Recognizing Kabuhi as a culture-bound illness is very important to its treatment. This means that beliefs, traditions, and cultural practices have something to do with the expression of the malady. One’s history becomes one’s biology, so to speak.
And so, when one has Kabuhi, what does it specifically show? It means that there is a disorder.There is chaos in the life of the person, making him lose control and power, distorting his thinking, and making him feel anxious and fearful. The body then expresses these realities through Kabuhi symptoms.
The appropriate approach may be two-pronged; bottom up and top bottom. Bottom up begins with the tangible, the body. It is important to address the somatic symptoms directly by consulting a medical doctor.
Why? Because Kabuhi can be a symptom of other diseases related to the heart, stomach, intestine, kidney, or liver. These major organs, which if malfunctioning, can trigger Kabuhi and only a medical doctor can help us with the diagnosis and treatment of the ailment.
However, treating the somatic symptoms may not be enough because we are not a body only; we are also psychological, social, cultural, and spiritual beings. While the alleviation of physical symptoms impacts our total being, unresolved issues in the psychological, relational, social, and spiritual realms may hamper total recovery or makes matters worse.
So, how is Kabuhian expression of our beliefs and culture? Well, the name itself is a rich local term, handed down to us by our ancestors,reflecting our understanding and belief of how life operates. Part of the belief is that our source of life and energy is in the gut. The presence of Kabuhi, usually experienced as a discomfort or distress in the gut, means our life is in disarray. We are experiencing a significant amount of stress and our life source is depleted, leaving us with Kabuhi.
Science has discovered that the gut is a brain in itself. It is connected with our more ancient brain responsible for emotions, intuitions, and automatic functions. This brain in the gut is actually involved in decision making more than we recognize, particularly situations that require readings of subtle social cues that affect trust, certainty, and loyalty in relationships. No wonder we have Kabuhi when our “gut thinking” is disturbed.
Having said that, a top-down approach is necessary. We treat Kabuhi directly through our “gut”, managing what disturbs our “gut thinking” through these remedies I give the acronym (Ka) BUHI.
Breathe. Why? Because this is the only way to make sure we are alive (Buhi)! And we can die a slow death, maybe initiated by a simple symptom as Kabuhi, because we take for granted our breathing. If we are not breathing well, that maybe a reflection of neglect or busyness, known to be highly correlated with stress and sickness.
Conscious breathing is also closely tied with self-awareness and at a deeper level, our spirituality. Not doing it means we are not intimately connected with ourselves.
Aside from that, breathing has a direct effect to our bodies, calming our nerves and help us relax. We see the sympathetic nervous system getting activated and the vagus nerves stimulated reducing heart rate, blood pressure, and stress levels.
Take time to breathe. You can put your life in order, aligned, and integrated, increasing your life energy in the gut by the simple act of breathing.
Untie your Kabuhi. A common local practice is to tie the abdomen with a knot or cloth with some sort of herbs to prevent the Kabuhi from escaping or getting worse. Well, it might work for a while especially with herbs. But for some, the tie becomes a mainstay until it creates scratches and lesions on the skin which all the more complicate the illness.
Untying Kabuhirefers to letting go of the fears, especially of losing control and certainty. Common among people who have Kabuhi is a personality characteristic called conscientiousness or perfectionism. They are the ones who are sensitive to uncertainties, always asking “what if”,likes everything to be planned and organized, and tends to overthink on things. No wonder their guts react and experience Kabuhi. For them, it is important to untie, let go, and find a realistic anchor.
Herbs. Our ancestors have used medicinal plants to cure illnesses and bring about healing. Some of them could be effective with Kabuhi with their calming effect. Some that I know are Lavender and Passion flower. If you know more, share to others.
Insight. From my experience, a deep understanding of the nature, cause, and dynamics of Kabuhiis necessary for one to manage it. Those who realize how intimately connected it is to realities of their lives, how it is an expression of their family history, upbringing, personality characteristics, and their current stresses, are better at managing their symptoms. Talk to a friend or counselor to gain more insights in your life.
Now, go manage your Kabuhi by BUHI.