Your body is totally honest! Are you listening? Do you understand what it is telling you? Your Body Reveals: Awaken to Your Truth offers a depth of wisdom through Lisa Berman’s psychosomatic and empirical understanding.
• Learn how thoughts, beliefs, and perceptions can manifest as symptoms, illness, and disease.
• Understand the body’s communication and the inherent message from your Soul.
• Experience “7 Steps to Wholeness.”
• Create an awakened life in harmony with your Soul.
• Choose effective exercises and meditations for your personal healing, and learn essentials for a
Your Body Reveals: Awaken to Your Truth is a handbook to guide you to more balance, inner peace, health, and wholeness.
“This book could change the lives of millions …”
—Ruediger Dahlke, MD, psychotherapist, author
“… invites us to a profound understanding of health and wholeness, where physical symptoms, illness and disease are seen as a call from our Soul for deeper alignment and wholeness …”
—Leah Green, director of The Compassionate Listening Project
“… offers us a practical, in-depth manual for living a healthy, wholesome, and inspired life.”
—Deva Premal, musician
“… for anyone seeking to better understand the healing process for themselves or for their clients.”
—Dr. Sheila Kingsbury, ND, Bastyr University
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YOUR BODY REVEALS: AWAKEN TO YOUR TRUTH7 STEPS TO WHOLENESS
By LISA BERMAN
Balboa PressCopyright © 2012 Lisa Berman
All right reserved.
Chapter OneApproaches to Health Care: A Brief Overview
Face everything, avoid nothing. Andrew Cohen
When it comes to your physical, emotional and mental health, there is nothing more important than choosing a healing path that is safe, effective, and feels right to you. Sometimes it might be Western medicine, sometimes holistic medicine, sometimes, a combination of both, referred to as complimentary. While this book cannot answer which methods are right for you, it will help you to see your symptoms as a timely call to wholeness and discover the deeper meaning and messages from your Soul, an approach I call soul-based integrative.
Conventional Views About Health
The most common view of disease is to perceive it as a mechanical problem. We go to a medical professional, take the recommended medicine, and hope for the best. We hardly ever question the treatment options offered or look for the deeper meaning within the problem itself. We are satisfied with the standardized diagnoses, a name, confirmed by a blood test or other high-tech tests. Hospitals and clinics are more like repair-stations for cars or computers where patients are fixed and released. This widespread approach does not address the deeper causes of illness and disease, and the consequences are now mirrored in our current health care crisis.
Commonly held views about health and disease in allopathic Western medicine are based on linear thinking established primarily by German doctor and scientist Rudolf Virchow's introduction of cell theory in the 1850s. It states that disease is based on the dysfunction of the individual cell. As in the case of liver cancer, only the liver is understood to be ill and in need of treatment. This theory became one of the main foundations of modern biology and medicine.
Another foundational allopathic principle is French chemist and microbiologist, Louis Pasteur's (1822-1895) germ theory, which promotes that germs (bacteria, microbes, parasites, etc.) attack the body, which results in disease. This theory was soon after confirmed by the German physician and scientist Robert Koch. He was the first scientist who isolated bacteria such as the Tuberculosis bacillus. According to this theory, the best course of action is to control or destroy the attacker.
The allopathic healing approach is to repair the symptoms with antibiotics, antivirals, painkillers, anti-inflammatories, anti-depressants, and other synthetic pharmaceuticals. These drugs often have side effects, which cause other symptoms that can be even worse than the original ones. They suppress the body's natural healing responses like fever, vomiting, diarrhea, runny nose, and they destroy the healthy bacteria in the body. This can easily causes other midterm or long-term problems.
Another important concern is the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria through overuse. Antibiotics are no longer as effective as they once were, which is a serious and increasing problem across the globe. Drug companies and medical research labs are continuously developing new antibiotics to deal with these resistant bacteria.
Still, there are many reasons to be grateful for the achievements of conventional Western medicine such as the high-tech and life saving facilities for acute and emergency care: for example, for heart attacks, broken bones, and other crisis situations. Western medicine is also equipped with very refined diagnostic methods in various specialties and the many subspecialties of internal medicine like cardiology, dermatology, endocrinology, and hepatology.
Given the symptom-oriented, medicinal approach to treatment of the health care system in the Western world, I am not surprised by the increase of chronic illnesses and diseases. Chronic imbalances, such as heart disease, asthma, cancer and diabetes have increased dramatically over the last three decades, and even childhood chronic diseases have almost quadrupled over the past forty years. In 2010, more than 133 million Americans, or 45 percent of the population, suffered from at least one chronic physical condition, compromising the quality of their lives and greatly impacting their family's well-being. A similar condition can be observed in many countries all over the world, but especially in the developed world.
As the incidents of chronic disease increase, so does the cost of health care. Expenditures in the US surpassed $2.3 trillion in 2008, more than three times the $714 billion spent in 1990, and over 8 times the $253 billion spent in 1980. In 2008, US health care spending was about $7,681 per resident and accounted for 16.2% of the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This is among the highest of all industrialized countries. Estimates indicate that 1 in 4 dollars will soon be spent on health care.
