21 Dec Did You Know Your Body Is an Onion?
I love sharing with my kids analogies of how the natural world is reflected in their bodies and one of my favorite ones is this:
Your body is like an onion.
Layers of experiences and responses build up: falls, injuries, positioning; computer time, violin playing, golfing, etc. Every virus, broken bone, tension response, even ice cream cone — everything your body goes through is reflected in layers that build up. (And sometimes make you cry!)
When you come see a new practitioner, especially a body worker, they’ll ask you a bunch of questions about lifestyle, habits, illnesses and surgeries. What they’re doing, even if it doesn’t always seem relevant, is trying to peel away layers of the onion to understand how you got where you are.
If you took a health class in grade school, you probably learned a lot about body parts and functions. You learned how important it is to move your body and feed it well. If I gave you an outline drawing of a cell, you might even be able to label the structures. I’m willing to bet, though, that you never learned how a body actually heals.
What is physical healing really?
On a cellular level it is the body identifying a cell as dis-eased, tagging it, digesting it, removing it, and growing a new healthy cell in its place. Even in the fastest-metabolizing tissue, this takes 6-8 weeks; in bones, it can take a year or longer. There’s no short-cutting the process; you can’t create a new liver cell overnight.
I don’t need to share all the biochemical process and players that are involved with the healing of a cell. But know that it requires hundreds of thousands of chemical reactions and actors to make it happen. Thank goodness our innate intelligence handles this since I can’t even remember Grandma’s Xmas cookie recipe that I make every holiday season.
The layers are not only physical — muscle tension and spinal misalignment for example — but emotional. So I prefer healing modalities that allow for the expression and unwinding of the emotional layers as well. A young child who fell out of a tree and hurt their spine might not cry in front of their friends, then as an adult may get emotional on the chiropractic table when they begin the process of healing “sudden” low back pain.
It takes time to acquire layers and time to unwind layers. One the most powerful choices parents can make for their family is to work with health care providers who do not just focus on suppression and treatment of symptoms. Practitioners like chiropractors, holistic docs (NDs or MDs), craniosacral therapists, body workers and homeopaths all create a nest of support to minimize the accumulation of layers.
When you understand this, it helps you view your healing process and the process of your child’s healing differently. Openness, attention to processes, and curating a conscious support team will all contribute to your ability to allow healing to take place on the body’s necessary time frame.
So you have homework, Revolutionary Evolutionary moms and dads! The next time you are slicing a onion call over your child and show them the layers. And share the analogy about their body. Some of the layers are thick, some are thin, some are dried out or blackened — what does your kid think might have happened to the onion while it was growing? You may even learn something about how they see their body.