I have heard so many patients declare that since their neck hurts, they must have slept wrong. Or that they need a new pillow. So they get a new pillow and it is a little better for a while.
My question is: How could sleeping in a certain position cause neck pain unless there was something imbalanced there to begin with?
In the same way, I have heard it said that since everyone in my office is sick, I caught a cold from them. Yes, a cold virus can be identified, but it need fertile ground to grow and take over.
But was “sleeping wrong” the cause of the pain because that is when it was evident? Was working in an office with sick co-workers the cause of you catching a cold? Or could it simply be the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back and triggered the pain or illness?
Cause and Effect?
Without understanding the underlying predisposition, we can assume that little events are the cause of our pain or illness. There seems to be a temporal cause and effect relationship. I opened the window, then my back hurt. I woke up and felt neck pain.
However, when you look at your whole history before that moment, you may get a different picture. The event just before the pain or illness may just be a trigger, not the cause. When you start to look at the predisposing environment, that tells a whole different story. I call the predisposing environment the terrain.
Terrain is the state of the body and the mind at any given time. For example,
It is the balance and tension in the muscles and connective tissues.
It is how much you used your body and how plus how much rest you got and the quality of the rest.
It is how nourished the body is with nutrients and oxygen.
It is how well your cells are able to get rid of their metabolic waste products.
It is how cells compensate when they are not able to excrete their waste products.
It is the memories and experiences stored in the tissues and how that creates cell health or dysfunction.
It is how much and the quality of mental and emotional rest you got in order to process the events of the day.
It is how well-adjusted you are and how much you focus on appreciation, gratitude and love.
Terrain really comes down to how efficient the cells are in processes of metabolism, meaning receiving oxygen and nutrients and using them for energy and doing the specialized function of the cell. Terrain is also how efficient cells are in removing the end products of metabolism and routing them to the organs of elimination. That efficiency is influenced by the cells’ environment, especially the mental and emotional state.
Terrain as Metaphor
Terrain is a metaphor as well as the way we talk about the state of the body and mind.
Think of a coastal area. If a river runs free from the mountain to the ocean, and the surrounding land is fertile and unpolluted, wildlife are flourishing and the terrain is in its natural state and functions as it should.
That is how our body is designed to function.
If there is a factory pouring toxic waste into the river, and channels to the ocean are blocked, then the land may become a stinking swampland, a bog. Life there suffers because it cannot get the nutrients it needs and is overburdened by toxins. In addition, when the channels to the ocean are stopped up, it is difficult to get rid of the burden. That is what we look like in illness.
Importance of Terrain
Terrain is more important to understand than the name of the muscle that is affected or the place where your spine is out or findings on an x-ray or MRI. It is more important than the name of the disease when you are diagnosed. It is more important than whether or not you were around people who were sick.
Did you know that your subjective experience of pain in chronic conditions has little correlation with the findings on an x-ray or MRI? Yes, people with pain can have a herniated disc pressing on a nerve. But just as often, a herniated disc can cause no pain. Or there is a narrowing of the joint space and there is no pain. But for another it is extremely bothersome and will lead to joint replacement.
The diagnosis can be a clue to what is going on in the terrain, and certainly people with diagnosable illnesses have congested toxic terrain. Whether you come down with a cold when your whole office staff is similarly sick depends on your terrain more than the people surrounding you.
Terrain is often not understood or taken into account, but it makes the difference between health and illness.
Illness can be triggered by many things when the terrain is compromised. These triggers may not only be physical like viruses or injury, but also emotional, mental and energetic triggers. The trigger may look like the most obvious thing leading to an illness. I was around sick people in the office, so I got a cold. I worked too hard in the yard, so my back went out and I have pain. I was in a car accident, and I have had neck pain ever since. They all could have emotional triggers as well as physical.
To simply treat the trigger, like killing a bug or resolving an emotional trauma, is helpful, but it is missing the underlying cause. The predisposing terrain is the underlying cause.
How to treat the cause
Treatment with drugs creates a further burden for the terrain. Drugs can damage cellular processes and they also tend to shut down the process of elimination. What a burden on a system! The terrain is already polluted because it there is dysfunction which is diagnosed as illness. The terrain is already not working well.
The only way towards health is to clean up the terrain.
When the terrain is polluted, there is dysfunction which has progressed to illness. To use our metaphor, the stream is polluted from toxins pouring in at a rate that they cannot be handled. On top of that, the channels to the ocean are clogged, so there is not a free flow for elimination. Fish swimming in the stream are like cells in the body terrain. They are dependent on the stream for nutrients and oxygen. The fish can only tolerate a certain amount of pollutants when they are healthy, and less when they are not. The clogging of the channels to the ocean just make everything worse for the fish.
The prevailing medical model tells us if there is something wrong with the fish, then you have to treat the fish. Maybe it just happened because you have high risk factors. Or you may want to look at the genetic causes. If a germ is found in the fish, you must vaccinate the other fish so that they don’t get sick as well. But if there is a germ, it was a trigger, not the actual cause.
The cause can be traced back to the polluted stream. The prevailing medical model doesn’t even consider if the stream is polluted and the effects it is having on the fish. Therefore, to clean up the stream is to treat the fish at a causal level. And can you guess the result of cleaning up the stream? Yes, the health of the fish improves greatly, on its own. Cleaning up the terrain allows normal functioning of the fish.
Cleaning Your Terrain
Cleaning up the stream is analogous to cleaning up the terrain. We do that by eating a diet suited to our temperament excluding foods that are processed and full of pesticides and hormones. We do that by making sure we breathe with efficient oxygen exchange, and that the air we are breathing is clean. We do that by being active and moving our bodies in ways they are asking, whether it is walking or running, stretching or lifting, slow or fast. We do that by resting and sleeping deeply and long enough. We do that by surrounding ourselves with like-minded people and meeting creative challenges in our lives. We do that by having quality relationships, with ourselves and others. We do that by having a spiritual connection and feeling right with our place in the world. We do that in all these and many more ways. These are all a foundation to a healthy terrain.
For those that wish to go one step further, when these practices are underway, there are medical treatments that will assist in cleaning up the terrain. In my practice, I use biotherapeutic drainage with homeopathic remedies to further clean the built-up toxins from around the cells and route it to the organs of elimination in order to be rid of them. It is highly efficient in doing so over time. You may or may not feel a difference in a month, but giving it time, the terrain does get cleaned up so that function can be restored.
In addition, I use Bowen bodywork to release connective tissues around muscles and organs in order to allow the accumulated wastes to be released. I find Bowen bodywork to effectively change the terrain by opening channels and allowing the cells to function more efficiently. Pain, which can be a measure of inflammation which comes from toxicity, is relieved as the terrain is cleaned up. Body function is improved with opening up the tissues so the congestion is relieved.
If you would like to get to the cause instead of repeatedly responding to the trigger, please call 928-649-9234 to make an appointment. We can discuss where your terrain is and what it the best way to move towards cleaning it up.
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