“All our illnesses are the result of our lifestyle.”
The Quest for Balance
In addition to our physical body, the human is composed of an emotional body, a mental body, and a spiritual body. Health is not simply the absence of illness, but rather a state of balance between those four bodies.
Any imbalance in one area can alter the functioning in another. For example, a dietary imbalance starts with pollution of the physical body. This can affect the emotional body through repressed emotions and impulses. The mental body may suffer from negative images and thoughts. Finally, the spiritual body may withdraw from God, or the supreme universal force of the patient’s belief system.
We are naturally made to maintain balance in our systems. Our physical bodies strive to maintain balance through our immune systems. We try to balance our emotional and mental selves with focusing techniques such as yoga or meditation. If imbalance persists, despite our attempts at resolution, our self healing mechanisms “wear out”, and sickness occurs.
“The true physician is the inner physician”
In naturopathy, we’re taught that if the body’s natural defences don’t function properly, it’s because they’ve been weakened by lifestyle habits such as a poor diet, or lack of exercise. This concept doesn’t reject conventional medicine. It simply takes the patient’s entire life, not just his physical self, into account.
It is up to us to manage our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual bodies, not just our physical selves.
The Role of Consciousness
Broadly put, consciousness is our perception of what’s going on within ourselves. For most people, a large part of this consciousness stays unexplored. Some of the therapeutic work of alternative medicine consists of awakening this consciousness and developing its acuity. For example, if we repress the emotional body’s feelings by refusing to cry, the emotions will express themselves in other ways, causing an imbalance that affects overall health.
Our mind might be holding on to inhibitions or ideas that contaminate our being. Think of the phrases like “biting the bullet”, and “a real man never cries”. These values can contaminate our being and appear in the form of psychological troubles.
The fourth state, the spiritual body, is developed with time, reflection, and meditation. Alternative medicine encourages this exploration, allowing us to experience our own spiritual reality.
Each consciousness can also be affected by drugs, uncontrolled fears, phobias, or beliefs.