The Link Between a Healthy Mind & a Healthy Body – What Recent Illness Taught Me.

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‘When the heart is at ease, the body is healthy’ – Chinese proverb

It is Sunday morning – and I have a head cold.  Nothing that a couple of hot whiskeys and lemon won’t sort out quickly, but it’s irritating.  I finally got back to work last week after two months of fighting severe tonsillitis with one of my primary goals and affirmations being ‘I will not be sick in 2019!’

Now, I know this is just an annoying sniffle, and I probably picked it up in the office as everyone was dosed with the dreaded ‘lurgy’, but why couldn’t I just have been completely well for just a bit longer?  You probably sense my frustration and feeling of ‘failure.’  Of course, portraying my feeling of defeat to anyone evokes the response “but you can’t help being sick Ruth!”

My GP said to me recently “Ruth, you are just one of those people that when they get sick…they get REALLY sick!”  My hubby (Big Al) added to this by saying  “…and it just takes you an awful lot longer to get better.”  It does :-(.

I’ve accepted that description of me up until now, but I’m yet again prompted in life to self-explore and really be honest with myself as to why my body just doesn’t want to ‘play ball.’  What could I also do to help myself get better and stay well other than make sure I finish a course of antibiotics or pop the painkillers?

I’m a healthcare professional trained according to the ‘medical model’ and we treat every ill with some sort of ‘pill’ (I’m being somewhat facetious here by the way).  However, over the years I have always kept my mind open to alternative medicines/treatment, alternative theories and different thinking.  Some things may not entirely make scientific sense to me or ‘stand to reason’, but sometimes the evidence of their impact cannot be completely denied.  This paragraph alone I know could lead to huge debate amongst my friends and colleagues and I’m open to that debate if you wish to comment.

A number of years ago, I was recommended the book ‘You Can Heal Your Life‘ by Louise Hay.  Her key message was that you can heal any ailment of your body through healing of your mind.  Whilst I was unwell before Christmas my friend Natalie, who is a wonderful Health Coach, messaged me and yet again, she also recommended that I refer to this book.  It was only then that I remembered I had actually already purchased it on my kindle and had immediate access to it’s teachings.

Now here is an interesting thing.  When I reopened the book on the kindle APP, I discovered I had only previously read just over half of the book, but I had stopped on the very page where Louise Hay was discussing what having problems with the throat or tonsillitis could mean!  What a strange coincidence.  I was immediately intrigued and curious as I was feeling open to any suggestions to feeling better.

To quote the book, Louise Hay says ‘The throat represents our ability to speak up for ourselves and to ask for what we want, to say “I AM” etc.’

Sore throats always represent anger and the addition of a head cold is reflective of mental confusion.  The book went on to explain that the throat also represents creativity; problems with your throat can be indicative of your creativity being ‘stifled and frustrated.’  Tonsillitis in particular results from not being able to do what you truly want to do,  particularly if your time and efforts are consumed entirely by always pleasing others including parents, partners and bosses.

Another symptom which caused me the most distress recently was very severe joint pain particularly in my knees.  It had me literally crying in agony at 5am one morning and nothing could really be done other than to take a strong painkiller and try to rest.  So I also looked up KNEES.

Problems with knees are apparently related to pride, stubbornness, self-righteousness, the ‘ego’ and not being willing to give in.  I’m not a particularly stubborn person.  I am however very strong-willed and at that time I really wanted to get back to work, start blogging again, continue the coaching I had recently started and just blooming well get back to ‘normal.’ Now that I reflect on this, it was at that stage in my sickness that I did relent and realise I would have to accept the situation for now, completely rest and have faith that all would be well upon my return to everyday life.  The joint pain eventually then did resolve, but I have the odd day now when it flares up so I’ll check in with myself about any evidence of me being inflexible!

As for not being able to speak up, and having my creativity stifled, I would suggest that ‘The Swan Doctor’ is my release and enables me to show another side to myself other than the academic healthcare professional, mum, daughter and employee.  I have had an entrepreneurial streak in me from when I was little girl; setting up this blog, and now also proceeding to officially set up my coaching business in my ‘spare time’ is providing me with the opportunity to say who I truly am and who I really want to be.  For quite some time, I admit that I was fearful of doing these things as others do have expectations of what they believe I should be doing.  Whilst I appreciate their thoughts, they do not always align with my personal values, who I am and what I want to do.  It is time, in my mid-forties, to stand up and say this is who “I am.”

It’s interesting to not just think about what particular micro-organism I had ‘picked up’, what antibiotics and treatments were needed, what blood tests had to be ordered and reviewed, but for me to take time to reflect on what my body might be trying to tell me about what my deep-held desires actually are, and what I need to do to feel truly well in both my mind, my body and my life.

Louise Hay recommends the use of positive affirmations so as to ‘rewire’ the subconscious mind.

For tonsillitis the affirmation she offers up is “I release all restrictions, and I am free to be me.

And for the knees an affirmation to use could be “I am flexible and flowing.

Obviously, sitting here typing away now with my red nose, foggy head and scratchy throat is telling me that I am still a work in progress, but it is also telling me that my self-awareness has been raised to not just my physical needs, but my emotional ones too.  I personally need to watch how much I am physically doing, limit how many things I am committing to at home and at work (I do tend to stick all my fingers in all the pies – face palm statement), and to listen to my own heart and gut-feelings about what I want from my life and how I want it to make me feel.

I often say “I look successful…I want to really FEEL successful’ and I know that will come from living the life I picture in my head with full expression and the ability to say “I am…”

I am committed and determined that throughout this year I will continue to express who I am though my work, blog, speaking and coaching.  It’s such an exciting way to start a new year and now the cold is starting to dry up again today I will declare:

“I will not be sick again in 2019″, with an honest little bit of me also thrown in here also saying “Oh here’s hoping!”

‘He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything’ – Arabian proverb


                                                          The Swan Doctor