My Journey Through the Four Realms of Health

Manya Ronay
getHealthy
Published in
4 min readMay 17, 2022

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Photo by Elena Mozhvilo on Unsplash

Everyone’s healing journey starts somewhere. Mine started on my first visit to a holistic practitioner, desperate for relief from Postular Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). POTS is an autonomic nervous system disorder I was diagnosed with at 18. It drastically impaired my quality of life with symptoms ranging from pre-fainting spells to extreme dizziness, fatigue, GI pain and more. After a year of failed conventional treatments, I was desperate to try anything. So with a hearty dose of skepticism and an ounce of hope, I walked through the doors of the holistic clinic searching for answers.

That decision changed the trajectory of my life. The holistic practitioner, Shannon Goossen, was the first person to tell me that diet and lifestyle mattered. She empowered me to take control of my health, showing me that I am not the prisoner of my disease. Up until then, I viewed myself as a passive victim who randomly got sick and now required a cure from the outside. When my first neurologist asked how I felt about the new POTS diagnosis, I literally said: “I feel fine as long as there is a pill to take.” (Spoiler: no pills worked for me, and thank goodness because I never would have changed my life.)

I switched my diet from ultra-processed foods to real, whole foods. I started paying attention to exercise and sleep, spending time outdoors each day. I even bought (and fell in love) with a water filter to clean the contaminants from my water. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was working on the physical realm of health. My consciousness had been awakened.

Shortly afterward, I started noticing my thoughts and realized I could shift negative thought patterns. Learning that I could influence my mind provided a whole new level of empowerment. I began exploring active stress-reduction such as meditation, yoga and journaling. I eventually stumbled across a brain retraining program that viewed POTS and a number of other conditions as the manifestation of an overactive stress response in the brain. The program showed me that I have the power to rewire my brain and consciously break out of the stress cycle. This approach helped me stop obsessing over symptoms and start reclaiming my life. At this point, I was working on the mental realm of health, and I had no idea there was more to come.

About a year later, I was struggling with some mental health and family challenges. I entered therapy and learned how to listen to my feelings, express needs and form healthy boundaries. I unpacked a lot of past traumas and began forming a relationship with my authentic self. I realized that much of my behavior was based on my need for approval and that I often acted out of fear — fear of people being mad at me. As a people-pleaser, I passively stayed in relationships and felt guilty about expressing my needs. Suffice it to say, I had entered the emotional realm of health. It’s been a hard but liberating journey getting in touch with myself and acting authentically despite the discomfort.

Which brings us to the final and innermost realm: spiritual health. As I journeyed deeper and deeper into myself, I learned to listen to the still, small voice within. I began connecting to my soul, which I view as my intuition or connection to Divine wisdom. I started noticing how I feel throughout the day around different people, places and activities—and I learned to honor those feelings. (As you can see, the emotional and spiritual levels are very intertwined for me). By connecting to my innermost wisdom and letting life flow through me, I’m gaining confidence that I’m doing what I’m meant to be doing on planet Earth.

Throughout my health journey, I’ve gone deeper and deeper inside myself — starting with the physical realm and progressing to the mental, emotional and spiritual realms. Different people start in different places, and that’s okay. Be gentle with yourself and trust the process. Our body/mind/soul knows exactly what it needs to heal.

I’ve outlined the four realms of health below as I understand them.

All realms of health are interconnected, and all are important for healing. Eating real, whole foods can improve mental health, as well as physical health. Journaling can help release feelings in the emotional realm and connect to intuition in the spiritual realm. Each realm has something to offer, and they all are valuable places to explore.

I wish you a safe, healing journey within.

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Manya Ronay
getHealthy

Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES®) and Internal Family Systems (IFS) practitioner specializing in eating and mind-body healing.