After many years of being pretty seriously ill and spending much of that time terrified at each new real or apparent symptom that appeared (and disappeared) I feel in a privileged position to discuss this topic.
It’s a subject that actually affects the Natural Health world more than one might imagine for as you might see by the time you’ve read this, symptom chasing is just as common in the natural healing modalities as it is in the allopathic world.
Symptom chasing. What is it? It is as it sounds, it’s an action taken in response to the appearance of a bodily action that is out of the norm. Things like swelling, burning, aching, bruising, discolouration etc etc can be symptoms. These are the kind
of things that, in the allopathic world, take us off to the doctors. We have learned to take these markers as indications of some deeper issue and we want to find out what that issue is so we can do something about it.
OR DO WE?
From my observations what many of us actually want is just for the symptom to go away. We will quite happily settle for that and put off any decision about health for a more suitable time. In fact in our culture we take absence of symptoms to be a measure of health!
I’m not talking about a broken leg or a burn or something that actually needs treatment, I’m talking about something that points to deeper and more chronic HEALTH problems.
Last year I went for ongoing treatment to an amazing Chinese Doctor. First time I went to see him I told him all my symptoms and he patiently listened and nodded. And then for the next 6 months, each week, I would try and tell him the latest symptom
that had appeared or disappeared, hoping that he would give me some herbs or at least tell me everything was going to be alright. But all he ever did was say ‘yes yes yes’ and completely ignore my plaintive cries. When I eventually asked him why he didn’t want to hear how things were going he was blunt. Pleasant but blunt.
‘We are building health. Healthy body, healthy mind, no disease, no symptoms’. That’s what he said, and when I persisted he laughed at what he saw as my neurotic obsession with my symptoms. He saw my obsessing with them as a trap for my mind. A very unhealthy trap. Most of the problem, he said, was in my mind.
So I began to dwell on what he said, and I began to see it was true.
The two things are very different.
And yes of course I’m not talking about being a fool and ignoring things or pretending that everything’s ok when its not. I’m talking about a mature look at how we are relating to our health. If we want health, we have to build health. Health does not happen by chasing symptoms away. We are badly trained by conventional medicine which still suggests that we can deal with our symptoms without addressing our lifestyle habits, and we know what a disaster that way of thinking is!
And the bottom line here is that even the natural health world is out to make a buck. It’s a business that wants to sell product. It may be healthier than the pharmaceutical medicine but it may well not create health so don’t be under any illusion.
The best approach may be this: decide now what state of health you want to be in a year from today. Investigate what its going to take to get you there, focusing on diet, exercise and emotions. If you can, have some tests that tell you where you are at right now. At least test your ph levels to see how acidic your blood is. Take notice of how your body is and what its telling you, and began to develop a bio feedback relationship with it, using it as a guide. Learn to become pro-active with how it feels, not just in a reactive way, but in all ways, taking notice when it feels good, energized, tired or painful. Get into your body and really feel how it responds to your emotional state. Your body is a profound mirror of your emotional state, and many times what we take to be a physical symptom is actually an indicator of a stuck emotion.
So let me be clear. I am not saying don’t respond to your symptoms. Of course if you need pain relief or something to help then you are going to take it..BUT do not take this to be anything to do with creating health. I will say it again.You don’t create health by removing symptoms.
And you can end up like a dog chasing it’s tail or a mad animal running here and there to get the latest uprising in the body…STOP...
Be like the Master Chinese Healer. Focus on the creation of health, even if you have symptoms, particularly if you have symptoms. It will stand you in good stead further down the road.
- Stop Treating Symptoms by Healing the Hidden Cause (omtimes.com)