The Wisdom of Symptoms
posted: Jul. 22, 2019.
"What a gift it is to feel. It means that we are alive."
- Dr. Cassie Huckaby
Your symptoms are a sign that your body is FUNCTIONING.
They are a sign that your physiology is healthy enough to compensate even if the result is discomfort.
We have to change the way we look at the message of symptoms and the language of the body to change the way we look at ourselves and to better understand healing.
I am much more concerned if a patient of mine is numbed to life and sensation or unable to feel pain than I am if a patient is experiencing deeply even if it is painful. That’s not to say that I am ever glad for any individual to experience pain or any symptom or will ever let them remain in that state, but it does tell me a lot about their vitality and the distance we have to travel to obtain wellness.
“A doctor who, if [she] could, would move heaven and earth just to return the gift of pain to people who do not have it. For pain is both the warning system and the protective mechanism that enables an individual to defend the integrity of [his/her] body. Its signals may not always be readily intelligible but at least they are there. And the individual can mobilize his response.” – Norman Cousins
A symptom arises from your physical body’s ability to compensate for unhealthy lifestyle or suboptimal environmental inputs. Symptoms are warning signs from your body that something needs to be addressed. They are messengers. There is deep wisdom within each one and if you listen close enough or are able to decipher the message it reveals your path to recovery.
If we rush to cover symptoms up without listening to what they were trying to convey, we are muting the call for help and allowing space for more dysfunction that will ultimately lead to a new, even more concerning symptom or condition.
Imagine that your kitchen sink is clogged and instead of unclogging it, you continue to use it and just cover the mess with a towel so you don’t have to see it. With continued use of the sink, you would eventually have a growing mess that provided the proper environment to grow mold and other microbes and ultimately flood your kitchen floor. You could buy air filters and could spray all the best air fresheners (toxic or natural) you could buy in the room, and even buy a large screen to cover the unsightly mess in the kitchen and begin using the sink in the nearest bathroom so things could remain semi-functional in your home. The condition of your home, however, will only continue to worsen until it becomes so bad that your home appears to be “unlivable” and you are forced to move. The house wasn’t broken, the kitchen wasn’t even broken or defective. The drain was simply clogged.
This seems silly but it is actually so incredibly similar to how the old medical model teaches you to look at the physical body when a symptom appears. Cover it up, cut it out, numb it. Then keep covering up what follows as a result of not addressing the issue from the beginning.
Majority are usually given a drug for a symptom to only develop additional symptoms from not addressing the initial issue but additionally from the drug or treatment itself. It doesn’t make sense if you truly understand human physiology and symptoms. This is exactly what happens when we suppress symptoms. You continue to develop new symptoms until you meet the criteria or check enough dysfunction boxes to “receive” a diagnosis or the belief that you are broken.
You are not broken but the old medical model is severely broken.
Start looking at your symptoms as the messengers that they are not as annoyances that need to be silenced or evidence that you are defective in some way. If you only knew what your body was doing to keep you alive on a daily basis, you would break down in tears of gratitude for simply being able to breathe and have more good days than bad.
Listening to your symptoms does not mean you have to suffer. It just means that you have to understand what is being communicated and then take the necessary steps to resolve or unwind it. With my patients, I take the messages and formulate a plan to reverse what created them and then take action with minimizing or eliminating symptoms in a way that also facilitates healing.
Listen to your body, appreciate that it whispers before it has to scream and understand that if it is screaming at you now, it was only because you never gave attention to the whispers. You are not broken, you just need to identify where the clogged sink is and work your way back to clean up the mess and address the cause, not just cover it up.
You only get this one house and it is beautifully and wonderfully made. There is no flaw in it but there are natural laws that you have to follow to stay optimal and these are not man made.
Listen to your symptoms, understand why they are there.
Find a way to be grateful for all that you have including your symptoms because this is a sign that you are vital and capable of healing.
Copyright © 2019 Dr. Cassie Huckaby. All rights reserved.