As a naturalist, I’m always looking for ways to stay away from Western medicine, even if that means I have to be my own guinea pig out of fear of allopathic drugs and their side effects, which, as basic research shows, can be devastating. Additionally, ongoing visits to medical doctors often involve high copays and an utter lack of cooperation should you ask medical questions regarding your condition. It’s a very difficult place to be in if you prefer natural, chemical-free solutions.
In the last few months, I’ve been in the awful position between trusting in natural, chemical-free solutions and traditional medical treatments, which, I’m told, are the only way to deal with mild glaucoma. This diagnosis came as a total surprise and produced untold shock throughout my body!
If you’re as opposed to the Western medical model as I am, this blog post might be worth saving. I hope to take you through my journey of the last few months and explain one of the healing methods I’ve chosen. I feel like I’ve been walking on thin ice as I work my way toward healing, and only you can make the decision to forgo (whether completely or at least to some extent) medical treatment. I believe that I’ve reached that decision and can now honestly write about it.
In my case, I was grateful to discover that there are now eye drops that help maintain eye pressure at a level that will stop the progression and the destruction of the optic nerve. I’m taking them religiously and will continue to do so. However, I’ve chosen not to use two other recommended eye drops with a history of serious side effects. Right now, I’m trying to bring all the right nonchemical components together, which I hope will allow for some permanent healing.
Nevertheless, in writing this blog post, my intent is not to specifically talk about myself. Rather, I want to help those who may be seeking to replace traditional medical treatments—which may even be a godsend but still have serious side effects—with a holistic means of healing
The good news for me is that with a combination of whole food supplements and other remedies, modifications to my diet, and a drastic change in my attitude, I’m beginning to sense that healing is on its way. In addition, I hope to convince you, my readers, that the power of visualization (when done properly) can profoundly augment all of our other efforts to return to wholeness. After all, visualizing is a freebie we can all afford! So let’s get down to the nuts and bolts of recovery. Yes, even if the result of your next doctor’s visit is serious and comes as a real shock to you, there’s always hope. I wish I could have read the information in this blog post before I went to see my doctor. (Sigh)
Addressing the Shock of Bad News
Reflecting back on that day, it was a most shocking experience. My doctor was very blunt, without any regard to the intense fear anybody would feel upon being told they could go blind! Of course, whenever we go to a doctor there’s potential for some bad news. But it took well over two weeks of constant worry and anxiety for me to truly grasp that it was me and not some stranger who’d been given this bad news. A very surreal feeling! It’s somewhat like a bad recurring dream.
Among other things that helped me cope was this great article on how to handle bad news from your doctor. Matthias Muenzer, MD, writing for Tufts Medical Center, explains that turning to our spiritual beliefs can help bring about hope and courage. He also suggests deep breathing and long walks in a natural setting. According to Dr. Meunzer, “Neither strategy will always be easy to put into practice. It’s impossible to control your emotions in every situation—that’s part of what makes us human. However, if you incorporate practical learning and spiritual searching into your daily life, relying on them in times of hardship may become less of a coping mechanism and more of a reflex to help keep your mind clear and calm.” (Emphasis mine)
In addition, I’ve found that for those nights when sleep just won’t come, the use of two capsules of St. John’s Wort-IMT are very helpful. They have a marvelous relaxing effect. (I don’t use it during the day as it’s photosensitive.)
We all know that people with a negative attitude and thoughts can be destructive. Like the cliché says, sometimes the person who suffers most talks only about me, myself and I! You can bank on the fact that if we focus only on the worse outcome and give in to negative emotions like fear, anger, and self-pity, we’re making it less likely that our mind will help our body heal. Sometimes we must find the courage to accept our misfortunes before we can start overcoming them to whatever extent possible. After all, we’re composed of body, mind, and spirit, and we must engage all three to bring about positive change.
I’m convinced that becoming a positive-thinking person is just another good HABIT we can develop by consistently replacing our fearful, angry thoughts with gratitude and wellness (and maybe even by crying a little). This can help us face whatever bad news comes into our lives without an undo shock to our system, which will only add another level of illness to the body, and especially the nervous system.
As I work on developing my positive thinking habit to a higher degree, I’ve come to understand that the cardinal rule of a good life and the ability to cope rationally and peacefully with our challenges is, as Hans Selye powerfully advises, to simply learn to relax. (To learn more about his views, read this blog post.)
Dedicating a short period of time on a daily basis to complete relaxation provides the first signal to the body, mind, and spirit to begin healing, return us to wholeness, and/or achieve other goals. This advice is also highly recommended in the book Release from Nervous Tension by David Fink.