Dramatic increases in spending puts a huge pressure on finding new, more cost-effective, health care solutions. Including alternative and holistic medicine- a proactive versus reactive approach that requires new levels of education on the deeper causes of disease, and what our bodies are telling us. These methods are rising in demand every year, and it is no wonder. Not only can these approaches reduce costs, they also provide a life-changing opportunity for a higher quality of life with less suffering.
Alternative Views on Health
While allopathic medicine is designed to sedate or eliminate symptoms, holistic medicine is interested in solutions that restore balance. It focuses on the person as a whole and how he or she reacts to a condition and its history.
Holistic medicine is most associated with the French chemist and biologist Antoine Bechamp's (1816 – 1908) theory of disease. He taught that germs have a purpose and are our friends, not our enemies. He believed that, because germs feed only on weak, dead, or decaying tissues in nature, they serve an important function. As long as plants, animals or humans are healthy, they do not become infected with germs. In essence, this theory refers to an individual's diet and lifestyle as the cause of disease.
This theory of disease explains why some people get sick and others do not, and why alternative and holistic medicine, which focuses on the overall health and balance of a person, is successful. Symptoms of dysfunction are viewed as an imbalance within the body based on needs that have not been met for a long period of time. The whole picture of the patient is then considered -environment, disease patterns, relationship to others, life-story, and so on.
Alternative and holistic healing see an acute cold with increased temperature, sneezing and coughing as a positive attempt by the immune system to identify and kill an invading microbe it can't otherwise eliminate. It supports the immune system so that the body reduces the fever by itself. Sneezing and coughing are understood as a healing response after an inhalation of an offending pathogen or pollen. If this isn't effective enough, the mucous membranes produce extra mucus to suffocate the offender and eliminate it via mucus discharge. Treatment modalities such as homeopathy, herbs, aromatherapy, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Ayurvedic medicine, flower essences, acupuncture, and more, are then utilized to strengthen the body's own healing forces.
In such a situation, conventional Western medicine might take a sample from the throat or the urine to identify a bacterial infection, and then prescribe an antibiotic to eliminate the bacteria.
Soul-Based Integrative Approach
Soul-based integrative medicine is an alternative health care approach that adds a spiritual component, one that sees all symptoms and diseases as a healing step to realign us with our Soul. It is understood that symptoms show up in the perfect moment, that they are naturally corrective, and have a healing message. Whether it is a headache, nausea, muscle pain or severe conditions, like ulcers, arthritis or cancer, the Soul is acting as a wake-up call to alert us to something greater than the condition itself.
Through my studies in psychosomatic medicine and daily practice with patients, I learned that every individual body expresses its truth, though we might at first not understand the message. The question arises: "What happened to put the body out of balance and block the forces of self-healing?" The symptoms are a guide to lead us into a deep inquiry and investigation in order to uncover what wants to be changed. In my many years of counseling I learned to read body symptoms and their direct connection with blocked emotions, thoughts and beliefs. Physical and emotional problems have a direct connection to experiences that caused blocked energy, which manifested in a corresponding organ, or organs, of the body.
I learned that if we deal only with the physical manifestation, we will strengthen the blocked energy and push it further into the subconscious. I have also come to realize that we are continuously co-creating our life through how we respond to life. Our reactions, thoughts, sensations, perceptions, and especially our identification with them, create our reality. These manifest in our life and in our body. In essence, all symptoms are a result of neglecting or not paying attention to our Soul's call to move beyond self-imposed limitations and live in harmony with our true Self. What's more, being in harmony with our true Self implies that we are also in harmony with everything around us; we are connected and part of All-That-Is. In this way, symptoms and disease show the Soul's longing for alignment and wholeness in Oneness.
Chapter TwoDisease is the Effort to Regain Balance and Health
The wound is the place where the light enters you. Rumi
To understand the deeper messages embedded in your health issues, whether it be an undiagnosed symptom, a diagnosed illness or disease, or emotional distress, it is useful to know the basic causes of disease. German physician, author, and whole foods advocate, Dr. Max Otto Bruker, identified these three main causes of disease:
If you ignore all three areas in your life, it seems to be only a question of time before your body's own regenerative forces will be exhausted and your body produces symptoms. Out of the three causes identified by Bruker, I observed that life-related diseases have the strongest influence on your well-being. (You will find more information on nutrition and toxins in Chapters 10 and 11.) Your reactions and responses to life can lead to negative stress and, consequently, to health issues. There is sufficient data that verifies that the majority of all illnesses, including allergies, hair loss, chronic fatigue, angina, asthma, cancer, diabetes, digestive problems, heart attacks, hypertension, migraine, pre-menstrual tension, rheumatoid arthritis, skin diseases and tinnitus, are all strongly influenced by stress.
