What if symptoms were actually part of the solution?

Could symptoms be part of the solution?

by Megan Otto

‘From the moment we are born the body has an intelligence system designed to look after us’

‘Hey you up there!  See that rash, growth, sneeze? It’s a message from your body. Are you listening?!’ Kim Knight, health and personal development coach explains symptoms are intelligent communication from the body to the head. “We are brought up in our society to think the head is king but actually the gut activates before the brain.”

Kim has tried over 150 different therapies and trained in Mickel Therapy, Energy Psychology, Qi Gong, Taoist Meditation and Emotional Intelligence to a professional level. She believes from the moment we are born the body has an intelligence system designed to look after us. It will scan 24 hours a day for information about happiness, healthiness and safety.  Being happy and healthy is the norm although that is oft forgotten. “Look at what happens when people come back from wars with post traumatic stress disorder. They can’t function,” says Kim.

“This body intelligence system knows what is going on in a person’s life and forms opinions about it. Then it sends communication asking us to do something. It will begin with Plan A – body sensations,” explains Kim. “These are simple and subtle. There are two body sensations which we are well trained in and we do notice. One is hunger. It is not a pain but is definitely a sensation telling us to eat something. The other is needing the toilet. We know what that feels like. We take appropriate action and the sensation stops.”

“I am putting power back in people’s hands. Given the right advice the body can be a self healing mechanism.”

However if Plan A is unsuccessful the directive is stepped up to Plan B – emotions. Negative emotions like, “I’m feeling frustrated/worried/afraid/anxious/sad/angry” are actually a healthy form of communication from the body to the head. Unfortunately this is the level we unconsciously train ourselves to ignore.  Then because the body is programmed to do its job come hell or high water it says, “Well okay you didn’t hear me so I am going to send you something louder which will get your attention. Plan C – symptoms.”

Symptoms like insomnia, food intolerances, eczema, asthma or skin irritations are often seen as minor but Kim believes they are a body’s cry for attention. Nonetheless initially the symptoms are often at a level where they are not inhibiting a person’s life so they can be masked with medication. “We haven’t yet asked ourselves, “Ok my body isn’t very happy about something.  What is going on here?” But over time the body can only function with so many symptoms before the state of dis-ease turns into disease.” And what most people do not realize is that the flight or fight response induces the physiology of the body to change.  Heart rate, breathing and nervous system ramp up, steroid hormone cortisol and adrenalin are released, digestion stops – the whole body is affected. This is when people start to get chronic conditions. “There have been many things happening before people get really sick,” observes Kim. “However our healthcare system is generally only really designed to deal with people once they get to that point.”

“Over time the body can only function with so many symptoms before the state of dis-ease turns into disease”.

An absence of awareness about our bodies is evidenced by hospitals with waiting lists.  This lack of responsibility for ourselves is what led to Kim’s health coaching practice. “I am putting power back in people’s hands. Given the right advice the body can be a self healing mechanism.”

One of the most common complaints is stress. Kim point outs that most people think this is caused by something external but she says it is always an internal reaction to a real or internalised event. Either way she trains clients to analyse underlying issues.

“What I have found is that people with chronic health conditions have not been looking after themselves or attending to their emotional needs”

Childhood emotions not being validated are a reoccurring pattern. Clients might have been told “Don’t be silly, don’t cry!” Consequently they stopped allowing themselves to feel.  Their modes operandi became fear because being authentic risks judgment or criticism. “To the emotional body that is the equivalent of dying,” says Kim.  Honesty is one of the prerequisites for health.

Another principle is no division between the physical, mental and spiritual layers of a person. She recalls the frustration of listening to a rheumatologist at a fibromyalgia seminar. He said, “We still don’t know what creates fibromyalia and we’re looking for a gene to isolate it.” And I’m like no, no, no we do know. Look at what happens in a person’s life and how it affects them!”

The U.K. Public Health Association published a major review by Sir Michael Marmot called “Fair Society, Healthy Lives” in 2010 and revisited it in 2011. Their research revealed “…health inequalities do not arise by chance and they cannot be attributed simply to genetic make up, ‘bad’ or unhealthy behaviour or difficulties in access to medical care as important as those factors may be…difference in health status is reflected and are caused by social and economic inequalities in society.”

The report goes on to say doing nothing to improve the wellbeing of the nation was not an option because the human cost would be enormous.

