It was my first appointment with a new acupuncturist and before treatment began, he looked me in the eye and asked, “Do you give permission for your healing?”
I found the question so profound and wondered how many of us walk around doing all the things for our health — drinking green smoothies, taking expensive supplements, rushing through meditation — without really being bought into the process.
So often I see people treat their health as just another thing on their to-do list. It happens just like getting errands done, but could it actually be delaying our progress? Perhaps.
Our bodies are incredibly sensitive environments that pick up on everything, from our thoughts to our feelings and much more. This naturally impacts our physical and physiological state. So, what would it mean if we truly and deeply gave ourselves permission to heal before embarking on a healing journey? Could we accelerate our healing? Could we tap into our bodies at a much deeper level? Could we find better ways to prioritize our health? Absolutely.
So, how can giving yourself permission enhance your healing? First, you need to be brutally honest with yourself by asking:
Are you really open to healing or are you just looking for a quick fix?
When you’re chronically ill, sick, and tired, you just want relief. You don’t care how it comes. You just want to feel better…now. I totally get it!
However, healing requires a different state of mind than the one in which your disease or condition was created (often by stress or trauma), and this statement lends itself to exactly that.
Healing is an active process and requires our full body and mind investment.
Essentially you need to ask yourself, “Are you truly on board for this journey? Is ALL of you on board? Are you open and willing to receive healing and all that is involved in this journey?”
Instead of being attached only to some future destination and seeing healing as something that simply happens to us, it re-frames it so that we claim our power in healing as something we are an integral part of.
When you give permission for your healing, you open yourself to an incredible amount of possibilities you may not have been able to see otherwise.
And guess what?!
Many of those possibilities are already inside of you! They are within you, not in a pill, or a practitioner, or a diet plan. You just need to listen. And listening begins with opting into the process with your body. It’s this deep, loving connection that opens the doors to an incredible new layer of healing. A layer that it’s likely craving, that it’s likely been missing deeply, and screaming out for via your symptoms.
This is very empowering because it gives you the reins to your health. Yes, you may need expert support, and I advise that when the going gets rough, but it won’t undermine your body’s innate intelligence and capacity to self-heal.
Would you be able to better understand the symptoms and what may be causing it? Perhaps you’ve been struggling with migraines for years and by becoming in-tune with your body, you may learn that a certain food is actually triggering it, or the time of your cycle.
Would you prioritize your health above and beyond anything else on your to-do list? Knowing that it’s not a one-and-done kind of thing but requires daily loving attention.
Could you slow down and appreciate the journey and have gratitude for where you are right this moment rather than trying to do everything right away, overwhelming your body, and continuing the stress cascade that could have started your condition in the first place?
Really think about it. I recommend even journaling about it so you can open up and be honest with yourself and identify how you can change your path.
Here’s something that may come as a huge relief to you: Your body already has the information it needs to heal. Symptoms are a telltale sign from our body that something is wrong — and it’s your job to figure out what.
The tricky part is, oftentimes symptoms are far removed from the cause, which is where functional practitioners like myself come in. Your body has the intelligence, you’re bought into the process, you just need someone trained at looking at the body and diseases in a different lens to uncover where the root of the issue is so we can then intelligently put you on a healing path.
Getting curious is a huge part of your health journey! Rather than just wanting an answer, why not get curious about your health, past experiences, and other elements that have contributed to your current health condition. It will not only enrich your healing journey but inspire you along the way because you’ll be making profound connections that you might not have made if you were just focused on the quick fix.
For example, I had no idea that my sporadic acne was linked to my gut health, and by working on my gut health, I was able to resolve it.
When you acknowledge that your body needs time to re-balance, you will develop more patience with yourself, and your healing journey. A good way to put this into perspective is to consider how long you haven’t felt well. If it’s been years, it’s realistic for it to take several months, if not several years, for you to feel back to normal. Set realistic expectations and you can enjoy the process rather than feel frustrated and anxious.
I can’t tell you how many new clients come to me having given certain diets, supplement or lifestyle changes only a small window in which to work (I’m talking a week!) and give up on them for not working. And they’ve been sick for years! By shifting their understanding of how the body heals itself, they were able to change their expectations, settle in for the journey, and appreciate every day more.
Put simply, you can’t expect something from your body that it’s not capable of giving immediately. It’s not how fast, but the quality of care and mindfulness you bring to your healing journey that matters. This helps us learn how to lean into the discomfort with an underlying sense of self-assuredness — even when it’s scary and discouraging. This is not only powerful but EMPOWERING.
Really think about how you have or haven’t given yourself permission in the past, where that has or hasn’t gotten you so far, and if you’re giving yourself permission to heal with the things you’re doing currently?
If you haven’t yet given yourself true permission, how can you remind yourself every day to give permission? Perhaps a sticky note on your bathroom mirror or an alarm on your phone.
And how will that allow you to truly feel better? Perhaps you say a loving mantra every time you take a supplement or give gratitude to the food on your plate each day. Or focus on giving love to a particular area of your body each day, feeling warmth and light in that area and sending it healing thoughts. While that last one may sound a bit wacky, it truly works. Try it and you’ll see what I mean.
Our capacity to self-heal with the right support is tremendous.
Let me know in the comments below if you realized you weren’t opted-in to your healing journey and what you plan to change now that you have this new level of awareness. I’d love to hear from you!
Kristin Thomas is a health coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner specialized in helping women with hormone, digestion, and autoimmune health concerns. Having gone through these health challenges herself, she now helps clients find their own path to complete wellness through practical and natural diet and lifestyle changes.
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