New Approaches to Healing

Recently a friend recommended I try three things.

One is tapping or emotional freedom technique (EFT) by first getting Nick Ortner’s documentary film called The Tapping Solution.  He also has a website by the same name and once a year (in Feb) hosts the Tapping World Summit, which is a 10-day event where he posts interviews with the top tapping experts in the world on every topic under the sun.  It is a great way to process your emotions and release them from your body.  It can help release in-the-moment fears and anxieties and it can also help when doing deeper healing work.

Then she introduced me to Margaret M. Lynch, who is AMAZING!  And she has a really great 7-part series on the 2nd chakra.  And guess where the 2nd chakra is located?  In our lower abdomen where our reproductive organs are housed.  So there is a pretty direct correlation between doing 2nd chakra work and healing your reproductive system from an energetic perspective.

This is where we store our family and ancestral patterns.  It is where we store emotions about our worthiness, and whether or not we are lovable, we belong, we are seen, we are valued, we are willing to be vulnerable, among other things of this nature.  It is big stuff!

And let me be the first to tell you, when you get really deep into 2nd chakra healing work, it is HARD and painful to feel all the emotions we have stuffed in there.  But it is important and as you come through it you have a much stronger sense of self, and you will feel a LOT lighter!

The third is a book called The Medical Medium, which talks about what is really behind many mystery illnesses that we are plagued with in modern times, including hormonal imbalances.  It addresses how to really heal your gut health and immune system.  It also has a 28-day (mostly raw) fruit and vegetable cleanse program included and recipes for a number of detox teas for things like metals, cleaning supplies, pesticides, etc.  If it speaks to you, you should read it and decide for yourself, but I found it really interesting and illuminating and have been working through the detox.  I’m not perfect at it (I’ve had chicken a few times), but I’ve been making a concerted effort to do it as well as I can.  And I figure that every bit that I do is better than if I weren’t doing it. I also bought a juicer from JuiceMaster, which came with a great juicing recipe book, so I’ve had fun experimenting with the world of juicing!

Although it has been a little while, this is where I currently am on my healing journey. In Jan of this year, I had another ultrasound, and the cysts are still there, and may have grown a little bit.  However, it was just a reminder to become more diligent about getting back on track – with eating, continuing my healing work, and getting back to the castor oil packs on a more regular basis.  My hope is by my next appointment my efforts will produce the results that I desire, and that eventually it will be enough to rid myself entirely of this issue.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you are trying and what has worked well for you.  If you have used EFT and/or read The Medical Medium, what are your experiences with these approaches?

Until next time!

Hannah

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Whole 30 Recipes

This week on I started a Whole 30 (an eating plan where you eliminate all inflammatory foods to reboot your digestive system) and I started Boot Camp. I didn’t intend to start both on the same day, it is just kind of the way it worked out!

I feel good and like I have accomplished something this week.  I have fueled my body with foods that are good for it, and have challenged my body with three boot camp sessions.  I can’t wait to see how much better and stronger I feel at the end of the month!

Now almost a week in, I wanted to share some of my favorite recipes so far. It takes a little bit to research and planning to do a Whole 30 and I figured I might as well share in case it benefits any of you in any way!

Three clear winners:
1. Mushroom Onion Quiche Bites – the great thing is you could substitute the mushrooms and onions with any veggies that you like for unlimited variations
http://grokgrub.com/2013/08/12/recipe-mushroom-onion-quiche-bites/

2. Sweet Potato Hash – I didn’t have the same herbs as she did, but use anything that speaks to you! Or just use salt/pepper. It is great either way!
http://nomnompaleo.com/post/19886925277/sweet-potato-hash-with-fried-eggs

3. Pesto Pork Burgers with Sautéed Cherry Tomatoes
http://www.multiplydelicious.com/thefood/2013/04/pesto-pork-burgers-with-sauteed-cherry-tomatoes/

Others that were pretty good:
Slow Cooker Chicken, Sweet Potato and Kale Stew – This one was pretty good, but there is a reason I have never ever seen a recipe with more than 1Tbs of tomato paste (and why haven’t they figured out how to make 1Tbs packages for tomato paste so you don’t have to waste the entire rest of the can?!? But I digress…). Changes I would make next time: 1Tbs only of tomato paste + 1 can of diced tomatoes + maybe a little more chicken stock

Zucchini Carrot Spiced Muffins – It’s challenging to create baked goods that rival those used with flour, sugar and butter, so you just have to not compare them that way. But this is a pretty good non-inflamitory recipe.
http://www.multiplydelicious.com/thefood/2012/05/carrot-zucchini-spiced-muffins/

As I continue through the program, I’ll continue to post the recipes I find that I really like.  I would also love to hear from you!  Tell me in the comments below what your favorite Whole-30-compliant recipes are!

