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Feb. 1, 2024

E10 I Why healing is still possible for chronic illnesses with no cure

E10 I Why healing is still possible for chronic illnesses with no cure

Have you come to terms with a diagnosis, only to later feel lost and frustrated all over again?

Pushing your body to fight through pain and exhaustion is not the only way to manage living with chronic illness.

There is a better way. Healing goes deeper than curing and brings together all aspects of your life relating to illness.

BY THE TIME YOU FINISH LISTENING, YOU’LL DISCOVER:

- The difference between being "cured" and embracing the journey of "healing"
- How to take responsibility and empower yourself no matter what the diagnosis
- Why healing and death are not mutually exclusive


I've created an Autoimmune Symptom Relief Guide to help you weather storms with more ease and self-compassion.

It is a non medical guide that contains top tips for managing autoimmune flares and finding daily relief without the help of medications!

Learn how to manage episodes on YOUR terms - through self-care rituals, adaptogenic herbs, lifestyle tweaks and more.

So if you're ready to weather autoimmune storms with more ease and self-compassion, click the link below to sign up for the guide!

CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE GUIDE

OTHER LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

"The Four Things That Matter Most" by Dr. Ira Byock
"Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom" by Dr. Christiane Northrup 


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@aninditarungta | nourish heal connect | Embrace Your Healing Journey

Chapters

00:47 - The book that changed my life

03:07 - 4 simple, yet powerful statements that can change your life

05:09 - How I learned to appreciate the "gift" of life

06:33 - When you feel doomed to a life of pain and suffering

06:53 - Do this instead of chasing one solution after another

07:45 - What you probably haven't realised yet

08:08 - Knowing this difference can help you to feel confident in your body’s own healing powers

08:51 - The reason that there is no “cure” for chronic conditions

09:49 - Healing is a natural process and within the reach of everyone

10:41 - Healing versus curing

11:17 - When a condition is "incurable"

11:53 - "We are not so much responsible for our illnesses, as responsible to them"

Transcript

In today's episode, I'm going to share with you the difference between healing and curing and what it means for chronic illnesses that have no cure. That's all coming up next right here on Embrace Your Healing Journey. 1s 

Welcome to Embrace Your Healing Journey, a podcast for women with autoimmune and other chronic conditions to help them navigate the illness without fear of isolation and uncertainty and find relief from their symptoms. Your body is your guide and ally in healing. If you're ready to embrace this journey with compassion and awareness, then the show is for you. Tune in weekly as I, a Functional medicine certified health coach, deliver tips and insights that demystify the healing process, guiding you towards the relief you deserve so that you can feel healthy and happy once more.

 The first time I became aware of the difference between getting cured of a disease and healing from it was when I was reading this book that changed my life. It's called The Four Things That Matter Most by Doctor Byock, and it's a celebration of the bonds that we have with others. It's a lovely book, and I still recommend it to my friends and my family, even I think after seven years of first reading the book, this book is all about, uh, forgiving others, appreciating others, uh, the relationships that we have, loving and celebrating one another, and how to live a complete and fulfilling life. It's a beautiful book, and I highly recommend that you get it. And I have shared the link below. So the author, Doctor Byock, wrote this book based on his learnings and experiences of dealing with terminally ill patients, and his experiences about dealing with his patients who were dying, taught him about what was truly important, and he actually shares beautiful and hearts filled stories that capture his learnings. So this book is actually a work of nonfiction. So there are a lot of these beautiful stories that actually, uh, you know. Reflects what he's talking about, because till then, I had simply no idea that a book about dying could actually teach me so much about how to live my life. I used to think that these books would be morbid and depressing. And, you know, now I have read so many books on the topic of mortality and death, and I find that I have learned about living so much from these books. Bu this book remains my favorite. 

 And what he shares in this book is, of course, important when we are at the end of our lives and want to tie up loose ends before we die. But I think it is even more relevant because it teaches how teaches us how to truly live right not just to exist, but to thrive and enjoy life. And I would rather do it now than wait till the end of my life to learn these lessons. Because, you know, I can implement this. I can see the benefits, and I'm already seeing some of the benefits as I am, you know, putting in place some of the things that he talks about. And he shares these four simple statements that are powerful tools for improving your relationships and changing your life.

