Just Like Trees

Did you know that trees talk to each other?

Tree roots in a forest are connected in an underground network. Not only can trees share water and nutrients, but they can communicate with each other about drought, disease, or insect attacks. Amazing!

They’re a family. A social network. They take care of each other.

Like trees, us humans are connected in social networks – families, friends, colleagues, acquaintances. We care for each other. We laugh and cry together. And we help each other heal.

Yes, we help each other heal. When you’re on a healing journey and others support you, that support is part of your healing process. Researcher Kelly Turner, PhD, studied over a thousand cancer patients who defied “statistically unlikely” prognoses (i.e., their outcome was not looking good). She found 9 commonalities among these outliers, one of which is social connection.

“When we feel loved and cared for by others, the rush of healing hormones released by the master glands in our brains affects our bodies in such a way that our immune systems suddenly have renewed energy to repair cells, clear out toxins, and most important, remove cancer cells.”

Radical Remission, Kelly A. Turner, PhD.

Just like trees, we need to play our part in the eco system. Sometimes that means receiving love and care, not always just giving it (this means you too, caregivers!).

If you’re someone who tends to go it alone, who always refuses support from others, I strongly encourage you to accept the offers. Accept the lasagna casserole from your neighbor. Accept the massage from your partner, the friend doing some chores for you or walking your dog; accept these things so you can rest.

And then notice how you feel when you’re well supported. Notice if you have feelings of love and support (that’s the happy hormone oxytocin). And by the way, your neighbor gets a dose of happy hormones too­–it’s a win/win!

Trust in the interconnectedness of everything. We’re all enmeshed in an interconnected fabric of health and well-being. In this fabric, sometimes you’re the giver of care and support and sometimes you’re the receiver. Most of us have a preference for one role or the other. See if you can practice both.

Trust in the interconnectedness of all things.

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Published by Michelle

Michelle Stortz, C-IAYT, ERYT500, MFA, is a certified yoga therapist specializing in yoga for cancer and chronic illness. She teaches in numerous medical settings throughout the Philadelphia area. Michelle also teaches mindful meditation. She has been studying in the Theravadan Buddhist tradition for the past 15 years and has also trained in the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction curriculum. She leads retreats and group classes and works with individuals in private sessions. www.MichelleStortz.com

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