By Karin Leonard
Did you know you already possess keys to your health besides doctors, diet and exercise? That you can assist and influence the vast unconscious intelligence within you for vibrant wellbeing?
Indeed, you have access to 4 1/2 billion years of evolution - within your own body, mind and brain. As much as 90 percent of body functions happen automatically and unconsciously. Your entire system is geared for survival, and healing happens naturally.
However, we evolved to handle life on early earth, and the immediate dangers that surrounded human tribes then. Today's world is radically different, yet our biology barely changed.
Fortunately the tip of consciousness, the part of you who is able to be mindful, or caught up in the next daydream, can support and influence this vast inner intelligence at work.
We have a whole other level of evolution and healing available, through consciousness. Let's explore how to unlock that treasure chest.
Conquer the #1 Disease Factor
An estimated 75 percent to 90 percent of all doctor visits are for stress-related issues. Stress is
a normal part of life, yet your response to the changes and demands in your environment is crucial. How do you react, when unexpected curb balls are thrown your way? Is your natural instinct to take deep, relaxing breaths, or do you go into immediate fight or flight mode?
Since the dawn of humanity, Fight or Flight is nature's way to respond to danger, our individual responses are also habitual and learned. Which means we can change them! And as a matter of fact, rather quickly and easily. All it takes is to engage what is called the "Relaxation Response, " originally described by cardiologist Dr. Herbert Benson. Breathing fully and slowly initiates this soothing sequence.
Bottom line: you can rewire yourself rapidly to respond with calm, even during the brewing storms of the everyday.
Learn from Navy Seals, Apollo Astronauts and Olympic Athletes
Learning to respond with calm, rather than a surging heart rate, reserves your bodies precious resources for building vibrant health. This provides a firm foundation to take next steps.
What do Navy Seals, Apollo Astronauts and Olympic athletes have in common?
Among many success factors, they all count on the powers of the focused mind and imagination to excel in their missions. Navy Seals engage in rigorous mental training, including visualizing successful strategies to possible scenarios, and developing a positive mindset, steeling their thoughts for survival and success. Many Olympic champions and star athletes use visualization to rehearse and perfect their routines and performance, as did Apollo Astronauts through Visual Motor Rehearsal.
As Denis Waitley, coach to Olympic champions and Apollo Astronauts, said: “The mind cannot tell the difference between an actual, ‘real-life’ event and a vividly imagined one.”
This is great news for healing! Engaging your imagination for vibrant health charts the way for the body, to mobilize inner resources for your wellbeing.
Each day, practice seeing yourself vital and healthy. Imagine challenges to your wellbeing completely resolved, and see yourself going through your day full of energy, with your health restored. Creating "pictures" in your mind doesn't matter as much as bringing a sense of joy and excitement to your experience of health. Engage all your senses, as if the imagined was occurring right now.
While this is not magic, but based on science, visualizing what you want provides clear guidance to the body's innate healing capacity, which has evolved over millions of years. Continued on back...
Decipher your Body's Code
Whether you are busy with your day, or sleeping deeply, countless automatic and unconscious processes take place in your body. From making new blood cells to digestion, heart beat and even breathing, a large percentage of body function is taken care of by the autonomic nervous system.
And if everything is working well, we are quite unaware of all this behind the scenes action.
However, when things are off, the body often provides clear signals. Whether it is tension in your neck and back, indigestion or lightheadedness, small and large symptoms can provide important clues. Our natural state is to feel well - discomfort holds the information about how to get back on track.
Yet in the noise of the everyday the more quiet signals get drowned out easily, until they become so loud that we can't ignore them. Your body has its own unique language, and no matter how well you already speak it, there is always a next level of communication available. And as in any good relationship, "listening" is a good place to start.
Try this: with your eyes closed, take a couple deep breaths. Turn your attention inward, and through your awareness, scan your body from top to bottom. Do you notice tension or tightness anywhere? Discomfort of any kind? Breathe deeply into those areas and notice what is going on there. Explore the sensations, feelings and notice any images, colors or memories as you focus on that area. What might be needed to restore optimum wellbeing? You can do this in a just a few minutes, maybe before going to sleep. Finish by breathing intentions for health and wellbeing throughout your body.
Align with your Inner Healer
Through your body's innate intelligence, you have access to billions of years of evolution. From the moment the first organisms floated in the ancient seas, they had to fight for survival. The fruits of that labor - how to stay alive and healthy - are imprinted deeply in your DNA.
Your body already knows how to heal itself, yet through your focused awareness you can take this ability much further. Think of any small wound, maybe a cut on your finger. The wound heals automatically, yet you can support the process by cleaning the cut and placing a band aid.
Through relaxation, tuning into your body, visualization and directing healing energy, you are able to amplify and even direct this powerful capacity for health.
Communicating with your "Inner Healer" is a two way street - listen deeply to the information the body provides, and do what it is needed for optimum wellbeing, with caring and compassion. While you may feel frustrated about chronic pain and illness, extending kindness and healing energy towards your body
goes a long way.
You can also use your dreams to deepen this relationship. Before you go to sleep, pose a question about your health to your inner intelligence. For example " how can I help my healing ...? What do I need to know about this condition?" Or just set a clear intention to be vibrantly healthy as you drift off to sleep. Then watch for dreams, feelings and insights as you awaken. Repeat this until you get answers and results.
Keep practicing. Like any skill, tuning into your body and working with healing, takes practice. Be patient with yourself, if you were learning a new language, you would give yourself time to master it. This is no different, and the payoffs are tremendous. And, as you engage in this process, you are connecting with the growing tip of evolution. You are awakening consciousness to greater capacity, and what adventure could be more exciting than that?
Would love to see you at my class February 22nd, at Way of Life.
Karin H. Leonard is a clinical hypnotherapist, professional life coach and seminar leader, with 27 years of experience in coaching, hypnosis, NLP and conducting workshops. Karin will be leading a free class at the Way of Life in Capitola, entitled " Discover Inner Keys to Health" February 22nd, 6:30-8pm. Offices in Santa Cruz.