BREAKING HABITS Dr Ann Haw June 2015
What is a habit?
All behavior is driven by a set of energetic patterns, with specific trigger factors, and specific responses. These patterns are imprinted on us, during our lives, our childhood, our birth, pregnancy, and from previous generations. These patterns, are extremely difficult to change, especially when they originate from prenatal experiences. They are not always bad, and are indeed ways, in which we have learnt to survive, and defend ourselves. They do however become restrictive, and can cause repetitive destructive behavior to people, and to those around them.
These patterns can be likened to crystal formation. The crystal is formed by a very particular pattern repeating itself over and over. The crystal is often very beautiful, but very
rigid. The more often they are repeated, the more rigid they become. These energetic “blue prints” govern, not only our behavior, and our emotional responses, but also, how our body responds to challenges, and how it expresses itself in the form of illness. Many of these characteristics are genetically, as well as energetically carried, from one generation to another. So, our lives, our health, and how we relate to each other, are governed by energetic patterns, which we have no control over. Habits, are simply another expression of these repetitive cycles.
If most of our behavior is governed by these reflex responses, one can understand why, when we get to more serious destructive habits, it is almost impossible to break them, purely, by the intellect. These patterns, are not under intellectual control. I believe this is why, the insights we gain from psychotherapy, are exciting, but seldom help to change things in our lives. I sometimes feel that long term psychotherapy, can reinforce these patterns, rather than release them. For instance, identifying the lack of love, one may have received from your parents, can lead, to more resentment not only towards them, but to others as well.
It has been my life’s work, to firstly understand the patterns in my own life, which keep me trapped in a certain negative way of thinking, and then to try and find ways, to change this. I have done the same in my practice, in facilitating patients, to identify their own unique patterns, and with the help of psychotherapy, and more recently Homeopathy, to find ways of breaking those cycles. This makes it possible to become more flexible in how we respond to things. What has been fascinating for me is to discover, that physical disease, is also an expression of these unconscious cycles.
A patient who was constantly berating himself, for not being good enough, presented with an auto-immune disease. This man, grew up with a very critical father. His father had never given him the approval he sort, and he then, continued, with the pattern, of never giving himself that approval. In an auto-immune disease, the body’s immune systems, starts working against one’s own tissues. So on a physical level, this patient also continued to attack, the authentic self.
Another patient, presented with severe depression, and chronic fatigue. Her first statement was “I don’t know why I am depressed, I have everything I need in life”. After listening to her talking for a while, I became aware of how hard she had to work, to maintain this “Perfect Life”. Her endogenous pattern, appeared to be, that you can only be happy, if you tackle everything in life, with fortitude and determination. She grew up in a very harsh environment, where this was the only way to survive. She had no experience of spontaneous happiness from within herself. Happiness, was something which she felt responsible for creating. Having succeeded, in creating this “Perfect Family”, she was left with a total emptiness. Despite the fact that she still forced herself to go through all the rigid expectations she had of herself, she was still not happy. One can describe this, as having a very strong masculine determination, but leaving the feminine side wounded. Her physical symptom was excessive menstrual bleeding. What better way to express, the wounded feminine side, than by bleeding from the uterus? Of course her fatigue can be understood, as being a result of this endless forceful cycle, which helped her create the perfect family, but drained her natural flow of energy.
These cases are examples of how these patterns are manifest on both the physical and mental levels. Each person is different, and one should not try and fit your own dis-ease into someone else’s patterns. The patterns are as unique to the individual, as our fingerprints are. We need to examine what is uniquely ours, not borrow from that which has been described by others.
Alcoholism and addictions:
These are notoriously difficult problems to treat. Addictions can be controlled, by forcefully avoiding the substance of addiction, but the patient is only healed, when he or she has understood the role, which the substance is playing in his or her life. Most cases are simply self medicating for some old unconscious grief or anxiety. Small things can open up these old wounds, and the only way to deaden the pain is by using some form of drug. These are often subtle and sensitive trigger/responses, and need a great deal of patience to get to the bottom of, and then find ways of changing. Once understood, the patient can easily see, the cycles, or patterns, which he or she goes through over and over again.
Methods of analysis and change:
Our challenge, as healers, I believe is to find ways to firstly identify, and then, release some of the destructive delusions, and patterns, which keep us doing the same old thing over and over, despite the erosion, it may cause to our, and our fellow man’s, well-being.
So how do we go about changing habits, given that they are a result of deep imprinting, which we have no
control over? Recognition of the unconscious cycles is an important step. This is where psychotherapy, in many different forms, can be a help. At least when you have recognized what is driving our habits, there is a chance that one could find ways of changing them. Consciously controlling the responses to triggers, is hard work, and difficult to sustain. I often find, that one only realizes that you have repeated an old pattern, after you have already done it. At least one can, take note of this, having happened, and can start to smile at oneself, for doing it. You have to be on your toes, all the time, to prevent yourself falling into the old responses, and traps. They happen without us even being aware of them. It is like trying to teach yourself not to salivate when you smell nice food.
