For many years in my clinic I have seen people who come for treatment and talk to me about the diagnoses they have for their condition.
I often wonder if having the diagnoses has been beneficial for them. I think this because I see that in some cases, especially when the person has suffered acute pain over a long period of time, that they become this condition. They define themselves by it. Their pain or condition take over in an unhealthy way and their life often revolves around it.
I understand how this can happen. Pain over long periods of time wears them down. But becoming so focused on what is not going well gives it huge power and keeps people in the pattern of experiencing ‘what is’ rather than ‘what could be’. I always like to remind people how amazing their body is at doing so much right all the time, rather than indulging in what is wrong.
When my daughter got ill recently and wanted a diagnoses I was wary for this very reason. She is young and I didn’t want her labelled with a condition she could carry around with her into adulthood. I didn’t want her to be scared by googling the symptoms and self-diagnosing all kinds of potential conditions that her symptoms might have flagged up. I didn’t want her to get stuck in the detrimental loop of thinking that her body is not working well and feeling disappointed with herself. It’s easy to think ‘I have x,y,z condition’ and allow that to become the mind-set. Thinking like that gives a clear message to the body to maintain this pattern.
But then today we saw the wonderful NHS specialist we have waited a while to see and we got a diagnosis. What we both felt was a huge relief. We know what is going on, we know it can be treated and we know its not going to be forever, she will get better. He was very sure to reassure us of this.
We googled the condition. What we read could have been written by us it was so accurate and included symptoms she had been experiencing but that we didn’t even know were related. We both cried. Now we know what we are dealing with and it will be easy to figure out various ways of helping her through it. This has changed my mind somewhat about diagnoses. For us today it was a positive analysis, a reaffirming catalyst. The diagnoses is a valuable, acceptance of where we are at right now and it is essential to have belief in the body’s ability to heal.
And then I think about Thai medical theory, how much I love observing and treating people through this lens, seeing when elements are playing up and how far out of balance they have become. Element theory is used by practitioners diagnostically and is a complex, non-judgemental and revealing way of looking at human form. It is a diagnostic tool that helps me know how to help my clients with their emotional, physical, spiritual or mental complaints.
Through this lens and from the recent experience with my daughter I see diagnoses as valuable. It brings me to conclude that it’s not the actual diagnosis I don’t like or think is valuable. It is people’s attitude to their diagnoses I struggle with. It is the choices they make for their own health and future going forwards that is important and can swing it one way or another.
Remember, no matter how your body is in this moment there are many millions of magnificent and incredibly successful interactions taking place every second of the day, each one doing its best to benefit the whole amazing organism that is your body.