In doing a bit of research for a bigger piece I am working on, I came across this word and these thoughts. I thought I would share them candidly here as I believe this represents a bigger issue in our culture...
Let's talk about the first definition that addresses psychological benefit vs. physiological benefit. This completely separates the mind from the body as if one is oil and one is water. Your mind IS your body and studies are now really showing that what we think, how we feel, effect how we function on a physiological level. Not to mention, if you feel motivated, upbeat, positive you are more likely to treat your physical body much differently then when you feel sluggish, sad and unable to cope. To me, that completely disputes the underscored definition of it offering "no therapeutic effect". And lastly, I love how the word "merely" is placed before calm and please as if they are secondary in some way. We have to stop thinking of mental and emotional health as something that is "merely". HOW YOU FEEL MATTERS. And even more importantly, your ability to intelligently navigate how you feel, that you have tools, support and encouragement to do so, matters. Because as of now the most used tools to navigate such waters have been things like drugs, alcohol, sex, food and social media. Things that numb and keep us from our potential rather than allow us to move through our feelings with love and grace towards our potential.
Let me be clear, I am not saying that we should ONLY address matters of the mind when it comes to how we treat disease. Medicine is a wondrous thing that saves many, many lives when appropriately used. I am grateful that doctors were able to save my brother's heart twice in his life and that he had pain medication to help through the pain. I am grateful that there ARE antibiotics available in this country should my child or anyone I love need them. This is NOT an argument for one or the other, alternative healing vs. western medicine. To be quite blunt, that is a bullshit argument that only creates divisiveness among practitioners of all kinds. But we have also so greatly disconnected our minds, the power that we have over our entire system that we have completely written it off as "merely" or "non-therapeutic".
I am also not advocating that we start embracing this word placebo. I am actually advocating that we knock it off all together. We have to better integrate mind, body and spirit and if we are going to do that, we have to become less obsessed with proving everything all the time and TRUSTING our own brains more. We have to be more willing to get to know ourselves rather than look outwardly for how to "fix" ourselves. The solutions to so many issues actually live within our own minds and how we relate to the human experience that we are having. "It's all in your head" should not be something that we brush off, but something that we embrace and welcome in as a real and felt experience. Our anxiety, our stress, our worry, our fear, all of it is calling our attention back to ourselves for a little more one on one time than we tend to give.
is a Mama, Wife, Teacher, Writer and Creator of One OM at a time. She has been teaching and studying yoga since 2008 and has taught at studios in Syracuse, Boston and New York City. For two years her hOMe was wherever she, her husband Justin, their daughter Audrey and pug Oscar find themselves as they traveled for Justin's job on the national tour of Matilda the Musical. This way of living has really taught Sara that yoga and mediation requires nothing more than some time and a space for your mat. You can find Sara teaching regular classes in NYC, workshops and retreats all over the country as well as in her very own online studio right here!