Recently, at a dinner party, I crossed paths with a young lady who had a headache. I was dishing up some refried beans as she took a spoonful of rice, and since I had not seen her for some time, I asked her how she was doing. She looked at me, smiled, and with a painful expression, replied that she had been suffering from migraines. She went on to explain that she gets limited relief from a medication prescribed by a physician, but that the drug works its own evil on her, and she feels compelled to use a reduced dosage, which does not ease her discomfort. I am not a physician, but I asked several more questions and was unable to observe any fact that might give me insight into a possible solution.
I have a history with this young person. I am friends with her parents and have watched her grow up. She went through some rebellious years in her teens, married quite young, and now has four beautiful, well-mannered daughters, although she is still in her early twenties.
I found her, at this encounter, to be pleasant and receptive of my queries. I admitted to her my inability to improve upon her situation at the moment, but I told her that this was not nearly the end of the matter. Life is a struggle, I said, and the human body always notifies us when something is amiss and it wants us to take action.
I believe that our bodies are created to be healthy. This may seem obvious at first, but it is not so in the least. On a philosophical level, one might posit that wellness and illness are polar opposites and believe that we live in a state somewhere between them. Under such a view, balanced health would mean being well part of the time and ill the other part. This is incorrect. Our bodies strive toward a natural state of wellbeing, not some perverse compromise with sickness.
I advised my young friend to listen to her body’s signals and to diligently seek a natural solution. We deceive ourselves if we believe, even for a moment, that taking medication is the final answer. Drugs mask the symptoms that our bodies use to communicate with us. Our bodies, through aches, pains, itches, and discomforts, ask us to change our diets, drink water, exercise more, lose weight, sleep longer, reduce stress, quit smoking, consume less liquor, or shift emotionally.
The body does not seek some mediocre point between wellness and illness, but rather the beaming, ruddy fullness that escapes many of us because we misunderstand it. We often overlook solutions to health issues because we lack faith in the body’s marvelous ability to communicate its needs to us. It speaks softly at first and then more loudly, and if we listen to it and seek natural solutions, we shall find good answers.
The body’s language is perfect, so I know that something in my young friend’s life is out of balance, although we were not together long enough for me to discover what it might be. Often one arrives at such solutions though a combination of means, a single adjustment being insufficient to bring about the desired result.
So although I do not know what specific action she should take, I do know that she should fight for her health through expedients that do not include taking drugs. Situations may present themselves in which the temporary use of medication is unavoidable and even advisable. This does not belie the fact, however, that we should work with all our creativity and industry to free ourselves as soon as possible from the awful grip of such demons. If we seek natural remedies, we shall find them.
The human body is a miraculous creation, but it sometimes presents us with seemingly impossible equations to solve. Although the immediate solution may evade us, the body’s signals are flawless. All we need to do is listen to it, trust its wisdom, and continue our efforts to help it find its way back to its natural state of health.
For me, the remarkable thing about this story is not that one should insist on natural solutions to health problems, although I believe that with all my heart. Rather, it’s that the young woman looked me in the eye and listened to me. Ten years ago, she would have done neither. I don’t know if she will have the fortitude or the faith to strive for her health in the way I imagine she could, but I do feel that I planted a good seed in good earth and that someday she will not only find the answer to the specific problem before her but also know that she can do so every time her body attempts to communicate with her.