When I had significant symptoms of myasthenia gravis, I often found myself squinting through blurred and double vision as I googled “natural cures” for myasthenia gravis. I thought that I would find a remedy that would work, but, to my frustration, I only found people who promised healing if I converted to their religion. Although I desperately needed help, I wasn’t willing to do that!
Holistic healing does not come in a neat package that you can take out of the medicine cabinet and pop into your mouth. I was searching for a cure for my symptoms instead of looking for ways to fundamentally heal the imbalances in my body. I didn’t know how to approach holistic or natural healing modalities, because I was only familiar with drugs or surgery as ways to “heal.”
When we are searching for alternatives to conventional medicine, we are often looking through the prism of Western medicine and looking for something that will be a quick fix, like a pill or surgery. Of course there are herbs and supplements that can help to heal your body, but true healing is only achieved in the long term by using a combination of various modalities. This is why the concept of holistic healing is difficult for many people to grasp. Ultimately, I’ve learned that you can only embrace healing if you’re willing to change your perspective from the conventional model.
Over the years I’ve shifted my perspective quite a bit and this is what I have learned:
- Be open to healing. This is a big one. Many of us characterize ourselves by our diseases and think that we will always have them. We must have the attitude that we can fully and completely heal. Our will to beat our disease manifests itself as positive energy in our bodies. If we are always down about having a chronic illness, our mindsets are actively working against our healing. I know that you’ve heard the term “will to live.” People who have a strong will to live often survive tragic accidents or terminal illnesses longer than people who don’t. The same is true when it comes to healing. We must have a strong will to heal. I heard someone say “I don’t live with lupus, lupus lives with me.” While we are on our journey to healing, we should also have the attitude that we can live full lives with our chronic illness.
- Diet and lifestyle are primary ways to heal. When I was taking medications to suppress my immune system, my diet wasn’t horrible, but I had no idea that what I was eating was affecting my symptoms. I often ate organic yogurt because I thought that it was a healthy way to get calcium and fermented foods into my diet and for some people it is. However, I did not know that dairy is inflammatory and therefore the nemesis of someone with an autoimmune disease. Over time I learned how food affected my body and changed my diet, and I urge you to do the same. Also be mindful of the amount of sleep you’re getting, your stress level, your exercise routine, the quality of your relationships and your environment as they significantly impact your health and healing process as well.
- Healing might not come in the package that you think it will. As I mentioned before, I was googling quick fixes for myasthenia gravis, but my healing came in the form of diet, healing my gut, reducing stress, acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments, positivity and reducing environmental toxins from my life. At the beginning of my healing journey, I met a chiropractor who educated me about many different modalities of healing. I took four pages of notes during her one hour workshop! I was impressed that she was knowledgeable about all the body systems and not just backaches! I had no idea that chiropractic adjustments can affect the entire body and help you to heal, but once I acquired that knowledge, I incorporated adjustments into my wellness routine. The same was true of the other healing modalities that I adopted. I had shifted my perspective at that point and was open to new ideas, new theories, new modalities and different ways of healing. That was the only way that I was able to find what worked for me.
- Your body is your greatest teacher. Listen to her (or him). When I was practicing law at a big law firm, I worked 300 billable hours in November and December 2007. During those months I didn’t have blurred or double vision (my primary symptoms of myasthenia gravis), but I had palpitations, pains and tightness in various parts of my body. Despite those signals, I continued to push myself, because I wanted to make the year-end bonus. A couple of weeks into January, my body finally gave in and I started getting blurred and double vision even though I was taking medication. My body had had enough. If I had listened to the warning signals that my body was giving me, I probably wouldn’t have gotten blurred vision in January. Now I have become acutely aware of my body and listen to every signal that she gives me. Our bodies tell us when we need additional rest, when we can give them that extra push and when something is wrong. Get to know your body intimately and then listen to her (or him).
Learning to listen to my body is the most valuable lesson that I have learned. I now know if something is slightly off with my body, even if I don’t know exactly what it is. My next step is to follow up with my healers and investigate until I figure out what is wrong. Now it’s your turn. Which of these lessons resonated with you? Which one will you adopt first?