the value of embodied wisdom


When I've questioned the mainstream narrative over recent months, I've been labelled a conspiracy theorist or "anti-vaxxer".


Which is totally gaslighting: a tactic that prevents open-hearted debate and understanding.


But that's not what I want to write about today.


I'm drawn to speak to why I have a healthy scepticism towards "the healthcare system" and hence, its approach to dealing with disease or any form of un-wellness. Including the dreaded c.


This is not because I'm a paranoid cynic, who thinks everyone is out to get me.


It's because I've experienced first-hand, that the mainstream medical establishment does not (on the whole) listen to patients, understand the body-mind connection or honour the body's innate wisdom. And I have suffered as a result.


Here's one example: when I was in labour with my first-born, I instinctively knew my labour was progressing rapidly and I was in extreme pain.


The hospital would not admit me, because I was barely dilated, my waters hadn't broken and they thought I was exaggerating my pain.


They told me to go home and keep labouring or, at least, go to the cafe and labour there.


Deep in labour (which for those who've experienced it, is an otherworldly, primal state) and sensing to stay, I walked up and down the hospital corridor, doing my best (under harsh strip lighting and with people coming & going) to navigate the intense, close-together contractions.


Less than an hour later, I was on my hands and knees, puking up all over the floor.


And they admitted me: astonished to discover that I was already 6cm dilated.


I was incredibly distressed by this point, since there was nobody there to support me, nobody to explain to me what was going on and it felt unbearable.


I begged for an epidural. And quite likely as a result, my vagina tore when my son was finally born, because I was lying on my back to push him out and couldn't feel a thing.


My waters, by the way NEVER broke of their own accord. They had to be popped with a needle. And the very same thing happened with my daughter, whom I birthed naturally 2 years later. Apparently my body makes super-strong amniotic sacs


The thing is, I KNEW what my body was doing. But the doctors and nurses thought they knew better. They were patronising and unsupportive.


With a sore, torn vagina, postpartum sex was excruciating and, as I've already shared in another post, this drove a rift between my husband and I.


I was devastated and bereft at the loss of my sexuality. He was horny. We both lacked the awareness and communication skills to navigate this impasse.


When I went to see a gynaecologist about my vaginal pain, she - yes a female doctor - proscribed me anti-depressants and told me "use it or lose it."


I wasn't depressed ! I wanted to be able to have pain-free sex. I'd always loved sex. I wanted my pleasure back! She seemed to think that as a mother in her late 30s I shouldn't be too bothered about it. (I did wonder what her own sex life was like for her to make such a preposterous assumption!).


I took a couple of the pills, but they made me feel so spaced out and disconnected from my body, my baby and life, that I threw them away. (I was still breast-feeding too!!).


Of course, as most of you know, I later went on to recover my pleasure, desire and enjoyment of sex... at a level way beyond what I'd dreamt possible.


And I also trained as a teacher of conscious dance and embodied awareness, which honed and refined my understanding of the mind-body connection.


What it took for my yoni to open and experience multi-orgasmic ecstasy - after 4.5 years of "losing it" - wasn't anti-depressants or a forced kind of "using it", but a man, who listened, loved and cared for me. Simples.


In other words - it had never been about the physical injury (once it had healed), but the psychology of my not feeling loved and supported, and not being touched with tenderness and care.


What it took for me to birth naturally and ease-fully the second time around, was a deeper level of confidence and trust in my body's knowing.


Since all of that, I've read a stack of books on the mind-body connection and self-healing, and trained in even more modalities. I've made friends with people, who've cured themselves from cancer - naturally. I have friends, who are homeopaths, acupuncturists, naturopaths, craniosacral therapists, yogis, yada yada. And I also know people whose children developed autism and/or ADHD after childhood immunisations.


I've interviewed a lovely lady, who runs a support group for hundreds of women around the world, who are all suffering from severe and similar side-effects after what the medical establishment calls a routine LEEP/LEITZ procedure (to remove pre-cancerous cells on the cervix). Their side-effects are denied. But they all know they are real !!!


We all KNOW there is a mind-body connection, because we experience it directly in our own lives, but also in the lives of those whose healing we support.


Much of the mainstream medical model is based on treating a symptom, rather than addressing a root cause.


It sees the symptom as separate from the rest of the individual, rather than as one expression of imbalance in the whole.


It is patriarchal and condescending: assuming a lesser degree of intelligence, agency or awareness in the patient. Especially if she's a woman. And even if it's to do with her womanly parts and cycles !!!


And, most ironically, it is dis-embodied. Many of those in the field are disconnected from deep sensation in their own bodies and lacking in awarenesss. As such they dismiss what is reported because, in their worldview, if they don't experience or can't magine it, then it doesn't exist.


There isn't a single part of my physical body that I am not constantly aware of and sensing.


I can sense or send energy across rooms and even countries.


I used to be able to feel myself ovulate. I knew when I conceived. I can tell if I'm coming down with something way before any obvious symptoms. I've never had an injury in 17 years of teaching dance and yoga - because I move with awareness.


And so, even while I am not averse to allopathic medicine on occasion (I used painkillers and antibiotics for a recent ear-infection), I know for certain that the mainstream medical model simply doesn't see me for who I am in my fullness and that it can stand there and swear blind such and such is a truth or arrogantly assert the way I "should" do something to get better, but it's actually plain wrong.


There is simply more to the human being than flesh and bones. We are energy. And every single part of us is inter-connected: mind, body, emotions and spirit.


When women live together, they ovulate and bleed together. Do they take pills to make this happen or will it? No. There's an intelligence to nature and the body that is also trans-personal.


And so I trust me. I trust my capacity to self-heal. I trust my body. I trust my knowing. I trust my sensing. It's never ever been wrong. But it does also happen to be backed up by a powerful intellect.


I do believe that if more humans were educated in embodied awareness, then:

a) there'd be less spreading of anything infectious, because they'd know when they were getting sick and stay home,

b) they'd understand how to support their body's self-healing process naturally,

c) there'd be way less fear in the current climate and d) there would be far more empowered choices around health and well-being generally.


We really need to move away from having blind belief in and giving our power away to doctors, scientists or anyone, who wilfully asserts their authority over our own embodied knowing.

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© 2020 Shakti Sundari.