I’ve been thinking about the concept of Mindful Medicine vs Mindless Medicine.
Both are medicine, but they operate very differently!
Let’s explore Mindful Medicine first.
In short, Mindful Medicine is awareness-based work.
It’s internal discovery vs external grasping.
It’s changing your diet instead of taking a pill.
It’s working through your emotions rather than eating them away.
It considers the whole body rather than trying to fix one problem.
It’s the concept that there is never anything going wrong in the body and there is nothing to fix.
It’s you stimulating the innate healing capacity of your body instead of trying to force it into stopping producing symptoms.
Whereas Mindless Medicine is very forceful, externally based, and more about trying to make things disappear so we can get on with our busy lives.
Mindful Medicine is like planting a new rose bush, watering it each day, and sending it loving thoughts.
Mindless Medicine is like planting the rose bush, chucking some fertiliser at it, and hoping for the best.
Neither is wrong, per se, but the approaches are entirely different.
The more I learn about biochemistry, the more I understand that all the things we think of as problems are in fact the body responding to the stimulus it is receiving.
Your body is not against you. It’s only ever trying to survive.
Our DNA is incredibly ancient and contains such great wisdom.
But we aren’t told this.
We are not told about the power of turning within and learning about ourselves, our own bodies, our beliefs, our values, and really looking at what in our lives is causing us to feel unwell.
The focus is on problems, health conditions, disease, and which drug fixes which problem.
This is not to say that we should never take medication or supplements.
But they should be used as the support – not the saviour.
Because every single drug (including herbs and supplements) has side effects. Which means that, when not used correctly, they fall under the category of mindless medicine.
Whereas mindful medicine such as self-exploration, letting go of what no longer serves, meditation, breathwork, connection, and breath-based movement work on activating the part of the nervous system that allows the body to feel safe.
When the body feels unsafe (due to thoughts, fears, situations, habits, memories, conflict etc), it prepares you accordingly by activating the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) – the flight/fight/freeze response.
The focus is on surviving which means that digestion is shut down, production of immune cells halts, and natural hormonal rhythms are thrown out.
Repressed emotions become trapped in the body and impact cellular function.
Cuts take longer to heal. Bruises appear easily. Fatigue and memory loss sets in.
For the body to be able to activate the part of the nervous system that promotes healing – the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), or the rest/digest/reproduce response – it needs to feel safe.
It will not feel safe if you’re always on defence waiting for an attack.
If you’re worried about what everyone else thinks of you.
If you’re beating yourself up about all the things you get wrong.
Or millions of other scenarios.
I’ve always been a very independent person, and I have never wanted to be reliant on other people – not even doctors.
Which is why I have been studying nutritional medicine and health science for the last 5 years.
More importantly, it’s why I chose to heal myself.
It’s why I’ve been on an internal journey to restore my health – gut health, mental health, reproductive health, and many other areas.
From all this, I’ve realised that our mind and body are the most powerful tools that we have.
When we understand ourselves, we can work with ourselves, and shifts happen incredibly rapidly.