More often than not the root cause of your dis-ease is some form of stress. This is one of the big reasons why just diet and exercise are not the magic pill to health, healing, and happiness. Your body does not operate in isolated compartments and it doesn't respond well when you don't acknowledge, care for, and love all of its pieces. Everything you surround yourself with and consume including air, people's energy, emotions, stress, (lack of) self care, food, water, and beauty products affect your overall well being and is reflected in your mood, health, and life experience.
In childhood and early adulthood I struggled with severe stomach pain, nausea, nervousness, bloating, and more recently shoulder pain and tension. I was extremely shy and scared of pretty much everything. The stomach pain and nausea was often debilitating keeping me in bed and away from enjoying life. I went to doctors, was dosed with Dramamine and Pepto Bismol, and without fail spent the first few days of school in the bathroom vomiting. It would subside for a while, but as soon as a new stressor (school, parental conflict, death of my mother, new step family) was introduced the stabbing pains would begin again. In high school I added a few additional not-so-fun symptoms: cystic acne and excessive sweating. College came and things continued to worsen and symptoms would flair up when my roommate would belittle me or I had a big test coming up. It wasn't until I started to study nutrition (cutting out dairy, gluten, vegetable oils and processed foods), practice yoga, and learned to discover and stand in my truth that these symptoms began to subside. For the first time I was able to express myself without fear (pain, vomit, sweat, or acne). But this was a long journey and an ongoing process...
So how and where do you even begin?
When seeking to heal, you must assess your life on a WHOLE-istic macro level. Taking inventory of your diet, rest, exercise, and relationships is a a good place to start, but it must go deeper than that. Acknowledge the oneness and interconnectedness of your Mind-Body-Spirit and seek the root causes of stress and disconnection from your truth. True healing comes from deep within, and not from the trendiest diet or sexiest workout plan.
Let's start with defining the three types of stress:
- Mental Emotional Stress: fear, worry, depression, excitement, anxiety, relationships, lack of purpose, covertness, negative perceptions, bad attitude, anger
- Physical Stress: trauma, fractures, muscle injuries, weakness, nerve compression, positional injury, intense exercise, poor posture, accidents
- Chemical Functional Stress: inflammatory foods, additives, pesticides, alcohol caffeine, prescription medications, recreational drugs, chemicals, metals, radiation, antibiotics, parasites, bacteria, fungi, viruses, over the counter meds, birth control
Common hidden stressors include:
- Processed, non-organic food
- Invisible toxins in your water, air and personal care products
- Inadequate quality sleep
- Over-training and exercise
- Physical misalignment or tension in joints & muscles
- Unknown parasites, bacteria, or yeast infections
- Unresolved conflicts or emotions that you push aside and avoid
- Difficult negative relationships (romantic, friend, work, or family)
- Unfulfilling work and long hours
Common Mental Emotional Stress Symptoms:
- Physical pain in the body and joints
- IBS symptoms
- Fatigue & Exhaustion
- Excessive sweating
- PMS symptoms
- Lowered immune function
- Autoimmune conditions
- Hypo/hyperthyroid conditions
- HPA (hypothalamus pituitary adrenal) Axis dysregulation
Starting to sound familiar? Do you struggle with any of these stressors? More than likely you do, and not just one of them. For today I'm going to focus primarily on mental emotion stress, as it is the one we like to burry, run from, and ignore.
When dealing with mental emotional stress, it's time for the real work. Zoom in, into your heart, into your soul. Get quiet, listen, and let your heart do the talking. I suggest yoga and meditation to quiet the mind and ease the body into a state where you can listen and receive the truth of your heart.
So once you have identified your stressors, start seeking the heart wisdom to heal and eliminate them. Tune into your heart via this seated meditation...
- Come to a comfortable seat in a quiet place you will not be disturbed for 15-20 minutes
- Introduce breath. Breathe in an out through your nose. Take ten breaths just feeling the air enter your nose, fill you lungs, chest and abdomen. Let the breath release out naturally. You can give your inhales and exhales a color like white and gold. Whatever feels purifying and give your clarity.
- Continuing to breathe. Focus on your physical body. Scan your entire body from feet to head, feeling any sensations: tension, tightness, soreness, pain, pulse of your heart, tingling. Ten breaths just feeling physical sensations.
- Keep breathing. Now focusing on the mind. Just acknowledge the state of your thoughts and emotions. You are not your thoughts. You are the consciousness observing your thoughts. Visualize yourself laying on your back in nature just watching the clouds drift by. The clouds are your thoughts, your consciousness is the sky. You may focus on one for a while and then it just morphs into something else and is gone. Ten breaths just focusing on whatever your thoughts are. Not trying to change anything. Try to count your breaths.
- Continue to breathe. As you tune into your consciousness. Your truth. You may focus on your heart center. Send a couple breaths in and out of your heart center. Then listen to its whispers, to your truth. What are its desires? Where is it directing you? What is it telling you? Your truth lies here, in your heart, in stillness and silence. Just waiting for you to tune in. Ten breaths. Stay here as long as you can listen and stay present, always coming back to your breath.
Back to my story. It doesn't end with just Viola! I cleaned up my diet and started doing some yoga. Oh no, it's not that fast or easy. But it is the most beautiful and profound journey I have ever embarked on. It is why I am writing you today. It is why Wild Acorn Wellness exists. It is what happens when you start to listen and fall madly in love with yourself. You can no longer NOT do the work. To not do the work would be death to my soul and a welcome mat for new and old symptoms to walk right back into my life. It is answering the call to continuing to answer the call to refine, redefine, listen, love, forgive and grow. Seeking the root cause of the stress that is manifesting as symptoms in your body, rooting them out, and loving them to death. I've found what makes me come alive in teaching yoga, mindfulness, and holistic health, and sharing these truths with you here and in my practice.
Your heart knows the answer. Your heart holds your truth. When you find any discordance, which most everyone does, with your heart's truth and your life you know there is work to be done. This is where you start the real work. This is where you heal. Start here and you will see how your life begins to unfold in magical ways bringing you peace, ease, health and true happiness. Not to mention, relief from the symptoms of stress and disease. The power of the mind-body-spirit connection is beyond powerful.
As my dear friend Erica Benedicto says, "Our truth, the most powerful of medicines. If you can get back to yours, you'll never want to leave. It's not easy. It takes time, due diligence, dedication and desire. But it's there and waiting for you to open it and give it life once again."
I would love the opportunity to work with you, to teach you more techniques to healing your heart, discovering your truth, and revealing the healthiest most vibrant version of you. Through not only a personalized tailored diet, exercise, rest, lab testing, but also stress reduction, a spiritual guidance I can help you discover and utilize your own innate power to heal.
Please fill out my Wellness Intake Form HERE or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your FREE 30 minute introductory consultation.
*I use the words truth, heart and soul interchangeably throughout this post to refer to the same concept. Feel free to use whichever one resonates most with you.