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Is the Common Cold an Inevitable Price of Being Mortal?

By Tom Lee

I had a dilemma: Should I attempt to defend myself from bacteria and viruses with disinfectant wipes and lots of other techniques to kill pathogens and to avoid contact with outsiders, so as to avoid infection? OR, should I go out and expose myself to micro-doses of these pathogens so as to build immunity. Do I hide from the world to be safe from pathogens, or do I cautiously explore the world to build my immunity? There are times when I am coming off of a cold and feel myself getting sick again and say to myself, “I just can’t handle another cold.”

Psycho-neuro Immunology tells us that our emotions strongly impact our immune system. Just the other day, I visited my friend in Sacramento.  He warned me that he had some cold symptoms, but when I visited him, I saw no signs of sniffles, sneezing or any form of illness. But I kept thinking, what if he really did have a cold? By that night, I had the beginnings of a sore throat and went into my inner recording. “Oh no! Not again. I can’t handle getting another cold now!”

That night, I took a good look at my beliefs and realized, “These cold symptoms are not me. I was healthy this morning. I am, by nature a healthy person who is carrying the belief that I am catching a cold.” I started to heal when I realized I wasn’t helpless against some silly pathogen.  I cast it off immediately. I immediately felt better. And by the next morning there was no sign of any cold.

But what had I done?  Could I do it the next time?  Einstein said: ‘We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.”  When I started to think it through, I realized that I had been routinely underestimating myself and the human race in general. We are by nature, vital, strong resilient, resourceful, imaginative.  Consider this from Dr. John Sarno: “It is totally without logic to propose that after millions of years of evolution during which mankind has become the dominant species on this planet that somehow our bodies have become structurally incompetent or that we have become so fragile that we must be careful of how we move, how we use our bodies or engage in repetitive activities. This is unadulterated nonsense. We are not made of paper-mâché we are tough and resilient adaptable and quick to heal”. He might have added how absurd it is for a powerful being like myself to run away from the common cold.

I began to wonder about the body’s natural healing process that I had learned about from my mentor, the late Charlie Kreiner and others.  The emphasis in Kreiner’s work is emotional healing.  It’s emotional – but felt and expressed through the body. Could it apply to colds? But wasn’t I faced with a pileup of emotions in my terror about coming down with a cold?  Didn’t my body tense up all over when I thought about catching that next dreaded bug?  This wasn’t a problem of too many germs.  It was a problem of too many distressing feelings, and it had been going on and on, for years!  Getting a cold was almost a relief compared with the emotional agony.

Where did this unconscious pattern come from? Alice Miller summed it up: “The truth about our childhood is stored up in our body, and although we can repress it, we can never alter it. Our intellect can be deceived, our feelings manipulated, and conceptions confused, and our body tricked with medication. But someday our body will present its bill, for it is as incorruptible as a child, who, still whole in spirit, will accept no compromises or excuses, and it will not stop tormenting us until we stop evading the truth.”

Thus, we were conditioned into the victim role of susceptibility to colds.  We learned it and we can unlearn it by deconditioning ourselves.  But we must recognize what happened to us.  When our parents told us they did not want to hear from us, especially about our emotions, we repressed our ability to engage in the healing process.  This wasn’t a one-time occurrence but happened again and again.  We were silenced about what matters. When the healing process is compromised, we are subject to alternating numbness and emotional storms that leave the body ill.

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