I first became attracted to a natural health journey as an adolescent. I borrowed herb books from the library, fascinated with the idea that plants could be medicine. I absorbed all the information that I could, even it I could not fully understand it yet. I remember that I couldn’t pronounce “chamomile” correctly. I said “cham-mow-mile”.
Then as a teenager in high school, I was stuck with a stomach flu that led to lots of digestive problems that eventually were diagnosed as IBS. My doctor prescribed an elimination diet and pills to calm my guts but neither really helped or returned me to my previous state of health. So I became interested in food as a healing modality.
In college, I experienced my first panic attack and was quickly diagnosed with anxiety and agoraphobia. Again, I was offered colorful pills that suppressed my symptoms but did not restore my wholeness. It felt like my body was trying to tell me something. So I began to learn about the mind-body-spirit connection in health.
Today, I am not suffering from any of the above diseases. Why? Was I cured by medicine? No. Did herbs and diet work? Kind of. It was more a combination of learning to listen to my body, seeking support that I resonated with, a willingness to learn about myself and make life changes that may not have been popular, and finding a way of eating that is right for me. And I continue to practice healing modalities that I believe in, that I feel benefit my body and system, that I put energy into.
If you do not believe in the “medicine” that you take, it will not work well for you. The effectiveness depends on the energy that you supply to it. Without your energetic support, essential oils are just perfume, crystals as just rocks and herbs are simply plant material. Without your consent, conventional drugs will cause a range of unpleasant side effects. You are truly your own healing catalyst. Your mind and spirit have a great deal more to do with your health, well being and balance than anything that comes in a bottle or jar.
I have yet to purchase any natural product from a health food store or online that has made a significant, lasting difference in my health. Even if there are five hundred testimonials on a product’s site, if it causes headache and nausea for you then it is not right for you. Look deeper. Look further.
Here is what has been real, what has helped:
Getting to the emotional causes behind an illness. Understanding what my issues are, accepting them, and paying attention. Then working at resolution, trying another way.
Assessing my life situation, my stress level, my energy leakages and making changes. Listening to my inner wisdom and guidance. Standing up for my own wellness.
Finding a way of eating that feels good to my body, to my genetic makeup and my belief systems. This changes from season to season and year to year. Following the flow of this. Loving how the foods I choose make me feel.
Having patience to allow my body to adjust and heal and change. Also, I believe that sleep is the most potent healing tool we all have access to. Not resting with a stream of Netflix, but actual sleep. Make space for sleep, make yourself comfortable. You body does incredible things when all systems are resting. Make sleep a priority. If you do not sleep well, discover why.
Finally, know that your body does not lie. It cannot lie. If you are overtaxed, worn down, in an emotional place, your body will reflect that. All of your symptoms and unpleasantness that prevent you from soldiering on at the rate of modern life are simply your body trying to communicate with you. Slow down and listen. The rewards are great.