sickness as body communication
One of the most radical things I did as a parent of babies and toddlers was to not keep Tylenol in the house.
It never seemed radical to me - but other people seem to think Tylenol is an essential parenting item, like … breastmilk? ¯\_ (ツ)_/¯
Why do we view our bodily symptoms as dangerous?
This is weird to me, because it’s a classic case of shooting the messenger.
Did you know that it's usually advisable to just...let a fever or a headache run its course?
The idea that fevers, even high fevers, are always unsafe … that’s just fearmongering.
We have an internal temperature regulator in our brains that protects us from brain-frying fever heat. In fact, artifically reducing fever has been shown to prolong one’s symptoms of illness and prolong viral shedding, i.e. the contagiousness of viral illness.
A fever is part of your body's defense system, it's useful and helpful...and while it doesn't feel great, it has a purpose and function.
Similarly, a headache is often your body communicating with you, loudly. Maybe it was whispering before, for quite some time, but you didn't listen.
These symptoms are meant to be experienced, because they are each a signal, a piece of information your body is giving you. It could mean you're dehydrated, tired, stressed, or eating foods that don't agree with you, etc.
Work-as-life culture has convinced us to treat our bodies like machines - but ignoring and medicating away your symptoms is akin to seeing the check-engine light on your dashboard, and disconnecting the light to “fix the problem”.
When we feel well, we take for granted that our body is functioning fine.
Then, once we experience anything unplesant - we immediately reach for things to Turn Off The Symptoms so we can … keep going?
This is frankly stupid, and a surefire recipe for breakdown.
Illness or dysfunction in our bodies is not random - it’s communication.
And the more we won’t listen, the louder it gets…
When we look at a headache, cough, or fever as the problem itself, instead of intelligent communication from our body ... what we're likely to do is shoot the messenger, and MISS THE MESSAGE.
The message is, look at the whole person:
Look at your food and water intake + quality.
Look at your rest, sleep, and stress patterns.
Look at how much you move your body, how much sunshine you get on your face.
Look at your relationships, your habits, and your life overall.
Seek holistic ways to improve your overall wellbeing, and stop pretending that you’re a machine constructed of isolated, disconnected parts.
We live on a planet where the moon moves the tides and the placebo effect is a well-documented fact.
Yet we don’t think diet and lifestyle affect our health? Please.
Please, stop acting like you’re not an expert on your own wellbeing.
Chances are, you know what’s truly ailing you - and you’re just too stubborn to acknowledge it fully.
Dr. Edward Bach (an early Projector, born 1886) once said,
“The main reason for the failure of the modern medical science is that it is dealing with results and not causes.”
He was a visionary even then - before the for-profit medical industry took over.
So you’ve got a fever or a headache - now what?
Go back to the basics of rest and hydration, and then be quiet, turn off the noise and really listen - what else is ailing you?
You can always look at targeted natural solutions, like a warm bath or a foot soak, a hot cup of tea, diffusing essential oils, yoga, reiki, herbs, homeopathy, and nutritional assists.
Food is medicine - do you have fresh garlic on hand? Raw honey? Herbal teas? Citrus fruit? Berries? Celery or cucumbers? Bone broth? Mushroom tincture? Elderberry?
Holistic helps like these are not silver-bullets, and they’re not meant to be - but they can assist in dealing with any icky symptoms at hand without silencing them.
Teach your kids to listen to their body and actually respect what they hear.
That might look like time off from school or activities, or disconnecting from stressful friendships, or changing your diet, or making a commitment to choose differently in their daily lives.
Kids are often more attuned to their body-communication when they’re little … but we gaslight their inner wisdom by making them clean their plate when they tell us they don’t like this food, or insisting they take Tylenol to reduce their fever when really, they’d rather stay bundled under the covers to sweat it out.
For a long time, I’ve believed and understood that health care must necessarily start with self-care.
There is NO magic pill to fix everything
Silencing your symptoms does NOT create health
Small choices over time can make a BIG impact
Your body's immune system has been crying out for the basic support it needs to keep you healthy - so if you want to stay well - why not start by listening?
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