Back in 1993 I did a weekend Reiki course with my dad. Our teacher was Australian Reiki Master Barbara McGregor, who’d trained with her Master, the Reverend Beth Gray for 7 years. That along with her background in editing ‘Wellbeing’ magazine, gave her a wealth of knowledge about mind-body or metaphysical medicine. She explained that we never become unwell without good reason, and there’s always a message for us lying behind injury and dis-ease. It wasn’t something I’d ever come across before, but at the time I was healing from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome myself, and it made total sense. In my own case I’d put myself under so much pressure in order to gain approval from family and friends, my body forced me to stop and rethink.
What Is Mind-Body Medicine?
Mind-body medicine has fascinated me ever since and I’ve spent lots of time observing this in myself, friends, family and patients. It seems very true to me that as I was taught, all illness and injury is a message triggered by the subconscious mind, indicating an issue that’s making us unhappy. It’s simply a question of learning the language our body wants to use, and actually we use it every day without realising! I believe that in order to truly heal, it’s vital to understand the meaning behind our dis-ease and start working on the related issues. This is not something you’ll ever get help with from mainstream medicine, but I’ve explored it with my patients for the last 20 years and they usually get some insight into what’s really going on behind the scenes.
How Mind-Body Medicine Has Worked With My Patients
Here are just a few examples:
- One lady in her early 70’s came to see me with various eye problems, all of which would eventually lead her to losing her sight. We explored the possibility that there might be something she didn’t want to see, and she realised that she didn’t want to see herself getting too old to enjoy all the activities she’d always loved. She began to look for ways of feeling more at peace about growing old.
- A young lady with lung cancer had suffered several bereavements in her close family since childhood. During the consultation, before we’d explored the possible meanings, she said “I feel like I’ve been grieving my whole life”. In Chinese medicine, the lungs represent grief, and cancer often shows up as a result of deeply buried anger, sadness or resentment which literally eats away at us.
- A lady with chronic pain and fatigue found that no matter which medicine she took, it didn’t improve. She had a history of abuse which had left her feeling very bad about herself, and realised that the pain was a form of self punishment. She started looking at forgiveness and ways to love herself more.
The Advantages Of Using Mind-Body Medicine
When we use mind-body medicine as part of our treatment, it changes things completely. We begin to understand that illness is in fact a love letter from you to you, so it would be rude not to read and reply!. Even when a person comes to me with more complex issues, we try to be thankful that with our new found knowledge we have the opportunity to heal that we wouldn’t get with a sudden fatal accident! The fear around the illness dissipates, and we feel more empowered to take back control over what’s happening. Herbal medicine is used to act mainly on the physical level, and that combined with good nutrition, some simple lifestyle changes and getting the messages works wonders. Even if working through the underlying issues is going to be difficult or painful, learning better ways to love ourselves and reconnect with who we truly are always pays off in the end.