A relaxed mind, body, and spirit is also essential for bringing about a deep state of visualization, which many believe can help us achieve a desired outcome. Even seemingly impossible cures for invalids and people with late-stage cancers have come about with this ancient practice. Visualizing is considered more secular than religious, but nevertheless it can be said to be a form of prayer, which has equally profound results when done properly.
Early Use of Visualizing an Outcome
According to the Wikipedia page on creative visualization, “The notion of a ‘mind’s eye’ goes back at least to Cicero’s reference to mentis oculi during his discussion of the orator’s appropriate use of simile.”
Visualizing an outcome is therefore a very ancient practice. Many religious people use a form of visualization when they pray. They see themselves in the presence of God, whom they both adore and plead their cause to. As a matter of fact, when people read any book, including the Bible, the words form mental images of the scene or story. They automatically present themselves to our thoughts without any conscious effort. Yes, this just one of the many marvels of the mind.
Until I did some serious research about visualizing for purposes such as healing, I hadn’t realized that there’s a proper way to do it which may be more likely to produce results. Allow me to relay some of these techniques from a professional positive thinker and trainer of proper visualization, Jack Canfield.
But first, permit me to share some interesting words from this powerful article in Psychology Today (which is an additional must-read if you plan on utilizing visualization as a healing technique): “Visualization and imagery techniques are not medically recognized as first-line treatments for cancers or for most any serious diseases, but as adjunctive therapies, they can be very helpful. Indeed, as I’m fond of saying, ‘The mind and the body are different sides of the same coin and they intersect most strongly at the level of imagination.’” (Emphasis Mine)
So How Do I Get Started?
In his step-by-step guide on visualization, Jack Canfield states: “All you have to do is set aside a few minutes a day. The best times are when you first wake up, after meditation or prayer, and right before you go to bed. These are the times you are most relaxed.” (Personal comment: notice the use of the word “relaxed.”)
Canfield then gives sample scenarios and asks you to imagine/visualize that you’re receiving that which you desire.
For instance, in my particular case I visualize an angel or God himself removing all traces of glaucoma, cataracts, and other eye weaknesses. I then begin to see clearly and imagine joyfully telling everyone of my good fortune. I also visualize myself kneeling at a cool, clear healing stream of water, where I wash my eyes and watch the glaucoma and any cataracts being taken downstream, never more to return, and I can see clearly thereafter.
There are many samples and suggestion on his website, and I strongly suggest that you click on the link and read his step-by-step guide more thoroughly. It may also be a good idea to purchase some of his books on the subject.
Essential Food and Supplements for Maintaining a Healthy Body & Eyes
I am by nature highly cognizant of the importance of organic foods. I cook all my meals at home, drink raw milk, and make my own butter and some of my own cheese. I also eat all 100 percent grass-fed beef and soy-free pastured eggs, etc. But I’ve learned of special foods and supplements that are crucial to maintaining good health as we age. Glaucoma and cataracts may be prevented if you observe certain health practices from an early age.
I thought I was truly doing all the right things. I now realize that disease can be sneaky and oftentimes undetectable. Such is the case with glaucoma and many other disorders. So, let me briefly tell you that after I calmed down and had a moment of clear thinking, I had to admit that there are a few foods and whole food supplements that possibly could have helped me avoid this whole experience.
In my assessment of my previous diet, I have never liked nor eaten enough green foods, fish, fish broth, seaweed, and some other powerfully healthy foods such as oysters and kale. These are the very foods that create healthy eyes and are otherwise critical to our overall well-being. But there are wondrous whole food supplements that provide a great answer to the green food issue, including Cruciferous Complete and SP Green Food. Also, E-Z Mag is rich in the vitamin P bioflavonoid complex for blood vessel and capillary strength. Then there’s Iplex, which is a formula designed by Dr. Royal Lee specifically for eye health. (All of these supplements are from Standard Process.)
If you recognize that your healthy food intake is lacking in foods you either don’t like or don’t like to cook, your Standard Process health care practitioner can suggest many more simple whole food supplements that will help you maintain good health throughout your life. Bottom line: It pays to eat from all the food groups!
Disclaimer from Maria Atwood, CNHP: I am a Certified Natural Health Professional, CNHP, not a medical doctor. I do not diagnose, prescribe for, treat, or claim to prevent, mitigate, or cure any human diseases. Please see your medical doctor or health practitioner prior to following any recommendations I make in my blog posts or on my website.