What if I told you that disease could materialize for five different reasons?
Sickness is not always a random occurrence.
Depending on the culture we come from, or the philosophy we believe in, there are many reasons we get sick and also a myriad of ways to treat our afflictions.
There are 5 causes of disease. Let’s dive in.
You might have read that in addition to our physical body we also have three subtle energy systems:
- The aura, light-body, or energy field. The aura contains seven layers that relate to the four aspects of the human being: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.
- Meridians (body energy pathways).
- Chakras (body energy centers).
The best way to understand what is causing a disease is to find a healing system, or a theory, that considers the human being as a mind-body-spirit system, not merely a compound of muscles, bones, organs, tissues, and nerves.
Over the centuries and throughout the world we can find numerous references to whole body systems of healing, like traditional Chinese medicine and Indian Ayurveda.
These systems understand that mind and body are connected and that the body has an energy field that needs to be taken care of in order to be at optimal health (or to regain it).
Experience and ancient knowledge have taught them that the cause of disease is not always merely physical; there are other mental and spiritual factors to be considered.
A comprehensive explanation of the causes of disease can be found in the work of Paracelsus, a 1493 Swiss alchemist, physician, astrologer, and philosopher, and the founder of modern toxicology.
Paracelsus believed that a human being has two bodies: a visible body that belongs to the earth, and an invisible body of heaven.
He postulated the existence of five reasons disease could be present in the body. He also connected disease to emotion (which is the most common reason for disease typically in the new age and spiritual circles); however, he believed that not every disease had to have a corresponding emotional problem.
Causes of disease
Paracelsus, born Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus Von Hohenheim, believed that the human being is a representation, on a smaller scale, of all that is contained in the world.
He claimed there are five major causes of illness: The first three causes deal with the body, and the last two belong to the spirit.
He said that if the body suffers, the spirit need not suffer, but if the spirit suffers, then the body will suffer.
The body cannot live without the spirit, but the spirit is not confined to the body and therefore is independent of it.
Illness can be a complex interaction of all five causes.
An isolated winter cold or flu may not mean much at all, but continued colds all year long, year after year, may have a root in emotional or spiritual issues.
Although it will be right to treat the current cold, it will be more desirable to find a long term solution by considering all five causes of disease:
1. External and environmental: epidemics, floods, earthquakes, heat, cold, and rain.
2. Poisonous substances and impurities: toxic fumes, spoiled food, chemicals of all kinds, and medicines with side effects.
3. Living habits and lifestyle: malnutrition, unhealthy diet, alcohol, and drugs.
4. Psychological causes: mental and emotional issues.
5. Spiritual (karma): Disease is the effect of a previously existing cause created in this life or during a former existence.
1. External and environmental
You were probably told when you were young not to play outside in the rain or you would get sick. That’s an example of external influences invading the body and causing illness.
In traditional Chinese medicine, if the wind enters the body, qi will flow erratically. It will stagnate qi in one place and then quickly move to another. If a person is already weak, seasonal changes may invade and cause illness.
2. Poisonous substances and impurities
These are: poisonous substances and impurities taken in food and drink, inhaled in the air, or absorbed in the skin: toxic fumes, spoiled food, chemicals of all kinds, medicines with side effects, etc.
The term side effect is somehow misleading; it seems to be considered synonymous with unimportant.
For some drugs the side effect can be very serious, like giving you a stroke; there is nothing “side” about that.
Also, some short-term, apparently insignificant side effects can have adverse long-term consequences.
Dr. Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D., a renowned cell biologist, in his book The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter and Miracles, writes that when a drug is introduced into the body to treat a malfunction in one protein, that drug inevitably interacts with at least one and possibly many other proteins. He can see why pharmaceutical drugs come with information sheets listing voluminous side effects that range from irritating to deadly.
In Dr. Lipton’s words:
Because we are not powerless biochemical machines, popping a pill every time we are mentally or physically out of tune is not the answer. Drugs and surgery are powerful tools when they are not overused, but the notion of simple drug fixes is fundamentally flawed. Every time a drug is introduced into the body to correct function A, it inevitably throws off function B, C, or D. It is not gene-directed hormones and neurotransmitters that control our bodies and our minds; our beliefs control our bodies, our minds and thus our lives.
Lipton demonstrates how the new science of epigenetics is revolutionizing our understanding of the link between mind and matter, and the profound effects it has on our personal lives and the collective life of our species.
I enjoyed reading The Biology of Belief.
3. Living habits and lifestyle
These are destructive living habits and lifestyle: malnutrition, unhealthy diet, alcohol, and drugs.
