What is Autoimmune Disease?
Our body’s immune system protects us from disease and infection. When a person suffers from an autoimmune disease, their immune system attacks healthy cells in their body by mistake. Autoimmune diseases can affect many parts of the body, cause ill health, make life difficult and cut us off from our desired contact with other people.
Recently I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease. This means that my body is producing auto-antibodies that are attacking my thyroid. The prognosis is that eventually my thyroid will become under-active and that I will need treatment.
I work as a healer and am passionate about the connection between ill health and psychological/emotional trauma. As a baby I was very smiley, easily contented and apparently ate everything offered to me. I became a warm, affectionate child and I was a born performer. Highly sensitive, I felt everything form sadness and fear to joy and ecstasy deeply. As my personality developed, so did my artistic temperament and in hindsight my parents were unprepared for such an addition to the family. As I grew, the message that it wasn’t acceptable to express your deeper self seemed to become stronger. I became nervous and anxious and started to close myself and my gifts away from the world. Inside I felt as if someone had pulled a switch and within months of feeling this, I was suffering with stomach aches and allergies to foods, dust and pollen.
The Endocrine System
The endocrine system influences almost every cell, organ, and function of our bodies. So why do our hormones stop synchronising with us? Life experiences, particularly trauma and illness knock us off balance. We don’t feel stable and centred any more and this affects us at what I call a core level. Our body seems to echo this lack of stability back to us. Maybe our hormones are trying to give us a message.
My thyroid condition told me that my body was literally attacking itself. The thyroid is of course located close to the throat – the centre of our expression. This condition fits perfectly with the fact that I have always struggled with self expression.
When our hormones don’t work properly our temperature control starts to react strangely and our appetite fluctuates. Sometimes we have no appetite and other times we find we are eating more than our body really wants. In addition sleep patterns go awry and we feel tossed about by emotions and mood swings. This lack of stability is a clue to us that there are or have been some unstabilising influences on our lives.
How Do You Heal Your Endocrine System?
1. Check out your feelings of self worth
Think about whether you have unresolved emotional issues particularly related to your sense of self-value and self-worth. Do you have a sense of innate goodness or has some-one or something made you feel rotten to the core? If you feel deep wounds that hinder you in your life, find yourself a good therapist to help you reconnect with the wonderful truth about the beautiful person you really are.
2. Make sure you feel your feelings and ask for your needs
When we’re not having a good day and we meet someone we know in town, how many of us try to come across as if we’re fine when underneath we may be a quivering wreck?! It often doesn’t feel acceptable in our society to admit that we are not coping, sad or afraid. We exert a lot of energy when we try to cover up our true feelings. Conversely we release a lot of energy and feel much better when we allow ourselves to feel them and express them.
3. Make friends with your inner child
A truly self expressive person is childlike. When we are children we readily express ourselves – we cry when we’re sad and laugh when we’re happy. We are unafraid of our creativity and paint pictures for Mummy or Auntie with absolute careless. We express ourselves with our bodies – jumping, skipping, dancing, balancing on walls – generally careering about having fun. We tell stories just as they are to us without editing parts that others may find boring or insignificant. Life is an endless adventure of discovery. We see ourselves as important and naturally assume that others will see us that way too.
Learn to listen to the voice of your Child. For a while forget being a responsible adult and ask your Child what he/she would like to do today. Maybe it is a trip to the beach or to a favourite shop or a time spent painting. As you follow your Child, observe what feelings come to the surface. You may feel a lot of resistance to being childlike if you haven’t allowed yourself to play and have fun for a long time. Examine these feelings and ask yourself where they come from. Open yourself to letting go to any negative thoughts you have about being childlike and learn to embrace this wonderful part of yourself.
4. Embrace Your Passion
People who readily and freely express themselves live their passion. When you are disconnected from your passion you are disconnected from the fire inside of you that keeps you feeling alive, warm and vibrant. When a person is in touch with their passion you can hear it in their voice. They sound excited and animated whereas the tone of a person disconnected with their passion sounds dull, lifeless and lacking in energy.
At whatever age we first start to express our passion we need to feel that it is well received. If people are critical of us or seem uncomfortable with our emotional outbursts, this will affect our relationship with our passion in later life.
If you feel disconnected with your passion, make a decision that you will face the fear of becoming your true spontaneous self again. Fire can be frightening and dangerous if it gets out of control. We might fear our passion getting out of control and harming others if we dare to let it out. However this is just the voice of fear. When we recognise our need to be passionate, feel it and express it, we realise that it isn’t going to harm us. It warms us, enlivens us, sharpens our intellect and deepens our sense of feeling but it isn’t going to consume us. We are simply feeling empowered by energy. Sometimes our fire wants to roar, crackle and draw a lot of attention to itself and sometimes it burns with a calm even glow. The good news is that however much we quench it, the fire of passion doesn’t go out. However small the flame has become, it can always be rekindled.
Try thinking back to your earliest memory of feeling your passion and ask yourself what you were doing, was there anyone else there and how it felt. Did anything happen as a result of you expressing your passion? Allow any feelings about this to surface and observe where in you body you feel these. Be open to letting go of any painful feelings and to the possibility of living your passion and your dream.
5. Give Your Gifts to The World
Expressive people know their gifts and readily give them to the world. We all have gifts. You may be a good listener, a wonderful cook or an excellent business person. You might make people laugh or cheer people up. The list is endless. We all have innately good qualities and these are our gifts. Simply being yourself is your gift to the world.
Whatever our gift, we need to feel that it is of value and that others willingly and gratefully receive it. If this has not been our experience we will at some stage shut off our gifts from the world. We then find that when we want to give, we feel powerless to do so. This causes an underlying feeling of frustration and helplessness and creates inner conflict. Our gifts originate and are energised by love. The energy of love is warm. This love and warmth wants to be expressed to warm the people around us but when blocked the only direction it can go is inward. This creates inner heat and turmoil. The body is then forced to expend a lot of energy trying to regulate body temperature. By connecting with your gifts and allowing your energy to flow, a person’s temperature control can return to normal.
Spend some time thinking about what your gifts are to the world, what might be blocking you from giving them and where in your body you feel this block. Ask yourself whether you felt that your gifts have been received in the past and if they haven’t, observe what emotions come to the surface. Be open to letting go of any painful feelings about this and make a resolve to open your heart and your voice to share your gifts with the world.
I don’t know where the story of my thyroid problem will take me. With any illness though, I will always see the potential of the power of healing. By identifying, acknowledging and letting go of the trauma that undermines and damages who we are, we remove the thorns that have caused us pain. By doing this it is only natural that healing must follow.
Jennie Williams works as a healer, specialising in helping people with auto immune disease. For more details please contact Jennie on 01460 78285 firstname.lastname@example.org www.healing.jenniewilliams.com