 And these four statements are please forgive me, I forgive you. Thank you, I love you. So these four statements are. Please forgive me, I forgive you. Thank you. I love you. 

Yes, these are the sound very simple, but they are not easy to practice, of course. They are very simple, but not easy at all. And for myself, while I'm aware of this and try to practice saying, you know, actually living this through my words and actions as much as possible, I make mistakes. And I still have a long way to go yet. But just the fact that I'm aware you know how powerful these tools are. I am much more intentional today than I was before about implement this in my day to implementing these tools in my day to day life. And I can tell you one thing it has had a significant effect on my relationship with myself and and others in my life because, you know, these are the most important things that we have. And of course, it's as relevant as we, you know, these tools that are as relevant when we are at the end of our lives and when we are in the middle of it. So the sooner that you start realizing this and paying attention to what is truly important, your life can change. Starting today, because there is something that a dying person realizes because they have limited time left, right. It becomes crystal clear when you know when someone has limited time as to what is truly important and they stop playing games. They make sure that they heal maybe any broken relationships that they have. They are not scared anymore to say what's on their mind, to do what is necessary.  And a lot of the fear gets stripped away when we are left with not, you know, a small amount of time. And it can help us to wake up finally to appreciate the gift that life is. 

And that's exactly how I failed after my daughter came back home from battling a life threatening infection when she was just six years old. Like she was in ICU for a month and she was given a new lease of life. And as her mother, uh, it changed the way I look at, you know, life forever. It changed the way I lived my life. It changed the way I responded. You know what I wanted to do with my life? It led me to functional medicine, health coaching. And here I am talking about it today, and I've shared our story in the very first episode, and I have shared the link below so you can take a listen. But again, really, we don't have to be at death's door to feel like this, right? Even dealing with a chronic illness can open up us up to all those things that we took for granted, starting with our bodies. 

So if you're dealing with a chronic illness, you may have come to terms with your initial diagnosis only to feel your life turning upside down when your doctor suddenly mentions it might be a completely different one after all. And you need to get tested again so you're not really sure. So you're almost back to square one. Or you might feel weighted down by constant fatigue and even, you know, cooking dinner or taking a walk and you leave you exhausted for hours. And you may have tried taking two or more medications, but the side effects have wrecked your body. Your hair has started falling out, and you feel sicker and sicker every day as you started gaining weight. You know, all of these things can make you feel that you're doomed to a life. A life, you know, lifetime of medications, pain and suffering. And there is not much that you can actually do about it. You know, the thing is, getting diagnosed is just one part of your journey, like all of the whole healing process. And instead of just chasing one solution after another, you know, consider embracing the entire healing process. And I really like to encourage my clients and teach them how to look at it as a journey where the ups and downs, where it's it's, you know, it's smooth for the long run. Right. Because that allows them to actually look at it in, you know, in a way that can help them go beyond symptoms. And then they finally learn how to nourish themselves. So because you need to learn how to nourish your whole self, body, mind and spirit so that you can heal from within, right? And that's what I'm talking about today. And this is as true for diseases that can be cured by taking and taking an antibiotic or getting a surgery, as it is true for chronic illnesses that have no cure.

 Because what you probably haven't realized yet is that there is a difference between healing and getting cured. And it is really important that you understand this difference. I didn't understand this difference till I went down this path trying to figure out a solution, a long term and a gentle solution for my daughter. And when I came across books like this. Because knowing this difference can help you go from feeling disempowered, helpless, and frustrated to feeling empowered, optimistic, and confident in your body's own healing powers. Because you may have already tried taking medications and maybe more than one medication, and it's not prevented your disease from progressing. So you have maybe now more than one, uh, you know, diagnosis. And you may have already, you know, try to get a diagnosis for more than five years and you still not sure which disease you have, or you may have been pushing your body and fighting through the pain, even when you're exhausted, because you believe that this was the only way that you could manage to lead a normal life. 

