Long ago, Plato said (in his dialogue named The Charmides) “The cure of many diseases is unknown to the physicians of Hellas, because they are ignorant of the whole, which ought to be studied also; for the part can never be well unless the whole is well.” He then adds: “And therefore if the head and body are to be well, you must begin by curing the soul; that is the first thing.” Yes!
Plato knew. We can never be well in our physical bodies unless we address our physical symptoms in the larger context of who we really are, that is, spirituals beings, embodied souls.
That sure has been my experience. You see, as a teenager I experienced lots of anxiety and angst. I didn’t get how working, traveling some, potentially getting married and having a family would make me happy. I numbed my feelings of despair with food often. When I began searching for ways to feel better I focused primarily on diet and exercise. I ate tons of tofu, detoxed, drank all kinds of protein shakes and worked out obsessively wearing what in France we called “sudisette”, some sort of plastiquy pants supposed to make you sweat more, faster and get trim in no time. Nothing fundamentally wrong with that picture. But let’s just say it didn’t bring me the kind of peace of mind my anxious self was longing for!
Peace of mind came a little later when I understood I needed to look deeper for healing, and that, as Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (a French Jesuit priest it so happens) once famously said I was “a spiritual being having a human experience”. Waouh! Now that made sense.
It meant something I had been sensing all along, that if I were to experience the highest level of well-being I needed to address all parts of me, not just the physical but also the mental/emotional and spiritual me.
Today, our culture still places enormous emphasis on diet as a means to experiencing everlasting bliss (!). As if a “perfect”diet equalled perfect health! And where did that get us? We’ve become neurotic about food, don’t you think? So many fad diets, restrictive diets, so many do’s and don’ts and must-have power foods. How about supplements? If supplements were the key to perfect health I think we can agree the 11 billion dollars we annually spend on them would have got us there.
Clearly it’s going to take something more than a perfect diet (something different for everyone anyway) and the optimal cocktail of supplements to experience perfect health. Even the World Health Organization defines health as “… a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before spiritual well-being gets added to the mix.
So why am I telling you all that? Because too many people focus solely on how they feed their body when they decide to address their health issues. Are you one of those? Big mistake! How about the other parts of you? Your mind? Your emotional heart? Your soul? They all interact with each other.
Ancient traditions such as Ayurveda (the oldest system of medicine in the world) and Yoga already knew 5000 years ago that mind, body and soul must all be tended to in order to experience wholeness. This is called integrative healing and will alleviate many issues. My specialty is with stress-related disorders and anxiety.
Are you ready to move from symptom alleviation (surface and temporary) to root-cause healing (deep and lasting)?
In my integrative 1-1 coaching program, Get Calm, Clear & Connected, that is just what we do. We go deep. Over 12 weeks you’ll learn new self-care habits for your unique constitution, to soothe your nervous system, reset your mind and most of all perhaps remember who you really are. You’ll discover what it’s like to feel good within yourself, independently of your life circumstances. This is what I call emotional freedom and as far as I see it it’s priceless. Our work will continue to deliver well beyond our time together.
Here’s to feeling whole and well again,