3.2 min readPublished On: 26 July 2022Last Updated: 11 July 2023

Help with chronic pain Meta-HealthAs human beings, we are essentially meaning-making, interconnected organisms. Our physical well-being is inextricably linked to our mental and emotional states, as well as our identity, core beliefs and environmental factors. Optimal health requires us to examine all aspects of our surroundings, including our bodily systems, symptoms, stressors, emotions, thought patterns, attitudes, social interactions, and lifestyle choices.

Universal Principles of META-Health

In META-Health, we use these universal principles as a foundation:

  • Our body-mind is highly intelligent.
  • Biological survival and stress strategies, regeneration and resilience are constantly in play in our nervous system.
  • Significant emotional experiences shape our beliefs, personality and lifestyle.
  • Specific individual stress triggers influence typical organ tissues and functions.
  • The cycle of stress, regeneration and optimal health goes through distinct points and phases of healing.
  • As humans, we have the capability to become aware and use our imagination to reformulate our understanding of the world and reprogram the reactions of the body-mind.

The body is an essential tool in the healing process; ‘the body remembers’ what the mind cannot.

Understanding symptoms

Our bodies are auto-regulating systems designed to heal naturally. Symptoms themselves can trigger anxiety and/or a depressed state which can prolong self-healing. In turn, our thoughts and emotional states can also impede healing.

For example, with an injury, the body often heals faster when any emotional and mental residue from the time of injury is recognised and resolved. This could include negative feelings (fear or even embarrassment experienced at the time of injury), negative thoughts after the injury, what we’re told about the injury, something seen, heard or felt, or any limiting beliefs about the injury or recovery. Worrying about a diagnosis can worsen symptoms.

Meaning Making Organisms

Because, as human beings, we seek to make meaning of our experiences, our past unconsciously informs our present. And how we perceive our experience influences us both emotionally as well as physically.

Sometimes, energy can become trapped in the nervous system due to fight, flight, or freeze responses, resulting in tension or, for example, unexplained pain in the neck or back. Understanding our thoughts, emotions, beliefs, and reactions is key to healing. This understanding provides guidance, enabling us to take appropriate actions and make necessary adjustments in our lives to promote health and well-being.

Dr Gabor Maté says this about trauma, “It’s not what happens to you…it is what happens inside you as a result of what happens to you”. He is essentially talking about the meaning we make of what happens to us. This can be applied to all of our experiences, both good and bad.

Be META-Healthy

META-Health is not therapy but a comprehensive approach to understanding how your physical, mental and emotional health and development are fully interrelated.

To be META-Healthy means to be aware of your body’s intelligence, taking conscious actions for self-healing and personal growth. As an Integrative Psychotherapist and a META-Health Practitioner, I work together with you to explore your specific stressors, lifestyle factors and root influences that may be negatively impacting your well-being. Along with pain management techniques, we work together to understand and resolve underlying factors to help you find relief.

When working with physical symptoms, I often work in conjunction with other professionals, such as physiotherapists, GPs or naturopathic doctors, for improved outcomes.

Some ways in which individuals have been helped through META-Health sessions with me.

Resources

When the Body Says No – by Dr Gabor Maté. This book offers powerful insights into how deeply developmental experiences shape our health, behaviour, attitudes and relationships.

The Art of Healing – Bernie S. Siegel, MD, writes from his experience of working with countless patients and their families, about how we can tap into our body’s potential to heal.

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