Some time back I met with Louise Hay and she shared a whole heap of advice on various life issues. At the end of the interview she noted I had a thyroid issue. I’m not sure if she guessed it or I’d mentioned it. I shared what she had to say about it at the time, but it kind of got buried among the rest of her pearls. So I’ve dragged it out again, to give it a good airing.

Thyroid issues Sarah Wilson
Image by Beata Wilczek via Flickr

Here’s what she said:

Thyroid problems are all about creativity being blocked. 

She then explained that many women feel torn by the pressure to be all things. And their creative self gets blocked. They stop expressing themselves.

I’m not wholly sure how I feel about such insta-diagnosing. That said, Louise’s linking of disease to emotional issues spawned the movement and her work is respected around the world, albeit in select communities. But my personal observation of both myself and those I meet with thyroid disease is that we are particularly earnest. I always ask at my public talks, Who has Hashimoto’s, raise your hands? Invariably it’s about one-quarter of the room (I attract Hashi types) and they’re all sitting at the front…earnest, eager, trying so hard.

Me, I can feel this pressure at my throat. I always have. I’ve known my own earnestness is linked to my thyroid issues. When I push hard, it plays up.

Louise held my hand as we discussed this. She felt that once I learned to back the fuck off (my words), my thyroid will heal on its own. This, I believe. In the meantime, she proffered this:

 “Look in the mirror and ask (your sick thyroid), ‘How can I love you back to life’?” I did this at the time. I’m doing it now. I know the answer…

What do you think about Louise’s theory?

Have your say, leave a comment.

  • Ann

    Beautiful and so well said. I’ve just been diagnosed with IBS and Leaky Gut. After having a colonoscopy recently I have decided to love my colon back to health. Chronic stress is a big factor so self love and creativity are a big part of the journey. And although I’ve been sugar, gluten, caffeine, alcohol, grain, and processed food free, acknowledgement that this is something wrong helps you believe in your journey and say yes to you more often.

  • Kim M

    What a load of crap!! A thyroid sufferer myself I find this ridiculous and almost offensive.

    • care to expand?

    • Dale

      Why subscribe if you are so offended?

  • Science Viking

    Pure quackery.

  • Cecilia

    Hi Sarah!

    I’ve read about these theories that link a disease with a feeling/emotion/way of being and agree with them to some extent. I now believe that any person can somatize any feeling anywhere. Sometimes it coincides with what the books say, sometimes it does not. But I am certain that we reflect our thoughts, character, feelings and emotions on our bodies 100% of the time, despite us being
    aware of it or not. It all comes down to how much we listen our sage bodies since they are constantly speaking to us.

    Hope my English was correct!

    Have a good day!

    Cecilia from Ecuador

    • Anna

      Hey Cecilia, your English is awesome! Great comment 🙂 Anna from Australia.

    • Ksenia N.

      I can totally see this and absolutely believe in the strong relationship between emotional and spiritual health and physical health. All good points, Sarah. We all need to love every cell of our beings back to life/love.

    • Mina

      Great English. Well said.

  • Claire

    Hi Sarah, I agree wholeheartedly and science is now backing up the mind-body connection (we seem to take a while to catch on in the West). I love the phrase ‘back the fuck off’ – made me laugh out loud! I need to tell myself this every day. I’m a Yoga teacher and it’s helped me enormously with finding balance and Stirha / Sukha (steadiness & ease) in my body and life. Life wants to express itself through us but when our creativity and self expression is blocked, I believe this makes us sick. I also believe it’s particularly common amongst women who have suffered the ‘good girl’ curse. As females we’re often taught at a young age to behave and look a certain way (e.g, be nice, look pretty). This is incredibly damaging to our sense of self as we learn to conform to what others expect and minimise our own internal experience.

  • Dale

    I agree with Louise, I have Hashimoto’s and I felt completely unable to speak up and express myself as a child. Blocked creativity can leave one not being able to recognise where their talents lay or finding the confidence to overcome it all. I believe the best diet in the world won’t help until we shift our belief’s.

  • Dale

    I totally agree with Louise. I’ve had Hashimoto’s for a long time and I wasn’t able to express myself as a child at all. I’ve struggled with all kinds of issues, weight, self confidence, what am I good at? and no matter how good your diet is its our belief’s at the core that steer us through life. There’s so much information and help at hand now through people like Sarah and Louise we can be grateful for that.

