review:: the bowen therapy

For several weeks now, I have been trying a few new therapies to see if I could help my body in a new way. As you all know, I believe that true healing from a chronic illness happens when you are willing to work with your emotions and past baggage, not only the physical side of things. Because of that belief, my treatment plan has always looked different than most. Last week, I had my first (and definitely not last!) Bowen Therapy session and I have to say, I am hooked!

The Bowen Therapy is a touch based method, using the skin rolling technique at certain acupressure and meridian points around your body to stimulate increased blood flow and therefore, oxygen, in your connective tissues and nerves. This creates healing in the places we can’t often reach with IV therapies or other common healing methods. You lay on a massage table in comfortable clothes and simply enjoy. The touch is very gentle and the therapists focus on certain parts of your body, while giving you a timed break between each area. This pause allows the blood to flow to the newly relaxed area and start the healing. The therapist will repeat this process until every part of your body has been worked on; it usually is an hour long session.

During my time, I was amazed at how deeply relaxed I became. I immediately felt like I was breathing easier and overall was very peaceful and calm. I was able to truly zone out and relax for the session- a break I needed!

As warned by my therapist, I did feel very sore as the next 24 hours passed. I also was FREEZING cold. I shivered for several hours afterwards but a sweater took care of most of it. I knew I was releasing toxins and wasn’t worried. I made sure to drink a lot of water and rest for the rest of the day.

Over the next couple of days, I felt the tension wearing off. I still felt relaxed, finally caught up on sleep (!!) and even released some pent up emotions with a gentle good cry. I was constantly amazed as the days went on how GOOD I felt. The effects of a session can last up to 7 days which is fascinating. My sleep, mood and energy stayed high the entire week. Amazing! I highly recommend checking out a Bowen therapy session if you’re looking for a hands on, gentle physical and emotional release therapy. I can’t wait for my next one!

 

Have you tried Bowen before? What was your experience like?

blood sugar- one of the worst mistakes you can make

My health finally took a change for the better with one simple change three years ago. After 9 months of postpartum chaos, I invested in a health coach who specialized in hormonal health. Within 3 days of our first session and her initial suggestions, I was feeling better. Within two weeks, I knew I was finally getting better.

What was the change?

Getting control of my blood sugar roller coaster. Friends, please don’t overlook this important piece to the puzzle. It may seem unimportant– when really, it has the power to literally pivot your healing direction. Don’t make the mistake of ignoring it!

Most people know that disease is caused by inflammation, but they don’t understand how inflammation gets created in their bodies. Stress, lack of sleep and food all play a crucial role. You can control your inflammation each day with the food and supplements you put into your body, thus lowering the stress your body goes through each day by trying to absorb what you eat. This plays a direct role on how well your kidneys, liver and brain can function throughout the day – which has an indisputable impact on your daily symptoms! Managing stress and sleep can be tougher, so for the sake of this blog post, I am going to focus on food.

When I hired my coach, I was still nursing and pumping for my son. Every day was spent being continuously hungry. I was also anemic- which has been linked to milk production, so I spent any free time I had making sure to take care of myself so that I could produce as much as I could. When I was short on time, sleep and energy, I resorted to eating a lot of oatmeal, Cheetos and brownies. Which was often. CRINGE!

The first time I changed was the timing of my food. I started eating smaller meals, more often and still do to this day. This helped me feel less frazzled and crabby in the mornings, especially since Liam was not a good sleeper. I, however, started being able to sleep better by adding the right kind of a bedtime snack. (Don’t knock it, it is actually what some chronic illness patients need!)

Next, I changed the food itself. I ditched the typical American sugar and carb based breakfast completely. Greens, sweet potato and a lean protein became my norm. It may be strange for some to think of, but a dinner type breakfast is what sent my energy soaring and got me feeling like my normal self again. I would prep everything ahead of time and portion out the amounts that morning. My milk production soared, the baby weight disappeared and the intense brain fog? Gone in just 3 days. I felt like a completely different person!

