What do you mean intuitive?
Today I want to dig a little deeper with the Mouth Body connection. I want to show how the mouth is central to the human experience and that human experience is central to a better understanding of disease. I would also like to highlight the idea of context in human biology and disease. These basic principles are over-viewed in my book Something To Chew On which I wrote with two basic goals in mind. The first was to empower people in their journey to health and the second and equally important was to alleviate the impossible burden on healthcare professionals to deliver to people something that they did not possess, i.e. health.
Health like happiness is an inside job and so no one or no thing can grant it to anybody. We can as healthcare professionals help people on their journey, but we are not purveyors of health. Very often we are struggling with our own health issues as we turn up in the clinic to help others. Very often we feel that we have nowhere to turn to get help while we muster the energy to provide the help to others. I want to show that what I describe as societal dysfunction operates and pervades our structures and that because of that our ability to help ourselves and others is severely limited.
Back to the Mouth
I want to introduce the Mouth as the major Gateway of the Body. It is the organ through which we allow all manner of substances into the body. The basics of nutrition enter here as well as substances that are pollutants. Nutrients as well as pollutants can enter via the mouth as solids, liquids or gases. Gases enter our lungs and the circulatory system while the liquids and solids enter the digestive system. These systems distribute to each of the estimated 37 trillion cells which are the building blocks of the amazingly complex structure. There is no cell or tissue not affected, be it an enhancement or a detriment.
The Gateway allows exit as well as entry. So what needs to exit? Apart from solids or liquids which are forcibly ejected having mistakenly gained entry or when the system is delicate and needs to reset by vomiting, the main aspect of outward movement is communication.
The Mouth is thus an Organ of Expression. It allows the inner experience to be communicated to the outside and to others in our environment. It is an Organ of Social Exchange. What is felt inside can be communicated via the Gateway.
The Gateway thus provides entry for the fuel to create the energy for life inside and the exit for the energies experienced inside that seek expression to the environment. The organism and its environment are interdependent co-arising co-operatives and the changes and exchanges create the flow of life.
Our Gateway allows entry and exit but what of the Gatekeeper? Who is deciding what is allowed entry and what is refused entry and what can exit or be refused exit? This is where societal dysfunctional programming comes into the picture and creates distortion.
We speak of obesity and its statistical association with various diseases and we have good information in this regard. But how do we use it? We assume that people ‘should’ just eat less or ‘better’ and the problem would be solved. We might even get frustrated with them for not ‘doing’ what we have advised them to do. We assume that they are not compliant.
Yet I can tell you (and you could probably tell me) of difficult experiences in our lives where we used food as comfort. If we could really ‘see’ what we term coldly and clinically as obesity, we might see the weight of unexpressed emotional pain blocked by a mouth shut against the fear of expression and a habitual eating pattern that craves comfort from the pain. The pain may be so repressed and unconscious that the conscious mind is no longer even aware of it.
So how are you feeling?
Does that change the way you think about obesity? Will you allow yourself to feel that pain and embrace the human being or will you offer double-blind trials that condemn their eating habits. Has somebody ever criticised or condemned a behaviour of yours where it resulted in you feeling comforted and understood? Or is it more likely that the criticism made you feel worse and the resulting defensiveness created a conflict or a deepened depression in a crisis of self worth.
How would it feel in the body if you were offered acceptance and understanding for the extra weight. Would it feel better or worse? This is where we always can choose between what will bring greater disease or greater comfort. Comfort or ease moves the system towards health and makes better gate-keeping more likely while condemnation or criticism creates more disease!
Given the level of disease we encounter in our society whether in hospital and out, which do you think we do more of?
If we want to create health for ourselves and others, we need to go deep and ‘know thyself’. These understandings and compassion for self and other is the missing link. And the mouth is central.
Make no mistake, the Mouth in its Magnificence has much to say on matters of health and well-being!
Contact me if you want to know more at [email protected]