health

How metaphors shape your health

Friday, April 22, 2011 by: Mike Bundrant
Tags: metaphors, health, health news

eTrust Pro Certified

Delicious Pin It
(NaturalNews) The most enduring teacher in Western history was a committed storyteller. Jesus taught in parables. Stories such as the Prodigals Son, the Ten Lepers and the Wise Man (who built his house upon a rock) have found a permanent place in our cultural consciousness. Why are stories such effective teaching devices and what does this have to do with your health?

Our concept of existence is metaphorical in nature. We can only comprehend life, objects and ourselves by association, which is the broad meaning of metaphor - to understand one thing in terms of another. The earth is a tiny ball floating through space. Associating the earth with a floating ball helps us put things in a context that fosters understanding. Here are some other examples:

The brain is like a computer
Life is a test
Time is money
College is like a 24/7 party
Argument is war


The metaphor we choose or inherit, often deeply unconscious, holds tremendous power over how we feel, think, behave and interact with other people. Consider the metaphor "argument is war." With this paradigm in place, just showing up to a confrontation can be stressful. The language we use to describe arguments gives it away:

I've never won an argument with him.
You disagree? Okay, shoot!
If you use that strategy, he'll wipe you out.
He shot down all of my arguments.
Your claims are indefensible.
He attacked every weak point in my argument.
His criticisms were right on target.
I demolished his argument.


In Western culture, we can actually win or lose arguments. We see the other as an opponent. We defend, resist, retreat, attack and even call for reinforcements. We gain ground, lose ground and assess casualties. So much of our understanding of arguing is structured by the concept of war! Couldn't this be why arguing is unpleasant for most of us?

Imagine a culture where arguments are not viewed as war, where no one wins or loses and there is no victory or defeat possible. Instead, what if an argument were seen as a dance? Rather than winning or losing, the goal would be to enjoy each other and the process, with a focus on balance. We could take turns leading, change up the pace, follow a formal pattern or dance more casually. If we were to argue like we dance rather than how we fight wars, the process and the end result would change so dramatically that it wouldn't be recognizable.

Such is the pervasive hold upon us that metaphors have and no area of life is immune. Try to explain or describe even the most concrete aspect of your health, such as your body, without slipping into a metaphorical description within a few sentences.

My body is a physical object, full of organs, nerves, muscles, bones and so forth; it is the house I live in while....

My body is full of cells that function to keep me alive. Each cell has a different function, like a large organization with....

My brain is comprised of nerves that run the entire body, much a like an orchestra conductor....


It is impossible not to use metaphors to understand life. This is how our brains are wired (another metaphor). So, what is your body: A prison or a playground? A temple for God's spirit or an animal? Or is your body like a clunky old refrigerator? How you see your body is the foundation of how you treat it (Hint: your actions give away the metaphor. If you claim that your body is a temple, but you treat it like a saloon, then the temple metaphor is just wishful thinking).

To take it a step further, how does your doctor see your body? What is his metaphor? Are you like an old car with worn out parts, ready for the scrap heap? Or, are you a source of renewable energy? Your health care provider's metaphors have a more profound influence on his decisions than his specific training in medicine, which has also been informed by metaphor.

Imagine the differences in decisions made by doctors who see patients as "meat machines" that break down and wear out vs. those who see patients as having miraculous potential for renewal, with every day being the sunrise of a new life. As with the arguing example, changing our metaphors for health and medicine would make the existing medical concepts, practices and technology nearly unrecognizable.

It is amazing that we haven't looked at this basic issue more comprehensively, given its pervasive influence on every aspect of life. Health metaphors have potential to radically reorganize every aspect of wellness including medicine, the health care system, prevention and daily decisions that determine our quality of life.

What would Jesus do with the health and health care issues of today? Would he tell us a story about a runaway train headed for a bridge under construction? Maybe, but when it comes to health and health care, I'd prefer a story about resurrection, rebirth and renewal! It's obvious we need a new story to define health. While it is forming, why not begin to reshape yours?


About the author:
Watch the free video The AHA! Process: An End to Self-Sabotage and discover the lost keys to personal transformation and emotional well-being that have been suppressed by mainstream mental health for decades.

The information in this video has been called the missing link in mental health and personal development. In a world full of shallow, quick-fix techniques, second rate psychology and pharmaceutical takeovers, real solutions have become nearly impossible to find. Click here to watch the presentation that will turn your world upside down.

Mike Bundrant is co-founder of the iNLP Center and host of Mental Health Exposed, a Natural News Radio program.

Follow Mike on Facebook for daily personal development tips.