I can’t tell you enough how important it is to get sugar out of your diet. That bagel? Those cocktails? Get rid of them. As soon as they enter your body, they are turned to sugar, which feeds all kinds of microbes and candida and leaves you feel uncomfortable and symptomatic. If you struggle with digestive issues, headaches, mood swings,  shakiness, dizziness- make sure to look at WHAT you are eating, not just WHEN you are eating. Be sure that how you combine your food isn’t sending your blood sugar soaring suddenly. If you are experiencing cravings, dig deeper to find out what your body really needs when it’s saying to grab that chocolate bar. Cut out the junk, or quit expecting to get better. If you don’t clean up your diet, you won’t heal to the ability that is possible. Tough love, but truth.

The last thing my coach taught me in our time together was so invaluable. She showed me how to feed my individual organs. People, it isn’t about filling up your stomach and dashing off to the next activity. It’s about nourishing yourself. Find where you need more support and eat accordingly. Food is powerful! If you are living with an invisible illness, chances are your blood sugar could use some help. Blood sugar spikes and their impact on cortisol, gut health and brain chemistry is too important to ignore.

 

Not sure if blood sugar swings are a part of your health? Email me and let’s talk about it. I’m sure there are a few tweaks we can make to get you feeling better.

the biggest lessons i’ve learned from lyme disease

It’s been a little over a year now since I found out that Lyme disease was likely the root cause of my autoimmunity and chronic illness. At that time, I had already worked with a few clients who had Lyme and their stories were resonating with me in a deep way. Though I was already experiencing major strides in healing and living a relatively “normal” life, I always wondered if I would find out what had been the reason why I suddenly became so sick nearly 8 years ago. You can read more of my story in past posts, but for today, I wanted to share three of the biggest lessons I’ve learned since finally getting my diagnosis.

 

 

  1. Don’t judge. Please.

Don’t look at someone and think “They look fine, therefore they are making it all up.” People with cancer look fine. People with a prosthesis or in a wheelchair can look fine. The point of invisible illness is that it is INVISIBLE. Below the surface, under our skin. EVERYONE is waging a war you don’t know about. Yours may be something different, but don’t look at someone and automatically assume that they can’t be sick because they “don’t act like it.” In truth, someone with a chronic illness is trying VERY VERY hard, to be seen as “normal” or “looking good.” Trust me on this!

 

  1. Don’t over identify with your diagnosis.

This can be extremely difficult for a newly diagnosed patient to handle. At first, they want to immerse themselves in the community, learn all they can, connect with others like them. It is HARD to resist finally being heard and validated by others living and feeling just like you.

Be careful that your disease doesn’t take you over. Your conversations, your social circle, your daily activities should be a healthy mix of people and things that encompass a variety of areas. If all you are talking about is your diagnosis and how it makes you feel, you are likely to experience even more loss in your life from those who don’t or can’t understand, as well as opportunities for jobs, travel, new friends. Be careful to keep your mental game strong and your emotions felt and processed in healthy ways.

Also, be willing and open to LIFE! As best as you are able, don’t let your diagnosis get in the way of joy and pleasure. This is a big part of focus in my 1:1 coaching program. It may take some creativity, but I promise you can be sick and still find hope, peace and love in the midst of the healing journey.

 

  1. There isn’t a quick fix.

This was the hardest lesson for me to learn. In the year since my doctors validated and agreed to test for Lyme, I have explored just about every treatment option out there. I’m a rip off the bandaid girl- I’ll jump right into the hard work if it guarantees a quick result! But chronic illness is exactly that- chronic. It took years to get to my worst and it will take years to recover from that. No matter how fast I want to push, that is the opposite of what will truly heal me. Healing needs to be felt.

My inner circle knows when it’s time to gently dial me back and refocus on all of the tools I ALREADY have at my disposal, instead of wasting time, energy and resources on the next big thing. I’m not perfect, (I got caught up in this pattern just yesterday) but I’m way ahead of where I used to be five years ago.

This is where a solid gratitude practice, prayer and mindfulness comes into play for me. Whenever I get caught up in the next “fix” for me, it signals that it is time to get back to basics. Zoom out. Refocus. Remember how far I have already come.

I am already the healthiest I have ever been, BECAUSE of Lyme disease and the growth it has propelled me into.

 

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I’m curious to hear your thoughts- what was your biggest lesson learned from your chronic illness? Comment below or send me an email!

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