#PeacefulMondays: How to heal thyself

Health and wellness have always loomed large in my life.

I almost went to medical school and, decades later, now use words as my instrument to heal the wounds, assumptions and otherwise destructive emotions we carry inside us.

The connection between words and inner peace/healing may be foreign to most of us…but the connection between the mind and our body’s healing is already becoming more familiar.\

Once the domain of hippy-dippy folks in the West, modern science is finding ways to “prove” the presence and truth of the mind-body connection when it comes to our own healing. (I put the word “prove” in quotes only because, if we allow ourselves to sink beneath our chattering and over-analytical brain, our deeper selves innately know the wisdom and truth that our thoughts, feelings and behaviors create our reality and, in turn, contribute to our dis-ease.)

The body’s capacity to heal far outweighs our brain’s ability to compute that (often invisible) healing. For a few hundred years now, the world has been captivated by the logic and reason of Western medicine, by its surgical precision in operating room, scientific conference and pharmaceutical dispensary. Having studied (and adored) the sciences myself, I know just how alluring it is to believe that everything can be hypothesized, analyzed and subsequently (dis)proven through the scientific method.

I still hold the scientific method in high regard. It has its place, and Western medicine is a vital ingredient for our health and wellness, particularly in emergencies when we need to mend bones and close life-threatening wounds.

But it doesn’t hold all the answers.

It cannot fully explain the placebo effect in pharmaceutical trials. It cannot completely account for the power of prayer. And it cannot absolutely disprove the stories of radical remission when someone heals from cancer without Western medicine or after Western medicine has failed.

I was raised in Asia, a continent steeped in ancient healing traditions like Chinese medicine & acupuncture, Indian Ayurvedic medicine & massage, Indonesian Jamu herbal healing etc. For me, I think nothing of blending a visit to my Western-trained family doctor with a dose of Chinese (often pungent) herbal soup.

Holistic healing was and is a given in my family. Through the years, we’ve sought to balance the inevitable popping of an aspirin with doses of yoga and meditation. We don’t claim to have perfect holistic practices (nobody can), but we reap benefits whenever we honor the fact that calming our minds helps to heal our bodies.

This afternoon I watched a limited-run screening of “Heal”, a science-backed documentary that reveals we are not victims of unchangeable genes, nor should we buy into a scary prognosis.

The fact is we have more control over our health and life than Western medicine has taught us to believe. My Asian predecessors have been telling us as much for centuries.

Let’s be open to the possibilities of these holistic modalities. They may well hold a key to transcend our over-medicated and addicted times.


Questions to ponder



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About the author

Maya Mathias

Maya Mathias is a global leadership veteran, with a life and career spanning 3 continents and 5 inspired self-reinventions. She is a peaceful leadership advocate and mentor, bringing her unique blend of East & West to her leadership development and innovation management practice. Maya’s life began with a lower-middle class upbringing in Asia, surrounded by poultry & vegetable farms and the ‘simple life’. She doesn’t forget her humble roots, and her body of work seeks to bring more equality, justice and personal purpose in troubling times. Learn more about Maya here.

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