But perhaps it is time to take a different approach, because clearly there's something that's not working. And the reason that, you know, you need to take a different job, a different approach to chronic conditions, chronic illnesses, and do your own healing is that there is no cure, because for chronic conditions, the nature is such that they never really go away. They don't have a single cause. They are multifactorial. I mean, that means that they don't have a single origin cause, and that makes it hard to deal with them. So unless you're able to piece together the separate pieces of the puzzle that hold the key to your healing process, you remain stuck simply chasing a diagnosis. And even when you get a diagnosis, you're not really getting answers. After all, you don't. You're not anywhere close to figuring out why you have disease, this disease, and what you need to do about it. Apart from suppressing the symptoms? So let's get back to the healing part of it. 

Healing is a natural process and within the reach of everyone, no matter what stage of illness therein. And as I mentioned before, it is quite different than that, you know, from being cured of a health condition, because getting cured of a disease is an external process that needs external treatment in the form of symptom management, surgeries and medications, whereas healing begins with that release. Willingness to address any underlying imbalances by making changes in all the three areas that make us who we are mind, body, and spirit. And there is another book that I recommend. It's by Doctor Christiane Northrup, and it's called Women's Bodies Women's Wisdom. And she talks about healing and curing. She says healing is a natural process. And within the power of everyone, healing goes deeper than curing and must always come from within. Healing brings together the often hidden aspects of a person's life as they relate to her illness. Healing is different from curing. The curing and the restoration of physical function may accompany healing. One can be healed completely and go on to die of her illness. This is a key understanding that is often missing in holistic medicine. Healing and death are not mutually exclusive. This means that even if a condition is incurable, like many progressive chronic conditions, at the very least one can change the experience of living with the disease and see many improvements in different areas of their life. This can be in the form of having more peace of mind, more clarity, more meaning, and a better improved relationship. But whatever time that remains and you have this power to change your experience and what it what it should mean to you, no matter how hard and no matter how difficult this journey has. Been for you so far. And as Doctor Northrup says, for healing to occur, we must come to see that we are not so much responsible for our illnesses as responsible to them. I think this is a beautiful way of putting it, because I though we a lot of times we are told to, uh, you know, take the entire blame for illness, which I find to be not constructive at all, or we completely absorb ourselves of any responsibilities. Neither of these extremes are helpful, right? 

Because when you take full responsibility for how you respond to your disease, when you don't beat yourself up for having the disease, but you take life one day at a time and make healthier choices, things start to change. Your life starts to improve. And it's again not about getting cured, but you can always heal, right? It's not about getting cured. And of course you can get healed cured as well. But you know, but not in the traditional sense of the word, which is why in my practice, I don’t use the word cured. Uh, you know, because I deal with complex chronic conditions like autoimmune disease. So there is no cure, right? But there is so many ways to heal, because when you take charge of your own healing in this manner, you gain a renewed sense of empowerment, control and hope. Uh, you know, which takes time, but it's irrespective of your diagnosis. That's the beauty of it, right? Because you have moved by symptom management. You have moved beyond getting a traditional cure, chasing diagnosis tests and on all that is important. And I've talked about it before so that, you know, the to prevent further damage and to manage the symptoms better manage pain. But that's not the solution. That's not really addressing what is truly going on, the underlying imbalances and the deficiencies. So, as Stephen Levine has said, to heal is to touch with love that which we previously touched with fear. 

I want to end here today. If you have any questions, you can connect with me on Instagram at an invitation to thank you so much for joining me today for this episode of Embrace Your Healing Journey. If you want to take the next step in discovering your own power to heal by figuring out what needs to be done so that you can find relief from your symptoms, can download the free e-book The Autoimmune Symptom Relief Guide, and you can head to an English room. Com forward slash symptom relief. And in the.com/symptom relief. I've shared the link below. And in the next episode I will talk about why autoimmune conditions are skyrocketing and what you need to know about it. Do not miss it. Your body knows how to heal. Are you ready to support it?