It is a long held belief of holistic and complementary therapists that we have lost touch with our bodies – we do not hear what they are trying to tell us, we can no longer decode the signals – and that until we relearn that language, we will never enjoy 'positive' good health.
Many of us subscribe to this belief, in a rather hazy sort of a way, but few of us have really established the connections or learnt the language. Not so Prudence Nuesink, whose little book, Body Talk, I have just read through for the second time.
I met Prudence in the lunch queue at the ES-UK conference a few weeks ago and because the dining areas was rather dark (all lights off for the benefits of the electrosensitives) and the sun was shining, we took our lunch outside and sat on the grass to eat it.
We discussed leather trousers (she was wearing a pair very similar to the ones I have hanging in a cupboard), the deliciousness of the lunch and our fellow conferees. She then mentioned, in passing, that she had had cancer of the breast, lymph, liver, spine and brain – but that she was now fine. Well, she certainly looked and sounded absolutely fine, to the point that I had been wondering what she was doing at the conference. We talked some more and ended up by driving home together and, when we parted, she gave me a copy of Body Talk.
Long before she discovered she had cancer she had already learnt that her body provided her with a constant flow of information about herself and her life, if she would but listen to it:
'Have you noticed,' Body Talk begins, 'that the body give us messages to draw attention to what it wrong in our life because we need to deal with the issue? Reading those messages accurately is quicker than psychoanalysis…..
…Starting out as minor pains, time and again the body tells us quite clearly what the purpose of our discomfort is………. If you keep missing the point, your body gives you progressively more serious warnings about what is wrong in your life until it malfunctions chronically, with cancer or some other serious illness.'
Malfunctions in specific parts of the body give very clear massages about spritual or emotional discomfort. Voice restrictions, for example, often arise 'when you have said either too much or not enough. Perhaps there is a problem you don't dare to bring up for discussion.'
'Breast cancer signifies, in simple banking terms, an emotional overdraft…. It is intense emotional stress linked to giving or receiving. The round trip of nurturing and nourishing of others and self, of emotional sharing, is not being fulfilled…'
'Those who have asthma or other breathing difficulties suffer because authority blocks their right to a place in the sun, thereby chilling and depriving them of the warmth of self value. Someone nearby figuratively towers over them and takes their air, or abandons them and leaving them feeling unprotected.'
If the sufferer, or 'victim' of the condition hears the body's message, and it makes sense to them, they are empowered. They can address the underlying problem and the condition will disappear. Sometimes it is enough merely to recognise the emotional or spiritual problem, sometimes recognition is not enough and action to correct, alter or improve the situation is needed. But whichever it is, it is the connection between the bodily problem and the emotional obstruction that is the important element.
Once that link has been made, if nurtured and cared for both physically and emotionally, the body can heal itself. When she was, quite unexpectedly, diagnosed with four aggressive cancers, Prudence applied her own principles to herself, recognised the emotional stresses she had been allowing herself to be subject to, and while undergoing chemo and radio therapy, emotionally cosseted herself, cutting herself off from all sources of stress and working with her doctors at the Marsden Hospital for whom she made a gift of organic truffles for each visit.
In fifteen months, there was no sign of active cancer in her body. Since then, the cancer has returned twice and on each occasion, she has dealt with it in a similar, and equally successful, way. As her consultant at the Royal Marsden said,
'You have had the most unusual approach from the start, but all I can say is that it works.'
Body Talk is only 30 pages long, self printed – but it makes you think. I am not sure that I entirely follow, or agree with, all of the connections that it makes but the overall message is compelling. Ignore what your body is trying to tell you at your peril – it knows where your well being lies even if you do not.
Why is it, I now wonder, that I so often have an aching back when sitting at my computer – but, oddly, never when I am playing about with Photoshop and making pictures of food or my garden? Do I deal too much in with words and not enough in concepts and pictures? Does my back recognise this while I ignore it? Or is it that I sit differently when typing and when 'photoshop-ing'? Or is it a combination of the two?
The last paragraph in Body Talk suggests that you:
'Connect effect with cause. Put the problem into perspective and deliberately change direction. The symptoms subside.
Powerful emotions have an extraordinary impact on our health. You cannot avoid being emotionally side-swiped by life but you can choose how to handle the shock. Be a cork. A cork cannot sink, it floats always, over rapids and waterfalls, unable to sink until it reaches calm waters.'
Buy a copy of Body Talk – it may only take you half an hour to read – but it could give you a seriously new perspective on how to manage your health.
First published in October 2012
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