The Layers of Healing

In the west, obesity has become rather epidemic so I thought it would be useful to explore this as an example of the layers of healing we might face. Eating is fundamental to our survival. But it is also a point of pleasure, an association with mother, a way to suppress or avoid feelings, a false way of protecting ourselves energetically, plus our relationship with food can leave deep impressions we carry forward into other lifetimes.

First off, food has strong associations, perhaps with our social or family life, our culture, traditions, and even our role in the world. Are we the breadwinner or food provider? Or are we the one who expects to be provided for?

Our body has a natural intelligence if we don’t confuse it with sugar and excess. And if we learn to listen to it, to be body aware.

As we age, there is a natural slowing of the metabolism. This brings with it the tendency to put on weight more and more easily. There is often life changes that go along with that, like being promoted from the mail-room to the office and more sedentary work. While ensuring we get enough exercise certainly has a role here, the bigger issues are around diet, eating routines, and long bad habits.

Diet
These days, belly fat is said to be the worst of weight gain due to the type of fat and its load on the organs. That is directly diet related. But we’ve discovered that dietary fat alone is Not the problem. In fact healthy fats are an important part of our diet. They keep things lubricated.

Part of the reason for the obesity epidemic is that the government demonized fat and food industries adapted by creating “low fat” products. They replaced fat with sugar to retain flavour. That actually increased the fat problem. It also lead to far more processed foods. I explored that here.

Recently I was reading about current research on the connection between allergies and weight gain, hormones and inflammation (sore joints, etc) and how they’re all tied together.

Julie Daniluk wrote Slimming Meals that Heal, a book on recommended dietary ways to find and eliminate food sensitivities that can develop, creating hormone imbalance and inflammation. That leads to stiffness, soreness and weight gain. Curiously, the chemistry often causes us to crave the foods that cause us trouble. She explores the recent science on this in clear language.

While Julie suggests weight loss without dieting, it is necessary to fast from certain foods to work out which ones we’ve become sensitive to. She points out the likely culprits. We can replace them with “superfoods” that are good for us and slimming. She calls this a “Live-It” rather than “diet” as it’s not a denial or starvation approach but rather a replacement one. This still does require changing long habits though.

While Julie includes a chapter on combating emotional eating, the book is mainly a physical approach and would not typically help resolve emotional roots. That’s not the point of the book. She just points to some resources.

Emotional
Emotional eating has become extremely common in the west. That is – eating driven by emotions rather than bodily need. We crave escapist but unhealthy “comfort” foods, excess and sugar.

As the Yoga Sutra observes, we try to resist pain and become attached to pleasure. We can use food to suppress how we feel by overdoing it. We can also overdo it in seeking pleasure outside of ourselves. As with any addictive behaviour, excess leads to reduced response and thus requires more to get the same hit. Add in the craving of foods we’re sensitive to and you get a recipe for trouble. Julie talks about this also.

Don’t think you have any food addictions? Try going off all sugar or coffee for a few days. It can be hard physically, but also emotionally.

If our emotional needs are not being met, we can easily revert to physical cravings and binge eating. We’ve all see the all-so-true jokes about eating a carton of ice cream or bag of cookies in one sitting.

Life experiences also add another layer. For example, many seniors today lived through the depression. For some, that may express as a need to stockpile food or overdo it in some way. You can see the same behaviour in pets if they had a rough early life.

As usual, I’ll note that effortless meditation is great for dissolving stress, the agitation that can lead us to reactive eating problems.

But some issues may require more direct intervention. The key is to make them conscious so they can be resolved. Not always an easy task but powerful once we’re willing to feel again. The classic in the field would be Louise Hay’s book Heal Your Body. It’s mainly a long list of issues with the corresponding emotional cause. Release the emotion and heal the issue.

However, that list can be a bit generic. How we resist and where we store it vary some. A more recent text that includes a broader range is The Secret Language of Your Body by Inna Segal. Like Lousie’s book, it has a long list of issues. But they include a number of variations on cause. The book also has a similar table for places in the body. And another for emotions and how to resolve them specifically. They’re of course all cross-referenced.

The simple key is to read the appropriate section and see what triggers, what you react to. That can open the door to resolution. Once you get the hang of the process of making it conscious and releasing, you wont need a book reference much. Just a willingness to notice resistance or reaction, feel it and let it go.

Deeper
For many people, there can be even deeper dynamics at play.

One type is what Rose Rosetree calls frozen blocks of energy. For example, a friend of mine starved to death on a ship at sea in a prior lifetime. That residual energy was seeking resolution in this life and expressed as a need to eat too much. A grasping at food, much as someone who lived through starvation in this life might act. Only in this case, there was no obvious driver of the behaviour. But once it was conscious, it could be resolved.

