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Your Immune System Knows You Better than You Know Yourself

autumn-trees“How indefinably beautiful the immune system is and how terribly vulnerable at the same time. It forges our link with life and yet can break down at any moment. The immune system knows all our secrets, all our sorrows. It knows why a mother who lost a child can die of grief, because the immune system has died first. It knows every moment a cancer patient spends in the light of life or the shadow of death, because it turns those moments into the body’s physical reality.” Journey into Healing: Awakening the Wisdom Within You. Deepak Chopra, M.D

I was given Journey into Healing: Awakening the Wisdom Within You by a good friend about 25 years ago. It contains essential ideas from the work of Deepak Chopra, arranged to create an inspiring journey into healing for its readers. I keep it by my side in the kitchen and dip in at random each morning. The wisdom on the page in question then becomes my ‘thought for the day’.

As you can imagine, after all this time, I must have ‘randomly’ opened every page. However, this morning the above quote appeared on a page I can’t remember ever having read before. The quote strongly resonated, and I realised it was because so much of the NLP work I do, have these beliefs at their foundation.

My NLP Trainer, Ian McDermott at ITS once said that the immune system is the physical manifestation of our sense of Identity.

Identity is the sense of who we are and a powerful part of our persona. Sometimes we assume we ‘know’ another person and make a statement about who they are. However, if that does not ring true to them they’ll often respond by saying things like: “No, that’s not me!” This is a statement of identity. When we feel affronted and upset, it is because our sense of ‘self’, or who we are is not recognised or misinterpreted and we feel that the other person has not identified an important part of who we are. 

The job of the immune system is solely to protect us from physical malfunction. It listens to every thought we have, so it’s not surprising that it can sometimes run into overtime and become over-protective. It detects repeated actions, thoughts and beliefs that don’t reflect our true identity (i.e. who we really are). It notices that its psychological counterpart, the sense of Identity, is at a loss.

The body has a remarkable capability to search for equilibrium. The immune system works hard at this balancing act.  However, when this lack of balance continues, the immune system mistakenly starts to do overtime, which can lead to someone suffering from auto-immune disorders and ultimately break down.

It naturally follows that helping clients to find their inner strength and sense of identity is one of the best ways to support recovery and be themselves again.

NLP (neuro linguistic programming) and other forms of healing are not about adding something new or better to who you already are.  Often, it’s about rediscovering inner resources that have always been there and restoring a powerful sense of self. In turn your mind and body can continue to flourish making you the best version of yourself.

Antonia Boyle, Alpha Waves, Westerham, Kent
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