“…health inequalities do not arise by chance and they cannot be attributed simply to genetic make up” 

Kim bases her argument for better health on quantum physics, the science of energy. Go down to a million times magnification of a cell (by that stage it would be at a sub ‘quantum’ atomic level) and bizarrely enough all you would see is mainly space. “So when an emotion arises in the body and it is not resolved or discharged then it stays in the body. It is a vibration that gets trapped in the cell and over time it is repeated and augmented.  You can imagine how that has an effect at a cellular level. The energy starts to distort the vibration of the cell which manifest as a dysfunction. It is the law of physics – cause and effect.”

Even language illustrates the interconnectedness of energy with the body. According to the Chinese healing art of Qi Gong anger is stored in the liver – hence the saying, “I was livid with anger.” Just as common, “My heart sunk”, “My heart was filled with joy” or “I was sick with worry” (stored in the stomach and spleen).

‘It is never too late. Kim says people can turn themselves around’.

“What I have found is that people with chronic health conditions have not been looking after themselves or attending to their emotional needs,” maintains Kim. “They might have been unable to articulate their feelings or had others walk all over them. So they have a whole stack of trapped emotions inside their body. Which are now manifesting as symptoms.”

It is never too late. Kim says people can turn themselves around. “I had a girl on the phone absolutely exhausted with chronic fatigue syndrome. Her doctor had told her there is nothing we can do for you.  Unfortunately while modern medicine is fantastic in some areas some doctors only understand how to eradicate symptoms through medication or surgery. They know how to cut out a piece of cancer but not what the caused it. Obviously surgery is really good if someone has had a stroke, heart attack, something acute. But in this case it was chronic fatigue. I put together a jig-saw puzzle of the girl’s history and discovered she’d suffered traumas that she’d never told anyone about.”

Kim’s empathy comes from a break down she herself suffered 25 years ago. During the course of recovery she read a book which put forward the idea that all of reality is available to us at any given time. But we can only deal with so much at a certain time. And each person’s ‘reality cup’ will be different sized. Sometimes it gets over-full.

Kim knows there are some doctors who will take into account a whole person. For example The Australian Integrated Medical Association’s philosophy is medical care through integrating proven complementary medicine into mainstream practice. Kim is resolute, “I think we are in the middle or at least at the start of change.”

Kim Knight is a health and personal development coach based in Auckland, New Zealand, and working worldwide by phone with clients.

www.artofhealth.co.nz

Megan Otto is a freelance writer also based in New Zealand. www.megan-otto.suite101.com

END

Are doctors in the dark ages?

On whether we need a fresh perspective to understand… and resolve….chronic pain and illness

So the question is: Are doctors in the dark ages? Well, no…. and yes.

I have a huge admiration for what modern medical science can do when it comes to, for example, extra-ordinary surgical techniques. Just this week a man left hospital with the world’s first artificial heart. And the stories of what can be done with brain surgery and prosthetic limbs are astounding. And too many other things to mention here, most of which I don’t even know about. However, this is not what this article is about.

My focus for the last twenty years has been on how to recover from illness without medication or supplements, and in particular long-term chronic illnesses such as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel, arthritis, lupus etc. The common factor in these illnesses according to the medical community is that they have yet to discover the cause. According to a medical presentation I recently attended, scientists are still looking to isolate a gene for fibromyalgia. In other words, they are still trying to pin the cause of the condition on some initial physical fault in the body. I felt like screaming with frustration as I sat in the audience and watched the doctor delivering his presentation, telling people that they are still working on looking for solutions but it may take another 25 years before they find any. Aaagh. The answers are already here! So why is it they are not obvious for everyone to see?

Because it comes down to awareness and our level of consciousness. (And by the way, this is where I have a lot to learn about being patient. It’s very easy for me to see things in a very different light now, but I have to remind myself it did take me 20 years of searching to get here. And I also know that I do not know everything by a long shot). However, I do know this:

UNRESOLVED EMOTIONS STORED AS TOXIC ENERGY IN THE BODY CREATE PHYSICAL PAIN. This I know for sure.

Every week I have people call me with chronic conditions they have been diagnosed with, labelled with fancy medical names like idiopathic hypersomnia, Bahma Forest virus and Raynauds disease. By the time people make their way to me they have already investigated a number of therapies, been to medical specialists and had all sorts of tests or surgeries such as MRI scans, blood tests, colonoscopies and biopsies. And even after all the tests, the doctors still cannot give them an answer for their condition.

So, why is it they cannot find a cause when searching in the physical body?

