1.1 "In Sickness and in Health ... "
It was three o'clock in the morning. My wife was not beside me in bed.
From the bathroom came a series of gags, groans and wretching noises. Finally the lavatory was turned on and water was splashed about.
My wife slipped back into bed. "Blah," she moaned, "I didn't know getting healthy made you so sick."
That was several years ago when my wife had changed over from the typical American diet of high-fat and fried foods to a diet centered around fresh fruits and vegetables.
The fatty foods in her old diet had caused her gallbladder to become clogged with noxious bile. Now that she had improved her diet, her body had a chance to clean out the old deposits of bile and pre-gallstone materials.
The old bile salts had been released into her digestive system in an attempt to eliminate them once and forever. The inconvenient time of three A.M. was when her body chose to clean the toxins out by vomiting.
Afterwards, however, she felt very good. Since this time, she has no longer suffered from gallbladder attacks and her digestion of wholesome fats has greatly improved.
At the time of her induced sickness, however, she was confused. Why would she suddenly become violently ill when all she had done was to improve her diet and take better care of herself? This is one of the mysteries of health improvement that needs to be explained fully so that you know what to expect when the body finally gets an opportunity to heal itself.
1.2 The Obstacle To Good Health
Most people do not mind making sacrifices if they feel they will be rewarded eventually for those sacrifices.
People seeking health decide to sacrifice their old comfortable diet patterns and habits from a desire to be rewarded by good health.
Imagine their surprise when they discover that after improving their diet, they sometimes feel much worse (for a temporary period). They feel betrayed and disappointed. "Why do I feel so terrible when I'm trying to do all the right things?" is a common complaint.
Why should the recovery of health and the improvement of the diet cause unpleasant symptoms? Why shouldn't we be rewarded with immediate good health and radiant well-being as soon as we change our "evil ways?"
Unfortunately, good health is not immediate—but then again, neither did poor health occur immediately.
Think about this. Didn't you feel healthy and free from pain as a young child? Have you noticed how small children have an endless supply of energy and are oblivious to physical discomforts, such as cold, that would make an adult suffer? Now look at some of our older citizens. Some of them are so crippled with arthritis they can hardly move. Every day is the discovery of some new pain or some developing crisis in the body.
Poor health and illness is progressive; it does not occur overnight. Good health and well-being is also progressive; It may take weeks, months, or years.
To understand this a little more, let's look at how the body does its work in cycles.
1.3 The Cycles of the Body
Like all aspects of nature, the body has its own individual cycles. There are biological rhythms within the body that dictate periods of tissue repair, tissue growth, waste elimination, and so forth.
We cannot rush the body through its cycles, nor can we expect it to progress in a linear fashion as if racing to a specific goal. Healing occurs in cycles. Some days the body has a high-energy level and it rebuilds damaged tissues. On such days we may feel great. On other days, the body must do its housecleaning and remove accumulated toxins. When this happens, we may experience low levels of energy or even depression.
Most people lead a lifestyle and follow a diet that inhibit the body in its cyclical work. For instance, when the body is trying to clean house via a cold, people become impatient. They try to suppress the cleansing cycles with drugs or food and the body must sometimes abandon its efforts.
The body behaves in a sort of up and down motion as it conducts its healing processes. One day it may cleanse heavily and we feel rotten. The next day, the toxins have been removed and we feel great. We feel so great, in fact, that the body decides to dig a little deeper and remove some of the older toxins, and then we feel worse. This is a continuing cycle in the process of healing, but do not despair: Once a certain level of health has been reached, we do not notice the cycles as much and they cause progressively less discomfort.
Why does the body go through these cycles? How does it know what to do next to promote our healthful recovery? And, still, why do we have to feel bad as we get well?
1.4 The Body As A Healing System
Your body wants to survive forever; it wants to be free from all pain and illness; it actively desires complete healing to take place within it at all times. Your body is your friend and partner in your effort to regain health.
The body has the innate capacity, knowledge and wisdom to heal itself at any time—if it is allowed to do so.
The body possesses its own healing ability and the wisdom to direct this ability. The only thing we must do is to let the body conduct its work with as little interference as possible. We can furnish it with the highest-quality food when it needs it or withhold food when it does not desire it. We can exercise and rest the body, and give it fresh air and sunshine.
Other than that, all we can do is wait intelligently and not become alarmed by the symptoms of its healing or try to suppress those symptoms.
The body will not try to kill itself, nor will it allow healing to progress in such a manner as to cause us serious discomfort. but the body is wise enough to want to accelerate the healing process as rapidly as possible. This may involve major cleansing efforts when literally pounds of old stored toxins are dumped into the system to be eliminated.
If you have faith and trust in your body's ability to heal itself, the unpleasant symptoms which may accompany this healing become more bearable and are not a source of fear or misgiving.
Ultimately, we must let our body perform its health-restoring work at its own pace. We must believe that the body alone is capable of performing all the needed healing functions.
The human body has perfected itself over millions of years and through thousands of generations.
It is the perfect healing system. The cellular intelligence that drives the body is infinite in its capacity. We need not have any fears about its wisdom or ability to restore itself to the highest-possible level of health and well-being.
1.5 Body Awareness
A two hundred and seventy-five pound woman was admitted to the hospital after she complained about "indigestion" pains.
Two hours later, she gave birth to a child. She had no idea that she had been pregnant.
An elderly man complained of a continual dull headache for weeks. He went to a doctor who asked him about his habits, activities, and so on.
Upon repeated questioning, it was determined that the man had not experienced a bowel movement in weeks. He was not even aware that he was constipated and that this might be the source of the headache.
We might find such stories amazing, but to a certain extent they are true for everyone. Most people today have such a low level of body awareness that they do not realize they are suffering from poor health until a severe blow lays them low.
Unless illnesses and disease propagate to a dramatic climax, many people are unaware that anything is even wrong with the body. Modern man has become desensitized and removed from his own body.
A lack of body awareness accompanies a sickened condition. In fact, it is this absence of consciousness that permits the body to degenerate. If a person is attuned to his body's needs, he becomes aware when something is going wrong and he can fast, change his diet, etc.
Increasing good health also increases our awareness of the body. As the major pains and aches disappear, we become more sensitive to all the body's needs. The minor irritations that were not noticed previously may now enter our awareness.
For example, suppose you had a slight headache or an ingrown toenail. At the same time, you were suffering from a violently bleeding ulcer that caused you to vomit every two or three hours.
Do you think you'll notice that headache or sore toe? No, you'll be too busy worrying about the ulcer to pay any attention to the other minor pains.
After the ulcer is gone, however, you might suddenly realize, "My head hurts, and, boy, does my toe feel bad!"
This is exactly what happens when the body goes through its healing process. As you gain health, you become more aware of the minor pains that may have plagued you for years.
In fact, these little aches may have been around so long that you've grown used to them. After the diet is changed and the body improves, these aches may enter your awareness again.
It's not that your increasing health has given you any new pains, but that the new body awareness that accompagnies an improvement, in condition allows you to notice these old problems.
The new sensitivity is a blessing. Now your body can tell you what it needs, what to avoid, and what habits to discontinue. If you have stopped eating meat, for instance, your body will become more sensitive to the harmful effects of such food. If you were to eat that same food again, you might become sick. This is the body's way of saying, "That stuff's no good for me, and I'm strong enough now to let you know."
Body awareness is one of the first gifts of health. This new feeling should not be mistaken for morbid sensitivity. It is your guardian angel that will guide you past the pitfalls of poor foods, unhealthy practices, and other life destroying habits.
Home > Lesson 21 - Symptoms During Dietary Transition
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