On a daily basis, people experience some type of bodily symptom (stemming from dehydration to stress to fatigue, etc. - what have you). It’s not uncommon to hear of people (and children) taking some type of pill or drug to alleviate such unwelcomed feelings.
But what if we viewed symptoms in a different way?
Quick Etymology Lesson: (oh, come on, you know you love etymology) The origin of the word symptom comes from a Greek word symptoma which means “to befall together, or that which falls together with something else”.
What do I mean by understanding symptoms in a different way? Well, the majority of us may believe that symptoms are something wrong with our body… but what if we’ve been duped? What if symptoms are what is RIGHT with the body?
What a novel idea.
Could that fever be good for you?
Could inflammation, discharge, and nausea be our witness to, god forbid, healing?
What if you knew that symptoms embody the efforts of our body’s intelligence – the healing process which defends, cleanses and heals itself from within.
So in fact, covering up or masking symptoms inhibits the process of healing.
Imagine how this effects children particularly.
When children (or anyone) have a cold their bodies naturally cause them to cough and expel mucus from the throat. Giving cough suppressant medication covers up the symptoms of a runny-nose and cough which inhibits the body’s natural mechanism of draining the virus to the stomach acid (runny nose), while keeping it out of the lungs (coughing).
Even diarrhea is known to be a defensive effort of the body to remove pathogens more quickly from the colon. (Yippie for poop!)
In my opinion, I think we need to make the effort to recognize symptoms as helpful indicators that something needs to be adjusted in our life or in the very least given some attention to. From nutrition, sleeping patterns, stress, environment, exercise – there are so many tools we have to help us help our bodies, instead of stifling the healing process.
Drugs = “Stuff a sock in it”
So before popping a pill, think to yourself, “Am I healing or Am I obstructing the effort of healing?”
Because when it comes to our wellbeing, we all have the responsibility to become experts.
Want to read more? Noah Bonn’s blog “Blogging for Consciousness” has a post series titled Dysfunction – check out part one here: Dysfunction Part 1: Don’t Treat the Symptoms, Treat the Cold.