By Penelope A. Domogo, MD
A lot of people nowadays get anxiety attacks when they don’t feel well and so they would immediately reach for the medicine bottle or go to the pharmacy or clinic. This was not the case 30-40 years ago. This was not the case during my lola’s time. During those times, when they felt unwell, they would sit down or lie down, rest and sleep. They would not even eat because usually when one feels weak, the appetite is weak, too. And once rested, they would soon be up and about because they have regained their strength. They have been healed! From whence did healing come from?
In those times, too, when people cut themselves, they didn’t reach for band-aid or iodine or alcohol. The wound would just heal on its own. If the cut was deep, the most they would do would be to wash the wound and apply crushed sunflower or camote leaves or other healing leaves. And they healed. From whence did that healing come from?
Believe it or not, your body heals itself. Everyone is endowed with miraculous healing powers by the architect and creator of the universe. I repeat- EVERYBODY has natural healing powers. This loving Creator does not play favorites. And that is good news.
We have discussed some of these healing forces in earlier columns (my co-columnist in this paper also discusses this) – like how the white blood cells automatically kill germs and clean the blood of anything they recognize as foreign. Unlike tourist spots, our body considers foreigners as “enemy” and, therefore, are to be eliminated or at least, captured and detained. We have natural defense forces swimming in our bloodstream 24/7 on a “search and destroy” mission. Can you imagine that? We are not conscious of them, we don’t give them awards of bravery and courage, but they do just go on doing their job.
As I mentioned earlier, notice also how blood would spontaneously clot immediately after a small cut. And wonder of wonders, the cut will be healed after some days and your skin is as good as new. If the cut is shallow, there will really be no scar! Isn’t that amazing? One time I cut my finger and just to prove what I learned in school, I just observed the blood flow out. True enough, after a little while, the blood stopped flowing on its own because the blood started clotting. I have cut my fingers a lot of times and I no longer see where the previous cuts were. Deep cuts leave scars but still these wounds heal. Even if you don’t put crushed sunflower leaves or iodine or band-aid. That is our built-in self- healing power! And that is part of our nature as humans. And that power has been there since we were conceived and since time immemorial. Praise be to our most loving Maker!
Let us take another example. Fever. Fever is a coping mechanism of our body to excrete excessive energy and prevent this from damaging vital organs in our body. For the observant believer (they didn’t take any medicine), they would notice that fever, generally, would go away by itself after one or two days of rest. It is important, however, to listen to what your body is saying. If your body feels weak or dizzy and you feel like you just want to lie down, then stop what you are doing, lie down and rest so nature can do the self-repair job. Just like a jeep, it cannot be repaired while the motor is running – the driver has to stop the engine before it can be repaired. With fever, the patient also loses his appetite. Your body is also telling you not to eat because the body wants to concentrate its energy reserves on healing. Digesting food, which includes chewing, requires energy and that would compete with what should be spent for the healing job. So don’t force food. Once the self-healing is finished, your appetite will return and you will recover your strength to eat. Again, your body has healed itself and this time, while you were sleeping!
This amazing power to repair and regenerate itself is mind-boggling really. Farmers, though, would not find this unusual because they see this natural healing power is also present in plants and animals. Beans, rice and corn bent by the storm would soon recover and grow. Dog and carabao wounds would heal by themselves. And I am sure those who are fortunate to have grown in the “ili” would remember the nail marks in the guavas (naggenaggeng). All living creatures have natural healing powers. Hmmm…. That includes the bacteria and viruses, too.
Take note, however, that for humans, according to the internationally-known doctor of Oriental Medicine, Roger Jahnke, there are three interconnected areas that affect our self-healing abilities. All these three areas are within our power to choose. That is our privilege as humans, having been given free will by our Maker.
First area is our choice of attitudes and mental influences. If we choose to believe that the power to heal is built-in inside us since birth, then the healer within us is automatically strengthened. This should be fairly easy, huh?
The second area of choice is lifestyle – diet, activity, rest, relationships, finances, work, spiritual practice, material possessions, avoidance of alcohol and cigarettes, etc. Now, this area would take a lot of discipline.
For nature to do its healing job, there are two major conditions- 1) the cause of the disease has to be removed. Many times our problem lies in identifying the cause of the disease because we tend to blame external forces. For example, we blame the change of weather for our colds when in fact we may have been eating so much white bread and drinking milk or kopiko. Or we may blame our spouse and children for our high blood pressure when actually it is our uncontrolled meat-eating that is the cause. Many times also the cause of disease lies deeper in the subconscious – our attitudes and values. If we look at food for comfort, then everytime we are stressed or down, we’ll eat. It is okay if your comfort food is pechay or carrots but when it is cake or Coke, then you have a problem. This situation is in the first area and would require some attitude make-over. To overcome attitude problems requires humility.
2) The other major condition for nature to do its job is that you have to provide the right building and repair material. Any worker cannot do a good job with poor materials. Ask the carpenter. Nature’s building materials are the things you put inside your body- food, drink and air. Of course, the best building blocks are fresh air, natural water and natural food. We have been discussing this many many times already. If you have been putting in sugary, fatty, chemical-laden food in your mouth these past celebrations, then it is time to clean them out.
“The third area of choice that affect our self-healing is personal self-care – the practice of self-healing and health enhancement methods- for improving, sustaining and ensuring the function of the healer within”. We’ll have more of these next issue.
Says Roger Jahnke, “The naturally occurring self-healing ability of your own body, mind, and spirit is the world’s greatest healer…. This does not suggest that our physicians will no longer be needed.” It means that “when it is necessary to have expert medical care, we can work with our physicians and therapists as partners by purposely stimulating our own precious gift of self-healing.” **