Disclaimer: The tips in this blog are not a miracle cure for any disease, and do not claim they will work for your situation. However, the tips in this blog will give you the fundamentals of health that will provide you with the best possible chance of long-term survival, even a ‘cure’ or reversal of disease in some instances.
Prevention is Better Than Cure
When it comes to illness, prevention is always better than cure. But life happens. And as we walk through life, we are either battling disease ourselves or know someone who is.
Our lifestyle choices, genetic disposition, and environment/climate can put us in a precarious position, and before we know it, we have succumbed to one disease or another. Any disease taking hold of our bodies, minds, and at times, souls can be the most confounding experience a human being could ever face. The illness removes us from our usual elements and places us in a vulnerable position where we may be required to rely on other people’s care, compassion and expertise.
So, I’m here to tell you that we do not have to feel utterly powerless when facing an illness. Below are the tips I've compiled with the hope and understanding that they will give you and me the best fighting chance. At the very least, they will help us cope and alleviate conditions. The best outcome from these points will be to improve overall health, reverse some conditions and even prolong life considerably.
1) Know your enemy and what you’re dealing with
To understand this principle, I will draw from Sun Tzu’s book, The Art of War.
In his book, The Art of War, Sun Tzu says, “If you know your enemy and yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained, you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
As I dissect this quotation, one thing is apparent: one must always be prepared. In other words, if you go into battle, you stand a better chance of winning if you know your enemy’s tactics, location, fighting strategies, and weaknesses.
We can apply the same principles when fighting disease. When diagnosed with an illness, it is common and natural to feel terrified and not wish to know more than we need to. Patients are sometimes given a choice regarding how much information they want to learn about their illnesses. While others opt out of knowing every little detail about their predicament, perhaps because knowing too much can be too crippling and prevent one from living, some take a more courageous option, taking the time to study their condition. As a result, they absorb all there is to know about their enemy, the disease.
Therefore, the lesson from the passage above is that if you’ve cancer, find out how it attacks your body and the thing that feeds it. To do so is to empower yourself. Someone once told me that ‘knowledge is not power, but only’ potential power’, meaning knowing how the disease manifests itself into your body or mind will only take you so far. You will need to take it further if you are going into this battle. This brings me to my next point;
2) Develop a positive mindset
This appeals to one’s psychological disposition, i.e., attitude, thoughts, feelings, confidence, courage, and determination. Despite what you face, I’ve realised that it is wise to stay positive. While I’m not encouraging you to ignore your predicament and be unrealistic, there is much to say about having a positive mindset. Believing that you will and can get better and trust that you have enough courage and determination to fight the disease goes a long way.
After receiving the doctor’s devastating news of a short prognosis, I’ve heard testimonies of long-term survivors. While doctors rarely get it wrong, I also believe that a higher power operates in the spiritual realm, determining how our lives turn out and that we tap into that incredible power when we engage in positive thinking.
Negative emotions are like poison coursing through our veins. Anger, resentment, jealousy, and envy, to name but a few, destroy our souls and health from the inside out. For instance, when you hold on to a grudge, the body reacts each time you see that person. The heart races, and our blood pressure rises as the body prepares to fight, for it perceives a threat.
This stress level strains the brain, gut, and heart, inevitably leading to further deterioration in our condition. However, acts such as forgiving, love, compassion, empathy and kindness are the balm of the spirit and keep disease at bay. Therefore, it is prudent to rid ourselves of negative thoughts and energy.
3) Surround yourself with positive people
Just like the inward environment, our physical environment plays a crucial role in our healing. In the same way, we must lean towards a positive mindset, immerse ourselves in favourable acts, and steer clear of negative associations. Their presence in our battle will breed negativity and scepticism and invite a gloomy outlook that will only worsen our suffering and feed the disease. If a friend or family member does not believe you can beat the odds, that is their problem, not yours. Your job is to fight.
While battling an illness, do not forget to live. Your life is not over yet. If the condition allows you, laugh, play, dance and go for walks. Take the time to stand and stare at the birds and the trees and feel the fresh air. But in communion with nature, immersing yourself in God’s creations and wonders. There will be days when you do not feel like doing anything, and that’s OK. Let your loved ones, those with you in this fight, care for and look after you.
“There is sickness everywhere, and most of it might be prevented by attention to the laws of health.” The Ministry of Healing.
Indeed, the above interpretation should not suggest that the primary health principles are invalid since the disease has already manifested in the body. If anything, the primary health principles are now more relevant than ever. In this battle, one will still need to diligently observe their daily health habits.
Maintaining good health means a balanced diet, adequate rest, exercise, fresh air, sunshine and drinking water. We cannot expect to beat any disease without these principles. They’re the pillars of our existence.
5) Have faith
Faced with trials and tribulations, some, if not most, turn to a higher power outside ourselves for strength, courage and determination. We find faith, hope, and meaning in adversity through our spirituality and beliefs. So, whatever you consider a higher power, now is the time to turn towards it. If you are a Christian, Ephesians 6 tells you to put on the full armour of God, to draw your sword and shield, for in the time of battle.
Prayer, meditation, and practising gratitude are ways through which human beings draw meaning and the strength they need to maintain a spirit of abundance and prevail.
Therefore, beloved, do whatever it takes to garner all the faith and hope you need.
In conclusion, beloved, do what the doctor tells you. Take your medication on time, follow the prescription and immediately report any side effects. Then, when you feel discouraged, appeal to the five aspects mentioned in this chapter and face the enemy. And if, in the end, you lose the battle, at least you would have fought a good fight.