BECAUSE THE PHYSICAL BODY IS NOT ALWAYS WHERE THE PAIN IS ORIGINATING FROM!

Here’s an example of what I mean:

I remember one of my first clients, a 74 year old lady, who came to me for excruciating abdominal pain. She had been in hospital for three months, had every conceivable test under the sun, was on extreme pain medication which had no effect whatsoever. At the time I was practising Chi Nei Tsang (CNT) abdominal massage, which is why she had come to me, thinking that abdominal massage would help. However, CNT is much more that working at the physical level: it works to process undigested emotions which lie trapped in the digestive tract, in her case the colon. To cut a long story short, during the session she made contact with the emotional pain she had felt when her mother died, emotion which had never been felt or expressed. And as she gave herself permission to process this undigested energy and information, which was being held in the body at a cellular level, the pain disappeared. Instantly. Just like that.

So why is this? Because as a human being we are an amalgamation of mind, body, emotions and spirit. And whatever happens on one level WILL simultaneously affect all other levels. To take this a step deeper, we’re talking about quantum physics, or the newly emerging science (as mentioned by Deepak Chopra last week at his presentation in Auckland) quantum biology.

Quantum physics states that at a quantum (sub-atomic – smaller than an atom) level the body is actually just energy. To get an idea of how small a quantum is, put a cell under a microscope and magnify it a million times. We’re talking real small.

In Qi Gong we call this ‘Qi’ – the most fundamental level of life. And since physics states that matter cannot be destroyed, any energy, including emotional energy, not transformed at the time it arises in the body WILL get stored in the cells until we can deal with it. It’s as simple as that. Emotions (e-emotion – energy in motion – or not as the case may be) will be stored in the body if they are not resolved, dissolved, managed, transformed etc. And over time, this will build up to manifest as physical symptoms.

So here’s another new perspective, which most of the medical community still have not grasped:

SYMPTOMS ARE INTELLIGENT AND NECESSARY COMMUNICATION FROM THE BODY

That is actually a quote from a medical doctor, one of the few doctors who currently understands this philosophy, Dr David Mickel. Dr Mickel is the founder of the revolutionary ‘Mickel Therapy’ techniques for identifying and resolving the causes of chronic illness such as chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, which happens to be one of the core techniques I use.

Symptoms are your friend, your ally. They are here to help. They are a guidepost to tell you something is amiss and needs addressing in your life…. at a psycho-emotional level. The question is, are you going to take note, or are you going to continue to ignore and suppress the early warning (or emergency) distress signals (pain and symptoms) with medication? The choice is yours!

So, it’s time to wake up and see things from a new perspective. Symptoms have a purpose – they are here to tell you that your whole being is in a state of ‘dis-ease’ and that something needs to be done. Action is required. And more often than not it may be one of two things:

  1. Dealing with unresolved, unexpressed, unfelt emotional hurts from the past which are stored in the body as pain, sadness, anger, frustration, resentment etc
  2. Creating new habits of looking after yourself better by leading a more balanced lifestyle – ie, not driving yourself like a machine, and instead treating yourself like your own best friend.

And here’s the final thought for today:

YOUR BODY IS A SELF-HEALING MECHANISM AND HEALTH IS YOUR NATURAL STATE.
ILLNESS IS THEREFORE THE ABSENCE OF YOUR NATURAL STATE OF GOOD HEALTH.

So what does that mean? It means that we are designed to be healthy, this is our natural state, and anything else means we have gone off track. Unfortunately in our society sickness is no longer seen as strange or uncommon, it’s become the norm.

My hope is that one day (soon) we will have a much better understanding of ourselves and how we operate, and what we need to do to avoid illness and pain. Because I truly believe it is possible.

Obviously the medical model will have to change because in order to do this we are going to HAVE to pay attention to the whole person that is ill, rather than focusing on the condition and symptoms. The symptoms are just the end result. Which is why one of my teachers always says “We have to treat the person, not the symptoms”. And a 15 minute appointment with your doctor just doesn’t cut the mustard if you want to solve the riddle of a long-term illness!

So, next time your body sends you a symptom, whether it’s a headache, rash, belly ache or whatever, stop and ask yourself “What could my symptoms be trying to tell me? What message do they have for me. What am I really feeling? What emotion is my body sending me that I have missed”? This is the place to start. You may well need help from someone else to find the answers, but at least starting with the right question is more likely to lead to a real solution.

Be well!