  • Jasmin E

    Great stuff Sarah, my Mum passed Louise’ book onto my sister & I many moons ago. Love her work, thanks for sharing.

  • Mina

    If I’m anything to go by, I’d say she’s spot on.

  • grace b

    Sarah,

    I’ve been reading your blog off and on for about 5+ years. I’m getting my thyroid checked tomorrow by a functional medicine doctor.

    I spent the last 5 months (and largely the last 2 years…) suppressing my voice, questioning myself, and really wondering where my creative outlet is though I have a few different ways I utilize it, it’s a slow drip at this point.

    So thanks for this. I think LH definitely is onto something!

  • Sarah

    I am new, I hope this helps. I had thyroid cancer in my 20’s, my 8 year old was just diagnosed with Hashimotos. I believe in the mind-body connection, and that many times we can change our minds and help our bodies heal… but…. my take is that I’ve lived on Synthroid now for over 15 years and I can 100% say that my ‘fake’ thyroid hormone (which changes all the time b/c they have to ‘titrate’ how much I get) has an impact on my mind. The way I feel. The way I act. My reactions. My feelings. I’m still myself at the end of the day, but the physical has an impact on the mind just as the mind has an impact on the body. So now the question may be, did my ‘mind’ cause my body to break? We also know we are all genetically different. We are born with ‘abnormalities’ or differences or straight up deformities. And these differences can be in our genes. In our cells, in our DNA. So maybe we accept these differences and play the cards we are dealt and try not to own or control or make it our fault that we have cancer or Hashimotos or whatever ‘it’ is but just know that there is a connection and constantly try to do our best at sending positive and healing conscious thoughts to our body to help it fight or heal or do what it’s having a hard time doing – maybe sometimes just simply due to nature. And to have the courage to accept that its not anyone or anything’s fault 100% sometimes but we can do all these things to help heal – eat organic, healthy, clear mind, clear heart. Thank you for the blog. I’ll be reading along.

    • Go Left America

      Your reply is very interesting and incredibly insightful. Hoping you will write more about it.

    • QuiteContrary

      Just based on the increasing numbers, it seems pretty likely our thyroid systems are under attack from external forces. You can strengthen your system with meditation and nutrition, but it seems unlikely you could undo a constant barage of poisoning with good thoughts. Needing thyroid hormones isn’t a sign of weakness or failure. Modern medicine has its place, particularly in a modern environment.

  • Alice

    The Throat chakra is connected to the sacral chakra which is the sensual centre and most people in this modern world struggle here. This linking has an effect on the throat chakra. The throat stands for being ok with who you are, your unique self expression.

    I do have Hashimoto’s and have struggled in the throat area, but I also know we live in a world that has lost its natural balance and so many more people are having auto immune responses. Each person is individual and so know one statement or view fits all, it can be helpful though if it really resonates. What I’ve enjoyed about what you share here is your journey, different approaches to wellness and the challenges that’s what I’m navigating also.

  • Latifa Lipton

    Love this and thank you for the reminder! I have Hashi’s and can totally relate. I love Louise and her work…but if one needs more “scientific” info on how our brains and thoughts can work with us or against us in influencing our health….I would recommend this book: “The Last Best Cure” by Donna Jackson Nakazawa. She also has a new one out that I haven’t read yet. In it she explains in scientific terms how our negative thoughts can create negative chemical responses and how they influence our bodies to create dis-ease…and then how things like Breathe work, mantras, mindfulness meditation etc release positive chemicals to help heal and prevent dis-ease. She chronicles her own journey to healing by exploring these ideas.

    • Soph

      Thank you Latifa!

  • Sara Hulsy

    I recently met with my doctor to discuss my blood test results. My thyroid levels were very low. I have had a long history of illnesses which led to years in the hospital, then addiction to the pain meds then a divorce (I have three kids now ages 10,12, and 14). I am fascinated by this article and have been told that I likely have Hasimoto’s – I would love to learn more about what to do..

  • Alison

    As a person who has had Hashimoto’s since my early 20’s and is also a health professional, I have a hard time with this theory. Hashimoto’s, and thyroid diseases in general, are very real physiological conditions that must be treated with medication. Treating them as merely emotion-based, pseudo-diseases that can be reversed by positive thinking, could be very dangerous, and in some cases, even fatal. I’ll stick to loving my Synthroid.

