How not to get sick
Achieving perfect health through your subtle body
An introduction article
We don’t know our body too well. In fact, as long as we are relatively healthy, we hardly notice its existence. The body is something you just drag around. Even when we are conscious enough to feed it the proper diet, use alternative medicine to balance it, and ensure we are physically fit and active, to a certain degree the body remains a stranger to us. When it is thrown off balance and becomes diseased, we are compelled to take a look into it, yet even then our gaze is mostly surprised, perplexed and helpless.
The truth is that we don’t really understand the processes that take place in it, and thus we cannot fathom why it got out of balance. Since for the most part, we are located in the mind, we are watching the aching body from afar, its language of pain and symptoms incomprehensible to our ears. So when we admit our body needs taking care of, we leave the understanding of the process to someone else who should know better; some professional who could explain to us, and hopefully also take responsibility for our healing process.
About 18 years ago, I was forced myself to confront this reality when my body entered a terrible crisis due to unbalanced spiritual processes. This crisis included a deep nervous breakdown and physical collapse which astounded me in their level of intensity. Needless to say, I went to all doctors and all imaginable alternative caretakers in the hope to gain an insight. I heard many interesting and peculiar theories about my condition, but none of them led to even the slightest improvement.
After two years of relentless suffering, when my condition seemed quite hopeless, I stumbled across an American yogi, who would eventually become my close spiritual mentor for seven years: Dr. Gabriel Cousens. When I met him, I had no idea he was a renowned expert in the field of conscious living. Cousens needed a very short exchange to grasp my condition, and so we started a process that was completely along the lines of the yogic traditions which inspired him.
Not only that treatment resolved the crisis completely, it also unexpectedly gradually revealed to me my own subtle world of hidden energetic forces that shaped my physical health. Things that I never knew existed became a tangible reality, as tangible as my own “physical” body was. With time, I started being able to listen to myself, and to finally close the gap between me and this stranger called the “body.”
Everything I am going to present here in this series of articles is wholly based on this yogic knowledge which was revealed to me throughout that process – combined, of course, with some developments of my own. The purpose is clear and simple: becoming conscious of this entire and often overlooked subtle world, in order to achieve optimal health.
Learning about this world is not just for mental or intellectual enrichment.
It results in the development of a sort of listening in which you no longer need to let someone else understand for you what is going on in your body. You can actually begin to detect the subtle process while it takes place: how, for example, emotions, thoughts or beliefs slowly sneak into your physical system and become physical problems; what is professionally termed “psychosomatic disorders.” As a result, you will be able to detect when a certain illness begins to take root in the body and to stop it just before it develops – which is what can be generally thought of as “illness prevention.” With this knowledge, you will be also able more to notice what your brain is doing: how it sends wrong, distorted commands to your physical system, including to your nervous system and organs.
All this is possible, we only need to know how to listen.
Yet even before knowing how to listen, we need to decide that we can actually make such a shift, and not think: “This is impossible,” or “Just give me some medicine,” or “Tell me what is going on.” We need to trust that we can become actual masters of our own energetic system and as a result, masters of our own body. In fact, mastery is the meta-principle of this subtle-health medicine. A master is not a lord or owner, someone who is watching the body from the distance with misunderstanding. On the contrary, the true master is one with their body. It’s someone who can detect what is going on within them and notice how there are certain processes that take place before physical symptoms appear.
Physical symptoms are just the end-result. Simply put, they appear when our system begins to scream. They are our system’s last resort. Since our body knows that it is difficult to ignore physical symptoms, it uses them as its strongest weapons to force you to listen. How long would you stand an ongoing, terrible migraine without thinking that you must do something, even if it is to seek out the strongest painkiller to suppress it? Living with sadness, on the other hand, is much more manageable. You can quite effectively avoid handling it for many, many years. You can even live with it for the rest of your life, whereas living with a nagging physical symptom can be unbearable. For this reason, when our system realizes that we are not going to listen in a nice way, it translates the neglected emotion or thought into something we can no longer ignore.
Take a look at the model that introduces the main actors of subtle-health medicine.
These different actors, who are both connected to each other and play their own unique role, are a crucial factor in our physical health. Of course, these are not the only factors that determine health, yet these are the forces that are revealed to us when we study our system from the inside.
There are powerful inner processes that eventually influence the material body. That is why this journey means tapping into the world that gives shape to our material experience. The great advantage of communicating with this hidden world is that you are able to work with immaterial elements before they consolidate into fixed and more resistant physical conditions. As long as they have not become material, they are more changeable and elastic. Changing your energy patterns, beliefs, thoughts, and emotions is generally easier than changing strong feelings and persistent physical symptoms, since the first belong to a finer, easier-to-work-with levels of our being.