Kim Knight

www.artofhealth.co.nz

How to survive a nervous breakdown

The truth about mental breakdowns and how they are often a breakthrough in disguise

Having a so-called ‘nervous breakdown’ can carry a lot of negative stigma: losing your marbles is usually seen as detrimental (damaging to the mental) rather than positive event. But what if it were actually a good thing?  A greater understanding of what a mental breakdown often is could change your perspective, and therefore the entire experience.

The signs and symptoms of a nervous breakdown include not feeling able to cope, overwhelm and the feeling of ‘losing one’s mind’. And actually, this might be truer than you think.

As we grow up, without realizing it, we are conditioned with many beliefs, mental patterns and paradigms about the world. It is through these concepts that we operate and view life. As we evolve and grow as human beings, these paradigms and beliefs are going to be challenged, become outdated and will no longer serve us. And so naturally, just like civilizations come and go, the mental concepts are going to have to break down to make way for new ones. I liken this to having to demolish a multi-story building and clear away the rubble in order to make space for a new building. Once the old building is pulled down and cleared away, then the new foundations can be laid and a new building built on top.

The thing is, often, as our mental concepts are being broken down, we do not understand what is happening with our rational mind because it no longer has concepts to hang on to, as the old is being swept away to make way for the new. This can feel very disorientating and scary. It’s like we’ve left point A on one shore, and we’re on our way to point B over the other side of the river, and we’re in the boat going across, but we don’t actually know we’re taking the journey. And it’s often not until we get to the other side and have settled into our new house that we start to piece together what has actually just happened.

So the first step is to recognize what is happening and be ok with it, although it can feel very uncomfortable at the time. If we know we are literally ‘losing our mind’ while a new and better one is being built in its place, even though it feels uncomfortable we can at least relax a little and accept the situation better. This is the time we need to be extra gentle and caring with ourselves. And let go of any expectation of how long this procedure is going to take – it could be a few days, a few weeks or a few months. Just accept that right now it feels like there is nothing for the mind to grab onto as you find yourself falling into the abyss. It’s ok – let go. You will be caught. The fear comes from the mind or ego fighting its demise.

As you come through the other side, you will discover new realms in your mind, new perspectives, new ways of thinking, which will serve you much better. It’s a bit like a computer upgrade. This is why I like to think of  a nervous breakdown as a ‘breakthrough’ – a breakthrough to a new you.

As the saying goes, ‘this too shall pass’, so sit back and as much as possible enjoy the ride.

Rumi – The Guesthouse

This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.

Because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

For more inspiration from the Art of Health, click here to see our inspiration pages

The Art of Health

 

THERAPIST HELPS PEOPLE RECOVER BY PHONE FROM CHRONIC PAIN AND ILLNESS WHICH BAFFLE DOCTORS

Emotional intelligence coach Kim Knight, Director of the Art of Health, has been helping people to recover from chronic pain and illnesses which still baffle many doctors, such as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel and depression…by phone. In an era where surgery, medication and supplements are seen as the common solution, how is this possible?

“It’s all a matter of understanding the real nature of illness” says Kim. “Illness is not a mistake and mental or physical symptoms are most often the end result of many years of unidentified and unexpressed emotional pain. By identifying and addressing the underlying cause, the symptoms disappear, because they are merely a messenger sent to get our attention”.

She is able to say this having recovered herself, without medication or supplements, from several house-bound years of chronic fatigue, adrenal exhaustion, clinical depression, back problems and more.

Trained in Mickel Therapy, a ground-breaking technique created by UK medical doctor, Dr David Mickel, Kim is able to assist clients to finally recognize and understand the cause of their symptoms. She then teaches them how to coach themselves back to health using a number of exercises which, as she puts it, “train one in ‘life-affirming rather than life-depleting behaviours’”. These include things such as learning how to identify feelings and communicate them safely, how to ‘clear the decks’ of unfinished business, how to put oneself first and how to live a balanced lifestyle.

One of the main tenets of Mickel Therapy is that emotions are ‘energy in motion’ and blocked emotional energy trapped in the cells re-wire them into illness. In Dr Mickel’s words “Emotions have been commonly misunderstood and misinterpreted for many years, starting with the incorrect assumption that they are created by thought.  Primary or core e-motions arise spontaneously without any thought, as waves of energy that flow directly into our physical cells and immediately alter their physiological function”.   Anyone familiar with quantum physics will understand that all matter, at a quantum (sub-atomic) level, is just energy, and this includes our mental, emotional and physical bodies which are all interlinked.

“A simple way of putting it would be a state of dis-ease will create disease”.

