Image by Gerd Altmann
Narrated by Marie T. Russell
Video version at the bottom of this article
Health has always been a matter of great concern to me. In fact, from an early age I began to experience health problems, without having any exact notion of what had caused them. My mother was faced with difficult situations that, over many years, required care in the form of operations, various treatments and even years of hospitalization.
In my own case, since nobody seemed able to find out exactly what my illness was, a doubt appeared to constantly hover over the whole issue: I believed that these illnesses could be psychological. I then said to myself: “Either it’s ‘in my head’, or else there must be some reason for what’s happening”. I decided to go with the second choice, and that is when I began to explore whatever was causing me to experience all those ailments.
A Relation Between Emotions, Thoughts and Illnesses?
In 1978 I began to work in the health field, in food supplements. That is when I began to realize by myself, during the individual consultations I was giving and through my other observations, that there could exist a relation between emotions, thoughts and illnesses.
I had begun intuitively to discover the link that existed between certain emotions and certain illnesses. It was in 1988, while registering for some personal growth courses, that I was put in contact with what is described today as the metaphysical approach to ailments and diseases.
I can still see myself, together with others at that time, perusing the compilation of ailments and diseases that Louise Hay had set out in her book. I also observed people who were beginning their own investigations of themselves or of others in order to verify the validity of her assertions, all passionate about discovering new avenues of research in order to gain a better understanding of what they were experiencing.
From that moment on, my interest in this approach never stopped growing, all the more so that I was reorienting my work to engage in the more specific field of personal growth. Since that day, I have never ceased verifying, through my individual consultations and the courses I teach or the workshops I lead, the relevance of these data on ailments and diseases. Even today, I still find myself, whether in a grocery store or when I go to make photocopies, asking people questions about what they are experiencing in relation to their ailments or diseases.
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Decoding Ailments and Diseases
I still see these people looking at me with a surprised or questioning expression, wondering if I am a clairvoyant or an extraterrestrial to know such things about their personal lives without them having told me anything about themselves.
In fact, the answer is simple. When one knows how to decode ailments and diseases and also knows to which emotions or thoughts these are related, it is then easy to tell a person what she, or he, is experiencing.
I then tell these people that it is simply my knowledge of the functioning of human beings and my knowledge of the links between thoughts, emotions and illnesses that enable me to give them this information. In a sense, I explain to them that all the relevant data could be entered into a computer database and that one could then give the computer the symptoms of their ailment or disease, or simply name it, and the computer could then output the information on what one is experiencing in one’s personal life, consciously or not. So it is not a matter of clairvoyance but clearly a matter of knowledge.
Today, with my accumulated experience and knowledge, I can state that it is impossible for someone to suffer from diabetes without feeling a deep sadness or aversion towards a situation that the person has experienced. For me, it is impossible for a person to suffer from arthritis without experiencing self-criticism or dissatisfaction with someone else or with certain situations in that person’s life. For me, it is impossible for someone to experience liver problems without feeling anger and frustration towards oneself or towards others, and so on.
High Psychological Stress Will Be Converted to Biological Stress
I have occasionally received the following comment: “When you decode ailments and diseases, you ‘fix’ things to make them fit”. Then I am told that everybody experiences anger, frustration, sorrow, rejection, etc. My response to this is that everyone does not react to a given condition in the same manner.
For instance, take the fact that I grew up in a family of 12 children with a father who was an alcoholic and a mother who was depressive. My brothers and sisters will have had the same parents as I, but each child, including myself, will be affected or not, or affected differently, because of their different interpretations of their respective experiences with those same parents.
Why? Because we are all different, and we must all become consciously aware of various issues in our personal development. Thus, a manifestation of rejection can set off an illness in one person but not in someone else. All depends on how I feel myself being affected, consciously or unconsciously. If my psychological stress is sufficiently high, it will be converted into biological stress in the form of an illness.
During a workshop I was giving on the metaphysical approach to ailments and diseases, in the context of an exhibition on natural health and alternative therapies, the ailments and diseases that were submitted for discussion were decoded quickly and accurately enough, to my great satisfaction. Some time later, a friend who was in the audience during this workshop told me: “Jacques, you should be more careful when you give your answers directly and quickly to respond to people’s questions. Some people around me got the impression that the workshop had been artfully contrived with accomplices to create the impression of a perfect fit.”Of course, nothing of the sort had transpired.
What is important to understand here is that first, the person who is concerned by the ailment or disease being discussed knows that the stated answer is true for her or his own case, which may not appear quite so obvious to the other people present who are not personally so concerned.
Secondly, what is new and still freshly revealed for our conscious awareness can appear to be unreal. Denying this reality can also be a means of self-protection to avoid feeling responsible for what is happening to oneself.