One more advantage of this inner territory is that the deeper we delve into it, the more we can get in touch with an awesome experience of inherent health: the experience that, deeply speaking, you are already completely healthy. Indeed, not only healthy but whole and undamaged. Working from this inherent health on physical ailments is a completely different experience.
As I said, there are other factors that determine our health, when we approach our system from the outside – such as nutrition and supplements, physical activity and lifestyle. All these are absolutely vital, yet if you are able to get hold of these principles of subtle health, they are actually secondary.
Now, will we never, ever get sick again? We need to understand that the mysteries of life combined with the fact that we live a highly complex, chemical-ridden, and technological way of life, prevents us from fully controlling all the processes that could take place in our body. Though we cannot guarantee a perfect health, we are surely capable of preventing all psychosomatic and self-inflicted disorders. Anything that is mind-body related is completely in our hands, and that is enough to allow us to enjoy, in general, the experience of a wonderful physical feeling on a daily basis.
There is a basic physical health, which means feeling okay and having no complaints, and there is a great physical state in which you are feeling highly energized, physically ecstatic, and truly alive. By knowing how to channel and direct your subtle anatomy – your subtle “nervous system” (nadis), “glands” (chakras) and “spine” (sushumna) – you no longer only feel fine; you feel that your whole system is so energized that it has attained what can be considered “physical happiness.”
These 12 principles of subtle-health medicine, which enable us to achieve physical self-mastery, are going to be presented, one after another, in this series of articles.
- The body is not just a body. A new understanding of the physical dimension awaits us in subtle-health medicine: the body is not “matter”; it is a flow and elasticity, and it is made of consciousness and energy. To grasp this is pretty revolutionary, since we tend to look at our body through the eyes of of our mind, which only considers it purely material. Here we are talking about a new experience of the body, which can only be realized when you learn how to become one with it. Amazingly, the closer you get to the body, the more you realize that it is not material; it is, in reality, energy in movement, which is controlled by life-force. Of course, energy in movement and life-force are much easier to work with than with a solid and unchanging pack of bones, flesh and organs. This is a fundamental stage: to be able to work with your body from within, you need to first stop perceiving it as a foreigner and to become one with it.
- Upstream energy flow is crucial for health. “Upstream” means a stream that is channeled upwards, within a straight, central line, from our lower spine all the way to our head. When upstream energy flows within our subtle body, we are deeply healthy and our head becomes filled with the sufficient energy to keep it clear and wakeful. Indeed, more than just healthy but truly awakened. In the way of this inner flow we find three main blockages, which can partly be corrected through right posture. In this stage, you learn how to hold your body in a way that allows this life-force stream.
- Optimal activity of chakras, and chakra alignment, are a vital condition for a sense of balance and health. We need to learn how to reflect our chakras and balance them. Don’t be intimidated by the term. Chakras are the easiest, most accessible component of our subtle body, and they are already a part of our physical experience – even if we don’t call them that way and have no idea what to do with them. Chakras are our main energy centers and by listening to them we can become aware of any form of imbalance in our body-mind system, and also detect its origin. This is the third essential stage: becoming able to reflect your own imbalances and to follow them all the way their source.
- Right and left imbalances – the two halves of your body—can cause health disorders. Here is the importance of building a physical and energetic center. An essential part of self-mastery is the way you can actually balance your two extremes and not be carried away by any of them. These extremes, represented by the two halves of our body, include all the opposing tendencies of our mental, emotional and spiritual aspects.
- Building subtle immunity and resilience can be a powerful illness prevention. Grasping the subtleties behind our nervous system as well as the solar plexus chakra is a key to gaining healthy resistance to pressures. Usually, we think of the word “resistance” as something negative, yet there is a healthy type of resistance: possessing certain resources in your body and mind that can actually say “No” to external pressures and disease. Without these resources, we might feel too weak to resist. In such a condition, even when we are aware of the subtle processes that take place in our body, we are unable to halt them and instead, we fall prey to them.
- The body is your subconscious. If you ever wondered what the subconscious is and what its messages to you are, here it is: it is simply the tangible reality of your body. Your body is like a mirror that clearly reflects to you everything that you may suppress or overlook. The body is the space in our being into which we throw all the things we don’t want to handle. Its condition reveals to us all of our suppressions and neglect of subtle processes. We can achieve physical mastery by learning to become the best listeners of our body’s reflections and by taking seriously its messages. When we stay tuned in to these messages and catch them on time, our body is no longer that aching thing which prevents us from doing everything we want to do but, rather, a friend and a collaborator. Understanding its processes also means understanding your inner reality.
