Whether or not you’re conscious of it, your body is under dual control. Sure, your body is self-regulating—but you also have a good amount of power over your body. Whether you pay attention or not, you breathe in and out automatically; it’s a basic survival mechanism. But anytime you want, you can intervene and breathe a different way, faster or slower, deeper or shallower. Because the body operates as a whole system, your interventions aren’t local—a different style of breathing could be linked to a panic attack at one extreme and a mindful yoga practice at the other. Which means that every intervention has the possibility of moving you away from your natural state of wellness.
Apparently, millions of people have done just that. The signs are obvious in dozens of ways—poor sleep, chronic lifestyle diseases, obesity, anxiety, and depression head the list. The healing response is compromised by a huge disruption like pneumonia or polio, but these devastating events are becoming rarer and more curable. The real threat to healing comes from the daily interventions we make that have negative or unforeseen consequences; these are the raindrops that can eventually cause a flood.
Because everyone’s life is a mixture of good and bad choices, everything in life must be viewed as either raising your state of wellness or lowering it. Our cells, all the way down to the genetic level, tolerate our indulgences but are paying the price for them as well.
So what’s the solution? Use the body’s dual control as a tool of healing. In the most basic terms, there are two kinds of healing going on in every person right now: