Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Healing Spiral Part 2: Observations from an herbalist

We were talking in the last blog about how healing happens in a spiral rather than any kind of linear progression, and we left off with the question of what are the true healing influence? What really heals human beings?

Within each of us is the Power to heal ouselves, Whole books have been written on this subject (Andrew Weil, MD, Spontaneous Healing & Lewis Mehl Medrona Coyote Healing are 2 good ones), written from both a Spiritual and Medical perspective. But it seems if we are to truly heal a wound, a chronic illness, a deep emotional hurt, we must be willing to go IN there, and to ask the hard questions. One thing I ask myself, when I get injured or sick is, "Did I need a break?
Was I pushing too hard, doing too much and my body rebelled?" Another question might be, "How is this pain or illness or clinging to the past serving me?" Finding honest answers, and being willing to face those answers without judging oneself harshly can be tricky. Everyone experiences times in life when things just feel too hard to handle, and if we can focus on how sick we feel or how sad we are, we might decide to ignore the very things/people/solutions that might help us feel better. Could it be we are wanting to avoid responsibility for our lives? I know for myself this is a natural response when things feel too hard to handle.

If you find yourself in this state of mind, try to really SEE it and don't criticize yourself for falling into this attitude, but instead just KNOW: This is where I'm at right now. And trust that when you are ready (either you are tired of feeling bad or you've stayed long enough in that space) you will eventually get to asking yourself "How do I WANT to feel?" And you'll notice a little shift happening, pulling you back into the center of the Healing Spiral once again. Chances are you will also begin to attract tools to enhance your own body's ability to heal itself. Someone will recommend a certain herb, you'll decide to visit your acupuncturist, a friend will call and lift your Spirits or you'll suddenly decide to go outside and be in nature.

Did you know that being in nature, noticing a beautiful tree, butterfly or flower can instantly raise feel-good hormones? So can receiving a hug (don't be afraid to ASK for one! It will serve the other person well too!) I believe we humans not only have the power to heal ourselves, but we have a natural urge (call it survival?) to want to feel better. When you are in distress, ask yourself: What tiny shift can I make that will make me feel just a little bit better? Simple things may come to mind: a warm bath, a phone call to a friend, picking a flower, 20 minutes of meditation, reading a poem...Your inner wisdom will answer you, and you will be led by that ever-present healing force.

Next blog: Healing the Emotional Self & Somatic (Body) Memory--It's all in the Belly!
Jill Ruttenberg is a registered AHG herbalist and the owner/wellness director at AmaTierra Retreat & Wellness Center in Turrubares, Costa Rica. To learn more about AmaTierra please visit

1 comment:

  1. Timing is so important in the healing process. Well said, Jill! Herbs next, right?!