BERNIE By Bernie Siegel, MD

Let Your Body Guide You to the Right Choices

I heard were, “The world is spinning around.” I knew my body was telling me to slow down and rest. So it was making it hard for me to get out of bed in the morning. At the present time I am having right ankle problems and there is the reason, I am aware of too, “Having too many responsibilities.”

S If you are willing to rehearse and practice you can become

the person you want to be. All we can do is coach and guide you but you have to show up for practice. We know that your blood chemistry is changed by the role you play. Even actors experi- ence changes in their immune function and cortisol levels when performing in a play. A tragedy can lead to illness while acting in a comedy can help you resist disease. Remember we are talking about healing your life. Healing and curing are separate entities but a healed life resists many illnesses and is more likely to lead to a cured body.

Do not let your beliefs get in the way. Let your experience

be what guides you. I have learned from my body and the work of healers that amazing things can be accomplished which were never taught to me or discussed in medical school. If you live the way we are discussing you become a respant. That is you are no longer a submissive, long suffering patient but a responsible participant. So develop your multiple personalities and let the child within come forth and experience love and humor and feel what it does for your body. My wife Bobbie did stand up comedy at our presentations and what impressed me was how much healthier everyone’s bodies looked after fi fteen minutes of laughter. And she received more thanks when we were done than I did.

So learn from your body and your problem and let the char- coal under pressure become a diamond which frees you from the darkness and disability. I must mention because of how so many of us are brought up that this is not about guilt, shame and blame. This is not what did you do wrong but about what you can do

34 ELM™ Maine - May/June 2018

everal years ago I developed vertigo while training for a mara- thon and doing all the other things I normally do. I asked my- self how I would describe this feeling to others and the words

right by participating in your life and communicating with the wisdom within you. Yes, I have been injured and developed health problems which were not about emotional issues but things like ac- cidents and tick bites. However, by listening to my body I can help myself to heal more rapidly and avoid chronic problems and not need a disease to get my needs met. So stop worrying about doing it right or failing, because of messages from your past, and partici- pate in your life and play as well as you can.

The body is our gift. It demonstrates what our lives are about

just as a TV screen shows you the content of the program being viewed. I work with patient’s dreams and drawings and know that the body can communicate in symbols too. I use them to help make diagnoses so that patients can see their inner wisdom dis- played and help them make therapeutic choices.

The colors used in their drawings also carry meaning and express emotions. Art therapists and Jungian therapists are aware of this, though it is not mentioned in medical school. It is no accident that Solzhenitsyn, in his book Cancer Ward, describes self induced healing as “a rainbow colored butterfl y.” There you have the symbol of transformation and all the emotions associated with it in one symbol. So do not be afraid to step forward and listen to your body. This is not about doing it right or wrong, being good or bad, but about being open to the universal language of the unconscious as spoken through our bodies. Let your body help guide you to the right choices and treatment and ultimately the self healing of your life too.

For many, Dr. Bernard Siegel-or Bernie, as he prefers to be called-needs no introduction. He has touched many lives all over the Planet. In 1978, he reached a national and then international audience when he began talking about patient empowerment and the choice to live fully and die in peace. Read Bernie’s

regular blog posts on his website where you will also fi nd his books, articles, and CDs: He is the Co-Academic Director of the Integrative Health and Healing M.A. Program at The Graduate Institute, Bethany, CT

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