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Hannah

Dealing with Triggers

Does anyone else have a family member whose only role in your life seems to be to repeatedly point out in subtle and not so subtle ways that you don’t deserve to exist in that family?  I so don’t want to give this person any power over me, but man they have this ability to make me feel like shit in every interaction I have with them and at other times in the way they completely ignore me like I don’t matter…all the while putting on this face that we are some kind of perfect family and there is no issue to even talk about.  But yet they have very little emotional intelligence nor ability to have a conversation about it. It really sucks!

I know there are things I am meant to learn from this, although the specific lessons aren’t yet clear to me.  I also know that I can heal my pain and improve my ability to not get triggered by them without their involvement or without them recognizing the impact their behaviors have on me. But this is a really hard one for me!!!  And the crazy thing is they don’t even know me or anything about the person I am at 42…they seem to only know some memory they have of me from decades ago when I was a kid…but yet can’t even articulate what that memory is for them. The part that is the hardest for me is that they take this memory (that I don’t have) out on me constantly in the present…and have done so for the last 10 or 15 years. I just want to scream at them that I am a decent human being and a nice person and I have strengths and talents and I don’t deserve to be treated in the way they treat me, regardless of whatever my childhood transgressions were…which I would gladly apologize for if they were able to help me understand their experience that they continue to hold onto.

I guess nothing has really changed for me in the last 24 hours other than my perception driven by a stranger sharing news with me that anyone in my family should have had the decency to make me aware of. So if all that has changed is my perception, I have the ability to change that back. I have the ability to change my triggered feelings of not belonging or being wanted or lovable or good enough. I know enough now to know that even though triggered by external events, these feelings live inside of me and only I can do the work to heal them. Even though that work is hard and painful and it would be easier to avoid it with sugar and work and wine and tv and whatever else I have often turned to. But as Maya Angelou often said “When you know better, you do better.” And I now know better, so I must do better.

I have the ability to look for things in my life today that show me the opposite of what I am feeling now is true for me also. And even more important than looking for these things in other people and situations, is being able to find them within myself.

I post this to try to let my pain go so I can move forward with my day and my life and allow this experience to make me better and not bitter.  And also on the off chance that it will help at least one other person out there to not feel alone in having similar feelings or experiences. I have come to believe that it is in healing these types of hurts that we can heal our bodies of the dis-ease that ails us, such as Endo for me. Releasing emotions and energy that we would otherwise hold onto is one of the first steps to freeing our bodies up to heal.

Not long ago someone shared this Abraham quote with me, which I will share with you now.

Every cell in your body has a direct relationship with Creative Life Force, and each cell is independently responding. When you feel joy, all the circuits are open and the Life Force or God Force can be fully received. When you feel guilt or blame or fear or anger, the circuits are hindered and the Life Force cannot flow as effectively. Physical experience is about monitoring those circuits and keeping them as open as possible. The cells know what to do. They are summoning the Energy.   – Abraham

Here is to each and every one of us searching out more joy in our lives, and letting go of the pain.

#speakingmytruth #lovingmyself #pathtohealing

Progress and Setbacks

So the good news is that the diet is working.  After four or five weeks I went back to the doctor and my cyst has decreased in size from 6.4 to 5.5 sonameters.  That is good news.  I am now incorporating Endovan, a natural supplement into my supplement regimen to see what impact that will have next.

But while I have also made great progress, there have also been some setbacks.  I caught something strange that caused upper abdominal cramps for a couple of days worse than any uterine cramps I have ever had (even worse than those coming off of fertility drugs) accompanied by nausea.  It then progressed into low blood pressure and the lack of energy and stamina that comes from that, and culminated in a very sore throat (but only on the left side!) and more low blood pressure.  During most of this time I did ok on my new clean eating regimen.  Instead of raw vegetable smoothies, lean proteins and cooked veggies, I craved Suja juices.  While I wasn’t drinking them to cleanse, I figured they were at least balanced nutrition when I really wasn’t interested in eating any real food for a week and a half to two weeks.  But it got me off of my routine a little.

And then a huge emotional whamie.  A massive trigger for me that caused me to really struggle for a few days.  I was hurt, I was sad, I was angry.  It brought up a bunch of crap for me that sucked and made me feel terrible.  And while I have been trying to learn the lessons from the situation and heal, it still took me a few days to regain my footing.  All I wanted to eat was comfort food.  Bring on the carbs.  Bring on the sugar.  Bring on the bread.  In all fairness, my worst during this period wasn’t nearly as bad as my worst in the past.  But it still feels like I have gotten off track and my motivation has been really tough to get back.  I have quit putting as much effort into going to the grocery store and cooking.  And I have no desire to make more raw veggie smoothies, despite there being a whole book of recipes to choose from and experiment with.  

