Anyone who has ever had children, knows children, or has been a child has probably experienced how quickly a stomach bug or a virus can spread around a class (and then onto the adults around them). Obviously it takes time for young children to build their immune system and school is the perfect place to fast track this process given the close environment that the children are in (along with some questionable hygiene practices if my kids are anything to go by). However as adults, we would expect our immune system to be fully functional (unless there is an underlying medical condition) and still some people seem to catch everything going, whilst others manage to avoid the bugs and colds. Why is that? And why am I as a NLP4Kids Practitioner and Hypnotherapist talking about how to boost your resilience to illness?
Well a few years ago, I did a course in Hypnosis for Fertility and I began to explore the factors contributing to fertility issues or infertility (including secondary infertility). The more I began to research, the more I realized that fertility issues (including unexplained infertility) were often a symptom of sub-optimal general health caused by a variety of factors. I began to realise that you couldn’t work in isolation to improve any one aspect of good health and to reasonably expect to consistently get good results. It was important to understand the strong relationship between all contributory factors and address them all to get better results. Generally when you can identify and remove the main physical, emotional, mental and energetic stressors on the body, address any nutritional deficiencies that have developed due to diet and lifestyle and then introduce positive practices in these fields, then the body is usually able to get itself back into balance thereby optimising general health.
So the good news is that there is plenty that can be done to boost resilience to illness and help create optimal health (and thereby optimal fertility too). The bad news is that there are so many factors to consider that generally means a general education process in each of these fields, as well as significant diet and lifestyle changes. The question now is “Are you willing to do whatever it takes to achieve optimal health and boost your resilience to illness?”
I probably don’t need to tell you a safe and varied diet and plenty of water is most definitely the foundation of good health. However, you may not know why or understand that you ought to be choosing organic non GMO foods and filtered or bottled water. I encourage you with this as with all things, not to just take my word for it but to do your own research as to why.
Avoiding highly processed food and refined sugar can be highly be beneficial too, as well as gluten and dairy in some cases. Fasting can also be beneficial to the immune system and if you or your child does not feel like eating, especially if they are unwell then trust that they are listening to their bodies and doing what will help them heal fastest. As long as they get plenty of fluids, they will be fine for a short period of time.
I’m sure you also know that adequate sleep is vital to good physical and mental health and I’m sure you’ve probably already felt the negative effects of the lack of sleep. This is obviously also true for regular, moderate exercise. The physiological evidence for lack of exercise can also be self-evident and yet even for those that aren’t overweight, their bodies still need that movement and exercise for the lymphatic system to be effective so it’s not just about maintaining a healthy weight. Exercise can also be as significant stress relief too. I say moderate because too much or over-strenuous exercise isn’t good for you either.
We are generally so busy with what we must do and what is going on outside of ourselves these days that it is easy to not pay attention to our thoughts, our bodies and the negative effect that they can have on each other. Information about our innate wellbeing is always accessible to us if we choose to look for it. Our bodies are always communicating to us through our feelings which generally under normal circumstances are reliable indicators whether we are on the right track with something or not too.
You may already be using some of the techniques to actively protect your mental health such as breathing techniques, yoga, meditation/mindfulness and positive visualization – all of which can help ensure that everyday stress and anxiety does not negatively affect your health and quality of life. You can also use positive visualization exercises to help boost your health and wellbeing, as well as identifying and actively focusing on positive thoughts and the effect that they have on your body too.
Obviously it is both possible and useful to adjust any negative thought processes, beliefs and habits that aren’t serving you through various therapies such as NLP or Hypnotherapy. In fact, research shows that the strength of the connection between the mind and body means that your thoughts can literally have both immediate and lasting physiological effects (so it is very important to make sure that they are not bad for you). Look up epigenetics.
Information between the mind and body also flows both ways too for example, you can use physiological stances to bring about a change in your state of mind. It is crazy that we are naturally better at reading other people’s body language than we are pro-actively using it to help ourselves create a different more positive outcome. When you stand in a confident pose, it can help you to feel more confident. Or if you are feeling anxious and you rub down your arms from your shoulders to your elbows, or rub the palms of your hands together – it makes you feel better instantly.
Medicines such as antibiotics are necessary from time to time when a more serious medical condition occurs but with antibiotics, they seem to be over prescribed and unless combined or followed with a good course of pre- and probiotics, they also wipe out all the good bacteria as well as the bad which helps us to efficiently process and absorb our food. They are also widely used as preventative medicine in intensive farming within the meat industry, which means if you are not a vegetarian and not eating organic grass fed, you are also regularly being exposed to antibiotics through your food as well which is contributing to the worrying trend of antibiotic resistance.
