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"The Shackles on Job's Body"

A new guild member shares insights on healing of body and mind.

[Originally written for the publication of the DC Area Guild of Body Psychotherapists]

[See also: Homeopathy Science and its disclosure of the deadly Chronic Miasms]

by Dr. Ralph Wilson, N.D.

Joining the Guild is a freeing experience for me. I am pleased to join this mobile Guild community (connected through internet, publications, meetings and events). It feels like I have come into a homeland, a place where I can move with greater freedom and watch and learn as others exercise some of their skills. I carry with me an enthusiasm that helps me manage the many different energies coming into my domain of experience. Along my life journey and through my own sufferings I have sorted through many examples of how to help a person heal in mind and body. I have gained some wisdom and am energized to have seen a larger landscape of healing than most practitioners in our western culture seem to recognize. A lot of this is reflected in the content of my web site*. For those who have “ears to hear” (to include yet another of our senses) I want to tell you about some critical aspects of human existence that may catalyze foundational/root-level changes to how you treat patients and how you understand your own life.

The excellent book Job’s Body, by Deane Juhan, was one of the choices for the Guild’s book and theory discussion group. It is a far-reaching volume, worth including in your library. The title alone is worth some thought, as we reflect on what we know of Job and the sufferings and lessons he faced. The book details body systems, their intricacies and the mental/intentional aspects of the human being [the books covers much more than this]. I approach this book with a different understanding than I would have earlier. Briefly about me: I have been in the health care field in different roles for over 30 years now and I have seen repeated signs that pointed me beyond the limited boundaries I first perceived. I began studies to become a medical doctor at the University of Michigan Medical School. Personal health issues pushed me into a search for healing and I took a leave of absence after the first year. Eventually, I “went over the horizon” [literally] and studied acupuncture in China as part of a long journey that has crisscrossed the field of alternative medicine. My training and experience has been deep. I am now practicing as a naturopathic physician (graduating from the four-year naturopathic medical school, Bastyr University in Seattle) as a member of a Washington, DC coalition called National Integrated Health Associates*. Below are several basic concepts I outline as critical to understanding and working with our human existence, physical, mental, spirit…all of it.

Chains that keep us from healing: Factors that restrain our bodies from their marvelous function (in the order of the relative benefit from addressing them): Toxics, Microbes, Memories, Lifestyle (including diet, how one eats), Exercise (how one moves through life), Environment, Accidents (traumas, surgery with scars, etc.) and Genetics.

We know there are better results when more of the entire person is involved in their healing process. “Your body will heal itself,” and “The individual is the one doing their own healing,” are phrases I still accept as true but within a greater context. Body Psychotherapists especially realize that the person (body and mind… and spirit/soul) will do better if they have help removing restrictions to movement and if they are taught or allowed to experience unfettered exploratory freedom of movement on all levels (mentally as well as physically). We need to increase people’s access to their innate self-healing abilities by removing more of the obstacles that impede progress.

These factors I call “shackles” limit the person in enjoying life and hold them back from fully focusing their energies toward healing. Some may seem trivial or easy to ignore in favor of other more “glamorous” or “heroic” measures but I have seen many examples where one or more of these are key to the success (or failure) of a person’s attempts to reclaim their health—of body and of mind.

These shackles hold back the mind and body in multiple ways. When people come to a body psychotherapist they present as the end result of the impacts from many stressors or of sustained deficits. When the body psychotherapist (or any individual giving aid to the person) works with the person it is a challenge to balance the desire to treat the symptoms with the knowledge that if the cause is not removed the person will not make the progress they might have. What I am listing includes causal factors that are not widely recognized or usually addressed. The Internet sites I give below will help you learn more about these.

Toxics: These include heavy metal toxicity that comes from our modern society. Mercury, the “mad hatter” metal, can severely impact personality and general health. Dental visits are the main source of mercury in the body, and can introduce other metals such as cadmium (in braces). Pesticides and other compounds can also imbalance a person’s metabolism, neurologically as well as biochemically. Human toxic management is described in the German model of “Homotoxicology” described on my web site: If we cannot throw a toxin out of our body, then it is deposited in deeper and deeper levels as we cope with it. Many times I hear of practitioners treating someone for headache with relaxation or herbs, or medication, or guided imagery when the person had a low-level dental stress, or a gastrointestinal problem from microbes (below) that should be treated.

Microbes: We are learning about low-level, chronic conditions such as parasites, Lyme disease and “stealth virus” infections. Treating these can be very difficult and can require months of diligent medication and careful management of diet and eating patterns. Microbes can live in dead root canal filled teeth. They can grow in tooth extraction sockets and be a big drain on the body’s energy. The intestines are a “community” of microbes that often becomes a battleground of unfriendly organisms stressing the body.

