Listen to the podcast and view the video now at: http://www.understandingautoimmune.com/Cells
In this engaging episode, we uncover the ‘secret life’ of our cells with Sondra Barrett, Ph.D., medical scientist, and health educator. She shares the inner workings of our bodies at the cellular level and why healing at that ‘invisible-level’ has enormous impacts. I never thought about healing from the cellular level… until Dr. Barrett radically changed my view.
SHARON: You and I were chatting beforehand and I mentioned to you that my naturopath said, “You know, Sharon, there are things we can do to strengthen your cell health that will help you overcome the immune condition that’s happening right, the immune experience that you’re having.”
I looked at her sort of dumbfounded and gobsmacked. I had never thought at the level of “You mean, I can do something to myself.” I guess, I always thought about fixing the body or not fixing the body and not working at that at a very specific level.
So let’s talk about ourselves and why it’s important that we do give them some focus.
SONDRA: Sharon, we, ourselves, are a cellular universe. Our bodies were constructed of, at least, 50 trillion cells. They seem abstract. They don’t seem real at all. But, in reality, everything our cells need for life, we need. I mean, they need oxygen; they need breath; they need water; they need to move ─ all the things that we’ve been taught about keeping ourselves healthy operate at a cellular level.
I’ve been teaching about cells, at least, for the past 25 years and people are always surprised at how smart these cells are and that we can really get in touch with them to engage for our own healing.
SHARON: That was what was fascinating to me. As I began to explore it along with my naturopath to start to enhance my cell health, anything that I can do to optimize my cells, I was surprised at how rapid they responded. I was so impressed.
SONDRA: One of the mantras I use when I talk about cells is “They’re always in the now. They’re in the present moment.” So what takes them out of the present moment is what’s going on up here or our actions.
So there’s immediate responsiveness to what we think, what we eat, how we move that’s influencing our cell health.
And I get down into it beyond this whole cell. I get down into “What’s a cell membrane? Where is intelligence? What about what’s called the ‘cytoskeleton’?”
We now know that the cytoskeleton which is the fabric of the cells that connects everything inside the cell to the outside is mechanically influenced ─ meaning, the tension, the compression, the movements we make, our postures influence the cell; and it’s faster than the molecular responses. It’s not a fast as the nervous system but it’s like fifty times faster ─ just changing a posture.
SHARON: Maybe this is not a good correlation. I just want to ask the question. It is similar to our fascia?
SONDRA: It’s connected to the fascia. There’s a slide I use when I do PowerPoints where you can think of the cells as having a fascia. The cells have connective tissue. We have the outside of the cell which is the membrane that holds the container for the cell and we a nucleus. We all know about our genes. We think about that.
And in between the nucleus, the core of the cell, and the outside is this connective tissue, if you will, the cytoskeleton; and that then through the outside of the cell is connected to the fascia. So everything is connected.
SHARON: Let’s talk about what we can do at that cellular level to help relieve symptoms of autoimmune?
SONDRA: I work a lot with imagery and guided visualization beyond our cells or to get inside our cells. And one of the things I would invite your listeners to do is to examine or imagine how they look at the identity of their cells because in autoimmune illnesses, part of the cell, part of our proteins does not recognize itself. It’s taking on another identity. Whatever the cause, it’s a whole other story.
So part of what our cells have taken on is not self.
Basically, I always look at all illnesses as lessons. What do I need to do to recognize myself better? Not to make ourselves wrong when we have an illness or an autoimmune disease but how am I not recognizing myself? How do I need to recognize myself better as a way to look at it?
If I was getting into imagery with it, then I would say, “Can you change the identity of the cell that’s being attacked or that’s being recognized as not ‘self’? Can you change this identity back to being self? Is there a way of doing that in your mind?”
I see imagery as very powerful. It’s not the same thing with cancer. With cancer cells, the cancer cells still recognize itself. That’s why the immune system doesn’t attack most cancer cells because the outside identity markers are still the same self whereas in some autoimmune disease like MS, what the myelin sheath protein recognizes is not self.
So how do we change the identity back? Can we allow for the possibility that we can change the identity where it’s lost its sense of self?
SHARON: What I’ve learned on this autoimmune experience is that it’s so much broader than that. To heal your body is not just at the physical and this idea of putting a Band-Aid on something physical.
It’s fantastic that even the cells respond at that level.
Now that I’m saying that, I’m thinking that it makes sense.
SONDRA: We are a cellular universe. I mean, what’s responding when we have an illness? What are responding when I’m raising my hands?
Those are all cells.
I want to tell you a story about my first experience with imagery related to the white coat authority.
Many years ago, maybe forty years ago, I was teaching kids guided imagery. I was doing guided imagery with children but I had never done it for myself. And then, I got a rash and I couldn’t get rid of this rash. I was using hydrocortisone cream and all kinds of stuff but the rash still stayed there.
I said to myself, “Well, you talk about imagery. Why don’t you give it a try?”
So I went into a state of relaxation and meditation.
And this little elf shows up. He says his name was Mortimer and he’s going to clean the rash. And he uses gold spikes and he’s under my skin and he’s cleaning my rash. I mean, I’m not telling it anything. He’s doing it for me.
The next day, the rash was gone and I thought, this is fabulous. It really works.
Thank you Sondra for the enlightening view of the world of cells. Everyone, go over to UnderstandingAutoimmune.com/cells to view the complete interview. And join me next week for another brand new episode at 7 p.m. Eastern time every Friday night.
Have a great week whatever your adventures! Enjoy!