As the client learns to identify, manage and resolve their emotional life, currently emerging as the trend of ‘emotional intelligence training’, the body restores itself to its natural state of good health. Whilst a handful of people have recovered within 2 weeks, the average number of sessions needed is 6-8, by which time they have either returned to full health or made significant improvement. With continuing practice of the exercises their return to good health is not far away.

Based in Auckland and Queenstown, Kim works by phone with clients worldwide, including New York, Fiji and Australia. Distance is no object to the effectiveness of this treatment, and her clients range from ages 16 to 74.

For more information see Kim’s websites below or contact her on +64 9 833 6553 / +64 (0)21 410 633.  See below for a sample of client testimonials…

From wheel chair to jogging

The following client was experiencing fatigue, brain fog, headaches and muscle weakness before treatment. This is what she reported back after working with the Mickel Therapy techniques for 8 weeks:

Activities I could not do before treatment: Most activities.  I was almost housebound.  I was not working, and I spent most of the day on the couch watching TV or doing computer work.  When I went out and knew I would have to walk more than 0.5 miles, I would use a wheelchair.  I was not socializing outside my immediate family.

Activities I can do now: Almost all of my normal activities.  After 8 weeks, I am back at work full-time, I am playing with my son and going out on the weekends (just like I used to!).  I don’t feel like there is any limit to the distance that I can walk, and I have even started jogging again.  I am now going out with friends again.  I went to a party last night for 4 hours and felt great!  I am confident that in a few more weeks, I will be completely back to my regular routine.  I know that I could not have come so far so quickly without Mickel Therapy.   Julia, age 34 yrs, New York (USA)

I have my life back – I feel amazing!

The following comments are from a client who completed a 6 week program of treatment:

“Mickel Therapy has helped me understand my symptoms and given me the tools to listen to what my body really wants and to act on it. My problems (chronic fatigue) I came with have now gone. I can now live a normal life and do everything I want to do. I feel amazing! The tools I have learnt are lifelong tools and I’m committed to making them a part of my everyday life.

What I liked most about Mickel Therapy was how it all made such sense; that it wasn’t rocket science and that it really proved that how badly our society has become in ignoring what their body needs. Most of all I feel truly blessed that I stumbled across it as it has given the tools to live a healthy life”.   Karen, 28yrs, Auckland

Well in 8 weeks

The following client was experiencing the following symptoms before treatment:

  • Depleted adrenals, insufficient hormones, malnutrition and thyroid problems, as clinically diagnosed by her doctor
  • Itchy ears, constant fatigue, anxiety attacks, hair falling out in handfuls, Poor concentration, poor memory
  • Nausea, headaches, skin acne, cold sores, styes, broken sleep, nails brittle and weak and huge mood swings

After 8 weeks all above symptoms showed significant improvement, some cleared completely, and this is what she had to say:

“I am a Natural Health Practitioner and suffered from Glandular Fever in my teens and then again at 20 yrs old. Since then, I have suffered from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome whenever my body felt like I was doing too much.

After my studies I knew my emotions had a lot to do with my condition constantly arising. During my last pregnancy and for the 1st year of my baby’s life I went into the worst stage.

My Natural therapies and Counselling were helping me to not end up completely bed ridden but I was not getting better. To sum it up I was at Stage A – knew my condition, knew what was causing it but still couldn’t get to Stage C – perfect health! Mickel Therapy was my Stage B – they know my condition, they know what is causing it and they give you a step by step way to re-LIVE your life in perfect health.

It is now 8 weeks on and I am living without my illness on a daily basis and THANKS to Mickel Therapy I now have the tools to keep it that way. I believe in this Therapy so much that I am looking into becoming a practitioner”.  Susan B

To find out more go to www.artofhealth.co.nz

Gossip and Toxic Friends Detox!

Inner Mean Girl Reform School 40 day cleanse
Stop feeding your inner critic and nourish your inner wisdom!

Inner Mean Girl Cleanse

Is it time to get rid of your gossip girl?! We think so!

Blog 2 of the ’40 day Inner Mean Girl Cleanse’! by Kim Knight, The Art of Health www.artofhealth.co.nz

So, the second call this week was with gender expert Susan Shapiro, author of ten books including ‘Toxic Friends’ and ‘Tripping the prom queen’.

“A gossiping relationship is a dysfunctional relationship” Susan Shapiro

Apparently, (and it makes sense if you think about it), the origins of gossip were not negative – it was about getting information out, passing the message on, getting the word around.