  • Deliah Mae

    I found this post looking for information on the mind-body-spirit connection in relationship to autoimmune disease. I was diagnosed years ago, in my early 20’s with Connective Tissue Disease (CTD). I was in a lot of pain and the like a lot of others, went through hell getting a diagnosis. At the time, the treatment options just weren’t options for me. The side effects negatively outweighed any possible benefit and I was a young mom of young children and a teacher. I didn’t have time to be sick. I looked for alternatives and completely changed my lifestyle and diet. I slowed down, ate healthy (no more hamburger helper on busy nights). I saw a naturopathic nurse practitioner, a specialist in accupressure, an herbalist… I explored everything. I also set out to heal some of my past traumas and learned to meditate. I think there needs to be a balance. I love Louise Hay and during that time read many of her books… but I do not believe I can love my connective tissues into submission. I do however, believe that there may have been a genetic predisposition to autoimmune disease (many family members have one or another) along with many childhood traumas that contributed. Science is proving a strong connection between childhood trauma and autoimmune disease. This was the case for me. Again, I don’t believe everyone with an autoimmune disease has necessarily experienced a trauma. It’s about balance. The imbalance can be caused by any number of things. Is self-love a big part of healing from any disease? Of course… and self love includes caring for your physical body as well as your emotional and spiritual bodies by eating healthy, getting active, etc. I know that confronting unresolved pain and allowing myself creative self expression has played a huge role in my over-all health but I think many people, including some doctors still do not understand the mind-body-spirit connection and too many times people with autoimmune disease are treated as if it’s ‘all in your head’. Those of us with the disease know that it is very very physical. I personally believe disease is created when one or more parts of this system (mind-body-spirit) is out of whack. These ‘parts’ are meant to work together as an integrated whole. You may be a very spiritual and emotionally balanced person but totally disregard your physical health or vice versa. It’s up to us (because who knows us better than we know ourselves) to find out where the imbalance is and balance it.

  • Em

    too victim blamey for me

  • Soph

    This is so moving – the article and the comments – and has actually brought me to tears.
    Thank you to everyone who is sharing stories and support, putting their voices out there. I’m so grateful, and it makes me feel like I’m not alone in this. My thyroid health is such a daily struggle for me and because it can’t be seen and isn’t a well-known illness, most people think I’m being dramatic. And here I am sitting in bed on a Friday night because I’m too unwell to go be with friends. You all give me comfort. Thanks.

  • Virginia King

    My hobbies are spinning and weaving with wool. Ten years ago I felt passionate about these pursuits and constantly envisioned designs for weaving as well as various different color combinations. One day a few years ago I realized that my creativity was no longer active. I did not know what to do or who to ask about it. Thank you for broaching the topic on your blog. Interestingly, I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism several months ago while in the emergency room of the hospital for what I thought was a heart attack. My heart was diagnosed as fine, but blood tests showed hypothyroidism, with a reading of seven (7). Unfortunately. I am not yet being treated because my primary care physician repeated the test two weeks later and said it showed that I was within the normal range. Meanwhile, my creativity is still “at large.” Thanks for listening. Your blog tells me I am not alone. —–Gina

  • Cece

    I’m kind of speechless… I was brought here after reading the first section of your book. For some reason, as soon as you mentioned autoimmune disease, I knew Hashi’s was at play. You do seem attract those types – I have it too!

    You talk about loneliness and, for me, one of the loneliness places I have ever been is sitting in a doctor’s office, being hit with a diagnosis so coldly medical that I could barely register the words. I truly believe there is somatization and manifestation among all of this.

    Thank you for exploring this for everyone, because, why not explore all of it?

  • I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and had a full thyroidectomy in 2004. I’ve been on natural desiccated thyroid (first Naturethroid and more recently NP Thyroid) for the duration. It’s a viable alternative to the synthetic version of thyroid hormone Synthroid. I qualified for the Boston Marathon the year before I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. The natural desiccated thyroid (NDT) has made it possible for me to continue running inc. shorter races i.e. 5k’s and 10k’s. Traditional endocrinologists often don’t offer this as an option but it’s been life-changing for me.

    • Anna

      Hi Susan, Thank you so much for sharing this information. I’m currently navigating a similar path and will have surgery in a couple of weeks. Your comment gave me a few questions for my doctor and a better understanding of what I’m likely to encounter. Thank you again and I wish you the best of health and energy. xxAnna