The most important issues for healing and creating a great and strong health is strengthening your self-healing capacity, change your lifestyle and create bio-balance in your life.
Lifestyle is crucial.
Interview with Dr. Sanna Ehdin
Sanna has 12 years of biomedical research and has studied Self-Healing and holistic health for 25 years, and her 12 bestselling books have sold a million copies in ten countries. Sanna has lectured to 100 000 people and been elected Sweden’s most popular speaker.
She is frequently in media, and her blog was voted best Swedish Green Health blog in 2011 and 2012.
The Self-Healing Human
Q. How can we go about healing ourselves?
A. The most important issues for healing and creating a great and strong health is strengthening your self-healing capacity, change your lifestyle and create bio-balance in your life.
Lifestyle is crucial. Depending on which doctor or scientist you talk to, 70 to 98 percent of degenerative diseases can be healed and prevented by lifestyle changes. Harvard School of Public Health estimates that 65 percent of deaths caused by cancer could have been prevented by a change in lifestyle. Examples of substances that burden the body and cause it to break down in the long run are sugar, caffeine, cigarettes, and too much chemically processed fat. But it is not only what you eat but also what you inhale and absorb through your skin that affects your body’s processes. Thoughts and emotions are also different forms of energy influencing the body’s metabolism. Heavy negative thoughts will make everything move slowly, while happy, optimistic thoughts will make you feel so cheerful that everything seems quicker and easier to do.
Q. Do you think that humour and wellbeing are related and, if so, in what way?
A. True joy opens us to positive energy, drives away our fears and woes, and aids healing. It is impossible to be happy and afraid at one and the same time. Joy is accompanied by positive emotions that boost energy levels and stimulate immunity. This has been shown in studies. It improves our thought processes and enhances our intuitive skills, making it easier for us to make the right decisions. Humour, which also has a protective and beneficial effect on health, works the same way.
A sense of humour makes it easier to accept that you cannot control everything.
Sanna Ehdin believes:
- Everyone has a self-healing ability that can be enhanced and strengthened.
- Healing is a conscious process in which you have to invest time and energy.
- You have to consider the whole picture – the holistic approach.
- All true healing takes time.
- The same symptom may have several different causes.
- Every human being is unique – biochemically and spiritually – and should be treated as an individual.
- Many different roads lead to healing – the challenge is to find the right one for you.
Q. How does a Self-Healing methodology fit in with conventional medicine?
A. It is supported by the latest research findings and medical studies. The medical community are starting to recognize that we each have a great impact on our health. Our lifestyle – diet, supplements, stress, light, exercise, relations, and emotions – influences our genes and thus which genes are expressed. For example it has been shown repeatedly that healthy whole foods supports the self-healing, which enhances cleansing and reparation of the body. Junk food, on the other hand, activates junk genes leading to inflammation, degeneration and premature aging. These are radical new scientific findings that open for a new view on our healing capacity.
This is well understood in integrative medicine, which is the new emerging and rapidly growing field that integrates conventional school medicine with complementary medicine. This is the future.
Q. You mentioned that healthy whole foods supports self-healing, is it also an important ingredient in happiness?
A. Yes, very much so as you can boost your mind and happiness by eating nutritious, well-tasting food. The chemistry of the brain is affected after each meal. Food works as a drug, influencing both our mood and our physiology. It is directly connected to hormonal production.
For example, researchers at MIT have shown that the slow carbohydrates in whole-grain products stimulate production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that creates a sense of well-being and inner peace, and improves concentration and sleep. A deficiency of essential omega 3-fatty acids or B-vitamins can cause depression. Magnesium deficiency lowers the irritation threshold and people tend to worry about things more easily.
Q. Obesity is becoming a major medical problem. Is overeating and eating the wrong foods the real reason obesity is becoming so prevalent now?
A. Obesity is just a sign of the bio-imbalance today. It is caused by the governmental recommendations for a high carbohydrate-low fat diet. This has really cheated people as it caused the opposite: an epidemic outbreak of obesity and diabetes. This diet sets the insulin-regulatory mechanism out of order, and obesity is really a low-grade inflammation. Eating junk food and drinking sodas, as well as a diet high in sugar, wheat and trans fatty acids have caused this.
When you give the body the completely wrong kind of information it forgets what “healthy” is, but you can awaken that inner healing knowing by starting to eat healthy again.
Also, many people today are sugar-addicts. Sweets bring temporary emotional satisfaction, but they really only lead to renewed craving for more. Blood sugar levels rise faster but they also drop faster, and the end result is sensitivity to low blood sugar – hypoglycemia.
Since sugar is such a strong and common drug in our society, we are constantly satisfying the craving created by the addictive brain. Increased awareness about this and healthy eating is the only cure for this. People who are sugar-sensitive do really well on a high-fat diet, and they actually lose a lot of weight while eating a high-fat diet and avoiding the carbs.
Nature, Colours & Light
Q. How important are your surroundings to your health?
Living in the countryside would seem healthier than living in a city but does that mean city dwellers can’t maintain a healthy lifestyle?
A. Numerous research studies have shown the importance of nature on health and healing. Some people need it more than others and I love nature. Being outdoors is also great for exercising. I have chosen to live by the sea half an hour from the centre of Stockholm, Sweden, and look out on the water and sailboats as I write.
In the winter time I go to a public green house with a wonderful botanical garden so I can get the energizing experience of live green plants. Or I travel to warm countries to get the sun and fresh vegetables.
