Understanding the Spirituality of Your Health in You & Your Pets
By Mary Lemons, BA, CHTP
printed in Integrative Health & Healing, Spring 2003, Issue # 4
When we are healthy, we take our body for granted. We go along our merry way never giving a second thought to the relationship of our body and spirit. We amuse ourselves with the activities of being human. Then something happens and we experience physical discomfort or disease. Now we no longer take our body for granted. We are very conscious of it and its ability to function properly. We consider physical pain something not needed and certainly something not desired. We may see it as something outside of us attacking our body and in that perspective we err. Our physical pain is a message from our body. It is our body’s way of getting our attention, asking us to honor our body.
In the summer of 2001 I began experiencing pain in my right knee. I did not remember straining my knee or hurting it in any way. But it let me know it was there by aching. I awoke in the mornings aware of discomfort in my knee. It hurt as I walked. I reasoned that it could just a symptom of growing older, but I was unwilling to accept this pain as an inevitable part of aging.
After two months of knee pain, I shifted my perspective. Each morning I thanked my knee for not hurting. Every night I thanked my knee for not hurting. Sometimes I would thank it for not hurting as much as it hurt yesterday. Even if it were hurting, I thanked it for not hurting. Within two weeks, my knee was pain free. Shifting my perspective from a space of pain and lack to a space of health and comfort, I made it easier for my knee to heal.
One of the healthiest things we can do for ourselves is to have a grateful relationship with our body. Within each of us is the innate wisdom of our soul. Every cell in our body contains complete memory of all our experiences. Our body will hold our issues for us until we are ready to work through them. Therefore we should thank our body for helping us understand ourselves more clearly. Each physical discomfort or illness gives us the opportunity to look more closely at our personal journey, to get beneath our physical symptom to our spiritual issue.
Preparing your body for surgery begins the healing process before any medical procedure has begun. Prior to my daughter’s tonsillectomy, I explained to her body what was going to happen and why and then thanked her body for healing quickly and without incident. At her checkup her doctor remarked that she was healing faster than normal. I explained what we had done and he smiled. I didn’t know at the time if he was expanding his awareness or if he thought I was just another crazy mother.
Every night when I shower I thank my body for releasing everything it does not need. As the water falls over my body, I give thanks for my body helping me process my daily experiences. I honor it and give thanks for its being a vehicle for my soul. In my spiritual healing practice many physical symptoms simply disappear when the person or animal works through their spiritual lessons. I recently worked with a horse that injured his left hind leg by tearing his deep digital flexor tendon and suspensor ligament. Prior to this injury he was at the peak of his dressage and jumping career. He loved to perform and was also in the best physical shape ever. He had six weeks of stall rest, physical therapy, and cold hosing. After ten weeks of no improvement, several vets told his owner to give up hope because he had a career-ending injury. At that time, his owner contacted me for spiritual healing for her horse. His owner herself was so sick with the flu that we did part of our session over the phone with her sitting on her bathroom floor. I told her to thank her body for releasing whatever it was ready to release. She knew there was a correlation between her flu onset and her horse’s session with me.
During our session both horse and owner worked through personal issues. Two weeks later I received this email, “I’ve been meaning to follow up with you regarding our talk about Pippen and his healing. Finally, one week after we talked, I started feeling better and recovered from my flu. Since then, I haven’t really had the emotional energy to revisit our discussion. This past week, however, I have ridden Pippen twice. The minute I get on his back, he is so excited! He doesn’t want to just walk. He skips and hops and canters sideways, begging me to just let him gallop. I can tell he is feeling so good. I am taking it slowly though. I don’t want him to overdo it. When I trot him, I can’t see or feel any lameness whatsoever. He feels perfectly sound!” This was the horse her vet had told her to put out to pasture because he would always be lame.
Another example of spiritual healing affecting physical health is my work with a gentleman who had chronic back trouble. He came to me regularly for several months getting temporary relief from the Healing Touch back technique that I used on his back. During one session I held his heart and his sacral area and never touched his back. He asked me how my holding these areas had anything to do with his back. I asked him to trust me and to listen to his own body.
During that hour he processed issues with his former wife, issues he had held in his heart and sacral area for many years, issues that were affecting his lower back. Later that evening his current wife called to say his back felt the best it had felt in years. I worked myself out of a job with him because he no longer needed help with back pain. His working through his emotional, spiritual issues healed his back.
Our physical body is one of our greatest resources for understanding who we are and what we need to learn. Partnering our spirit and our body is one of the healthiest things we can do for ourselves. Living a life of gratitude and attuning to the oneness in all creation reminds us that our physical being is just one part of our existence. To heal means to make sound, to make whole. Our English word cure comes from the Latin word cura that means care of souls. To be truly healthy, one must heal spiritually as well as physically. Understanding our own self-evolvement and working through our spiritual lessons certainly complements traditional medical treatment and expedites our healing on all levels.