When We Have to Heal from Western Medicine

Chronic illness comes in two parts. First, recognizing the original roots of our illness in the dysfunction of Western diet, culture, and lifestyle. Second, recognize the transition of our illness from common complaints and isolated symptoms into more serious chronic conditions due to the interventions of Western medicine.

Yes, I see this over and over again in the stories of my clients. Healing chronic illness is a practice of healing from western medicine.

First, a caveat. Western medicine has its place. If you are experiencing an acute, life threatening illness or trauma, western medicine has incredible tools and technologies. If you are having anaphylaxis, traumatic injury, or sepsis: go to the hospital! That is what it exists for and we need to be incredibly grateful that we have access to it.

The problem is that the reductionist, linear thinking that can save your life in a moment can actually cause serious damage when used out of this context. Modern medicine was developed during the industrial revolution and prior to that during a period called “the enlightenment”, because people were applying hyper rational and reductionist methods to solve complex problems. This was the age of the machine, and people were learning that we could break things down into very discrete parts to understand them better and build them back up to create complex tools. These concepts, used to build machines of industry, were then applied to the body. This is the first time in history we see bodies compared to machines. But the metaphor only works so well. It turns out, organic systems work differently.

Organic systems work in a complex, inter connected manner, where emergent phenomena occur that are not simply the sum of each individual part added up. There are symptoms and experiences people have that cannot be explained so simply. It is the accumulation of every imbalance experienced by the body simultaneously.

Another issue that machines break, and need to be fixed. Organic tissues are self healing and regenerating. They are always seeking to find balance and homeostasis, as a part of their existence. When we intervene in complex symptoms assuming that we just need a fix a broken part, we tend to make the issue worse because we actually starting BLOCKING the body’s innate capacity to heal itself. We often misread symptoms as mistakes of the body that need to be stopped, when in reality most symptoms of chronic illness are actually the side effect of the body trying to repair and detoxify itself. Western medicine tends to have a massive ego problem, assuming that it actually knows BETTER than the body. We assume we have superior knowledge and need to over write these processes. These interventions may help us feel better in the short term, but in the long term, they cause deeper damage and more complex disease states as the body then has to work around these blocked pathways to continue healing.

This is how a simple imbalance or minor symptom can turn into a cascade of severe and complex chronic illness. The shift from minor imbalances to massive disease states usually occurs AFTER western medicine has attempted to intervene. For the relief of getting our more minor symptoms to go away, we sacrifice our long term health. Healing from chronic illness is very frequently trying to pull away the blockages western medicine has caused, to let the body go back into a state of balance, repair, and detoxification which it naturally should be in.

That is why we simply need to support the foundations of our health, and stop thinking we know better than our body. Nature has it all laid out for us already. We just need the right nutrition, light exposure, sleep hygiene, non toxic lifestyle, mindset, posture and alignment, nervous system regulation- the basic support protocols that are the foundation of our work at Whole Body Healing. We trust the body entirely, and simply want to provide it the proper support.

About the Author
Jen Donovan completely rebuilt her life and career as a result of her experience with severe chronic illness. After finding no answers from conventional medical approaches, she took matters into her own hands and with the help of key mentors, found a path to healing.
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