Healing the Body

What a stupid question indeed?! I mean, who cares how much of your colon was cut off in the operation, as long as your colon is functioning!” she declared, with the look of someone who cannot understand why any smart person would worry about such a thing.

I replied with a similar look, but destined for her: “Well, at this rate, why don’t we take out one of your kidneys since you can function with only one, anyway? And how about a rib while we’re at it? I mean who cares, as long as your body can function, right?

We were visiting a common friend, at a hospital in France, who was recovering from colon surgery. I had asked him to ask his surgeon how many inches were cut off from his colon, and the next day, he let me know that 12 inches had been taken out. He continued proudly that his brother had had 20 inches cut out the year before without any problem. Moreover, he felt that I should know what his surgeon had replied to my original question about the size of the cut, and it went something like this:
“To the people who ask me how many inches I cut from their colon during the surgery, I let them know that it is one of the stupidest questions ever, since it makes no difference to the patient as long as he/she can function.”

luxury shamanism: purification treatment with female shaman at La Mirage Garden Hotel & Spa in Ecuador

“So there!” was the undercurrent in the hospital room. I could not believe the level of body denial going on in front of me, in the name of intelligence. This was not the first time I ran into such indifference when it came to the body’s health. I stop counting the amount times, I hear people around me say things like: “I got my gall bladder taken out; you should too.” or “It’s nothing, it’s just surgery and they put you under (i.e. anaesthetized).” Cut off, take out, yank off and more are terms that should be used to describe torture rather than medicine, in my world at least.

“It seems to me we prize the body far more after its use is at an end than while it is ours to use. We do not neglect the dead; we dress them in beautiful garments, we adorn them with flowers, we follow them to the grave with religious ceremonies, we build costly monuments to place over their graves, and then we go to weep their last resting-place.

After all, is it not life we should value? Life here and hereafter, not death, is the real thing for which we should prepare, an earthy life without a sound body is not life full and complete.”

The author, Ms. Wood-Allen, in “What a Young Woman Ought to Know”, wrote the above statement a little more than a century ago, but it is just as true today. The health and care of our body should be about living life, and not living death. Throughout Western history, the body’s health was always last on the list to get any healing attention, and I mean last… We are reminded that modern medicine has progressed greatly compared to before…but which “before” are we referring to?

The Middle Ages AKA the Dark Ages? Yes I know, they did not have anesthesia, nor antibiotics but looking at the instruments that are used in surgical operations, I am reminded of a sentence, pasted below, I read in an article about the evolution of medicine, largely quoting from another article published March 31, 2009 in the magazine WIRED under the title: “Old, Brutal Surgeries Inspire Elegant Modern Devices”.

Working in surgery I’ve seen this myself: sometimes it looks like doctors have a set of tools ready to build a house, rather than amputate a leg.

Respect and love for our manifested Self have been missing for far too long.

I was born in 1973, and from 1980 to 1984, in the two primary schools I attended, there were two “body trends” or surgical fashions of the day, going on, which several of my classmates underwent. One was to have your tonsils removed while the other was the removal of the appendix.

“Why?” I asked.

Why not? They serve no purpose.” was the usual answer. Even back then, I simply could not understand the general disconnect I felt among my peers when it came to their bodies; they were far more attached to their toys!

Why would I take out something that is functioning inside of me, and hence has a function, albeit not an obvious one? Why should I cut out a part of my body, the body I was born with? We don’t do this to our cars, do we? I mean, when was the last time we sat around the breakfast table and discussed what parts we were going to yank out of the car the next time Dad got a bit of free time in between lawn-mowing and the NFL?

When it comes to our car (or toaster, refrigerator, computer, etc.) we generally assume that whatever parts are there, are there for a reason, and that it would behoove us not to arbitrarily remove pieces, however small they be me, in our infinite wisdom.

If we are rightly reluctant to tinker with a GM or Dell or GE product, I feel that we should have a great deal MORE reluctance to tamper with our body. It is ALIVE and conscious; even if a body part were unhealthy, it would be up to me to find ways to make it healthy again. A surgical operation would be my last choice, and not an automatic, knee-jerk response to a problem. The friend I mentioned above who had 12 inches taken off his colon, had had a colon cleansing done with the colon hydrotherapy practitioner I go to, and I remember how much lighter, and healthier he had felt after the cleanse in question. He even had had tears of relief as he was in a state of bliss for the first time in a long time. At the time

I had encouraged him to continue the treatments when he got back home, but he wasn’t particularly open to the idea, although he had so obviously benefited from the one he had done.

Our body is not a machine or some abstract thing; it is our manifested Self, our temple and yet, it is too often treated, at best, like an encumbrance, and at worse like an enemy. It is true that the physical process of healing can be long because of the very nature of matter; we are on the physical plane after all. I myself get very impatient at times when my body is not repairing itself fast enough for my liking.

Baby in plant bulb, Detroit Industry mural by Diego Rivera

What further complicates body healing is that its health troubles are often easily noticeable and cannot be hidden from others. It is much easier to disguise emotional or mental problems than physical ones. It can become quite challenging to accept one’s health issue when it is in the public eye so to speak, and self-acceptance is the pillar of natural healing, of holistic healing or simply put of real self-healing. Indeed, without self-acceptance, the healing is NOT complete.

There is a strong connection between our body and our emotions, so strong in fact, that sometimes the body can develop a medical illness or condition directly related to problems which have been repressed by us on an emotional and energetic level. For instance, certain studies have shown that people who repressed their emotions, particularly anger, were more likely to compromise the immune system, and therefore affect the body’s first line of defense against cancer. Two doctors, Lydia Temoshock and Henry Dreher joined forces to do some extensive research on the link between cancer and repressed emotions in: “THE TYPE C CONNECTION: The Behavioral Links to Cancer and Your Health”. Several articles in this section of Body Healing bring forward the relationship between our body health and our emotional health. As Shakespeare wrote:

Our bodies are our gardens -

our wills are our gardeners.

Suggested Readings:

Body Image




Visceral Reaction

To Emotional Healing, an intro

KA Healing Retreats, between Caponga Beach and Cascavel in Ceara, Brazil