Being Present in Healing

My recent trip to the American West was, among other things, a test of the holistic approach to disease that I have followed for the last 33 months. My approach is perhaps best described within Deepak Chopra’s definition of quantum healing:

“…the ability of one mode of consciousness (the mind) to spontaneously correct the mistakes in another mode of consciousness (the body). It is a completely self-enclosed process” (Quantum Healing).

Essentially, this mind-body consciousness is a type of “intelligence” (Chopra’s term) attempting to restore balance in a body that is diseased. It was this “intelligence” that made sense to me when I first read Chopra’s book in the early 1990s and again in 2010 when I removed myself from medical care.

KMHuberImage
KMHuberImage

Undoubtedly, it takes a certain amount of desperation and frustration to walk away from medical science, which is not a route that Chopra, a medical physician, advocates. Rather, he argues that medical science can be a viable partner in working with the innate intelligence of the mind-body connection, with the following caveat:

A man-made drug is a stranger in a land where everyone else is blood kin. It can never share the knowledge that everyone else was born with” (Quantum Healing). In other words, every cell in our body has a kind of intelligence with specific tasks and abilities. All cells in the body work together, ever adjusting to what is occurring.

The inherent intelligence within the mind-body connection is one that medical science has yet to duplicate but it does not mean that medical science cannot assist us in our healing. It can and does–for many. Regardless, awareness of the mind-body intelligence can change our lives just as being aware that every decision we make and every thought we attach to affects our physical body directly and immediately.

That is where stress starts, and with increased stress comes imbalance, and when the imbalance is great enough, there is disease and yes, sometimes irreparable damage. The state of disease for anyone is unique but also may be integral to the individual’s purpose as Anita Moorjani suggests:

The reasons for…illness lie in [our] personal journey and are probably related to [our] individual purpose. I can now see that my disease was part of why I’m here, and whether I chose to live or die, I wouldn’t be any less magnificent” (Dying to be Me).

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KMHuberImage

Disease as a state of health is how one has lived and continues to live. Just as lupus is not cancer—although in both the body is under attack and in both the autoimmune system plays a major role—directing disease is as unique to the individual as is the optimal level of health outcome.

What that outcome is and how long it may take is just as individualistic as is the degree of recovery. At the very least, an awareness of the inherent intelligence of the mind-body connection provides an alternative to  dealing with disease. At the very most, it can change drastically the course of a disease.

The reason why not everyone manages to take the healing process as far as they can go is that we differ drastically in our ability to mobilize it” (Chopra).

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KMHuberImage

My experience with “incurable” disease is limited to lupus and Sjogren’s Syndrome, the current names for the disease that has been present in my body for at least 35 years. Some medical experts have told me autoimmune disease has been present since childhood. As I am now a sexagenarian, that’s a long time.

My last rheumatologist told me, “There’s just so much wrong with you and it’s been going on for so long.” That is probably still true for that rheumatologist and the entourage of doctors “on my case” but it was not true for me.

I was seriously ill, and I knew it, but I believe “when we get in touch with that infinite place within us–where we are Whole–then illness can’t remain in the body” (Dying to be Me). My intention is not to be smug or simplistic–nor am I speaking of mere positive thinking–my awareness of the inherent intelligence within my body-mind connection opened me to how I live as well as how I have lived. It gave me a place to begin some 33 months ago, and for me, it has meant drastic changes.

My life does not resemble the life I once knew, nor will it ever. It is not a life free of disease—not yet and maybe never will be–but it is a life aware of the possibilities in each moment I have. It is a life lived from within, and only now do I see the world as it really is, moment by moment, the only reality I ever have.

20 thoughts on “Being Present in Healing

  1. Oh, my. Healing thoughts. Some of us are on this path with you, each in our own way. You inspire me because you show you can use these experiences–positive, negative, mixed-bag that life is–to continue toward peace.

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    1. Hi, Ann!
      When you have a chance, take a look at the functional wellness article in the pingback below. It includes great resources and practical advice. Ironically, the impermanence of life is quite a gift in changing the molecular level, which I will discuss in an upcoming post. Thanks, Ann.
      KM

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  2. Hi KM, fascinating introspective way to heal thyself. It is true that one has to be in touch with the disease in order to find “ease” and eliminate the “dis”. I understand what you are saying. One can change the molecular level and miraculously one can be healed. Thank you for your post. I happen to like Dying to be me. Peace.

