This week a number of practitioners around the world will be tipping their hat to the legendary Dr Still who 140 years ago, among the back drop of much criticism, created a brand new way to heal the body…..you may be familiar with it….it is called Osteopathy.
Dr Still was an inventive genius, a man far ahead of his time. Through experimentation and observation he created a brand new way to treat sick and injured people, which has gone on to heal millions. He is such an inspiring figure, you cannot help but admire his courage and drive to find a different way to heal the body. His anniversary has inspired me to question what we could learn from his example.
When we explore Dr Still’s process of invention we can see he was very creative in his approach, he took responsibility for exploring and experimenting with different methods to improve health, he looked outside of contemporary medicine and there was a significant period of trial and error.
Now I am not proposing we all rush out and create a new form of alternative medicine like Dr Still, and certainly contemporary medicine has its role, but could we all get a bit more creative with our recovery from illness, or management of on going injuries and conditions? I wonder how much extra vitality we could access by being a bit more inventive and creative with our approaches to life and health?
In our society there are so many health warnings and guidelines from the government. It makes it feel like health is absolute. This way or the high way, to steal a colloquial expression. But actually health is much more subjective. To a juicing, fitness fanatic, eating a tin of baked beans would be considered sugary junk food, but for those who struggle to feed their family, beans offer a viable source of fibre, which is nutritious and vital to their health.
Think about it like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs but based upon the health continuum. We start at the bottom and then move up, slowly adding to and refining, our healthy lifestyles. Carefully rising up to the higher echelons of better health through exercising, juicing, positive thinking, meditation, breathing exercises, creative expression…the list goes on…….
I cannot hide the fact that taking responsibility for improving your well-being and health is quite a task. You are actually signing yourself up for an infinite journey, because there is always more to learn, and even healthier habits to adopt, no matter how refined your lifestyle is. Engaging with this health journey is important though, it does not matter how effective you are at trying, or where you are on the scale of health, just as long you have some forward momentum.
Through taking practical action we are positively empowering ourselves. The trick is to not give into passivity, but to keep the ball rolling, we must always reach beyond our current state and feel for a better way, explore a little something extra, something new that could improve our mental and physical well-being.
This kind of approach applies to many things. Craft activities such as sewing or drawing could be most beneficial to our well-being. Creative expression can empower us, motivate us, give us a sense of accomplishment. It can encourage us to see more beauty in the world we reside in, and it can give our soul a positive avenue for expression.
We can try to be more creative with our mental health too. Investigating the power of consciousness on health is a topic little explored by scientists, but the power of positive thinking is well documented in the holistic health field, and you really only need to look at the power of the placebo drug effect, to see the role consciousness can play in improving health and well-being.
Using affirmations or positive visualizations to lift our thoughts to more positive places maybe a user-friendly way of accessing the benefits of positive thinking. There are some great apps for phones that can be used to support this.
All of these ideas could contribute to you accessing a greater feeling of well-being, which is ultimately the bedrock of our overall health. As adults we shy away from creativity because we are afraid of getting it wrong, when what we really need to do, is forget these self-imposed confines and take a leaf out of Dr Still’s book….just explore, play and experiment more. Who knows you may find health benefits from the most unlikeliest of places.