Related to my last post on “cheating the asylum of a victim,” comes this offering: my current views on how we are holistic beings rather than a sum of our parts.

Recently, I went to the dentist. I had some jaw clicking and pain awhile back, and I met with the dentist to talk about that pain and TMJ, etc. She instructed me to do some exercises to help with my jaw issues, and they took some molds to make a “retainer” type thing for me to wear at night. I learned that my jaw and muscles are connected to the muscles in my neck and back. She asked if I’ve gone to a chiropractor (yes).

Skip forward a few days to my appointment with my gynecologist. I went in expecting him to tell me that my pains and pelvic heaviness were related to endometriosis. He didn’t necessarily negate that theory (and put me on medication to help ease the inflammation and hopefully give my body a bit of a break), but on my way out, the nurse handed me two packets of information on myofascial pelvic pain. Apparently the pain I’ve been feeling can be related to bad posture, misalignment of bones, stress, anxiety, etc. Maybe it isn’t just endometriosis (or endometriosis related at all).

Don’t take your body for granted

Having these two appointments within a few days of each other led me to think that not only is my body quite possibly revolting against me, but that my body (and every body) is interconnected. It needs breaks, just like I emotionally, mentally, and socially need breaks sometimes.

Yes, our minds are important. Our spirits are important. But so are our bodies. Not only that, but our bodies are affected when we hurt them physically, of course, but also when we have mental illnesses or mental health struggles. Having obsessive compulsive disorder not only affect, changes, and “abuses” my mind and thought processes, but the anxiety and stress it brings take a toll on my body, even if I don’t consciously realize it.

Interconnectedness

Our body is a machine, and when one part of the machine malfunctions, the problem doesn’t always stay localized. It’s more like a stone being thrown in a pond—the ripples may begin at the source but the effect is far reaching.

The problem, of course, is that it’s easier to just request a pill from our doctor to fix one part of our body that “hurts.” (It’s also easier to request one pill from our doctor to fix our mental illness). But just like OCD is best “healed” and helped through cognitive behavioral therapy and similar methods, our body might need a more intensive approach to find its healing too.

A pill or surgery might bring temporary relief, but reworking my lifestyle, posture, attitude, and reactions so that my body doesn’t have to take so much stress and “trauma” will bring more lasting effects.

Our bodies can’t just keep going indefinitely, especially when we continue to load more and more stress on them and prevent them from resting, stretching, and having their own therapy. Yes, I exercise, but do I give my body time to unwind or just expect it to keep going, day after day, with just some sleep and food?

We are holistic beings. Our parts connect to and affect each other. We can ignore that and find ourselves in doctor’s office after doctor’s office, running around and feeling even more stress as we try to fix problem after problem. That’s where I’ve been lately. But now I want to try and help my body. I want to take care of it better.  I have to, if I want to maintain my sanity and health. We all do.

Have you seen this connection between your mind and body show itself in positive or negative ways? How do you take care of your body and allow it to heal?

One thought on “Holistic Beings”

  1. Beautiful post! It’s funny how as I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more selfish about taking care of myself, only to find it makes me kinder and more empathetic. When I’m taking care of my body, I feel peaceful and like I can take time to stop focusing on myself to be able to help others. On the other hand, when I’m stressed, pushing too hard, and not in tune with my body, it hits me like a full-speed train, making me snappy, upset, childish, to the point where everyone gets fed up with me and I’m almost literally shoved out the door with people yelling “go to the gym!” and the door locked behind me.

    I wish more mental health bloggers or youtubers talked more about the physical care of ourselves more and the importance it has. Thanks!

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