Understanding What Triggers Illness or Disease

Since I wrote my blog about overcoming a recent health issue, I received some questions about why I developed a health challenge in the first place when I have always maintained physical fitness and healthy choices for most of my life. I eat nutritious food and take good care of myself. I rarely if ever even have a cold. I am happy and have a lifestyle that is full of life.

So I decided to address this question based on my personal experience and life history. I am not a doctor, scientist or healthcare practitioner. Since I recently experienced a health miracle and wrote about the measures I took to boost my health and healing naturally in my blog entitled, “What My Doctor Didn’t Want To Know”, I have paused to consider why I had a health crisis and how to prevent one in the future.

I share my thoughts as a human being who likes to look for answers, turn over assumptions, shift paradigms and try new things. If what I say resonates with you, grab it. If what I write doesn’t feel true for you, discard it. My experience and conclusions are unique to me and may not be a part of your particular journey. Nonetheless, here is my theory on why I have ever experienced lapses in good health.

Stress is the winner of triggering illness for me. I suspect it is cause of sickness for most people as well. As human beings, we are all exposed to many different types of stress. How we react to stress is the key to health because accumulated detrimental reactions can sometimes lead to illness.

Looking back at my life, there have been times where I pushed myself too hard. I did not get enough rest and sleep. I was an ambitious, type A personality, prone to be a workaholic with too much on my plate. If I did not slow down intentionally, my body would become sick with a cold, mononucleosis, a flu, bronchitis or sinusitis. These illnesses would definitely slow me down for a while if I did not make an effort to do it consciously and intentionally.

Then there were emotional reactions to unpleasant events such as my divorce. Anger, crying and general emotional upset led to gallstones and gall bladder surgery (removal) in the year of my divorce. I did not handle my divorce well emotionally. My heart was broken, and I grieved deeply and had a lot of anger. No surprise really that the stress and my extreme emotions expressed themselves somewhere in my body. The gallbladder is connected to anger if you look up the energy connection with organs and symptoms. (Louis Hay-Heal Your Body). I believe I my gall bladder was where my stress settled at that time of my life.

During the year of my divorce, I would have found benefit from the book The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer. But the words of wisdom still apply to issues of today. “Begin dealing with each situation with acceptance. Acceptance means that events can make it through you without resistance. Events are not problems; they’re just events. Your resistance to them is what causes the problem.”

I recently enjoyed reading the book Love, Medicine & Miracles by Bernie S. Siegle, M.D. He discusses the lessons he learned about self-healing from exceptional patients. In the book he mentions that cancer is not always a primary disease. “It is partly a reaction to a set of circumstances that weaken the body’s defenses.” I have noticed that my pronounced reactions to certain events have indeed weakened my immune system.

Over time I consulted healthcare practitioners and began to learn more about my body and health and actively made changes in my life to balance myself and heal from past traumas. I am more aware of the dangers of my over-reactions to challenging events and circumstances. I watch my attitudes and consider my responses, sometimes making different choices to keep calm and grounded. I also look for healthier outlets and ways to vent. With my increased awareness and self-care, I began to feel like I was getting healthier as I was getting older!

Every once in awhile, I would still get blindsided and react poorly to an event that happened in my life. It seemed that my body would respond shortly thereafter! For example, last year I began more dating and suffered a dating disappointment. It hit me hard and I spent a day crying about it. The next week I had my first head cold that I had had in years. When I saw my acupuncturist, she asked me what had happened the week before. Crying seemed to lower my immune system.

And most recently just before I experienced a health crisis in June, I became deeply emotionally upset about a family matter. I was distraught. I realized I had tipped myself out of balance. Coincidentally (or not), I had an annual exam with my gynecologist shortly after the emotional upset. And then the events transpired that I thoroughly wrote about in my article, “What My Doctor Didn’t Want To Know.”

One more factor to consider in my health story is the matter of HPV (Human papillomavirus), which I contracted in the 90’s. This virus can be the precursor to issues in the cervix and other neighboring organs. It can lie dormant until stress flares it up similarly to other viruses. Another reason to keep my stress low and manage my reactions to events that can alter my balance, harmony and resilience.

Everything I have experienced points to stress management and self-care. When I listen to my body and feel what I need and do it, I feel much better. I recently wrote an article entitled, “Feel Better Today” in which I listed many of the healthy habits I employ to feel great.

Life will continue to bring stress, as human existence is not always easy. But I do have the ability to control how I respond and how I take care of myself particularly when I am experiencing a challenge. Thoughts are powerful and my interpretation of events and my decisions on how to respond are keys to my wellness.

As Michael Singer writes, “If life does something that causes a disturbance inside of you, instead of pulling away, let it pass through you like the wind. Let go and give room for the pain to pass through you. It’s just energy. When you are comfortable with pain passing through you, you will be free.”

When you look back over your life, do you see triggers for illnesses you have experienced? Are there changes you can make to fortify yourself and de-stress? I would love to have your comments below with your thoughts on this subject or a particular health remedy that you have found helpful.

Take control of your life and your health in some way today. You can influence your body and return to more optimal functioning. Your body is amazing and given care and trust and love, it can work very well for you too! Cheers to your health!  

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