I had that sinking feeling that I was in for it.
I had a sore throat, a fuzzy and sore head, the back of my nose was feeling a bit odd and I was swallowing goo. I was in for a cracking version of a cold. I was also due to fly ten hours long haul to America for a week long course that I was really looking forward to attending, with so much learning to be done. I wasn’t happy. I had visions of snuffling my way through the learnings of the day with tissues all around me. Muzzy head, sore nostrils and dry lips. Wishing I could just be at home.
Back when I had my pharmacy businesses in New Zealand I would get masses of folk coming in for relief of a cold. (Was it anything to do with the coinciding of advertising on television regarding how ‘awful we all feel at this time of year?’ )
My customers would anxiously scan the shelves of cough medicines, headache pills and sinus relief capsules in order to find the best product to reduce their suffering. The ‘New’ or ‘Improved’ products were best sellers. Some of my patients were at the beginning of their fight against the virus, others were right in the middle of the battle and were feeling miserable. It was certainly good for business! I would tell them that a cold would take a week to go. Even if they treated it. For whilst they were treating that viral attack, they were only scratching the surface with symptomatic relief. The immune system was doing its best with the Killer cells and White cells, doing the job that it was well used to do.
“A week if you treat it, a week if you don’t”
That was my advice to everyone. My intention was all good too – I didn’t want them disappointed that they were still not back to their peak performance even 5 days later. But at least they could soldier on. At least they could feel better while their body got to work, fighting that alien virus, conquering it and kicking it out.
The armoury of medicines ranged from sprays to tablets and capsules and liquid mixtures. There were herbal bullets of hope too. (Elderberry, I have to say, is marvellous for reducing the duration of the symptoms, if you start taking it early enough, and frequently enough). Rest was always recommended, as was an enormous box of tissues.
Listen to the language I have used: Soldiers. Armoury. Fight. Battle. Kick it out. Chopped. Suffering. Bullets. That brings to mind the action of a war within. Of the body starting an internal conflict in order to decimate that invader. And I inadvertently gave my poor customers an ‘unconscious command’ regarding the duration of their illness. Seven days of suffering!
So as I was facing my own week long battle, I suddenly reasoned that starting a war within in order to recreate my usual peaceful state of health was a bit of a weird way of looking at health – an oxymoron! Like ‘Fight for Peace’. ‘War against drugs’. ‘Fight against abuse’.
What is the picture you get as your body fights for health? Bombs dropping? Aggressive behaviour of that immune system? A fortress crumbling? Maybe the sounds of the blowing up of the virus? Maybe a visual of bombed out sites and smoke and dust. That doesn’t sound very healing to me.
How could I approach my oncoming failing week of health a bit differently? How could I make the process more peaceful? Quicker? More effective?
1. Give the job my immune system had to do, another metaphor. Take away the war/battle/fight. What was it essentially doing? Once my immune system had learnt about this particular virus, it would be unlikely to ever need to learn that lesson again. It was a software update! It was updating itself with new immunity information. That felt better immediately.
2. Welcome the update. It is an upgrade for smoother running of the system. Much like your smart phone receives better looking icons, and faster software and a smoother, faster running system as a result.
3. Reason that as my immune system had done many software updates before over the last 50 odd years, it must therefore be pretty good at knowing how to do it again. And because it was already really good at the process, it would be able to speed up the upgrade process this time around. And just because my previous mantra was around taking seven days to accomplish this, I was just not realising what could actually be accomplished in a much quicker timeframe, not giving it credit for learning so much in the past.
4. Be really grateful for the terrific job my immune system had done over the past 50 something years and be grateful in advance for the increase in efficiency it could show me in this upgrade.
5. Go to bed early and give it a full chance to get started as sleep is a great time to rest and repair – and update and upgrade.
The next morning I was at the airport and 12 hours later landed in San Francisco. It wasn’t until I was in the Uber that I realised how well I felt. There was no sign of a cold. OMG!
There is no science behind what I did. So if you want proof, the only proof I have is that last week, I felt the muzzy head and sore throat and raw nose. My Irish fellow did too. So at bedtime we ran through the above five steps and …… both of us woke up without any problem, and no cold since.
Isn’t it worth a go?
Reframe the feeling you get when you are looking for an upgrade with a virus. Change the metaphor – stay away from war, picking something peaceful instead. Maybe the white cells could be clouds that fog over the virus so it can’t ‘see’ and has to leave. Or they could be white sheep nibbling the virus up, the sheep growing stronger from the protein intake!
Watch the narrative, change the words. Give yourself and your immune system gratitude for doing the best job youcan. Give yourself an internal hug.
Deepak Chopra said ‘Every cell is eavesdropping on your thoughts’ and indeed, he is right. Every cell is looking for directions and instructions. We would do well to think of how we do this. Our unconscious metaphors could be hindering our efforts – I certainly was in the past because I hadn’t even considered anything any different.
Our bodies are able to respond to our instruction more than we know.
And I apologise to my loyal patients and customers – I was doing my best with what I consciously knew!
The type of health coaching that I do is different to most and I welcome enquiries via email, my website or text. If you wish to learn about or upgrade your immunity status and think you may have blocks doing that please get in contact.