Get breaking news alerts on GMOs, fluoride, superfoods, natural cures and more...
Join over four million monthly readers. Email privacy 100% protected. Unsubscribe at any time.


Have comments on this article? Post them here:

comments powered by Disqus

Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com

Email this article to a friend

Permalink to this article:

Reprinting this article: Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):
Most Popular
Today | Week | Month | Year

See all Top Headlines...



GET SHOW DETAILS
+ a FREE GIFT

Now Available at ShopNaturalNews.com

O3 Essentials OraJuvenate™
A powerful, cleansing dental cream for maximum oral/dental health.
New Cancer Solutions
Over 3 hours of content covering today’s best cancer tests, how to kill cancer cells and the best diets and exercise routines.
Freeze-Dried 100% Organic Whole Corn
Our freeze-drying method preserves taste, texture and nutrients better than any other food preservation method ever invented.
Fenix TK35 Flashlight
Tough, waterproof, extremely bright and it’s touted to throw an 800+ lumen beam more than 1,000 feet into the night.
Inca Treasure Smoothie Pack
This pack of our four most popular superfoods from South America is the perfect combo pack for smoothie lovers.
Pink Himalayan Salt
This salt delivers significant levels of magnesium, zinc and selenium, with trace levels of dozens of other elements.
Pinhole Glasses - Aviator Style
Pinhole glasses are becoming famous for helping people improve their vision without the risks of laser surgery.
Oxy-Rich Facial Serum
O3 Essentials Jojoba Oxy-Rich Facial Serum is cellular nourishment for your skin. Helps smooth fine lines while enhancing tissue elasticity.
Freeze-Dried 100% Blackberry Halves
Our freeze-dried blackberry halves are grown in Serbia under strict organic standards.

Also on NaturalNews:

Health Ranger Videos
Activist music
CounterThink Cartoons
Food documentaries
FREE Special Reports
Podcasts
Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Most Popular Stories

Flu shot kills 19-year-old, but vaccine industry still has total immunity against lawsuits
Here's a nutty fact: Eating more tree nuts lowers the risk of all-cause death by up to 20 percent
Six important facts you're not being told about lost Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 now clearly a government cover-up: All evidence contradicts official story
10 other companies that use the same Subway yoga mat chemical in their buns
BLM fracking racket exposed! Armed siege and cattle theft from Bundy ranch really about fracking leases
High-dose vitamin C injections shown to annihilate cancer
U.S. treating meat with ammonia, bleach and antibiotics to kill the '24-hour sickness'
USDA to allow U.S. to be overrun with contaminated chicken from China
Vaccine fraud exposed: Measles and mumps making a huge comeback because vaccines are designed to fail, say Merck virologists
Battle for humanity nearly lost: global food supply deliberately engineered to end life, not nourish it
Diet soda, aspartame linked to premature deaths in women

25 Amazing Facts About Food

This FREE downloadable report unveils a collection of astonishing and little-known facts about the food we eat very day. Click here to read it now...

 

Resveratrol and its Effects on Human Health and Longevity - Myth or Miracle.

Unlock the secrets of cellular health with the "miracle" nutrient Resveratrol Click here to read it now...

 

Nutrition Can Save America

FREE online report shows how we can save America through a nutrition health care revolution. "Eating healthy is patriotic!" Click here to read it now...

The Healing Power of Sunlight and Vitamin D

In this exclusive interview, Dr. Michael Holick reveals fascinating facts on how vitamin D is created and used in the human body to ward off chronic diseases like cancer, osteoporosis, mental disorders and more. Click here to read it now...

Vaccines: Get the Full Story

The International Medical Council on Vaccination has released, exclusively through NaturalNews.com, a groundbreaking document containing the signatures of physicians, brain surgeons and professors, all of which have signed on to a document stating that vaccines pose a significant risk of harm to the health of children. Click here to read it now...

Health Ranger Storable Organics

GMO-free, chemical-free foods and superfoods for long-term storage and preparedness. See selection at www.StorableOrganics.com



Recommended Resources On:

Natural News trends
Health Ranger news
Natural News GMOs
Mike Adams tracker
Natural News photos
Natural News Global
Natural News in focus
Natural News connect
Natural News shocking stories
Natural News radar
GMOs
Quackwatch
Vaccines
Health freedom
Dr. Paul Offit

This site is part of the Natural News Network © 2014 All Rights Reserved. Privacy | Terms All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing International, LTD. is not responsible for content written by contributing authors. The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms and those published here. All trademarks, registered trademarks and servicemarks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.

eTrust Pro Certified Android app on Google Play

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.