will only take action to reduce the stress unless there is a real life threathening illness like cancer that requires prompt treatment to address the cancer growth. I have known friends who worked and worked non stop, never taking any rest- and then only when they are diagnosed with cancer, that they are willing to take a break to get themselves treated- and that too is with great reluctance.

Finding more reason to laugh and relax- creative tissue paper holders sold in Suphan Puri market, Thailand

Finding more reason to laugh and relax- creative tissue paper holders sold in Suphan Puri market, Thailand

However, with other diseases or illness that can be controlled by medication such as cholesterol or high blood pressure, most people will only opt to take medication. Some will try to make changes in their lifestyle such as switch to healthier eating and learning to exercise. Only a small percentage of those diagnosed will look into learning to deal with stress, changing their priorities and dealing with their emotions. If that is the case, the initial diabetes will then eventually lead to other complications such as kidney failure, amputation and blindness. That is why it is paramount that we strongly think of reassessing the stressors in our lives when we find that we are diagnosed with a long term illness…. before it becomes too late to do so.

By switching to a healthier lifestyle consisting of exercising and a healthier diet, we automatically learn to relax and have our stress levels reduced. Exercise can help to release pent up frustration and negative energies- sweating it all out have a therapeutic effect on the mind and body. Choosing to eat healthily also helps to promote physical health. Eating more fiber like fruits and vegetables are more easy on our digestive system compared to clogging stuff like cheeseburgers, steaks and french fries.

Also, solution to a problem may unexpectedly arrive while we are doing yoga because our mind is fully relaxed at the point of time. And when we are relaxed, inspiration often comes more easily. The more tensed we are, the larger the problem threatens to overwhelm us.

After we learn to relax and manage the obvious stressors, we should go deeper into the recesses of the mind and identify hidden issues. In future articles, I will write more about the following issues:

1. Tendency to suffer from overeating- it could be ‘eating to drown our sorrows’. If we failed to identify and solve the hidden sorrow, the weight we lose will always return.

2. Inability to drag ourselves up from bed in the morning– it could be because ‘there is nothing to look forward to- life seemed empty’.  Even though we may seemed to have everything in life, there is some feeling of lack deep inside that makes us very unhappy. That too needs to be addressed at a deeper level beyond just exercising, aromathearapy or switching to some kind of diet.

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