Memories: Deep-seated patterns from negative social situations can push neurochemistry in a detrimental direction, as well as foster “holding patterns” that skew posture and reduce freedom of movement. Body psychotherapists can expand on this category.

Lifestyle: 1. Diet: Both the types of foods and quantities matter. Probiotics (such as acidophilus and bifidus) are critical to gastrointestinal health. We need to find the zone of nutrient levels that is best for the individual, supplementing in an “orthomolecular” manner. The time of day we eat, how you eat—rushed or relaxed, how much one chews the food are each important. 2. Sleep: Is it in total darkness? Less in summer and more in winter. We are genetically programmed for 8 to 10 hours of darkness [Wiley, Formby].

Exercise: How one moves their body through life is one of the biggest factors influencing the kind of person they become. Growth can come with appropriate weight bearing exercise. We can be harmed by too much exercise. Movement also brings our body through the electromagnetic lines around the planet and may generate “chi”; this is especially evident in use of gentle “rebounder” trampoline exercises. Body movement also increases lymph flow; lymph helps the body eliminate toxins.

Environment: 1. Light on the skin is important; not only for the daytime concern about skin cancer, but light on the skin at night (TV, computer, overhead lights, clock radio lights, etc.) will cause subtle hormone shifts and can stress the adrenals and lead to stress-related behavior, as well as obesity, hypertension, diabetes and cancer [Wiley/Formby]. 2. In Europe there is concern about underground water streams causing electromagnetic disturbance that can result in so-called “cancer houses” where occupants develop cancers; the remedy for this is to move one’s bed or location in which they spend many hours at a time. 3. Radiation from computers, microwaves, etc., can be significant stressors.

Accidents: Trauma causing scars and bone and tissue injury can cause focal disturbances in the Autonomic Nervous System’s function. In our clinic we use Neural Therapy to treat scars, including hidden fascial tears due to whiplash injury. Mal-position of body structures is a key problem assessed by different schools of treatment.

Genetics: I include this because it can be helpful for a person to know about how their body is “wired” to function. Ayurvedic body typing addresses this. The study of iris fiber structure has been useful in alternative medicine practices (I deeply the appreciate the Psychological Iridology of Denny Johnson—the Rayid system). The “bio-tech” industry has made us all aware of how genetics can be used to classify people, so we need to consider this for pro and con aspects. My “take” on genetic testing is that if a person is told they will develop a disease because of a certain genetic pattern they have, there may be hope that if they get appropriate nutrient support their body may not develop the condition (I met Henry Turkel, M.D., who treated Down’s Syndrome children with nutrient injections and they looked normal).

Many times over the years I have looked at the treatment given by medical doctors, and by psychotherapists (as well as others) and was stunned by the way these key factors were not considered. I still feel a twinge of pain inside when I encounter a person who is struggling in counseling or under the treatment of a medical doctor and has not dealt with these factors. They are living a life in shackles and do not even know it. The body has innate ability to heal itself if it is freed from restrictions and given tools to do the work. I am angered and humbled at the same time when someone talks about their spiritual growth or their ability to “cope” when they continue to walk around with some of these problems I see glaring back at me. These people are being denied the fullness of life that could be theirs. Too often I have to be supportive in my words and move on, not causing strife by trying to tell them what they are missing. I am still learning about how to deal with the insights and visions I have had of the possible greater freedom available for people if they can only make the journey to see a “bigger picture.”

Treating these factors: This takes skill as well as the awareness of their important role in health problems. The references will give you information on some of the many assessment and treatment options. Broad treatment categories include: Detoxification, Nourishment, Touch Therapies, Supportive Relationships (with self, people, nature), Education (self-discovery, teaching about healthy living on all levels). My enthusiasm for dealing with the toxic aspects of dentistry is the reason I moved to DC. I am working with a group that supports “Biological Dentistry” and calls their work Integrative Medicine. The order of the list of eight factors is taken from my observation of what our group has found to give good return for the invested energy and money. It is gratifying to see increasing numbers of people discover a bigger picture to understand and reclaim health of body and of mind. I will continue to test and refine my “model” for how to best help a person find the freedom to heal. Guild members include a spectrum of practitioners, and each can address these factors with varying directness. If you do not want to treat a factor such as I listed, for whatever reason, I ask you to consider at least making the client/patient aware of it and give them a chance to eventually take action.

I wish you the health you seek along your path, and even more than you thought possible.

Enjoy the journey,

Ralph Wilson, N.D., M.S. Acupuncture