Many ill people have obvious patterns of addiction or low self-esteem running through their lives. An addiction is anything that has a "hold" on us, such as work, exercise, sex, food (especially chocolate, sugar, and coffee), alcohol, cigarettes, illegal drugs, medications, money, worry, material possessions, relationships, negativity, overachieving, gambling, and so on. People can even be addicted to illness.
These addictive tendencies begin in childhood with our constant need for attention. Our parents or caregivers kept us quiet with food, the breast or bottle, pacifiers, toys, outings, and other diversions. The minute we squawked, we were given something to keep us quiet. Now that we're adults, we rely upon our addictions to numb the pain and frustration of daily life. Our addictions give us a sense of power and control over our random, workaday lives.
Coffee drinkers, for example, can describe in minute detail the feeling of their special brand of elixir as it touches every inch of their alimentary tract. And yet, you wouldn't believe the number of people seeking optimum health while being addicted to caffeine, chocolate, and sugars -- not to mention illegal drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol. Obviously, as soon as people stop taking these addictive substances, their health dramatically improves.
A Spiritual Point of View
Some people have had very traumatic childhoods, and the comfort that their bad habits provide is justifiable. But the grapple hook of addictions can be an avoidance mechanism to take people off the path toward fulfillment, or can prevent them from exploring issues and subjects that expose their vulnerability. I believe that life is all about learning, growing, and mastering certain behaviors, the least of which are addictions.
On a higher, spiritual level, addictions are interesting. They have great power over us, and also carry negative vibrations, which can be seen energetically. These negative energies or "entities" attach themselves to the physical body. When I see an addicted person, I can tell that something has a hold on them. I will see black all around the person -- they appear unclear or dark, as if they're engulfed in a murky cloud. Some negative force is sapping their life force or vitality -- and I know that they're addicted.
From the spiritual perspective, nothing can have a hold on us -- no substance, person, place, or possession. We must be free, clear, and available to be moved by the universe. Addictions derail us and keep us from fully entering life and heeding our true callings. Staying stuck in a bad habit of any kind means that we're not really ready to grow up and take full responsibility for the life that God has given us.
Another way of putting it is if we're addicted, we're not clear. We don't give off lucent, radiant energy from our bodies; therefore, our auras (or electromagnetic fields) are muddy. The emission of brilliant, pure energy from our physical selves is significant in the area of manifestation; that is, we desire to attract the best to us on a material and spiritual level. I believe that exuding this luminous energy is the cornerstone to materializing positive experiences. A clear and healthy physical body, and plenty of personal fulfillment, is necessary for optimum health. If we're blocked in any way, whether it's due to addiction or illness, our physical bodies become tired and worn down, and we cannot reach our highest potential.
Emotions and Cravings
On an emotional level, an addicted person has a very strong little child inside of them who's running the show. "Life is too difficult, and I must have my treats, my pacifier, or something to make me feel better," this child says. When people realize that the body they've been given is an instrument to carry them through to complete their mission and purpose in this life, they then seem happy to let go of their unhealthy cravings and addictions in favor of a healthier lifestyle.
I'm often asked how I manage my own food cravings. Like many of you, I have a formidable inner child that needs plenty of nurturing. I have to let the little child have her treats -- treats that won't make me feel sick. Because I'm very aware of my food sensitivities, I had to do a lot of research and recipe-tweaking in order to find goodies that wouldn't make my Candidiasis proliferate, spike my blood sugar (which would give me that tired, low-energy feeling later on), or initiate a histamine reaction, which would trigger food allergies.
On occasion, I do enjoy a sweet dessert or a glass of wine. I indulge myself occasionally, but it has to be something really special. For instance, for a delectable slice of hazelnut torte or a dish of crème brûlée, I might be willing to pay the price of feeling a little "off" the next day. But it's not worth it for me to jeopardize my whole program just for a mundane piece of pie or an ordinary cookie. When, like me, you know your body so well that you can tell when it's slightly left of center, the foods that you used to crave will no longer have a hold on you. The value that you'll place on a finely tuned, healthy body will just be too great.
Addiction to Medication
I can't stress enough the importance of competent, regular medical attention. The use of medication is between you and your doctor. There's a place for medication, just as there's a place for natural remedies -- everything works together. Thanks to medication, hearts are regulated, diabetes is controlled, headaches are cured, and pain is alleviated.