Spending time in nature is very important for maintaining a good health so I encourage people to do that no matter where they live. If you are stuck in the city for a while buy some green plants and beautiful flowers for your home or office to pamper your senses and spirit!
Q. Do colours around us play part in how we feel?
A. Colours have a major effect on the mind. Cerebral cells also respond quickly to light, resulting in reprogramming of the brain, which initiates various processes in the body. Blue is calming, red is alerting, green is healing and yellow inspires creativity.
This is best demonstrated with monochromatic light (a single, pure colour from a low-intensity laser), where people can experience a broad range of healing effects after just one treatment. This form of colour therapy is effective for worry, anxiety, insomnia, as well as with more non-specific problems such as extreme fatigue and depression. It has even helped people with migraine headaches, asthma, and ulcers, and after a few sessions patients with rheumatism.
What happens is that the light’s energy (photons) is absorbed by the mineral silicon in the tissues or cytochromes (a type of molecules) in the mitochondria, causing them to produce energy. This stimulates the cells to increased oxygen consumption, greater energy conversion, and higher enzyme activity. In other words, we humans can convert the energy of light into biochemical energy!
Q. Does light affect our mood and how important is light and the sunlight for wellbeing?
A. Light itself is nourishment. Too much artificial lighting and too little natural light affects the entire body, including our hormones and biocycles. Production of the sleep hormone melatonin in the pineal gland
is controlled by light and dark. When there is too little light, as during winters in the northern regions, the pineal gland doesn’t shut down production of melatonin in the morning. People become depressed more easily, and develop listlessness and either decreased appetite or weight gain as a result.
Daylight is also needed to produce vitamin D, which is necessary for normal metabolism of calcium and phosphorous in the body. Vitamin D3 is formed in the skin by the action of ultraviolet light (photolysis) and is transformed in the liver and kidneys into vitamin D. Lack of this vitamin has been shown to be a factor in sad moods or depression.
Stress & Breathing
Q. How do you define the word ‘stress’ and what do you recommend to prevent stress?
A. “Stress is the body’s non-specific response to any demand placed on it,” as defined by Dr.Hans Selye, a pioneer in stress research. Stress is the body’s adaption to pressure from outside or within. The society we have created is a mirror image of our altered inner bio-balance, and internal stress causes external stress. Factors as diverse as personal conflicts, pollution, strong magnetic fields or lack of nutrients and inflammation (from over-consumption of unhealthy foods) causes stress. Severe or long-time stress blocks the nerve connections throughout the body, interrupting the flow of information. It may seem as though you are “trapped” in your emotions, or that these emotions are unhealed – fear, sorrow, anger, frustration, and bitterness.
Take a deep breath, step to the side and observe what is happening within you. By paying attention to what is going on, rather than escaping or acting out, a lot of the disharmonic emotions will dissolve.
Stress is best handled by living consciously with a healthy lifestyle, simplifying your life to avoid unnecessary stress and creating bio-balance. The latter is done by eating lots of vegetables, fruits, berries and nuts, eating healthy fats such as omega 3-fish oil and olive oil, having good sleep, staying warm, taking massage and doing moderate exercise. Avoid sugar, transfatty acids, deep fried food, junk food, and cut down on all fast carbohydrates.
Also meditation and breathing exercises are excellent for preventing or curing stress.
Q. How does an individual recognise stress in themselves?
A. You notice it as your whole body starts to tense up and the breathing becomes shallow or light. As soon as you start sensing this catch yourself and make a break. Focus on your breathing and breath slowly and deep with the abdomen. Try to be totally present and tell yourself that this is OK and that you can handle it well.
The best prevention of stress is to avoid going into the stress spiral as recovering costs a lot of energy for the body.
Q. Breathing – Is it possible that we can perform something so natural incorrectly?
A. We hold our breath from tension, or release sighs of pleasure. When frazzled or frightened, we commonly take rapid shallow breaths – or even stop breathing altogether. It is impossible to be stressed out and at the same time breathe calmly. Breathing tells the story of our true feelings, and we can also consciously control how we feel through our breathing.
Here is the background to how breathing affects our wellbeing:
About a pint of blood circulates through the lungs per minute with “chest breathing.” Abdominal breathing, however, allows twice as much blood to be oxygenated, so breathing becomes calmer. Deep breathing also improves circulation, reduces pressure within the chest, and facilitates the return of blood to the heart. Healthy, oxygenated blood contains about 25 percent oxygen that is free to be delivered to the body’s cells. Breathing is the primary means of ridding the body of waste. No less than 70 percent of waste products are eliminated when we exhale, while 20 percent exit through the skin, and a mere 10 percent via urine and faeces. In other words, a good supply of healthy air is needed to cleanse the blood fully and allow proper elimination of waste products. Otherwise we get increased inflammation, which causes cellular stress and acidosis (lower pH). Abdominal breathing of clean well-oxygenated air is therefore essential to good health.
Q. In what way does your own daily life consist of a healthy living?
A. I just live and breath a healthy lifestyle that works well for me. I enjoy my life very much and have great relationships with wonderful people. Sometimes life gets difficult and challenging, and I try to be conscious and meet each challenge so that I can use it to grow. There is so much to learn in life.
Living well is a daily practice and for me it starts with a short work out and Qi Gong each morning and a half-hour meditation in the afternoon. I care a lot about what I eat and it is mostly organic and freshly prepared or cooked. I exercise several times a week and make sure that I laugh and have fun every day!