The View from
I have been practicing
complementary therapies for nearly 25 years and a lot of the people I know or
who have come to see me have heard some of this and some of the people have
heard a lot of this and now all of you can have most of it. I say most of it as
I am learning all the time. This is the view from planet Ian. It looks very
much like planet earth with one slight difference. It is looked at through my
eyes and through my brain and so are my views and opinions. They may not be
right for you but mainly they seem to hold together.
On planet Ian, health is not just
the passive state of freedom from disease but an active condition of being, of growth,
development, and evolution. - That was said by John Tye back in 1973, and I
believe that completely. On planet Ian the mind and body are one integrated
unit. What happens to the body affects the mind and what happens in the mind
affects the body. In fact I could go as far as saying that every cell in your
body makes up some of your unconscious mind.
Now some people treat their
body like a car. They use it until it breaks and then they want to get out and let
somebody else repair it or service it and, although it is very true general
anaesthetic takes your mind away somewhere, it is far better if you work with
your body to achieve the best level of health you can.
So tell me who runs your body?
Okay lots of answers to that one, but, do this for me….touch the end of your
nose.. yep, just touch the end of your nose, good, now let go. What did you say
to yourself to make yourself touch your nose? Did you say “touch my nose”? Did
you not even think of anything or just did as I asked you to do? Because
somebody said bicep contract, tricep release, finger extend, and somebody did
the complicated trigonometry to get your finger to the end of your nose without
you really looking at what you were doing.
On planet Ian that was your
unconscious mind that did all that. The mind that you are not conscious of, the
mind you have trained to do things for you. We have a conscious mind and an
unconscious mind. It’s a bit like the captain of ship and the crew of the ship,
the conscious mind is the captain. The captain makes decisions like let’s set
sail for America and then on board the ship the crew are doing all sorts of
things. Some of them are letting the ropes off, some of them are starting the engines,
some are checking the navigation gear, some of them are looking after the
passengers, and some of them are sleeping. There’s loads of bits of crew who
are doing stuff just the same as your unconscious mind.
So what does this mind that we
are not conscious of do? Well it runs our digestion. You see apart from chewing
you don’t have to think about digestion much. Once you have swallowed the food
your digestion just gets on with it itself. You don’t have to make your stomach
churn. You don’t have to think about opening the sphincters. You don’t have to
think about moving the food around your digestion. You don’t have to think
about secreting enzymes, its all automatic.
Your unconscious mind also
does your breathing. Unless you consciously hold your breath or take a deep
breath, you just breathe. Just as simple as that and thank heaven we do. It also runs your vascular system. It dilates
and constricts the blood vessels to regulate your temperature. If you are hot your
unconscious mind dilates blood vessels and moves more blood to skin so you can
reduce temperature and it does the reverse when you are cold.
Your unconscious mind controls
the repair and maintenance that’s happening in your body all the time. Every
single cell in your body is changed on a regular basis. Skin cells change every
30 days and we have a complete new skeleton every 7 years. You don’t think
about that. It just happens.
Your unconscious also controls your voluntary
muscles. The muscles that we move, like the muscles you used to touch the end
of your nose, are called voluntary muscles because we use them and we move them
voluntarily. But, we don’t think about walking any more do we, we don’t think
about sitting down we just do it because we have programmed ourselves. Not only
does your unconscious control movement it does balance so we can stand still
without falling over because in your legs and lower abdomen there are little
muscles twitching to keep you vertical. It also does the things they you don’t
want it to do like nervous tics and twitches and habits. Perhaps biting your
nails and not even noticing it until they hurt. Your unconscious does an awful
Your unconscious mind also
manages your memory for you. On planet Ian I believe the unconscious mind
remembers everything you have ever seen or ever done, absolutely everything. Most
of it is filed in your memory and most of it is pictures with a few sounds and a
few smells but without any major emotion attached. Like a great big filing hall
and we have little filing people who rush out to compare what we are doing now with
what we have done in the past and that’s how we come up with ideas and
inspiration. Your unconscious mind also marks which bit of memory are the
important bits and these are usually the bits with the massive emotions, so we
mark good bits and bad bits that have big emotions as important.
On planet Ian I feel that these
big emotions can stick in the body. They can make some of our muscles tense or
stop our digestion working properly or make us breathe strangely or any number
of other physical issues.
Let’s take an example shall we,
let’s have a look at a spine. The spine is made up of lumps of bone called
vertebrae. The vertebrae are like building blocks that sit on top of each
other, with a disc or a shock absorber in between. But by themselves they can’t
move, they are a pile of blocks with discs in between. It’s only when you add
the muscles that run up and down the spine from one vertebrae to the next or leap
frogging from 1 to 3 to 5 and so on, its only when you add these muscles that the
spine is able to move. Your unconscious mind is in charge of these voluntary
muscles, the ones that make you move, and it is in charge of balance and unconsciously
controls how tight your muscles are.
I feel that a lot of emotions
can be held in muscles and muscles can be over tight even when you think you
are relaxed. Those muscles, especially if one side is tighter than the other in
your back, can pull the vertebrae to one side and cause the shock absorber or disc
to squeeze out the other side giving a prolapse or slipped disk. All sorts of
problems with the lower back are, I believe, caused by emotional tension.
The back is sort of a
barometer of tension. The shoulders and neck are current tension. The shoulders
and neck down to the bottom of the shoulder blades is ongoing current tension.
Between the bottom of the shoulder blades and the waist are background tension,
maybe your neighbours are noisy or maybe someone is going to build something in
view of your house, nothing major in your life but it is always there. Then the
lower back is where the deep and meaningful stuff is. Relationships, finances,
who we are, where we fit in the world, where we are going, those sorts of
things and this is why I believe so many people have back problems. Interestingly
it appears that more men than women have back problems, perhaps that’s because
women often talk about how they feel whereas men often don’t.
So with dis-ease
in the mind being the pre curser to most issues physical issues in the body the
best way to stay healthy according to planet Ian is to Move lots, Relax well,
Laugh lots, Eat well, Set goals, Love freely and Think happy.
to be continued .....