- The law of parallel systems: Our physical, emotional, mental, energetic, and spiritual aspects, all reflect to us similar balances and imbalances. Whatever imbalance appears in one system, also exists in another form in the other systems. We never have only a “physical” problem. It also exists in another form as a mental, emotional, energetic, and spiritual problem. That is why we need to learn to work with ourselves holistically: when we work on a certain imbalance, we must do this on all levels and not just concentrate on a specific one. This is a pathway to a profound type of self-healing.
- Emotions transform into symptoms, and – through right understanding – symptoms can be transformed back into emotions. When we are able to transform symptoms back into emotions, we can work on the subtler roots without needing the body to suffer too. We don’t require the body alarm signals to be on all the time. It’s like telling your body: “I got the message, you can relax now, you don’t need to produce these symptoms.” This knowledge makes us able to control our emotions in a healthy way: knowing how to keep an eye so that we grasp them before they become something else. In terms of health, our unconscious mind is much more significant than the conscious mind. It’s all that we tell ourselves without us knowing. That is why we need to penetrate and reprogram it. When faced with an illness, we need to return to that original moment where we created it. It’s wonderful to be able to find roots and origins, almost like subtle detectives; this endows us with the feeling that we can actually understand ourselves, and not just receive the final result and be completely surprised. We can know “why?” – but to know why, we need to know how.
- Your brain creates unnecessary pain. We should also understand the role of the brain in mind-generated diseases. This is an important learning: how to actually take over our own brain and alter the signals it keeps sending to the body. This principle enables us to direct the unconscious instructions of the brain and to create new and conscious ones.
- We can cultivate the capacity of self-diagnosis and self-command for illness prevention. This is an essential component of self-mastery: learning how to prevent the body from falling into illness; how to trace the moment before the point of no-return. We need to understand that there is a gap, which we usually don’t notice. When, for example, we realize that we’re just starting to feel the beginning of a flue, we mostly feel as if it were a sort of a rollercoaster: all we can do is put on the safety belt and let it happen. You can’t ask the operator to get you out, because it has already started. We need to learn how to spot this gap on time. There are no good or necessary illnesses. If you learn your lesson, you don’t need to be sick or to have pain. Sometimes, when we don’t have our subtle immune systems strong enough, we become sick in order to take a break. This is already the result of doing something wrong. Being sick then will be experienced unconsciously as a relief: one part will say “Oh no, I can’t believe I’m sick,” yet another part will think “I can finally sink into a state of powerlessness.” Unconsciously, the illness is experienced as a nourishing state. However, we don’t have to do this – but only if we don’t want to do this. Too often we also start dragging illnesses, prolonging them for weeks, but in reality, if we don’t want to be sick, even these bouts can be extremely short.
- We can nourish the subtle health. Subtle health is not only energetic, internal, mental and meditative. There are ways to feed it: through breathing exercises, certain foods, herbs, supplements, homeopathy, physical practice, and nerve-system support. This is like completing our inner reprogramming by adding elements that support and sustain it. Of course, what is shared in both internal and external self-treatment is consciousness: growing conscious of what truly does good to your body. And learning what does good to your body must not be research-based or scientifically-proven. It cannot be a hearsay. It first needs to be things that your body identifies as beneficial and supportive.
- Meditation and cosmic prana are a great healer. Getting to know our inherent wholeness, and coming into contact with that which gave us life, is like attaching ourselves to primal nourishment. Many acknowledge nowadays that mediation is physically helpful, but we need to learn how to use meditation consciously in order to heal. Meditating in a directed way can actually turn into a healing process. Even when you’re pain-free, meditation can be a constant process of illness-prevention.
Each principle will be followed by several practices: meditations as well as daily intentions and easy-to-get energetic and physical exercises that can be done anywhere and anytime.
Let us conclude this introduction with a brief intention. Try as much as possible to connect with a deep and inherent feeling of perfect health in your body. Remember that deep down, beneath the usual layers of our physical experience, we can find a state which is extraordinarily healthy, already right now. There is a level in which you don’t need to reach health but can simply get in touch with it.
Feel how your body and mind as a whole function as one organism, like a completely synchronized orchestra. Tune in to this frequency of health. Start creating for yourself a field of healing based on the wonderful feeling that health is already inherent in your body. What kind of intention do you wish to plant in this field? What is the step that you wish to take towards this physical self-mastery? Intention is the first step of any conscious self-change, so declare it clearly as you are entering your hidden inner world.Alle Beiträge des Autors auf Spirit Online
Shai Tubali is a leading authority in the field of self-development and self-empowerment. In his writings and teachings, he skillfully combines psychology, philosophy, Yogic traditions and Eastern thought and practices, into powerful processes of inner transformation.
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