I see self care as the beginning of becoming your own health advocate and of trusting your own body’s ability to heal. I am a believer in natural health approaches, in integrative treatment, and in the ability of the body to heal itself given holistic support. I have seen real change and healing in myself, in my clients, and in my family through these natural means.
But, there is a real shift that is necessary in order to walk that path. That shift has less to do with which practitioners you see and what information you read (though that is part of the picture), and more to do with how you see yourself in that process….
Are you looking for the perfect expert who can give you the answers and fix your problem? Do you feel helpless to affect your own health? Do you see yourself as a helpless victim of a disease or a flawed body…Or, do you find ways to love and accept who you are, to listen to your body’s wisdom, and to nourish and support your body toward healing?
Who is Responsible for Your Health?
The temptation of natural health is to put all the burden of responsibility on the client (changing diet, improving lifestyle factors, investigating emotional factors, etc.). The temptation of Western medicine is exactly the opposite – putting all the burden of responsibility outside of the person. This leaves us with health symptoms that have nothing to do with our own actions, that require experts to treat them, and that define us as helpless victims of disease, bad genetics, or simply bad luck.
These are extremes, of course, and there is a lot more nuance here. But, seeing the extremes may help you see the picture more clearly. Most people I work with who have come from a Western medical model need the opportunity to take their health into their own hands at some level. People usually come to me when they have tried the available medical solutions and yet are not satisfied with the results.
What Self Care Really Is
Self care, to me, is the beginning of this shift. I’m not talking about the “treat yourself” idea of self care – going shopping, getting your nails done, or spending time at a spa. Those are one type of self care. Instead, I’m talking about taking responsibility for your own healing, tuning into your body, making hard decisions that result in less overall stress on the body, and finding regular rhythms that bring balance and homeostasis back to all your internal systems.
In effect, I’m talking about believing that what you do really can affect how you feel. When you really believe that you can influence your own health, everything changes.
I’d love to hear from you! Has self care been part of your healing process? What mindset shifts have been necessary for you to heal? Comment below or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.