What is Healing?

Spring Snow
Spring Snow

What is Healing?

The word healing comes from the Anglo-Saxon word “haelen”, which means to be or become whole. Balance, resonate and heal are all words for the same concept.

To heal and to cure are not the same thing. You can cure or “fix” the physical body, but total healing involves the entire person – not just their physical body. Healing involves balancing and integrating a person’s thoughts, emotions, beliefs and spirit. In practice, the only difference between cure and heal may be about intent; does your doctor, healer, sage, or therapist intend to heal body, mind, heart and spirit? Or just fix your body’s symptoms?

I believe that healing involves reconnecting with what is amazing about ourselves. So I don’t focus on just stopping some symptom or pain in my Elemental Flow sessions.  Flow healing is about transformation; it’s about digging in, and bringing joy and passion up to the surface . And it’s about learning how to live authentically from a space of joy. My goal is to blaze a new trail that cuts through the craziness of the world, and helps each of us find our way home.


“Healthy tissue flows with juice. A healthy person flows with joy.
And a healthy life flows from one adventure to the next.
Flow is at the heart of all healing and transformation.”
~Nancy Lankston

When you picture health, think wet, juicy and mobile. Imagine clean flowing fluids. Immobile, stiff body parts are signs of distress; To stay healthy, living cells require oxygen and nourishment flowing in and waste flowing out. Tissues with poor flow will eventually manifest disease in one form or another. 
Any part of your life where you are stuck in mental, emotional or spiritual discomfort or dis-ease – any place where you choose to ignore, stuff  or disconnect from your discomfort will eventually create tense, stuck places in the body as well. Each unresolved issue is a potential illness in your future. 

The Poetry of Pain

Many times, pain is the only way that your body has been able to get your attention. Believe it or not, those physical and emotional pains that you are experiencing are actually your body’s way of trying to help you find your way home.

I find that at the heart of most chronic struggles, pains and illness, lies an emotional or spiritual issue that you have been ignoring or avoiding. Those issues that are too painful to face have a direct link to the chronic pains you experience in your body.  As Wilhelm Reich, psychoanalyst turned bodyworker, described it, “our issues are in our tissues.”  When you uncover the underlying issue or emotion and deal with it, then your symptoms will resolve. 

After 25+ years in the “healing” profession, I continued to be stunned and awed by the miraculous workings of the human body. It is as though our bodies hold all the knowledge of the world’s most gifted sages and healers.  The wisdom of the ages is held there within our cells.  The trick is to figure out how to access all that knowledge; to decipher our body’s language.

Bodies never lie and they always know what the real problem is. The trick is to learn how to reconnect with your body’s natural language. Bodies speak in metaphor and poetry. And your body poem will be uniquely your own.  Learning to read your signs is key. Chronic migraines, back pain, that trick knee; learn to listen to your body closely and you will uncover what your body is really upset about. 

The Power of Belief

What you personally believe about yourself and your world dramatically influences the way you feel and how you heal. If you believe that you need surgery to repair the herniated disc in your back, then you will need surgery before your back will get better.  If you believe your colds always turn into sinus infections unless you take an antibiotic, then guess what? Your next cold is quite likely to turn into a sinus infection! And if you believe that you can’t get a more fulfilling job, then you probably never will. Cling to the belief that your life can never improve and it won’t.

Rigid rules and strongly held beliefs have a huge impact on your physical health; those thoughts of “I have to do it this way”,  “things won’t ever change” and “I’m not allowed to do that”  actually create tense, tight places in your body where healing flow is not allowed to go. Learning to change your mind and drop rigid rules and judgmental thinking will help you heal and transform your life.

Soul Food

Your physical body needs food to survive. And your soul needs quiet contemplation or prayer. Feed your soul regularly. Your heart requires regular loving connection with other beings; human, spiritual and animal beings. Never underestimate the healing power of a friend just sitting and listening to you – or an animal cuddling with you. And don’t discount the value of playing in the grass or communing with an old tree. Healing comes in all shapes and sizes; use them all!  

Follow your heart and feed your Soul regularly. And remember to feed your mind with hopeful, uplifting ideas and images. If you want to be truly happy and healthy, present your mind with joyful words and images. Perhaps watching the Kardashian sisters fight again isn’t always the best entertainment choice. 🙂  

Today’s choices create tomorrow’s reality.

It’s an Inside Job

No one can change your life or your health except you. There may be a drug, a doctor, a shaman, a sound, an herb, or a specific therapy that helps you heal or shift in some way. But all healing and transformation ultimately comes from within you.  Don’t expect any drug or any person to “fix” you. Find therapists and teachers who help you uncover your own sense of knowing, your own sense of yourself. And in the process, you will uncover how to heal yourself.  Your path of healing and transformation will be as unique as your fingerprints. Honor yourself and follow the path that feels right to you.


Nancy Lankston   –   Flow    Heal    Bloom

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