These days gossip tends to be a negative habit, which if we look deeper we find has a lot to do with not feeling good about ourselves, and trying to bring others down in our attempt to make ourselves feel better. This often has the effect of tearing friendships apart.

So, if you think you might have a habit of gossip, whether it be just a little or lots, here are some useful tips for starting ‘good talk’.

Why do we gossip?

The first question to address is ‘why do we gossip or stay in relationships where so-called ‘friends’ gossip about us’? Well, many reasons, and it often boils down to:

  • issues of low self-esteem
  • the need to seek approval from others
  • fear of not being part of the crowd

In other words, we’ll do anything to be liked or not disliked out of our fear of rejection.

Often the habit of gossip is taught to us as we grow up by our mothers, aunts and elders and as we grow we just take it on as another habit.

Different levels of rivalry

What is the relationship between gossip, competition, envy and jealousy?

  • Competition: “I’ll fight you for what you have”
  • Envy: “I want what you have”
  • Jealousy: “I want what you have and I’ll kill you for it!”

Sound like nice behaviour? Not really! Want to change? Read on…

Susan Shapiro’s tips on how to prevent gossip:

“You have to share values to share friendship” – Susan Shapiro

  • Building mutual respect brings trust. We feel safe if we are not afraid people will gossip about us. So make a decision to build mutually respectful relationships.
  • Build friendships with people with mutual values.
  • Before you open your mouth to gossip, ask yourself “do I really want to hurt someone else?” or “how can this gossip be positive?”. Gossiping hurts ourselves and others, so do yourself and everyone else a favour by not gossiping.
  • Don’t be swayed by others in group – stick to what feels right for you.
  • Make a conscious decision not to gossip – it’s easy as that, although sometimes not so easy to change the habit.
  • Turn it around and say something supportive instead of derisive about that person

“If we stay in unhealthy relationships we keep ourselves from healthy relationships” Susan Shapiro

How do you know it’s time to let go of a toxic ‘friendships’?

  • When someone does something really hurtful – then you really know that person is not a friend at all
  • When you no longer share common values
  • When you notice you are avoiding friends and don’t feel courageous enough to be honest and say so
  • When friendships make your life worse rather than better
  • When toxic behaviour starts making you sick!

Helpful exercises for assessing and ending toxic friendships:

Exercise 1

Listen to your inner self and ask:

  • ‘Is this friendship healthy for me’?
  • ‘What do I get from it’?
  • ‘What does she get from it’?
  • ‘Why are we friends’?

See what answers you come up with. And then make your decision from your wise, inner being. Trust your heart!  Listen to your Inner Wisdom vs your Inner Mean Girl.

Exercise 2

Take a friendship inventory – ask yourself:

  • Which friends are helping me become the person I want to be?
  • Which friends inspire me?
  • Which friends are toxic?
  • What do I need and want from a friendship?
  • What are my expectations from a friendship?

“If we want to be happy and healthy, we need non-toxic friends”.

Exercise 3

Gossip inventory

  • Where do you gossip in your life?
  • How was it modelled to you?

The connection between the heart and tongue.

Tip from Kim:

In the Universal Healing Tao practices, we have a meditation exercise called the ‘Inner Smile’. In Taoist theory the heart is intimately connected with the tongue. In fact, the tongue is known as the ‘child’ of the parent ‘heart’ organ. And whenever we go to speak anything negative about someone else, we get a sensation in our heart just before we speak the words. This is the heart telling us “NO! I don’t enjoy speaking ill of others”.

The heart is about love and compassion. When  we feel love and compassion for others, WE also feel good.

So, next time you are about to say something detrimental about someone else, NOTICE how it feels in your heart, and if it doesn’t feel good, STOP!  And say something else.

For more information on these Taoist practices see www.taohealth.co.nz

And finally…

Susan Shapiro’s Inner Mean Girl Dare for the week:

“If you don’t have something nice to say, then don’t say anything at all”

Be true to yourself in friendships!

For more info on Susan Shapiro see: www.susanshapirobaras.com

For more info on the Inner Mean Girl Cleanse see: www.daretoliveyou.com

For more info on Kim Knight see www.artofhealth.co.nz

40 Day Inner Mean Girl Reform School!

How to stop feeding your inner critic and nourish your inner wisdom!

Inner Mean Girl Reform School 40 day cleanse

Would you like to know how to stop being so hard on yourself?

Join women around the world and cleanse your system of the 6 toxic habits of your Inner Mean Girl. And replace them with self-loving habits.