But there are people who are overmedicated and will reach for "magic bullets" whenever a symptom of any kind appears. That is, they're addicted to the concept of taking medication for every ailment that they have, instead of trying to figure out where the problem originated. On some level, people can often be addicted to the emotional drama that they've created in their lives, and they prefer to look to medication as a remedy, instead of dealing with what caused the pain in the first place.
When a person is medicated, this presents an interesting challenge for me intuitively. When I tune in to a body, it normally looks like a road map to me -- but when someone is medicated or especially overmedicated, I can't see the "map" because it's covered with clouds. Much like a person with any kind of addiction, the medicated person appears not to be a "real" person, but someone wearing a disguise, which masks who they are on a physical level.
Forty-year-old Inge came to me seeking help. She was on eight different medications, and I could hardly look at her body intuitively. Energetically, she was as scattered and discordant as an orchestra with every single member playing off-key. Her body was laboring under the strain of trying to deal with all of these medications. She took antidepressants and hormone-balancing medication, as well as pills for sleep, to prevent asthma attacks, and for high blood pressure. On the surface, she appeared to be a bright, positive person, but underneath, she was dealing with plenty of emotional issues.
Every day, she drank coffee and ate copious amounts of dairy products, to which she was obviously allergic. She was also addicted to chocolate. Yet, even at 50 pounds overweight, Inge seemed very motivated and anxious to conquer her health issues, and although I was skeptical and reluctant, I agreed to work with her.
We identified her food allergies and checked out her home for environmental factors that might have been triggering her asthma. I suggested simple supplementation to support her body, and emotional counseling for her soul. (The reduction of her medications was between her and her doctor.) Today, Inge has lost weight, no longer has asthma attacks, and has greatly reduced her medication.
People are often addicted to their illnesses. The experience of being in pain can bring great rewards in terms of care, nurturing, and most important -- love.
Paulette is a perfect example of someone who used illness in an addictive manner to gain the attention and helpful concern of her husband. When I met Paulette, her chronic illness was the center of her focus. But as is the case with many people I work with, I knew that Paulette didn't have to be ill. She walked with a cane and was obviously in a great deal of pain, yet I knew intuitively that her body had every capacity to be fully functional.
I suggested a very simple program of food allergy avoidance, yeast eradication, and supplementation. Two days later, I had the opportunity to see her again at a medical intuitive training session. In the 48 hours since I'd first seen her, she was able to get out of a chair without help. I was fascinated -- how could this body that was so out of balance start to correct itself so quickly? I decided to keep track of Paulette's progress, and I called her a week later. She continued to improve and had gained more mobility. She joked that she might even have to go back to work.
A month later, I placed a follow-up call. She'd slipped back into her old habits and addictions. Why wouldn't Paulette want to help herself and recover? The price of losing her doting husband's constant care and attention, coupled with the looming possibility of returning to work, was just too much for her to contend with.
It's sad that so many people forget this basic concept: The body knows what to do to get healthy. Paulette's brief glimpse at a level of wellness that she'd only dreamed about confirms this important truth.
Optimum health takes a deeper level of commitment than some people are willing to make, and as a medical intuitive, I find that the unraveling of this multilayered puzzle can be both disturbing and rewarding. It's very sad for me to watch the grip that addictions have on some people, and how they can never reach their best health -- physically or emotionally -- until they come to terms with their "demons."
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Hay House, Inc. The book is available at all bookstores,
by phone 800-654-5126, or at www.hayhouse.com.
The Body "Knows": How to Tune In to Your Body and Improve Your Health
by Caroline M. Sutherland
This book is dedicated to bringing you the pearls of "physical body wisdom" distilled into an easy-to-follow formula. From cover to cover, Caroline Sutherland takes you on an "edge-of-the-seat" journey into understanding the terrain of the physical, emotional, and spiritual components of vibrant health.
Weaving her compelling story as a medical intuitive into fascinating case histories; and topics such as menopause, children, the elderly, and more, Caroline explains how to "hone" your instincts and demystify your physical body processes. If you’ve ever wondered why you gain weight, retain fluid, feel jittery, get headaches, have joint stiffness, or lack energy—and want to know what to do about it—then this book is the key to finding out the truth of your own health equation.
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About The Author
Caroline Sutherland is an internationally recognized medical intuitive, lecturer, workshop leader and author of more than 15 books and audio programs on health, personal development, and self-esteem.
She is the founder of Sutherland Communications, which offers Medical Intuitive Training Programs; intuitive assessments for weight loss, menopause and general health concerns; consultation services and related products for adults and children. Visit Caroline online at www.carolinesutherland.com.