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Your Body Remembers How to Heal

Dr. Tonia Winchester, nanaimo naturopathic doctor and nanaimo acupuncturist assures you your body knows how to heal and wants toI went salsa dancing last week for the first time in several weeks. It was over two months, which in the span of my 10- year salsa dancing stint is a pretty long time.

Even over the course of my life as a dancer (I started at age 3 or 4) 2 months is a long time with out working on my craft. (And having fun.)

Part of me was a tad bit worried that I wouldn’t remember how. What if I forgot everything? What if I piss my partner off by stumbling around?

Hahaha. Oh, Silly Tonia.

As soon as I got there and heard the music my veins were flooded with a deep understanding. I felt connected to my identity.

It was like I had never left.

Dancing is deeply ingrained in my procedural memory. I couldn’t forget it even if I wanted to. (Not that I do).

And as long as I keep doing it it is very likely that I will continue to remember other things since dance has been shown to decrease the risk of dementia.

Anyhoo… since dance is so entwined in my being I can kinda go on autopilot sometimes. Not that I recommend not being present.

But in this instance as I started moving in that familiar 1-2-3, 5-6-7 rhythm, my brain instantly said, “Of course I remember!” And then the follow up thought was, “Just like the body always remembers how to heal!”

And thus we arrive at the topic of this article.

Your Body Remembers How To Heal

More deeply ingrained than my relationship to dance – or your thing that you can do with your eyes closed –  is your body’s ability to heal.

You are born knowing this.

You are probably conceived knowing this.

If I believe anything in life it is the vis mediacatrix naturae – the innate healing ability of all organisms. The vis for short.

Not convinced? You may be thinking. “If that is true, then why can’t I lose weight? Why can’t I get pregnant? Why am I always so bloated? Why is my skin so itchy? Why am I still in pain? Why does medical doctor say there is no cure for what I have?”

These are great questions. And if my belief is true, then…

Why are you sick?

There are various stressors that I have written about before that block the body from being able to heal. I consider these to be root causes of illness.

  1. Emotional stressors and traumas.
  2. Physical stressors: accidents, injuries, surgeries, over training, sedentary lifestyle (under training), pregnancies.
  3. Nutrient deficiencies: from either not being exposed to the nutrient in the diet or the digestive system not functioning well and not giving you the nutrients
  4. Dehydration. 
  5. Food reactivities: junk food, food allergies, sensitivities, intolerances – essentially when food becomes a toxin to your body.
  6. Environmental toxicity: Sadly the majority of the things we’re eating, drinking, breathing, or touching are contaminated and dirty these days. Bleh. This category also includes smoking, drinking, recreational and pharmaceutical drugs.
  7. Infections: Viruses, bacteria, parasites and the like.
  8. Seasonal, weather, and climate changes.  

These stressors shift the body out of healing mode (the parasympathetic arm of the nervous system aka rest, digest, heal, and sex) into stress mode (the sympathetic arm aka fight, flight, faint or freeze).

But it still knows how to heal.

The stressors might have shifted it out of healing mode, but it still knows how.

And it always remembers.

If you’re not sure about this, I ask you to trust me and my 20 + years of studying (at school and in clinical practice) )the how the human body works in relation to its environment.

And if you’re not wiling or able to trust me at this stage, no worries. I just ask you be curious.

What if your body could heal? What if your body did know how? What behaviors or circumstances would have to be in place for that to happen with out effort?

Would you be skipping meals? No.

Would you be staying up too late? Nope.

Would you be drinking everything BUT water? Not a chance.

Would be exposing your body to metabolic (aka healing) blocking toxins? Not on purpose.

Would you be eating foods you know aren’t good for you? I doubt it.

Would you purposely hangout with people that don’t excite you and bring you joy? Golly, I hope not.

Would you spend most of your day sitting like a lump? Fat chance.

The choices we make, and the environment we’re in affects the body’s ability to repair.

But it knows how.

It remembers and it WANTS to heal. Your body wants you to be healthy and well.

There is no escaping this information. It is ingrained. As innate as it comes.

So… how can you help your body go back into healing mode?

You don’t need to change everything at once.

Starting small is actually better.

Maybe for the next week you’re going to focus on getting your water up to the right level.

Maybe you’re going to cut out the food you know makes you gassy.

Perhaps you’re going to move your body for 15 minutes per day.

I’d love to hear what you decide. Let me know in the comments below.

Remember: Your body knows how to heal. Your vis is working FOR you not against you. Your body always remembers. You have the control to put your body back into healing mode. Flip the switch. It’s a pretty simple concept.


To your healthy, thriving, delightful life,


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