Sometimes indicators of sub-optimal health are overt such as eczema or asthma, hormonal imbalances and yet they are treated as a condition rather than a symptom. These symptoms can be indicative of other underlying health issues such as food sensitivities, gut health issues or other toxins in the body that could be removed through natural methods to give the body the chance to self-correct.
We can also experience less obvious physical metaphors which I discovered with my Neshealth energy system such as a foot injury or pain, representing our reluctance to move forward with something – or throat problems, being linked to a reluctance to speak our truth, or knee pain caused by feeling unsupported. All of which make perfect sense when you think about it. If we were consciously aware of these needs and paid them more attention, perhaps our bodies wouldn’t create such painful messages for us to hear.
It is easy to neglect our own needs, even if it is done with the best of intentions for others. However, in not identifying and prioritizing our own needs, what message are we sending ourselves? Take some time to identify your needs and then schedule it alongside everything else, with equal importance. Also, do more of what you love. Find reasons to laugh. A lot. Lots of research out there demonstrates the positive impact of laughing on your immune system. Find a comedy movie, a good book, laugh with friends or even at yourself – especially at yourself if you are taking it all too seriously. Stop what you are doing and experience life through your immediate senses for a moment. See what you see, hear what you hear, feel what you feel, smell, taste even sense. Notice where your thoughts are leading your feelings and if you don’t like it, think some different ones instead and see how much better that makes you feel.
There are a myriad of environmental factors both personal, technological and truly environmental that can be contributing factors to ill-health, many of which are hidden and beyond our control. For example, our skin is the largest organ of the body and yet do we really pay attention to what we are putting on it and absorbing directly? Soaps, shower gels, shampoos, conditioners, toothpaste, moisturisers, deodorants, beauty products, sun creams…every one of these products deserves closer inspection as to how safe they really are and what natural alternatives can be found.
We probably nearly all spend too much time indoors as well, keeping our bodies unnaturally still and not spending enough time outside in nature moving our bodies as we have evolved to do. Have you noticed how much better you feel when you are at the coast, or in the woods? There’s a good reason for that.
Our technological advances have meant convenient mobile phone access in most areas, free WiFi, mobile computing and tablets as well as food being able to be heated up in the microwave in a matter of a couple of minutes but how do we know what immediate and long term impact these Electromagnetic Frequencies have on ours and more importantly our children’s developing bodies? I know how convenient they are and I wouldn’t expect anyone to give them up but I would urge you to look up how to mitigate the potential negative effects.
Another factor to consider which is perhaps less well known, although of equal importance of the energetic flow and health of our bodies too. Although it is less known in the West, Chinese medicine has long understood the importance energetic meridians and points in good health. More and more therapists have started to incorporate energy therapies such as EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques or tapping as it is better known), as well as more traditional ones such as Acupuncture, with more hi-tech computer based solutions such as the one I use from companies like NesHealth. These techniques work with the energy flow in the body through different means but they all help to release energetic trauma that can be stuck in the body meaning that good energy flow through the meridians and optimal health and balance can resume.
Our bodies are amazing but they can only deal with so much for so long before they are overwhelmed with the myriad of factors that contribute towards ill health so we need to
take responsibility for our own health and do our best to;
• Eat well
• Drink plenty of water
• Get plenty of rest
• Exercise in moderation
• Positive visualisations
• Avoid unnecessary exposure to chemicals
• Turn off the technology
• Spend time in nature
• Learn some simple energy techniques such as EFT to encourage free energy flow
• Find some balance
• Ask for help from a professional if necessary
If we have done everything we can to mitigate the health factors that are inside our control, our bodies will be better able to cope with the ones that are not. How quickly and how many changes you make in your life towards your goal of good health, will very much depend on a number of factors including (but not limited to) how you think, where you focus your time and attention, what you value as important to you and whether you are motivated towards the solution or away from a problem. If you struggle to believe you can make all the necessary changes, try changing your perspective by putting yourself in the shoes of someone who loves and believes in you and see things through their eyes? What additional wisdom do they have that would benefit you to achieve your goal? Limiting beliefs are a nuisance but they have been learned and as such, they can be changed (even if you need some help to do that).
The bottom line is, if you want to boost your resilience to illness, you can but if you want to be really healthy in an age where you are bombarded with toxins and stressors, you are going to need to make some changes. Reconnect to your body and your own inner knowing. Pay attention to the metaphors of your body and what it is trying to tell you. Be mindful of your thoughts and where they are leading your feelings….or how you are holding your body and what that is communicating to your mind. Your feelings are information and they can tell you if you are on the right track or not. If you have a bad feeling about something, it’s an opportunity to make a different choice which can serve you better. Look up how to use EFT and then actually use it.
If you would like to try a free positive visualization to help boost your resilience to illness, please go to www.changeworkz.co.uk/downloads/
If you or your child are still struggling, and you would like some help to make any of these changes, then please get in touch.
By Louise Joslin