Paracelsus said that is only man who goes against the laws of his nature, particularly with regards to drinking and eating.
Body conditions like hunger, or too much food or alcohol, affect our mental and emotional states with great intensity.
For example, too much sugar and nutritionally lacking food can cause depression, lack of sleep, or hunger, which can make it difficult for us to concentrate.
Sometimes changing our diet and eating wholesome food dramatically improves our mood and decreases the size of our problems.
The impact of adequate nutrition on our physical well-being is addressed in this post (#Tool 5): 13 Indispensable Self-Healing Tools.
4. Psychological causes, mental, and emotional
A sad soul can kill you quicker than a germ
– John Steinbeck
Stress results from our emotional response to situations and conditions: grief, fear, sadness, overthinking, shock, psychological trauma, disordered thoughts, morbid imagination, hysteria, and other emotional conditions.
A lot has been written about the effects of our mental state on our physical body, and several great books explain how our unresolved emotional issues appear in the body as disease.
One of the best books in this field is the classic You Can Heal Your Life, by Louise Hay.
In this field of thought, disease occurs when the body’s energy is not flowing smoothly.
Fear, hurt, resentment, hate, grief, anger, and jealousy vibrate at a very low level, which keeps our energy stuck.
For healing to occur, we need to heal our emotions so the flow of energy through the body can be restored.
Illness starts in the spiritual and emotional bodies, cascading down and settling themselves as blockages in the physical body. Basically, in this category, the reason for our illness goes deeper than just a mere physical dysfunction.
Deeply ingrained beliefs or habits – about what is right and wrong about ourselves – also contribute to the development of emotional blockages and thus the manifestation of illness: “I’m worthless,” or “Nobody loves me.”
Since illness represents a stuck emotion, it is not always easy to understand what the disease or the symptom represents.
In the late 1970s, a new field in medicine known as psychoneuro-immunology (PNI) emerged, studying the interaction between our psychological (mental) processes and our physiology (the nervous and immune systems of the human body).
This is what is commonly known as the mind-body connection.
In 1985, a neuro-pharmacologist named Candace Pert, research professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at Georgetown University School of Medicine, and author of Molecules of Emotion: The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine, revealed that neuropeptide-specific receptors are present on the cell walls of both the brain and the immune system, which means that the chemicals triggered by emotions physically interact with cells and tissues in our bodies.
When we repeatedly picture our worst-case scenarios and worry to no end, we generate a chemical imbalance which in turn creates disease in the body.
More recent studies have shown unquestionable links between our thoughts, the stress response, and both our susceptibility to illness and our capacity to heal.
The closer we study the body, the more we discover the direct connection between how we think and how we feel.
Please note, if you have a serious mental condition, it is as important to follow the appropriate therapy and to take the medicine you need as outlined by your physician, psychologist, psychiatrist, or relevant doctor. Regardless of what your emotional issues are, you should never dismiss the importance of adequately treating brain chemical imbalances.
5. Spiritual (karma)
Diseases originating from karma are the most difficult to diagnose because it is not simply the period between birth and the disease to consider; the disease might relate to karma brought forward from previous lives.
Energy healing, praying, or hypnotherapy to uncover prior lives might assist healing, particularly when you have tried everything else and “nothing” seems to be working.
Although it is helpful to understand the reasons behind our sickness, it is important not to overthink which one of the five reasons caused it.
We don’t have to over-analyze and find emotional and spiritual reasons for every single ailment of the body.
Kathryn Hansen, in her book Brain Over Binge: Why I Was Bulimic, Why Conventional Therapy Didn’t Work, and How I Recovered for Good, explains how she was told by her therapists that her binge eating was only a symptom of a deeper issue, such as low self esteem, depression, anxiety, and family and social issues. But she didn’t think that she had any of those problems.
She says that regardless of what she uncovered from her past, what she resolved in the present, or how she envisioned her future, her urges to binge eat still consumed her. She didn’t want to go to more therapy, attend support groups, or follow meal plans. Regardless of the amount of traditional therapy that she received, she continued binging.
Her book is an amazing tale of how she recovered from bulimia on her own, without having to find, or actually have, any psychological or emotional reason behind her disorder.
To conclude this post, in order to fully heal, we need to take care of our mind, body, and spirit practicing self-care and using conventional and alternative therapies.
The following posts will help you to achieve that:
Also, please read this if you are feeling down or depressed: Remember This When You Are Feeling Down
Which cause of disease is more prevalent in your life? Do you find alternative therapies useful for you? Please let me know in the comments below