Whenever we think of ailments or disease we think of the physical aspects and the symptoms that affect us. Not to say that is not an important aspect but it is just part of the story. The other part is how our body speaks to us in many ways and what is manifested physically is often a reflection of what is going at a deeper level. This is a way for our body and our being to bring awareness to what is going on inside. Not only does our body hear everything our mind says but it also talks back. Our body is a reflection of our inner world and it is up to us to pay attention to what it has to say as every affected body part is indicative of a certain thought or emotion we are experiencing.
We tend to view disease as something that happens to us. Something outside ourselves that is somehow attacking us and disturbing the normal functioning of our body. As if we were made up of mechanical parts that have simply started failing. When searching the possible causes of our dis-ease we examine our diet, our lifestyle as well as our environment and age but rarely question ourselves further on how our thoughts, feelings and inner world may also have an incidence. We forget that they are part of ourselves, of the whole, and that no part should be neglected.
Although addressing these physical symptoms through proper medical care is important, it is also a good idea to integrate and embrace a more holistic approach and broaden our perspective to encompass more than just our physical bodies but also to contemplate the role our thoughts, feelings and emotions play in our overall state of being. It is not to say that these are the sole causes of disease, but rather that they play an important role as to where and how disease manifests itself. Taking a metaphysical approach to ailments is not a means of diagnosis but rather a tool to bring our awareness to what our body may be communicating through these physical manifestations of imbalance. Take this as an invitation to explore and observe yourself through a different lens and perhaps, if you shift your perspective, rediscover yourself in a new dimension. Through this process we may also discover that we are capable of transformation and of creating our own reality. Though it is sometimes necessary to seek outside help, it is of equal importance that we look within for an understanding of what we are going through. To begin to understand this, let us explore different parts of the body and what they might be communicating.
Feet: The feet represent our connection with the earth and our ability to move forward towards our goals. They are the root through which we find the stability that allows us to feel safe and secure. It is with the feet that we are able to stand firm and hold our ground. An ailment of the feet may relate to our need for stability and security. It may also indicate a conflict with the direction we have taken. It may also be a sign that we are feeling insecure of where we stand or being fearful of taking a position on a certain. We may also consider speed: Are we moving too fast and our body is asking us to slow down? Or, on the contrary, are we lagging behind and standing in our own way? Are we impeding ourselves to go in the direction that we would like to take? This would be expressed by the body in the form of swelling and perspiration (which represent repressed emotions).
Hands: The hands represent our ability to give (right) and receive (left) as it is with the hands that we exchange. Do we feel like we are giving more than we are receiving? For harmony to exist, there needs to be a balance in our exchanges with others. They also allow us to take action and accomplish things. They contain our fingerprints which are closely linked to our identity. Without the use of our hands, we may feel powerless. They allow us to touch and feel and their sensitivity grants a much more detailed perception than any other part of the body. They represent our contact and intimacy with others and how we handle our relationships. As with the feet, sweaty hands may indicate that we are overwhelmed by emotions. When we experience pain or cramps and are unable to use our hands let us question ourselves: what may be disturbing us about a task we are reluctant to accomplish?
Back: The back supports our physical body. The lower back represents material security, survival and our sense of home. What are we afraid of losing? Do we feel at home where we are? If not, how can we make it more so? Pain in the upper back represents feelings of emotional insecurity and what we expect others to give to us in order to feel loved. How can we take responsibility for our own happiness?
Shoulders: Shoulders represent responsibility. It is on our shoulders that we carry our happiness and our sorrow. When we accept to be responsible for others, we may begin to feel crushed under such a heavy burden. Pain in this area may manifest as a way to let us know that we have taken up too much responsibility and are being too demanding of ourselves. It may also indicate remorse over not doing the things we believe we “should” be doing. Have we taken up a heavier load than we can carry?
Neck: The neck serves as a support for the head and is the bridge that connects the mind and body. The mind holds our inner world, our thoughts and ideas in abstract and intangible form while our body allows us to materialize them. As the connection point between them, the neck is the seat of our un-manifested desires. A blockage in the neck may be calling our attention to a struggle to manifest our ideas in the physical world, to pass from spiritual to material, from thought to action. Is our mind racing with to-do lists, projects and ideas faster than we can accomplish them? A flexible and healthy neck also helps change our point of view by turning our head to gain a better perspective of our surroundings. A stiff neck may indicate an unwillingness or resistance to being open to other ideas or points of view. We may be feeling closed minded and stubbornly stuck in our ways. Where in our life are we being narrow-minded and could use more openness and flexibility? The neck is also the seat of the throat chakra through which we voice our desires and express ourselves to the world. Tension in this area could be telling us that there is discordance between what we feel and what we say. Are we staying true to ourselves in our exchanges with others?
The Complete Dictionary of Ailments and Diseases by Jacques Martel
Your Body is Telling You: Love Yourself by Lise Bourbeau