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    1. I apologize for taking so long to respond, seeker. Am glad you enjoyed the post and the above pingback to the functional wellness article is well worth reading, I think. As you say, we can affect changes at the molecular level and thus, healing.
      KM

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  3. It is so encouraging to read your thoughts, Karen. I always wanted to believe in the holistic approach and hoped for the power of mind over matter. The success of your trip must prove something! Hope to hear more of it too.

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    1. That I was able to take that trip, Diana, proves, at least to me, that awareness of disease as opposed to being absorbed by disease provides an alternative way to view life. Staying present has made me aware of how my body is reacting to my life. I did not like what I learned. Awareness coupled with dietary changes and gradually incorporating exercise into my life made the trip possible, and the trip also made clear what is no longer possible.

      I do want to write about the trip and the increasing practicality I am experiencing through present moment awareness but haven’t quite figured out how to do that without sounding silly, pompous or both. Thanks for your encouragement and always thoughtful comments, Diana. You are such a constant reader of this blog, and I appreciate it.

      KM

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  4. I do so admire your courage. And I appreciate your reminders to live one day at a time and to find the joy in that day. After 26 years of rheumatoid arthritis I have no doubt that my attitude and my ability to say “ok, this is the way it is, now what?” have helped enormously. I still have occasional days where I want to go to bed and pull the covers up, but I’m afraid I’d just stay there. So I just keep putting one foot in front of the other (or sit down, put my feet up, and rest).
    Thank you.

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    1. As you say, Robin, awareness of what is seems to be key in discovering our joy or bliss, regardless of illness, especially after decades of illness. From what I understand of neuroscience and quantum physics, our ability to heal from illness through consciousness has always been there but much like Chopra says, there is no one way to access that ability. Finally, there is a growing awareness; who knows what it may mean, ultimately. Thank you for your kind words. I do not see myself as having courage but I am truly obdurate and always have been. Again, thank you, Robin.

      KM

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  5. Western medicine does seem to be recognizing very slowly, that there are many forms of medicine. I have just read Anita Moorjani’s book in 2 days “Dying to be me” who argues we have the power to heal ourselves.

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    1. Hi, Athena!
      I hope all is well with you as I know you are facing some difficult moments. Like you, I found Moorjani’s book fascinating. As you say, she does believe the power to heal to whatever level is optimal is for us is within us. Take care.
      KM

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  6. Karen,
    From the outside, it appears to me that your disease has brought you wisdom, acceptance, and awareness. I love your realization that “only now do I see the world as it really is, moment by moment, the only reality I ever have.”
    Your post reminded me of a video I saw where a patient’s cancer tumor was cured in less than 3 minutes. Check it out here:
    https://1earthunite.wordpress.com/2013/05/02/parallel-universes-and-how-to-change-reality-for-peace/

    Thank you for your courage and perseverance, my friend. You are an example to us all at how much peace and power is within us all. {{{Hugs}}} kozo

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    1. What an incredible video, Kozo, and thank you! Overall, quantum physics fascinates me, and I am beginning to understand the quantum world more but that past, present, and future are occurring simultaneously has always made sense to me as linear time is more like a frame that we have imposed. Oh, the possibilities!

      For me, illness is almost as Moorjani says–part of my purpose–the fact that I have done as well as I have never ceases to amaze me. This illness has brought me to present moment awareness, which has been life-changing. As always, thanks so much for your kind words and encouragement, my dear friend.
      KM

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  7. Hey, Pauline! Thanks for stopping by. Interesting that you mention that book as I believed you mentioned it somewhere on your blog, and I made a note of it. It’s on my list, and your mention of it started me following your blog, if memory serves, which it does not always. I do use some over-the-counter meds, and I hear you about not letting the pain get out of control, as it is such a long way back!

    Thanks for the kind words about my posts.
    KM

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  8. Thank you once again for a wonderfully thoughtful post!

    I think a lot of people do not merely walk away from western medicine – they are driven away. That’s certainly been my experience. A few years back I had some health issues that took a while to sort out. The stumbling block facing me was philosophical; western medicine couldn’t answer the issues in its own terms, but some doctors couldn’t say ‘I don’t know’, or ‘science doesn’t know yet’. Their egoes wouldn’t let them – and this was where the trouble erupted.

