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Are Your Symptoms the Key to Getting Healthy?

Are Your Symptoms the Key to Getting Healthy?

Don’t eliminate your symptoms; embrace them.

“Illness knows only one goal — to make us whole.” So says European doctor Ruediger Dahlke, co-author of The Healing Power of Illness, a book that makes the case that health is a journey — not a destination — that can cure what ails us not only physically but psychologically. Consequently, he says, disease is not something to be avoided, but an opportunity to come to know our purpose and learn our life’s lessons.

“Once people understand the difference between illness and symptom, they no longer see the symptom as the enemy they must resist and destroy,” says Dahlke. “Instead they discover in the symptom a partner capable of helping them discover what they lack. At this point, the symptom becomes a teacher, helping them take responsibility for their development and the growth of their consciousness.”

The idea that our physiology and psychology affect one another has been around in the West for 1,000 years, and the two were integrated in ancient Asian traditions. Only recently has this connection been abandoned—and Dahlke is leading the charge to bring it back. “The shadow gets a form in physical illness,” he says, “We have to accept that and work with it.” Dahlke is critical of attempts to suppress the shadow with positive thinking and affirmations. “Many therapies suppress and thus build up the shadow. We want to do the opposite: light up the shadow.”

What are the results of this new method of treatment? “We see patients becoming healthy again who had no chance from the viewpoint of mainstream medicine,” says Dahlke. “We cannot heal all cancer patients; nobody can. But I can say that every diabetes 2 patient is really cured by our approach and every patient with rheumatism can be cured. I have seen multiple sclerosis patients who were in wheelchairs and can now walk again.” Dahlke pauses. “There are lots of miracles. Ultimately, we have to find ourselves, and our diseases can help us with that.”

Want to hear more? Dahlke will present his ideas to a U.S. audience for the first time at a free session on Saturday, November 2, at 1 p.m. Pacific.

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Read more: Alternative Therapies, General Health, Health, Intelligent Optimist, Life

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Jurriaan Kamp

The Intelligent Optimist is a community centered around a magazine, a website and online events and courses. We focus on the people, passion and possibilities changing our world for the better.


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3:56AM PST on Nov 3, 2013


8:14AM PDT on Oct 28, 2013

I think we all tend to forget we're not meant to be here forever. Just a short 100years ago you would be lucky to see 40. I have friends that run to a doctor every time they have an ache or pain and I can't seem to get them to see that this is a natural process, they are brainwashed, desperate and fear the unknown. We are all dying and it will bite you in the butt sooner if you don't embrace your deterioration.

8:03AM PDT on Oct 28, 2013

Isn't it interesting that our greatest teachers (illness, pain, hated behaviors) make us want to run in the other direction as fast as we can go? What genius wired us this way???? LOL - it was probably us!

Best book on debunking 'positive thinking will cure you' is The Dark Side of the Light Chasers by Debbie Ford. Had me looking at those things about myself I disliked in a whole new way.

6:12AM PDT on Oct 28, 2013

Handle them for great life

9:05PM PDT on Oct 27, 2013

If your symptom is being a Republican, don't embrace that however. You'll only get worse.

7:01PM PDT on Oct 27, 2013


5:31PM PDT on Oct 27, 2013


5:01PM PDT on Oct 27, 2013


3:50PM PDT on Oct 27, 2013

This is also about understanding PAIN !!!

3:13PM PDT on Oct 27, 2013

Good ideas.

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