Negative stress, also called distress, is a "flight, fight or freeze" reaction to a perceived threat in which your body activates a number of physical and behavioral defense mechanisms. Your health is directly impacted by the way you perceive stress. In other words, your perception, belief, and what you associate with the situation, is what causes the stress to be negative or positive. When the external reality differs significantly from your individual perception of that reality, when there is a difference between inner and outer experience, it becomes a threat to you. If your system can't or won't calm down, even in the absence of the stressor, and return to a relaxed state, it will generate and maintain an alert status in your body, which will eventually accumulate into symptoms, illness or disease. Based on the individual perception and reaction to the stressor, one person may respond with high blood pressure, another may get a cold, and a third person may not get sick at all.
It is not at all uncommon for people to be in denial of the stress in their lives, yet report symptoms like bowel dysfunctions, back or neck pain, headaches, insomnia or heart palpitations. Though people don't always see the connection, the body naturally reflects the unconscious condition and will express truthfully what one might be unable to articulate.
The Call to Wholeness
Every symptom and disease is always the attempt to regain balance and health. Your body has an innate capacity to both expose the hidden truth of stress, and to heal it. The original root of "to heal" means "to make whole." If you are whole, all of your parts are working together in harmony as one whole being. Finding and retrieving these separated parts is the healing approach. Your body acts to bring together disparate parts caused by unconscious thoughts and emotions derived from personal, social, and cultural influences.
During childhood, it is very common to split off parts of the psyche in order to receive needed love and care, or to simply survive in the world. Abandoning parts of yourself that you feared would be made bad or wrong by others is a defense mechanism you may have needed to survive. As you grow and develop, you created your life view based on your experiences influenced by education, religion, culture, place, circumstance and era. You created a reality based on your perception. And not just during your formative years; fact is, every experience generates feelings and thoughts you might identify with, though you may be unconscious of it at the time.
Imagine that as you were growing up, you received plenty of positive feedback for the things you accomplished. Because of that, you gradually placed more pressure on yourself, and took on too many responsibilities in order to fulfill and not disappoint the expectations of your parents. By the time you notice a feeling of exhaustion and overwhelm, it's too late: in those moments you feel inadequate.
Now, picture yourself in present time working at a very stressful job with many deadlines. You are a responsible, strong, self-confident person and can easily manage whatever comes your way. But your negative stress continues and increases over a long period. Your exhaustion amplifies and you feel a lot of inner pressure, which eventually leads to an inner crisis, weakness, and low self-esteem. Due to your beliefs and identification from early youth, you work even harder and stretch your limits beyond your capacity. You sleep only a few hours, don't exercise, and hardly have time for a social life. You are completely identified with your job and the role of being highly responsible, which overrides your natural needs and physical limits. The regenerative forces in your body and your Soul's guidance are increasingly blocked. You don't sense that your first responsibility is to fulfill your needs in order to successfully meet the demands of others. Your muscles, tendons and nerves (YOU) can't relax anymore. The first symptoms of tension manifest, for example, in your neck and shoulders. You neglect it, but as the tension develops into strong pain and you can hardly move your head at all, you are eventually forced to give it attention and go to an expert. In the meantime you are despondent and feel that you don't have the stamina to accomplish everything you wanted to do.
This example shows how symptoms can increase and aggravate when we don't pay attention to what our symptoms are telling us. In the above case, someone who acknowledges their pain as a wake-up call might recognize their part in creating that pain and therefore be motivated to learn a different approach. They might delegate, ask for help and realize they must take responsibility for their own needs first.
Whenever symptoms manifest in your life, know that it is exactly what your system needs to shift, though it may not be comfortable for you. It is a self-healing step in order to integrate lost parts from the past into the now. Through listening and understanding your body's messages, you can also become aware of the power you have to create and therefore re-create. You can initiate changes to bring back ease, flow and well-being.
If you are presently dealing with long-term symptoms, don't be discouraged or interpret these words in a way that brings you guilt or shame. This book is meant to empower you and to show how you can learn from your situation and make the kind of changes that will alter your life for the better. Remember, though it may be hard sometimes, your body knows exactly what is good for you and what is not. It is 'married' to your Soul, that animating spirit, which is the life force within each cell and your Divine light within. When symptoms show up, you will know that your body/Soul relationship is asking for some attention and needs to be heard.
Excerpted from YOUR BODY REVEALS: AWAKEN TO YOUR TRUTH by LISA BERMAN Copyright © 2012 by Lisa Berman. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Chapter 1 - Approaches to Health Care: A Brief Overview....................1
Chapter 2 - Disease is the Effort to Regain Balance and Health....................9
Chapter 3 - Empowered Reality....................25
Chapter 4 - The Body Reveals....................41
Chapter 5 - Steps to Wholeness....................49
Chapter 6 - Be a Conscious Co-Creator....................79
Chapter 7 - Empathy, Compassion and Mirror Neurons....................91
Chapter 8 - Staying in Balance....................107
Chapter 9 - The Body Reveals: From Head to Heart to Hands and Toes....................115
Chapter 10 - You Are What You Eat....................129
Chapter 11 - Living with the Seasons....................147
Chapter 12 - Visions of Health and Wholeness....................163
About the Author....................167
Books, Resources, People & Organizations....................169