Hypnotherapy seems to be successful in changing these unconscious cycles. It, of course needs to be done, by an experienced practitioner, who is able to facilitate change in response, and to introduce more constructive reaction patterns. A simple example would be, to change the reflex of grabbing a cigarette, when hearing criticism. It would have to be replaced by some more constructive thought, or affirmation about oneself.
Using Art, Drama, Music, Dance, and play in creative ways, can certainly help to release old negative patterns. Therapists in these fields, also need to be equipped and trained, to deal with whatever comes up, and to facilitate healing in creative and joyful ways. Bringing an element of fun and laughter into these kind of sessions, can be enormously therapeutic. Colour, music and movement all have a resonance of their own, and can help harmonize and synchronize the flow of our old stuck patterns of behavior.
In Homeopathy, we use remedies made from various things in nature, which have a similar pattern, to that which we wish to release in a patient. For instance, a bee sting, can cause severe swelling, hot inflammation, pain and itching. A patient who presents with a similar inflammation, from whatever cause, can be helped by using the remedy, Apis, which is made from the bee. It seems that by superimposing the pattern of the bee, on the patient who displays the characteristics of a bee sting, the exaggerated inflammatory reaction, can be released, so that the normal human immune response, can better deal with, whatever irritation has triggered this reaction.
This holds as true for emotional or psychological reactions, as it does for physical ones. If violence is the inborn reaction to rejection, and loss, we would have to look, at some toxic substance from nature, which could cause such an inappropriate human response. An example would be in the remedy made from the highly poisonous Nux Vomica plant. This belongs to the Loganiaceae plant family, in which strychnine is the poisonous substance. The mental and physical spasms and outbursts we see in some patients, can be released by this remedy, in favour, of a more human defensive, or caring response to disappointment and rejection. Of course we use such substances in Homeopathic dilution, which contain no toxins or poisons. This is but one of many, many remedies, which could be used for such a patient.
I believe that the important part, of whatever method, one is using in this field, is the accurate assessment and diagnosis, of what underlying pattern, is governing a patient’s dis- ease, of whatever form. Finding ways to release old patterns, is by no means easy, for practitioners, or patients, but it is totally impossible, if you do not know what it is, which needs to be released. Most failures in treatment come from an incomplete understanding of what is really wrong with the patient.
Gem Stones and Crystals
Healing by means of crystals, is well known, and has been practiced in various forms, for many years. Using Gem Remedies, in Homeopathic dilution, is a relatively new discipline. Peter Tumminello, of Australia, has done some extensive studies, on the intricate properties of various gem stones. He has done detailed Hahnemannian provings, on the stones, which he has collected and potentised himself. His work has certainly given me, a clearer understanding of which patients, with which patterns of disease, and behaviour, will benefit from the remedies, which are now available for use. From a point of view, of this article, there appear to be some interesting generalities of matching similar characteristics with the patterns in patients. The crystalline formation in stones, is formed by deep pressure of the earth. The volcanic forces pushing up, and the sedimentary pressures pressing down, cause certain elements, to fuse, and develop a unique crystalline structure. In life, we find that the pressures, we are subjected to by society, family, work, economics and politics, are the major contributing factors, in our development of fixed, “crystalline” patterns of survival. By using stones, which have a crystalline structure, in Homeopathic dilution, we can release the rigidity of the patterns, which keep us repeating the same behaviour over and over. I think these gem remedies, are going to play an important role, in changing habitual patterns of behaviour
There are of course many other disciplines, which work on these energetic patterns. To name a few; chiropractic, reflexology, yoga, body stress release all have a similar objective, but use different methods. Sadly, conventional western medicine cannot yet be included in this list. More and more doctors, are however, realizing that mechanistic medicine has limitations. It is wonderful to see studies now being done on subjects like Psycho Immunology. More doctors are becoming aware of the mind-body connection, and hopefully more work will be done to develop practical skills and therapies, in these fields. The understanding of the complex energy systems of the body, seems to remain, an illusive subject, which doctors generally prefer to avoid.
The exciting part about this work, is that if and when we find ways to change old habits, it is possible for patients to regain control of their own healing and health. In releasing destructive programming, the patients’ own healing mechanisms, are able to function more effectively. This is the philosophy, behind the practitioners working at the Dynamic Healing Centre. We dedicate ourselves to do our best, to help our patients, to heal themselves. The reward we get from the work, is mainly the satisfaction, of seeing patients walk out healthy, and with a smile. Of course we also need material reward, for our effort, because that is the “habit”, which society, and the world gives us, to control the give and take of energy, from one person to another. We will never grow rich out of this kind of work, but it will provide sufficiently, if we are able to create a balance, between give and take.
I thank all my patients, for sharing their own personal journeys with me, and for providing me with endless material for thought and study, into the intricacies of human existence.