You have the ability to heal yourself more often than not. Work with your body, your energy, not against it. Begin with getting to know your body. Tune in to your inner self. Tap into your intuitive wisdom. Listen, feel, understand. Yes, it is that simple. The “believing in oneself” side of it can by the tricky part.
Begin by thinking you can. And then practicing. Giving yourself a chance. Try. When in doubt, read some good books, find some good resources on the web, or get a good mentor, or turn to a friend who’s really there for you, not just to promote themselves and their practices. Your confidence – and your wisdom and abilities – will grow with time and experience.
Yes, you can be your own healer. In most situations, yes, you can heal yourself; you can heal your little ones.
Get used to this now, during your pregnancy. It will take you through motherhood, strong and wise and healthy. Remember, you are and will continue to be caring for this baby, who will open a whole new ocean of possibilities for healing needs. The same principles will work then as work now. Look within yourself first, and then within the energy of the little one and find the answers to begin with. Grow from there. Don’t hesitate to reach out, both to learn or to confirm or to move beyond your knowledge, or if you are uncomfortable or doubting in any way. Turning to others is not a sign of weakness, but of strength to be willing to expand and grow. Besides, your wellbeing and the wellbeing of your little ones matter more than anything.
You don’t need fancy doctors or specialist or machines or medicines for the vast majority of healing work. It’s all within you. A few tools may help you: some holistic reference books to confirm your diagnosis and give you suggestions, maybe a small box of homeopathic remedies, some herbal tinctures and dried herbs, and an greater understanding life force and an awareness of energy healing, and a good dose of faith, and you will be able to do the vast majority of work yourself.
Mostly, I want you to just start seeing the power and wisdom within you. Reach out carefully and selectively, and DO reach out. Leaning is okay, you know. None of us are or should be alone. Reaching out is some of the best parts of life. It creates connection. It nourishes both the person reaching out for help, and those who are honored to help in whatever way they can. Never feel reaching out is wrong. This is how we open doors to higher wisdom. Besides, how do we know what’s beyond a door unless we open it and look?
A big challenge in today’s “culture of fear” is to be aware of its presence and power, and to actively work to replace that quick reaction of fear with the deep wisdom within you. Work with the pessimist, nay-sayers and negative vibes by thanking them with sincere gratitude, and turning away. Fear can be your reminder to stop, be still, step back, and listen. Breathe. Turn your heart from reacting, to acting. Then you’ll find the answers.
Let’s take a look back over the Wise Woman tradition, as taught to all peoples by master herbalist and healer Susun Weed. This is the teaching with which I follow for healing myself, my family, and the women I am honored to support.
It begins with this: First, do no harm. Take a minute and really think about this. It’s a big consideration in today’s mega medicine market of recommending a pill to pop for every ailment, and then dealing with the long list of counterproductive and harmful side effects – or the instant prescription of antibiotics for every minor concern, to the point that our bodies not longer have our own resistance, and the viruses have grown beyond – or surgery, slice it open and take it out, at the slightest suggestion.
Modern medicine is wonderful in its place. But do we keep it in its place, or are we too quick to turn to it for all the answers? Maybe the answers can be found somewhere else sometimes. Let’s start there.
Following is the progression of the Wise Woman healing. Start from the beginning. Move on if need be, as need be. I am always inspired by and amazed at how many illnesses, concerns and complaints are treated beautiful and successfully, well before having to get into the western medicine realms.
- Do nothing. That is when we simply move inside and trust. Allow it to be or move through on its own. “Do nothing” means just that. More often than not, our body heals itself in time. Give it time. Just let it be. Stop messing with it and worrying. And along the lines of “do nothing” can also be the “nothingness” of getting a good night sleep, taking the day off, getting some rest.
- Collect information. This is observation. Simply seeing. Without fear, anxieties, pressures, judgments. What is your body (or the situation) telling you? This is looking within and hearing your inner wisdom. This is looking outside and making connections, reaching out, asking others. Gathering… Use your intuition here. Trust. Understand. Know that you can know. This is a hard one to understand in our culture where we’re taught to turn to “an authority” (the doctor, the lawyer, the minister) rather than believe we know ourselves better than anyone knows us.
- Engage the energy. Energy may be the elements – sunshine, fresh air, warmth, cool, calm or wind. Being in the dirt and with the earth, or lying back and feeling the air and sky, or using the water, the river, a rainshower. Energy may be movement, exercise, walking, dancing, singing. Energy may be homeopathy. Energy may be aromatherapy, candles, chakra meditations. Energy may be doing something like having sex or cooking with love or gardening. These are some examples. You know many more.
- Nourish and tonify. Feed yourself. Yes, food. Water. Electrolytes. Nourishing herbs, plants, roots, holistic remedies. Local healing, internalized. What does your body need? Sleep, exercise, water, sunshine? Maybe a hike in the woods, a romantic dinner with your sweetie or a shopping spree with your sister? Think about this too: what will nourish your soul? Think poetry, meditation, prayer, whatever works for you.
- Stimulate and sedate. This is when you turn the volume up and allow the power of stronger healing. Powerful herbs. Acupuncture or acupressure. Go to the chiropractor or naturopath. Consider Ayurvedic medicine. Traditional Chinese Medicine, faith healing, and/or strong energy medicine. Expand your horizons and consider alternative remedies and treatments that work with your body, not just take it over.
- Use drugs. If you’re still there working with it and made it this far, now may be the time to turn to biomedicine. Good old western medicine. Antibiotics, pills, potions, prescriptions… They have their place. But not as a first resort, in most cases (of course there are exceptions and emergencies – use your common sense here, folks). For most matters, biomedicine is here at number five. Try the others first. This stuff doesn’t work with your body. It does its own thing. Powerful and potent and often with great results and grave side effects. Great when you really need, but try the other stuff first is most situations – then let this do its work when and if need be.
- Finally there is Surgery. Well, yeah, slice and dice, and sometimes surgery is the answer, but obviously this is the last resort.
One more thing I like to add to the Wise Woman Tradition:
When in doubt, remember love. Love yourself. Love your body and the healing opportunities it presents to you. Love the chance to work with this illness or sickness or situation and the lessons it carries for you. Love your little one. Love the test and challenges for growth he or she is bringing you. Love the answers you will find. Within yourself. With help of loving family and friends. Love….
If you don’t yet have Susun Weed’s Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year, it is well worth obtaining for your reference library, and useful far beyond the birthing year.
I believe in the power of women, their bodies, the natural, normal physiological state of pregnancy and birth. I see birth as a primarily healthy, natural and intuitive process in which we have too often simply given up our control and passed the responsibility on to the medical profession. I encourage you to pass on only what feels right to you. Practice being the true knowing mother of your body and your baby, wise enough to know what you need in most situations, wise enough to seek help and wisdom when you feel you need it, too.
Inspired by the sky and the little lion.