By: Cynthia Richmond
Nightmares or unsettling dreams are most often messages from our subconscious mind reflecting our health; either emotional, mental or physical.
The subconscious mind knows the status of every cell in our bodies, and our dreams are a barometer of our health, if we pay attention!
Before all of the scans, diagnostic tools and electronics we have today, in ancient times, nightly dreams were relied on for important health information. In ancient Babylon for example there were healing gardens, where the in-firmed would come for healing. The priest/healer would listen to the patient’s symptoms and prescribe an herbal drink to induce sleep and dreams. In the morning the healer would listen to the dreams and dictate the healing regime based on his interpretation. One interesting aspect of this time was that if the ill person could not travel, they could send a proxy! A person that knew and loved the in-firmed individual would fill-in and the priest would give them the herbal drink and listen to their dream for the patient!
One of the reasons we dream is compensatory, bad dreams then can be sort of a safety valve…letting out steam so we can release stress and not carry it into our next day. This can lower blood pressure and has other medical benefits.
Many people with cancer, for example, have a dream of something eating them up, or of bugs invading their home or car before they learn that their body has indeed been affected by cancer. In the language of dreams, the home and the vehicle are often symbolic for the physical body.
We may ask our subconscious mind, what is in the best interest of our health at this time, before we go to sleep…and review the morning’s dream for clues. Often my clients get messages indicating that they should play more, revert to childhood joys, or be quiet instead of chaotic. Many dreams suggest foods that the body is wanting for specific nutrients it would benefit from.
Common nightmares for adults include being chased by an unrecognizable figure. This can indicate that an illness is taking over the cellular structure, but it can also be a psychological or emotional stress, such as a deadline from an unreasonable boss or an argument with a loved one. The point is that stress leads to physical illness and we need to pay attention to our dreams.
There is a common phrase, be careful what you wish for. An ominous warning that we may not be aware of the consequences of what we want at a particular moment. Sometimes our nightmares remind us that we are out of control and in harms way. I once had a client who had a nightmare in which he was driving too fast on a curvy road and was out of control, he couldn’t reach the brake pedal, the seat became unattached from the floorboard, he barely survived in his dream and when he woke he immediately knew that his fast lane friends and his drug habit were getting the best of him and he sought help.
Frequent health nightmares include tsunamis of water where only the dreamer seems to notice the danger. Water can represent emotion and in this dream it is overwhelming. The dreamer is out of balance, consumed by something harmful, be it food, alcohol, drugs or a lifestyle choice that is threatening their health.
Write down your dreams and nightmares and try to let yourself accept the dream imagery. Ask yourself what does this mean? Or what does my body want? Dreams can direct you to a better life, to releasing an unhealthy relationship, to leaving a crippling job, or to a literal message to see your doctor.