By Subhuti Dhamananda, Ph.D., Institute for Traditional Medicine
The road to health is created by visualizing what it would be like to be healthy and then making choices that are consistent with the visualized path. It may be helpful to take a moment and think about the fact that many people manage to thrive with their disease or disability, and come out ahead, even if most people don’t have such a favorable outcome. Perhaps you know some of these people or have read about their experiences. When you visualize a healthy condition, you know that there is a distance to go from the current situation to that desired state. That is the period of healing. During the period of healing, you will be deciding to do things that are consistent with becoming and remaining healthy.
Thus, when it comes time to decide what to do, what to eat, where to go, what to think about, what to invest time in-how to select any course of action-that choice will be based on what you as a healthy vision and instead become tied up with the dissatisfactions of the moment. In fact, in a state of bodily illness, it is quite easy for the mind to become entangled in the perception that becoming healthy is difficult, too difficult to bother with. Certainly, it is difficult; but focusing on the difficulty rather than the process of improvement, and feeling defeated (perhaps giving in to decisions that further destroy health) is not the way to become healthy.
To visualize being healthy is not merely to imagine being able to do anything you want, unimpaired by illness. Rather, it is to visualized undertaking all those pursuits that are necessary for maintaining health on a daily basis. What would an Olympic athlete do to reach a performance goal? Would he or she eat anything, sleep anytime, do anything? No: there would be a healthful diet, a regulated schedule, a certain amount of physical and mental training. These activities, or their equivalent, must be considered by anyone who wishes to move from a condition of disease to health.
In essence, healing is accomplished by the mind and by natural process, not by any single remedy handed to you. The inner vision of health developed in the mind’s eye directs you towards the necessary healing actions. The actions enhance the body’s functions, and that permits the mind greater freedom in future actions. Therapies supplied by a medical practitioner can serve as aids to the process of healing, but if relied upon as the sole source of improvement, one is often discouraged. This is especially true if the disease is one which is chronic and not amenable to a simple short-term solution.
If attaining he vision of a healthy life proves to be very difficult, or the implications of that vision with regard to daily activities are unclear, then it is important to seek out the ideas and suggestions of others who have gone before you and accomplished the goal. Just as a successful athlete always has a trainer, the health seeker also needs the assistance of a trainer.