When I read the following quote, it made steam come out of my ears. No, I'm not going to name the source because far too many people think this way and quite frankly, they are only seeing "part" of the story.
The quote is:
Lifestyle is the cause of chronic illness and lifestyle is the only evidence-based solution for the prevention of, and recovery from, chronic illness.
In addition to the entire premise of this statement being short-sighted and downright wrong from my own experience, when you use the word "ONLY" as the foundation for your statement, you are standing on melting ice in the middle of a lake. This is one of the things that is wrong with our health care system and why people don't get better. I know the place that wrote this means well, but there is more to the picture than this "belief" about chronic illness.
Inadequate at best and harmful at worst...
I will not disagree that chronic pain often has lifestyle choices that are not healthy. However, that is like telling a person with depression, to just be happy or a person who has sleep issues, that they should just go to bed at a set time. These forms of advice and counseling and help are inadequate at best and harmful at worst. They don't assist the person and help them. They only cement the judgment and shame deeper into their consciousness.
In many of the chronic pain and chronic illness, there is something more below the surface. There is something that set the person up for the situation they are now facing. Maybe no one can see it. Maybe no one can even begin to believe it. Maybe it is something that no one is even thinking about, but it is there. I've worked with far too many people and seen evidence of what I am saying, to not be able to believe that lifestyle changes along can help every situation.
All too often we've seen people look for help that isn't there. We've seen this person or that product offering the "cure-all" for their condition. I used to work in research evaluating products for a company before we took the plunge and spent millions to find out if something worked or not. Of the products that were backed up by science and research and trials with big name companies, approximately 85% of them did not show a statistical improvement for whatever it was that we were testing.
Needless to say, these companies and even colleagues of mine would rip my research to shreds. Yes, it was meticulously done and yes, myself and other individuals reviewed it before the data was released.
I find the same thing in the health and healing communities. Some of the "products" out there make my eyes do flip-flops and the claims make me vomit. Sorry, if you're one that does not want to hear this, but from my experience, it is the truth.
Chronic conditions have deep layers...
Chronic pain and chronic illness is present for a reason. It has deep layers which I don't think we truly understand today. However, there is new pioneering work that is being done and can often reverse these conditions or have a significant impact upon them. Situations and health conditions that we thought were not treatable are now being seen that we can influence them.
Yes, lifestyle choices does make a difference, but if there are underlying situations and stresses below the surface, then you can beg someone to change all day long with little results. Heck, even the person suffering from Chronic Pain and Chronic Illness can hope something changes, but unless the underlying pressures are released, this will be nothing but a prayer.
A message from our body to our brain...
Pain is there for a reason. It is a message from our body to our brain trying to get our attention. Sometimes, maybe most of the time, it is difficult to understand how this could even be true, let alone how we can solve it. The answers are not from feel good statements, but are through interventions that takes us deep within where we feel our body. It is not where we escape it.
Here is a good video by good friend Jim Fazio as he interviews Dr. Paul Canali about Chronic Pain. Dr. Paul Canali is a pioneer in the treatment of trauma, pain, and anxiety and offers a new approach that is highly effective. This is not belief or theory, but actually applied therapy that has helped thousands of people he has worked on.
I want to push each one of us, whether we suffer from chronic conditions or we are in the healing community try to help people deal with these conditions. We cannot sit back and expect the tired and old practices that have become our paradigms to continue being ineffective in our healing modalities. We have to be more and often that starts where we least expect it to begin.
Instead of limiting your healing beliefs to lifestyle changes only, find out what makes the person tick from the inside. What is it that holds you or them back?
I used to think that Dr Canali had some special gift, but now I'm beginning to see that what he has learned resides in each one of us. It was not just him that could help others. Yes, it may take another compassionate and caring individual without judgment to walk through the healing fires with us, but healing comes from within us. Let us not look at it through simple eyes, missing the deeper moments.
Chronic pain and illness is not easy. However, there are therapies emerging that can help so much, if we allow ourselves to go check them out.
Blog Post And Images (c) 2016 by Don Shetterly
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