To celebrate the launch of my new Healing Plan – now on Amazon at a fabulously-low price – I’m doing a mini-series of blog posts to introduce you to it. The book is chock-full of info I hope will truly help release you from the grip of chronic illness and get you back on the path to better wellness.
Over the next few days, I’ll give you a flavour of what each step entails. I’ve adapted this from the first part of the book. The second part goes into a lot of detail about how exactly you work each step.
Here we go with Step Three…(catch up with the other steps on the blog if you need to):
Overview of Step Three: Relax and Enter A Healing State
Our amygdala—our ‘stress response’ switch, which is the oldest part of our brains—is designed to protect us. Unfortunately, for many of us, this switch gets permanently stuck ‘on’. As we saw earlier, when our bodies are hypervigilant, it can result in our systems being overwhelmed with stress chemicals and signals. Rather than keeping us safe, these constant reactions can lead to problems including high inflammation, chronic illness and adrenal fatigue.
It’s vital that we learn to calm the amygdala down, so that the body can re-learn how to cope, and can develop resilience. Although all the steps in this programme are important for your recovery, this is arguably the most critical one. We will look at techniques that will calm down your conscious and subconscious minds, so you can start creating the ‘healing state’ that is central to your rehabilitation.
I learned the hard way how important this step is; I started on the ‘active’ healing before my system was calm enough to cope with it. It was like trying to train for a marathon with a sprained ankle; while I was doing the right activity for my long-term goal, I was doing it at absolutely the wrong time and making everything worse. When I realised I’d been doing ’active’ healing before my body was ready to cope with it, I switched to ‘passive’ healing: the techniques that we’ll cover in this step.
Someone once asked me: “If your body is rejecting hard to digest foods, how do you think it is going to cope digesting hard emotions?” Our approach to healing should be similar: I had stripped my diet down to the easiest foods to digest—fish, fruit and veg—and my recovery started in earnest when I did the same with my emotions.
This stage is about that: pure relaxation before we get into the active healing stages, and I’ll guide you to find the right relaxing and calming techniques for you and tell you how to use them.
Using these tools will help calm your amygdala and parasympathetic nervous system; you’ll need those to cope with the later stages of the programme. As I say, I did this the wrong way round so please learn from my mistakes!
Practising various forms of relaxation will also improve your body-mindfulness and start to build a new brain neural pathway for healing.
Calming techniques might feel gentle, but do not underestimate their strength; they are a vital part of your healing journey. Using relaxation techniques regularly will calm your system down and make it more receptive to the ‘active’ healing work that’s necessary for your recovery.
Step 4 tomorrow….If you’d like to read more, see the Preview on Amazon here and get the book. If you do buy it, it looks a tad lonely and unloved at the moment, so do please leave me a review. Thank you. Let’s get well!