At the same time, I know that I have to find my motivation again.  I have to get back on track.  I have to get back to prioritizing my health, and strengthening my immune system and reducing the inflammation and balancing my hormones.  It isn’t something I can do for a month and then revert back to my old habits.  It is something I must do for the long term.  And so this week I will work to make better choices day by day and I will make a plan as to how I will get back on track in earnest by the end of this week.  Perfection is not the objective, a long-term shift toward being healthier and staying out of the OR is the goal.  Setbacks will happen, life happens and that is ok.  I choose to practice self-compassion and kindness and lovingly redirect my energies back into activities that support my long term goals.  And take things one day at a time.  What else is there to do?

When you have suffered setbacks like the ones I have experienced, how do you get back on track?

Castor Oil Packs

Castor OilLast fall after I had surgery for Endometriosis, my doctor instructed me to use castor oil packs daily for a couple of weeks to help with the pain and inflammation.  Within a week these things had subsided substantially, and I credit most of that with the use of the castor oil packs.  After the first two weeks I was supposed to go to every other day or every three days…but after a week or two of that, I got out of the habit of using them.  

Just this week another holistic healthcare practitioner of mine who does energy work suggested strongly that I resume them in conjunction with my dietary changes.  She may have mentioned it a couple of weeks ago at my prior visit (based on her reaction that I was not doing what I was supposed to be doing!).  But sometimes I get overloaded with information and suggestions in these visits and I forget some of them!  So, I have started them back up since our conversation this week.  And I wanted to share this here as an important tool in the toolbox of anyone suffering from Endometriosis.

What are they used to treat?  They can be used to reduce inflammation and pain as I mentioned above.  They also can be used to improve digestive disfunction, and can be placed on the right side of the body to help detoxify the liver.  There may be other uses, but that is all I will cover here.

How do you administer a castor oil wrap?  A castor oil wrap is accomplished by soaking a wool flannel cloth in castor oil so that it is saturated but not dripping, placing it over the lower abdomen, covering either it or a heating pad with plastic, placing the heating pad on top of the castor oil pack, and turning the heat to high or medium as you can tolerate it.  You can do this while resting and meditating (as I did after my surgery) or watching TV (as I have been doing this week).

A few tips:

  • This WILL stain your clothes and be very difficult to get out, if not impossible.  Make sure the pack doesn’t come into contact with your clothing.  I ruined a favorite sweater last fall this way.
  • Put a towel down under you to protect whatever you are laying on
  • Use a solution of 1 pint of water plus 1 teaspoon baking soda to remove the castor oil from your abdomen after the treatment (it is sticky…and did I mention it will will stain your clothes if they come into contact?).  You can also buy wipes to remove the castor oil if you wish.
  • The castor oil itself can be bought at Whole Foods…but I’m not sure about the flannel accompaniment.  Your local health food store should carry both.
  • You can store the flannel wool in a ziplock baggie and use it repeatedly.  You may need to add more castor oil from time to time.  If it doesn’t leave lots of sticky oil on your belly, you are likely not using enough…although it shouldn’t drip.  Also, there is conflicting advice about putting it in the fridge or leaving it at room temp in-between uses.  I leave mine out and haven’t had issues.  If you put it in the fridge you may want to heat it before you place it on your belly.

You need to speak with your healthcare practitioners about how long and how often to use them.  There are MANY different guidelines and you need to figure out what works for you.  My doctor who sent me to surgery said every day for 20-30 minutes.  My current healthcare provider is instructing me to use them every day for an hour.  I’m not sure what dictates how long (or not) they should be used.

There is a reference to Edgar Cayce on the bottle of castor oil.  I was curios, so I did a google search and found this article in case it is helpful.  If nothing else I found it to be interesting and reinforced the instructions I have been given.

What are your experiences using castor oil wraps?  How often do you use them?  Do you experience healing or relief from their use?

Endo, Yeast and Allergies

One of the things I have learned recently through my research is that women with Endo have a higher likelihood of suffering from allergies and a higher incidence of yeast infections.  While that was interesting, what I found even more interesting is that allergies are a clear signal that the immune system is not working correctly, and you can actually have allergic reactions to the overgrowth of yeast in your own body which then leads to auto-immune disorders like Endo.

Candida (yeast) is a fungus that feeds on sugars and other yeast-containing foods, such as foods that are aged, pickled, dried, fermented or cured.  It can also be caused by stress and the use of antibiotics, steroids, and oral contraceptives.  While everyone has yeast in the GI tract, the issue arises when there is an overgrowth of yeast.  The yeast gives off toxins which then causes inflammation and various other symptoms throughout the body.