It’s also not uncommon for people who are sensitive energetically to attempt (unconsciously) to protect themselves with body mass. But mass just dulls us – it does nothing to actually protect us. Developing energy and empathic skills is far more effective.

We can also fall into patterns around food that originated prior to about 5 years of age. Toddlers are pre-conscious sponges, soaking up everything around them, taking in all the family patterns. Voice, habits, and energy. Many people associate dessert with reward, for example. Our society is also rife with psychic coercion, attempting to influence our choices.

I explore the dynamics of energy healing in this series. All of this is heal-able if we’re willing to step through the process and release the drivers behind habits we’ve struggled to correct. This doesn’t mean going into the feelings – just becoming conscious of them and allowing them to complete.

Perhaps this gives you something of an idea of how layered our issues can be. In our relationship with food, we can be inviting all kinds of dynamics to play. This can be true of pretty much anything we’re struggling with. But note how we can heal physical issues by resolving the emotions. And the emotions can be resolved by releasing the energy.

The more subtle we go, the more potent and the more inclusive.
Resolving the source resolves all effects.
Davidya

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7 Responses to The Layers of Healing

  1. Share says:

    I’m so glad you chose this topic which causes so much suffering and disease in our society. A lot of that suffering comes from the shame that people feel about over eating, being over weight, etc. It’s helpful to remind ourselves that mother’s milk has a sweet taste, so in this sense we’re hardwired to crave that, especially when we need to self soothe. In addition, once we eat a sugary food, we set ourselves up to be craving that all day long, physically. It has little to do with a lack of will power.

    Energetically I think we also over eat to ground ourselves. But just as with self soothing mentioned above, grounding can be done through other means.

    One final point about belly fat: that area of the belly is where oxygen exchange in the blood occurs. So if there’s a lot of fat there, that also gets into the blood stream.

    I found EFT tapping to be a simple and effective tool for dealing with all the issues involved. And even uncovering the less obvious issues. Going on a strict diet for even one week can set up a good momentum for further weight loss and healthier eating.

  2. Davidya says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Share.

    Agreed. And yes, demands the body makes are not something we can fight with mental will alone. Perhaps for a time, but we’ll fail. Biology trumps mind. The key there is balancing the body, something not well known in the west.

    Also agree on grounding. Thought I had that in here. Things like exercise, asana, and moderation in spiritual practices are better there.

    Julie gives a couple of pages to EFT in her book. A basic intro. The emofree site and others have much more. But the basics are simple.

    And yes, fasting from certain foods even for a few days can break addictive behaviours around them. But it’s worth noting that it’s a bit like AA. Once the pattern is established, its very easy to fall back into it when restressed or triggered. This is normal and natural.

    Thus sometimes deeper energy healing is needed to remove more entrenched things.

    Thanks again!

  3. Pingback: Healing Process - Davidya.ca

  4. David, it’s so important to address the issue of energy healing. It plays such a vital role on one’s path to Enlightenment.

    My perspective on energy healing is a bit different from yours, as I believe that very targeted skills are important for removing what I call “STUFF.” (“STUFF” means stored energies of different kinds that are stuck at the astral level, corresponding to a person’s subconscious mind. The field of Rosetree Energy Spirituality specializes in removing many kinds of STUFF.)

    Of course there are many approaches, and each one has the people for whom it will be most helpful.

    • Davidya says:

      Hi Rose
      This particular article was focused on the issue of obesity and the layers of healing that may need to be addressed. Many are familiar with issues of diet and emotional eating but may not realize there is more. Food in particular can have very deep roots.

      I quite agree deeper healing may been needed for such issues. The article was not designed to explore that, just the layers in general. Instead I link to articles that do go into it, including the kinds of Stuff and energetic literacy.

      Thanks for noting that.

  5. Davidya, I like that you’ve used the term “deeper energy healing” in your previous response to Share’s comment.

    What is my experience with the “energy spirituality”-type healing, as well as doing research with “energetic literacy” skills?

    It’s so important to research thoroughly the skill sets being employed for healing. Don’t just look at the promises.

    Consumer smarts matter for energy healing at least as much as with any other choice we may make.

    • Davidya says:

      Good point, Rose.
      I don’t have a lot of experience with the energy healing market. Mainly because a great deal of what I saw early on seemed to be mostly noise. More placebo that real healing. Much the same with empath skills.

      I was quite pleased when I found out about your work.

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