    My worst encounter was with an allergist who disagreed with test results I’d brought in with me (on request), and from that moment focussed his whole attention on crushing me into submission to his will. He even told me that no matter what I said, he would prove I was wrong – reducing the consultation to an exercise in bullying, all triggered because I’d been asked to bring in a test ordered by another doctor, with which he disagreed. I wore his anger. A nasty, nasty assault against the self-worth of a sick patient which concluded with his confidently diagnosing that the problem was due to personal deficiencies on my part.

    I paid the guy and left. I later found the tests he’d done himself were in error- he’d been so busy abusing me while taking the test readings that he’d missed the actual diagnosis. He’d also flouted my rights under New Zealand’s human rights legislation – starting with fair respect. I went as far as getting the Medical Association to check his registration; but I felt disinclined to dignify this rude and arrogant little man formally – I am sure all I would have done was trigger yet another unprovoked assault on my integrity, this time from his solicitor.

    This encounter came at the end of a long and frustrating trail; but despite being brought up to some extent with eastern philosophy (via my mother, who taught yoga for decades and ended up teaching the teachers), I persisted with the medical system. In the end I found a doctor who was able to sort everything – largely, I think, because he wasn’t prisoner to western thinking and had embraced eastern philosophies of health too. And since then, western medicine has caught up – I happened to see this doctor the other week, as he was handing over to a locum. Out of interest, he got me to outline the issue I’d had to the locum – who instantly stated the diagnosis that I’d spent years and many doctors trying to find, earlier. But then, science has moved on.

    I think eastern and western medical approaches are different ways of explaining the same thing – our functioning as a single integrated whole. Eastern philosophy, I think, accepts observations in ways that the west often does not – such as the way positive thoughts actually do work. Rubbish, western doctors used to say – but now, there is scientific evidence building that the immune system responds, in a very real way, to positive thinking. As the mind is an ‘emergent property’, it’s not a direct link; the mechanisms involve changes in biochemistry and chemical receptors on white blood cells – but it does seem to be there. The irony is that this was well known in eastern culture – but was couched in terms unpalatable to the western rational mind-set.

    Apologies for the very long comment!

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    1. Thank you, Matthew, for a thoughtful and considered comment, as always, and no apologies necessary. First, I am glad your issue sorted for much of what you describe is known to so many, in particular the “deficiencies” of the patient when the doctor cannot “fix” the patient.

      I had not considered that the eastern and western approaches as different ways to explain the integrated whole but I think there is something to what you say. If there wasn’t, I don’t think that western medicine would be finally “catching up,” at least to a certain extent. In my limited understanding of the “intelligence” or consciousness that is present in the mind-body connection, the consciousness is the component that western medicine has dismissed until just recently, in particular your point regarding the changes in biochemistry and chemical receptors. In my language that translates as we can re-create the chemical (drug) that the body produces but just precisely how and when the body produces that chemical is individualistic and even generally what western medicine knows is still a bit suspect.

      Yet, as you say, science is catching up, and I believe that within this next decade, neuroscience will change how we view our health but you know what an optimist I am, Matthew. I really appreciate your comment. Thanks so much for you have given me a great deal to consider.

      KM

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  9. I love your courage to listen to your own body’s message for you – even when that meant stepping away from the medical treatments that so many would advise and expect you to take. It sounds like your holistic approach is treating you well, and I hope you continue to create the life that works best for you! Kudos!

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    1. I cannot say that I have ever doubted my decision as it was and remains just what I needed to do. That said, I do look for an ayurveda physician who is also medically trained for many of the reasons that Matthew mentions in his comment. What is beneficial to all is that east and west are beginning to “talk” to one another in a way that is truly beneficial for patients. Thanks, Kenetha!
      KM

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  10. Have you read Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection by Sarno? That book really opened me up to how powerful the role the mind plays in what happens to our bodies. I was wearing braces for wrist pain and taking stuff for shoulder pain. I still occasionally take pain meds, but it is to get the pain under control so I can deal with the mind part of it. Interesting stuff. I hope it helps.

    Your blog posts always have a lovely cadence to them. 🙂

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