For people whose bodies are sensitive to minor irritants that are attributed to cause common allergies (grass pollen, pet dander, etc.), their immune systems are more likely to react against cells of their own bodies.  It is the immune system that causes the reaction to allergens, not the allergens themselves.  When this happens, auto-immune disorders result such as Endo, hypothyroidism/hashimoto’s, chronic fatigue syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease and others.  Allergic reactions to yeast are thought to trigger many of these auto-immune diseases.  Other yeast-related issues for women are known to be PMS, vaginal yeast infections, vulvodynia, recurring UTIs, Endo, dyspareunia (painful intercourse), and infertility.  (There are a whole host of other issues that relate to both sexes, but since that is not the purpose of this post I will not include more here.)

In auto-immune disorders the immune system makes antibodies and T-Cells directed against different parts of the body that it considers invaders.  And it makes fewer of the T-suppressor cells that are supposed to slow down the reactivity of the immune system to the body’s own cells.  It’s a double-whammy of sorts.

According to Mary Lou Ballweg’s book on Endometriosis, “candida can also bind and use our hormones, including estrogen, progesterone, and the adrenal gland hormone, corticosterone.”  For those experiencing estrogen dominance, the yeast can mimic more estrogen, thus exacerbating the issue even further.

A couple of other interesting facts I came across that I will share here:

  • Exposure to chemicals, such as formaldehyde, pesticides, and dioxins have been found to lead to candida sensitivity and overgrowth.
  • People who have a tendency to experience candida overgrowths, are also typically sensitive to molds.

So what can we do?

  • Follow a yeast-free, sugar-free diet (not easy or popular for many, but isn’t it worth trying to feel better?).  There are many diet books/sites devoted to this topic that are easily found through a simple google search.
    • If you are sensitive to mold, avoid foods that have a high mold content. Examples include cheeses, dried fruits, and frozen fruit juices
  • You can take anti-fungal supplements, such as Monolauren (coconut), Olive Leaf Extract, and Oregacillian
  • You can take medications under the guidance of your doctor to remove the candida from your body.  Some typical ones include Nystatin, Diflucan, Sporanox, and Lamisil, Ketoconazole, Fluconazole. Ask your doctor about a protocol that will help you to minimize or avoid die-off reactions, which can make you sick in the short term.
  • Take probiotics, such as GoodBelly, Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics or others to restore good bacteria and rebalance intestinal flora while you are trying to rid yourself of the candida.
  • Get tested for allergies and try to desensitize yourself to as many as possible, especially yeast and molds.
  • After addressing food, candida and allergens, ask your doctor to help you test and balance your hormones, including estrogen, progesterone, thyroid function, and adrenal hormones (cortisone, testosterone, and DHEA)

You will need to do your own research and work with your healthcare practicioners to determine the best course of action for you.

I am working on the following:

  • Change in diet to eliminate sugars, breads, dairy, and anything made in a factory
  • I am taking the following supplements each day:
    • 1200 mg of monolauren – contains the lauric acid from coconuts, which has antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties. It should kill off candida without die-off effects (so far, so good!).
    • 1-2 goodbelly shots (as in small yet non-alcoholic drinks, not injections)
    • 2 capsules Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics Professional Formula
    • 3 Kang Yuan capsules – these are cordyceps mushroom extracts. They help boost Natural Killer cells, and support the immune system in handling allergens. This was recommended as part of a protocol to support low thyroid function.
    • 3 Kelp tablets a day to support thyroid function

My plan is to try these things for 60 days and then revisit my doctor to see the impact it has made.

What are your experiences managing candida?  What has worked well for you?  What difference has it made in how you feel?  In your Endo symptoms?

 

Goji-Berry Smoothie

I have been experimenting with whole-food raw smoothies recently that reduce inflammation, improve digestion, and provide essential nutrition.  I thought I would post some of them here on my blog.  I have adapted these from a variety of sources, and find that once I got used to making smoothies I never seem to make them the same way twice any more.  Each one is an experiment of sorts depending on what I have on hand and how I am feeling.  This is one of my favorites recently and I made sure to write down exactly what I did so I could share it exactly as I made it.

Why Goji?  Goji is a superfood and some believe it is one of the most important super foods out there for fighting disease and maintaining vitality.  It is said to help boost fertility, longevity and the immune system.  One book I have read recommends drinking goji milk daily made of 8 oz water and 2-3 oz goji berries blended in a blender.

Goji-Berry Smoothie

1/2 cup strawberries

1/2 cup blueberries

1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or distilled water or unsweetened coconut milk)

1/4 cup goji berries

1 tsp fresh ginger (or about 1/2 inch)

1/4 avocado

1 tsp acai powder

1 tbs flax seeds

3 walnuts

1 tbs raw almond butter (no sugar added)

1 tbs virgin organic coconut oil

Blend all ingredients in a blender and enjoy!  I use a 3HP blender and haven’t tried it with a regular blender or my handheld blender, but these ingredients should work ok with any blender.

Enjoy!