The Inner Mean Girl Reform School is running a FREE 40 day, 6 week Self-Love Practice starting 25 August (USA) 26 August (NZ). If you miss the start, it’s ok, you can join any time.

Having learnt the hard way how we can drive ourselves to illness through being hard on ourselves, (being a perfectionist, driving oneself too hard, over-achieving etc), I am a true believer in the necessity of looking after oneself in order to stay healthy and happy.

I’ll be following along on this course and each week sharing some of the top tips on how to become your own best friend.

I invite you to join in and do yourself a favour – take time to look after your best asset – YOU!

Full details of Inner Mean Girl Reform Cleanse and sign up here

Best wishes, Kim

Inner Mean Girl Reform School 40 day cleanse

Stop feeding your inner critic and nourish your inner wisdom!

The true meaning of health vs disease

It’s only when we understand WHY we get ill in the first place that we will truly know how to maintain health.

I recently attended New Zealand’s first ever Health and Productivity Management conference in Auckland. It was a wonderful day and I met many inspiring people who are passionate about improving health in the workplace. It is definately a step in the right direction that more emphasis, and hopefully budget, will be put towards improving employee health.

This article is part one of a series demonstrating why we need to understand the reasons for illness in order to successfully improve wellness at work. This will also help understand the rising new phenomenom of ‘presenteeism’ –  employees who turn up for work who are not present, functional or productive’.

After spending the last twenty years really delving into the root causes of ill-health, including having healed without medication from a number of chronic illnesses – and helping others to do the same -these are some key truths I have discovered about health and healing:

Our natural state is good health

“Sickness is felt, but health not at all” – traditional Chinese proverb

Despite the fact that illness appears to be an epidemic today – to the point that it’s no longer considered  out of the ordinary – our natural state is to be healthy. In ancient China, you only paid your doctor if you became ill, such was the emphasis on preventative healthcare and the everyday expectation that good health was normal.

This is why when we are healthy we just feel fine. Our body is designed to feel good, and it is only if something is wrong that it will start to send signals to say so. What is also very misunderstood is that it is:

Our natural state to be calm (of mind) and relaxed (of body)

In our frantic lives, where everyone is rushing around with far too much on their plates, we have completely and utterly forgotten that our natural state is to be calm and relaxed. This is the normal state for the body to function in on a daily basis, and a pre-requisite for good health and longevity. The body also needs to be in this state for healing to occur. Which is why our body will ‘take us out’ when we need to heal (in the form of a fever which takes us to our bed, or needing bed-rest after an operation).

In Taoist philosophy, the world is a mix of yin (stillness) and yang (activity), and in theory we need equal amounts of both. But if we were to check our ratio of yin and yang, most people would probably be 95% yang, 5% yin. This is going against the natural flow of life and when this is maintained, we will quickly start to experience:

Stress – the fight-flight mode of the body

The fight-flight mode of the body is designed for emergencies. It is not meant to be a place to live from in everyday life. The problem is, most people are constantly stressed…but don’t know it. When our body is in the stress (sympathetic nervous mode) the body literally believes itself to be under threat and all body systems start working in emergency mode: for example heart rate increases, breathing speeds up, blood moves from the organs to the extremities in preparation for running, stress hormones are pumped out, digestion and elimination stop, and so on.

Now, the body can cope with this short-term, but it cannot continue to function properly long-term in this state. That sort of makes sense, doesn’t it? How can it do its job of running our body properly if the systems are compromised? It’s a bit like asking your car to run properly without good oil or a whole host of unresolved issues, in other words, it’s damaged goods.

So, the only thing the body can do is to try and get our attention, and this it will do by starting to send symptoms. The problem is, we have not been taught how to interpret the signals or understand the real reason behind symptoms. Thus most people do not understand that:

Illness is a healthy reaction to an unhealthy situation

The body is an infinitely intelligent organism, with a key role of keeping us healthy. It has, what we call in the Mickel Therapy trade, a ‘body intelligence’ – an in-built system for keeping us healthy. When we are well, we will just feel well. But if the body intelligence is not happy about something in our life, which could be anything from work to personal issues, it will start to communicate its unacknowledged needs in the form of symptoms. So one of the first steps in healing and understanding health is to really get that:

Symptoms are a cry for help and attention

Most people do not yet understand that symptoms are the body’s way of communicating to us. The body has its own communication system which does not use words. In the absence of words, it has to find ways to communicate with us. So how does it do this? There are various levels, starting with plan A, then plan B and so on:

Plan A – Body Sensations

Simple body sensations. For example, feeling hungry is the body’s way of communicating it needs food. Feeling a pressure in the bladder indicates we need to go to the toilet. Having a gut feeling is a bodily sensation from our abdominal brain telling us what is the right thing to do. It’s all very simple, if we listen, take notice and take action. However, if we miss this level of body-sensation communication our body will go to:

Plan B – Emotions

Emotions. Feelings are our body’s way of communicating to us and with us. This is the most misunderstood form of communication. People do not realize that emotions are a form of communication from the body intelligence telling us how it feels about what is going on in our life. They are an internal guidance system, keeping us on track in order to stay happy and healthy. We ignore them at our peril because missed emotions will build up to become:

Plan C – Mental symptoms

Mental symptoms, which actually are also physiological phenomena, (just separated here for clarity), include symptoms such as anxiety, depression, irritabiltiy and overwhelm. Anxiety is an overload of unidentified emotions and depression is de-pressing unidentified emotions. Unresolved emotions, which are emotional energy, will build up and manifest themselves physiologically as mental symptoms. Left unresolved, we then start to experience:

Plan D – Physical symptoms

It’s at this point that we start to experience physical pain and discomfort. This is the body really trying to tell us something and get our attention to take some corrective action. However, because of the disconnection between the head and body, often symptoms at this level are not understood. This includes symptoms such as insomnia, irritable bowel, allergies, asthma, food intolerances, low fatigue, hayfever, hives, rashes, high blood pressure and so on. These tend to be symptoms which currently are not really considered a major problem and the common solution is some form of medication. Unfortunately this kills the messenger, and the body then has to find other ways to get its message through. Eventually, because the body intelligence is simply programmed to do its job (thank goodness) it will keep pumping the (as yet un-decoded) messages out which will get louder and louder to become:

Plan E – Chronic Illness

Chronic illness sets in after the previous symptoms have been pumped out for a while but the underlying reasons have not been identified or addressed. Chronic symptoms may be things such as cysts, fibroids, cancer, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, heart attacks, diabetes and any serious illness. By this time our life will have become seriously disrupted, to the point that we can no longer function normally. At this point we will find ourselves having to take time off work or leave altogether. This is the ‘wake-up call’ stage. The final stage of the body’s attempt to get our attention. So here’s the good news:

The body is a self-healing mechanism

If we can identify the real cause of the illness, and take the corrective action, our body has the innate ability to heal itself. Actually, we already know this: for most people, if we cut ourselves, we know that the cut will heal very quickly by itself. Do we have to do anything to help this? Well, we may put a plaster on to prevent dirt or water getting in, and we may avoid using that finger for a few days, which is giving it the assistance and opportunity to heal, but essentially the healing is coming from the body intelligence without any cognitive input from ourselves. It is the body’s automatic job to heal, just like the heart beats and we breathe without having to think about it. So if this is the case, in order to understand how to heal bigger issues such as anxiety, depression or chronic fatigue, what do we have to do?

Understand the laws of health

“The key to healing is awareness: becoming aware of what you were previously unaware of, and then making new choices”.

In order to stay healthy we must start to understand what it is we need to do in order to prevent illness in the first place. We have to understand how to live in accordance with the laws of health and laws of life. This is the major missing piece in our society. We have become so out of touch with our own nature, so trapped in our heads and disconnected from our bodies, that we simply do not feel or see what is going on inside us emotionally, mentally or physically. We have to recognize what it is that the body is not happy about – which it is sending emotions and then symptoms about – in an attempt to get our attention so that we will take appropriate action. I will be going into detail about these laws of health in the sequel to this blog, but here is the first key concept:

The necessity of putting ourselves first and looking after our needs

This may sound very selfish to some, but it’s actually not. We have to learn to tune into our own needs and listen to them. If we are to stay healthy we have to do what ‘feels right’ for us. And our body will tell us, because it’s programmed to do so. These are the sensations that come from the gut. And here’s a tip to how to understand what your body is telling you:

  • if you feel good, relaxed, calm and relieved over a choice of action, it will probably be the right thing for you.
  • And if you feel tense, stressed, uncomfortable and worried, it is probably not the right decision.

The question is, are you going to take notice and trust your body intelligence, or are you going to ignore it (again)? The choice is yours.

Stay tuned for the next blog which will talk in depth about what it is we need to do to unravel the mystery behind symptoms