When you think about your body what comes to mind? For most people it’s the outer form of their body, and more noticeably their perceived faults of it. Common thoughts that come to mind are usually along the lines of “I’m too fat,” “my nose is too big” or “my skin is so spotty” and these thoughts are for the most part accompanied by feelings of dissatisfaction, guilt, inadequacy and sadness. What most people don’t realise is that each of these thoughts and feelings sends a message to the cells in their body, ultimately affecting the whole immune system. If only we realised our own power!
Our body is so much more than the outer form we are so used to seeing in the mirror each day. It is a miracle of nature, and our DNA and cells are much more intelligent and responsive to thoughts and emotions than was once thought. Let’s just think for a moment about what we are carrying around inside of ourselves. Inside our head lives a brain containing 100 billion neurons, allowing us to experience approximately 70,000 thoughts per day. Ironically these thoughts don’t usually include the magnificence of the brain itself. Everywhere we go, we carry our heart, just the size of a fist, but which in under a minute pumps blood to every cell in the body. It beats about 100,000 times a day, shuttling 2,000 gallons of oxygen-rich blood many times through about 60,000 miles of branching blood vessels that link together the cells of our organs and body parts as we go about our everyday lives, obliviously unaware of the amount of work happening inside of us every nanosecond. Then there are our lungs, inhaling over two million litres of air every day, transporting oxygen to our bloodstream and removing carbon dioxide. Every single cell and organ in our body is part of a perfectly functioning machine. We may take holidays and rest but our organs never do. They are continuously working from the moment we are born to the moment we die. Sadly, the majority of us remain focused on the outer form we see, giving all our attention to aspects that displease us, without even a word of thanks or appreciation for the hardworking inner systems that keep us alive. It’s time to change. It’s time to become conscious of our thoughts and feelings and once again make contact with our beautiful insides.
Communicating with our organs and inner body may sound strange at first, but scientists have discovered that our immune system is literally able to think and responds to our thoughts, feelings, emotions and wishes. Dr Candice Pert, the internationally known neuroscientist who discovered endorphins and neuropeptides, discovered that just as there are receptors in our brain cells, so too do they exist in every cell in our body. We can use this knowledge to increase our vitality, improve our health and even heal sickness. Have you ever noticed that the people who constantly talk about their health problems are always sick? Or that positive, happy people rarely get ill? That isn’t just by chance. The cells in the body translate thoughts and feelings into biological processes. Bluntly put, if you tell your body that it is sick, it will get sick.
So what is the best way to communicate effectively with your body? It may help to think of your organs as little children inside of you. Just as little children need love and attention, so do our organs. If they don’t get the love and attention they need, they start to play up, which translates to us as pain and discomfort. There a few simple exercises that you can do every day or whenever you have a few spare minutes, even if you are just sitting on the bus.
Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Relax your body and focus inwards. Feel in your body where there is tension. Let’s say for example that you have a tense neck. Your neck is asking for some attention and appreciation. The habitual reaction to a tense neck would probably be to complain and think ‘how annoying, stupid neck,’ or something along those lines. However, this technique requires the reverse. Focus on the area of discomfort and say in your mind (or out loud) I love you. Then tell your neck what you appreciate about it, for example ‘thank you for holding up my head every day.’ Just as children respond well to encouragement and praise, so too do your cells and organs. Tell your neck that it’s doing a great job. Repeat over and over ‘I love you,’ speaking slowly and deliberately, and as the area receives the love and attention it craves you will notice the pain and tension lessening.
Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Smile. Think of something that makes you feel happy. Then move through the body, focusing on each organ and transmitting this feeling of happiness while thanking the organ. Smile (yes really smile, not just in your head!) at your heart. Put your hand over it. Thank it for carrying blood around your body. Smile at your lungs. Put your hands on them. Thank them for carrying oxygen around your body. Smile at your liver. Put your hand over it. Thank it for processing digested food. Smile at your kidneys, put your hands over them, and thank them for processing waste. Smile at your bladder. Put your hand over it. Thank it for storing your urine. Continue in this way until you have thanked all your organs. Note: it may help to have a diagram of the body close by, with the labelled organ positions and their functions. This exercise can last as long or as short as you wish, depending on the time you have available. To shorten the exercise, work on less of your organs. You may thank 5 organs one day and a different 5 the next day and continue to work through the body like that, or may wish to thank every organ in 1 session.
REMEMBER: Next time you catch yourself criticizing your body, replace the negative thought with a positive affirmation or feeling of gratitude. It may be as simple as looking in the mirror and saying ‘I love you.’