There is no shortage of articles out there explaining what the root cause of your autoimmune condition is…leaky gut, inflammation, EBV, stress and more. While there is definitely a need to identify what the physical root cause is, there’s an equally important need to understand the root cause underlying the physical root cause. Without both of those, you’re missing part of the pieces of the healing puzzle.
I often get referred clients when someone is doing everything “right,” but they’re still not healing. They’re on the right medical program, eating well (mostly), and sleeping enough, but their healing reaches an impasse. They’re frustrated, and they don’t know what to do. That’s often when someone is ready and open to exploring the root cause underlying the physical root cause.
Let me explain what that means…
The majority of physical symptoms have emotional root causes. For example, sinus infections are connected emotionally with anger. If we look at autoimmune, it’s the body attacking itself, according to the experts.
Our body is a reflection of our thoughts and actions. Where does our body learn to attack itself? From our thoughts. From our lifestyles. From our actions. From our choices. From our emotions. From our subconscious patterns.
When you begin to understand this, and make necessary changes, that healing impasse melts away. The symptoms begin to disappear. This is also why the common stress-reduction techniques shared by many of the experts, such as go to a yoga class, or meditate, or drink a warm tea, aren’t enough to really move the needle in the healing process.
Trust me, I am a huge proponent of yoga and meditation as they stimulate healing in the body through activating the parasympathetic nervous system. BUT, on their own, they’re not going to heal the emotional root cause of your autoimmune condition. You can sit on your comfy chair, meditating, sipping your tea, and right after you’re done, resume the critical, self-attacking thoughts that literally inhibit healing and promote illness.
When you begin healing those self-critical, fear-based thoughts, patterns and related emotions, you take your healing to the next level. You teach your body to stop attacking itself. It will follow your lead. Your body begins trusting you. You begin working together instead of making demands from your body all the while cutting it down. Your stress levels naturally decrease, and you begin feeling more joy (talk about an awesome bonus!).
Here are some specific behavioral patterns I’ve noticed with clients (and myself) that perpetuate the self-attack cycle.
- Not feeling good enough…overall or in specific areas of your life
- Attacking your body’s appearance
- Perfectionism tendencies
- Creating an overwhelming schedule
- Taking on too much responsibility
- Needing to be in control of everything (including WHEN your body heals – I might be guilty of that one ;)).
- Perpetuating a cycle of not feeling safe/secure (e.g. not saving money despite making enough)
- Creating mini crisis in many area of life (e.g. always running late or leaving the gas tank on empty)
- Specific to Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune condition connected to the thyroid, not expressing yourself either through communication, your needs, or through a deeper level of expression, like following your dream career instead of the one your parents wanted for you
Notice what came up for you as you read that list. Did any hit a nerve somewhere deep within? If they did, congratulations, you now have one more piece to the puzzle. As you begin to process this new insight, be gentle with yourself.
Remember, most of us develop behavioral patterns in response to a circumstance in our life. While it’s natural to feel frustrated, and even angry, when you realize how your behavior may be contributing to your disease, it’s also important to acknowledge what that pattern provided for you. Often, on some level, the pattern gave you something. Thank it and let it know you’re ready to let go of it.
This is an opportunity to reflect, acknowledge, and then begin to consciously shift. It requires time, courage, patience and massive doses of forgiveness. It’s also not easy – most of us like to avoid our emotions instead of feeling them. But when you can go within and shine some light on these root cause issues, you will begin to feel massive shifts in your health and happiness. When you can get under the surface and understand the behavior that eventually creates the stress, you’ve uncovered a key piece of the puzzle.
Our bodies don’t become sick to punish us. Our symptoms are merely invitations to take a look and see what’s not working. From that space, we have the power to make positive changes to encourage healing.
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