Remaining Open to New Ideas
Here is an anecdote illustrating this observation. The famous inventor Thomas Edison met the members of the U.S. Congress to formally present his newest invention, the phonograph, a speaking machine. It is reported that when he demonstrated the machine in actual operation, certain members of Congress called him an impostor, saying that there had to be some subterfuge afoot because, for them, it was simply impossible for the human voice to issue forth out of a box.
Times have truly changed. That is why it is important to remain open to new ideas that may provide innovative answers to many problems.
Many people in the United States and in Europe have developed this approach about the link that exists between conflicted emotions and thoughts and physical illnesses, which helps in making this whole field of investigation better known not only here in Quebec (Canada) but also more widely throughout the world. I often say, during my conferences, that I have very strong mental powers, but also have very strong intuitive powers, and that the greatest challenge in my life has been, and still is, to reconcile those two powers.
The Law of Cause and Effect
My academic training as an electrical engineer has helped me to work through the logical and rational side of things. Physics has taught me that a cause is always linked to very real effects. It was this law of cause and effect that I was later able to apply to the domain of emotions and thoughts, although these are less tangible than physical reality itself.
But is this truly the case? Even in a sub-field of physics such as electricity, we are working with something that no human being has ever actually seen: electricity. For in fact we are working with effects such as light, heat, electromagnetic induction, and so on.
Similarly, thoughts and emotions are not necessarily physical in the proper sense of the term, but they can have physical repercussions in the form of ailments and diseases. Something that is non-visible, such as thoughts and emotions, can induce a reaction that is physical and measurable, very often in the form of ailments and diseases.
Can I measure anger? No, but I can take the measure of my fever when that symptom affects me. Can I measure the fact that I often get the impression of having to struggle in life to get what I want? No, but I can measure the diminishing number of red globules in my blood when I present anemia. Can I measure the fact that not enough joy is permeating my life? No, but I can measure my excessive level of blood cholesterol, and so on.
Then, if I become aware of the thoughts and emotions that have brought about the onset of an ailment or a disease, could it be that, by changing these thoughts and emotions, I could recover my health? I dare say: Yes.
However, the links involved can be in fact more complex and deeper, involving more than just those facets of which I happen to be consciously aware. That is why I may need to call upon people working in the medical field or people using other professional approaches to help me in achieving the necessary changes in my life.
If I must undergo a surgical operation while understanding at the same time whatever has led me to experience such a situation, it’s quite likely that I’ll recover from my operation much more quickly than another person having the same operation but who doesn’t want to know what was going on in his or her life or who is simply unaware of it.
Furthermore, if I have not understood the message conveyed by my disease, then the operation or treatment may seem to make the disease disappear, but the illness may shift later on to some other part of my body, in a different form.
It is to be hoped that more and more businesses will become aware of the solid reasons for helping their employees in their personal development, on the emotional level. This will make it possible to diminish the number of accidents in the company and the rate of absenteeism, and will increase each individual’s effectiveness.
If my personal, family and occupational life is such that I don’t feel right within myself, I’ll become more likely to ‘attract’, albeit unconsciously, a disease or an accident as a means for taking some leave or for getting other people to take care of me.
Taking Care of Ourselves with Awareness
Over the past century, and more especially in the past 50 years, we have experienced an extraordinary leap with respect to our technology, which has made it possible, in many cases, to improve our living conditions. Despite all this progress, we do not realize very well that science does not hold answers for everything and that there exist, on this planet, many men and women suffering from illnesses.
Whether we live in industrialized countries or in developing countries, we must take care of ourselves and we must face these questions: Who am I? Where am I going? What is my goal in life?
Copyright 2012, 2020 (English edition) . All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher, Findhorn Press,
an imprint of Inner Traditions Intl. www.innertraditions.com.
The Encyclopedia of Ailments and Diseases: How to Heal the Conflicted Feelings, Emotions, and Thoughts at the Root of Illness
by Jacques Martel
Compiling years of research and the results of thousands of cases he encountered in his private practice and during workshops over the past 30 years, Jacques Martel explains how to read and understand the body’s language of disease and imbalance. In this encyclopedia, he shows how body language reveals specific thoughts, feelings, and emotions that are at the source of nearly 900 different ailments and diseases.
This comprehensive manual offers a tool to help each of us become, to some extent, our own doctor or therapist, get to know ourselves better, and recover health and well-being physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. For practitioners and therapists, this remarkable reference tool provides invaluable insights and prompts for healing.
About the Author
Jacques Martel is an internationally known therapist, trainer, and speaker. A pioneer in the field of personal development, he has created new methods and practical exercises that allow deep and permanent emotional and spiritual transformations.
He is the founder of ATMA International Publishing, an organization committed to helping and accompanying people in their personal development and spiritual journey. He lives in Quebec, Canada.