Photo by Paula May on Unsplash
By Morella Devost
Your thoughts and emotions affect your health (or lack of it) as much as the food you eat.
The fact is that truly healing and thriving require not just a healthy diet, but also healthy thoughts and a healthy emotional expression.
I have found this to be true for myself and my clients. In my case, after battling cystic acne and hormone problems for over a decade, it all quickly resolved itself when I created the optimal healing conditions within my body, mind, and heart. And with my clients, for the past twelve years, I’ve seen the same: whatever their health challenge may be — excess weight, arthritis, or even multiple sclerosis — deep healing tends to follow a certain path.
That path is the journey of clearing the body, clearing the mind, and clearing the heart.
Clearing the body starts by wiping the slate clean of everything that could be negatively affecting your body. This includes sugar, caffeine, alcohol, processed foods, smoking, and fake foods. Expecting your body to heal while you are consuming these things is like asking a warrior to fight an enemy while you tie his hands to his back.
One client of mine from a number of years ago was delighted to cancel surgery to remove a golf-ball-sized cyst from her wrist. After doing a four-week detox program with me, the cyst completely disappeared! No need for surgery.
In a nutshell: what you eat (and what you don’t) will make a difference.
Clearing the mind implies examining the beliefs and mental patterns that might be undermining the best of your intentions. This includes looking closely at whether you actually believe you can heal or not. Many of my clients with chronic health issues have a limiting belief dyad: they believe that some things simply can’t be healed, and they believe that the body inevitably breaks down. Why try then, if you’re going to fail? But these beliefs are just that: beliefs.
One client with a shoulder injury was anxious about upcoming surgery. She had heard it was painful and the outcomes weren’t always great. Through hypnosis, we strengthened her belief in her shoulder’s ability to heal, calmed the pre-surgery anxiety, and instructed her body to prep for healing. Her doctor later said she’d never had a better result with any patient!
In other words: your thoughts (both conscious and subconscious) will make a difference.
Finally, once you’ve cleaned up your eating and thinking act, you have the energy and clarity to explore the difficult emotions that have remained buried throughout your life. Feelings like anger, despair, panic, or grief stemming from difficult or traumatic life experiences can get frozen in your body.
I once had a client whose Crohn’s disease symptoms manifested shortly after three tragic deaths in his immediate family. Because he was the head of the family, he felt the need to be strong and he swallowed his pain. When we helped him move through the buried grief by using EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and other tools, his intestinal pain started to disappear. The next session he said, “I feel like I’m walking on clouds!”
Essentially: how you handle your emotions (or avoid them) will make a difference.
As you start this year, what is the area of your health you’d like to improve?
The first step is to give your body the chance to heal. In my world, this always starts with a four-week, food-based detoxification program. A detox not only removes the foods and beverages that are taxing your system, but it also boosts liver, colon, kidney and lymphatic function, so your cells can clear out toxins more readily. I like to follow the detox with a focus on boosting digestive function, because let’s face it — if your digestion isn’t working right, your body can’t extract the nutrients it needs to heal. Finally, you shift into a sustainable anti-inflammatory lifestyle (rather than a diet) that boosts metabolic function and focuses on longevity.
By giving your body a chance to detoxify, to strengthen its nutrient absorption, to reduce the sources of inflammation, and optimize metabolic function, you have installed all of the basic pillars for healing and vibrant health. The side effect? You also gain greater mental clarity, more energy, and a more uplifted mood! Then you have the mental clarity to notice your thought patterns, your limiting beliefs, and your hidden self-sabotage.
The next step will be to examine your thoughts. In my work, I invite my clients to do a belief inventory by journaling on questions such as the following: What do you believe is true about health in general? About your health? What do you believe is true about your body or your health condition? On a scale of 1 to 10, how strongly do you actually believe your body can heal itself? What stories/explanations do you give yourself to justify your answers? What does your inner dialogue sound like? And so forth.
You then give yourself a mental oil-change or reboot of sorts. In my practice, we use either EFT or Neuro-Linguistic Programming to diffuse and deactivate limiting beliefs. We then strengthen more powerful, constructive beliefs.
Finally, with all of the clarity, energy, and regained personal power, you can tackle the deepest root cause of health issues: the emotional pieces. Much like the belief inventory, I help my clients tease apart significant emotions and life events that might remain unprocessed. We explore questions such as: How do you feel about this health issue? Where else in your life do you have these feelings? How do you feel about your life in general? What emotions are challenging for you? If your body-part were able to speak, what emotion would it tell you it feels? What difficult or traumatic life events have you lived through? How might they be connected with this health issue?
The simple act of witnessing your answers to these questions can be powerfully transformative. You’re bringing them to the light of day and you’re doing so from a place of self-love. Your love for yourself creates the most favorable of environments for health. It also opens the door for you to heal deep wounds and trauma, which often requires professional support.
However cheesy new year’s resolutions might feel, the fact is that January is as good a time as any to set new intentions and clean the slate. Start by asking yourself: What aspect of your health would you like to improve? After that, my suggestion is to start your journey down the body-mind-heart path.