One of our biggest delusions about health is that if you have a symptom, you should suppress it. If you’ve ever had food poisoning, your body was doing its darnedest to protect you from harm. The results were not pleasant, of course. But think about the alternative. Would it have been better to shut down your digestive system completely and keep poisonous food inside you?
What about a fever? It doesn’t feel good to be feverish, and no parent wants to see their child suffering. But the increased heat during a fever has a purpose: to destroy bacteria and viruses. If the body is forced to cool down, infections take longer to clear. Putting the brakes on the immune system forces it to become hypersensitive in order to continue its activities of surveillance and destruction. Would you prefer an unbalanced immune system, or a well-balanced immune system?
The fact is, a healthier body is more expressive. If you encounter tainted food or a germ that needs to be destroyed, you won’t feel fantastic. And that is okay. There is a euphemism in our office to describe this: “expressing health in an unpleasant way.”
Do you expect that you will never experience discomfort? That you should never go to bed early “just because” you feel like you’re coming down with a cold? How disconnected we are from ourselves! The spark behind this post was a TV ad for a children’s fever reducer. The little girl was at home sick, but because of her fever-reducing medication, she was able to play, read, and be active all day. Common sense tells us she would be better off sleeping, to let her body’s natural defenses work. Instead, we are exposed to the lie that even children are “too busy” to take time for healing.