In 2005, Ms. O’Neil founded The Beauty Becomes You Foundation (BBYF) a nonprofit aesthetic health initiative that embraces a holistic approach to addressing senior hygiene needs. The mission of BBYF is to preserve the dignity and self respect of senior adults through the provision of aesthetic health products and professional services in a safe, accessible, and familiar environment. She joins the CaraVita family as a guest blogger, and invites you to visit more of her work at beautybecomesyou.org
Eczema is More than Skin Deep
By Alison O’Neil
President at Aging Beautifully, LLC
If you have eczema and have done “everything” you know to do: You’ve seen a dermatologist or twenty dermatologists, changed your skin care, changed your living environment, gotten rid of pets, changed your diet, seen an allergist. Is there anything you haven’t done?
Have you considered “changing you mind’? All of the above in concert with one another or independent of each may help “control” your condition for a time. As long as you believe that they are helping they can and they will. But, are you confronting the dis-ease of your disease. The fear that comes from knowing it is going to come back. This is reinforced by experience. Have you found (and this is true for many illnesses) that after a while the treatment doesn’t help any longer? Have you ever wondered, Why doesn’t anything work for me?
A new way of thinking that actually stems from a very old way of thinking may be just the key you are looking for. Everyone’s has heard of “the power of positive thinking”. But, have you heard of “positive psychology or acceptance based therapy”? I was watching Joel Osteen today and he was saying, from the bible, that “Words have creative power” and “Nothing happens until you speak it.” That is positive or negative.
The other day I was listening to Dr. Mark Waldman and he said that in their research they have found that the brain can be retrained to to be positive. The right frontal lobe of the brain contains the primitive fear based thoughts for our protection, the left frontal lobe recognizes things in the present moment and is what makes us want to move forward. But, if the right lobe senses something “threatening could Happen” we are STOPPED in moving forward. He spoke about acceptance based therapy where you allow yourself to feel the negative. Once it is recognized for what it is then you can make a different choice in how you will proceed.
That’s what happens when a therapy that once worked brilliantly suddenly stops working. Our right lobe fears losing the disease we are living with. Losing the familiar that we are getting “something of value” by having. You have to ask yourself, “What am I getting from my condition?” First of all, let me point out the obvious. If in that statement the words “my condition” made sense to you then you are owning that condition, it is yours. The first question is, “Is this something I want to own?” There are simple keys everywhere that can open the doors to our healthy self. See yourself and your skin as “clear”, “Healthy”, “strong”, “valuable” and it WILL be.
Do you work out for your muscles and your heart to be stronger. When you work out do you think I will look better and feel better? More than likely. And that’s what get’s you back to the gym or out running or whatever you do. It’s the same with changing your skin condition. The thoughts that go with eczema are feeling unworthy or inadequate. Most people with eczema are givers and much more comfortable giving than receiving. Guess what that indicates that we want to keep the world at a distance, want to stay covered up. Ironically, just what the condition allows us to do. The only way to change that is to change your mind. Start believing and more importantly START SAYING,” I have value, I have something of value to say and to share” “I deserve to receive good things”.
One last thing that might help is that receiving from someone is like giving a gift. If you know how good you feel when someone accepts a gift from you imagine the gift you are giving them by graciously receiving openly all gifts from friends, family or others. This will take practice. So why not start today. Say “thank you” out loud one hundred times every morning. You will soon be putting behind those words things like for my family, my intelligence, for my hair and even for my skin condition. Once you begin to accept it, it will begin to dissipate and fade, your treatments will work and one day like me you will learn how to live with eczema and it won’t even be there for the world to see.