Have you or anyone in your family suffered from cancer, autoimmune disease, effects from hormone disruption, infertility, ADHD or other mystery illness?
It can be frustrating dealing with any of these. They all have affected someone in my family or me. Unfortunately there is no silver bullet in healing from any of them.
“Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that may interfere with the body’s endocrine system and produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects in both humans and wildlife”
This is not something most of us are aware and just one example of how health is affected in the unknown.
Many factors contribute to ill health
Think of health like a wheel with many spokes that keep it spinning. Emotions, environment, food, thoughts, cleaning products, skincare and spirit are all contributors in some way or another. In this post I share my own experience with a disabling disease and resources to support you on your path to wellness.
We must take responsibility for our health and also be our own advocate for our wellness
It is not always an easy task. There is not a single way to deal with health. It really does involve an integrative approach, which I discovered the hard way.
In 2000, my life was drastically changed. I woke up one morning with the worst pain I have ever experienced. Childbirth was a walk in the park compared to that pain which lasted for several years. My life became very limited and I was very dependent on traditional medicine and pharmaceuticals to just get through each day’s painful limitations.
Many well-meaning people sent me things to try, suggested changes that could help, but for a long time I couldn’t consider any of it. I had very severe Lyme disease and it was all I could do to just deal with each day. After months of antibiotics and pain medication, nothing much had changed, although whenever I was on antibiotics I did notice improvement. When I stopped taking them, I got worse.
I learned to be persistent with the medical field
A doctor from Yale New Haven Hospital essentially told me that I had fibromyalgia and there was nothing that could be done, so learn to live with it.
That was unacceptable to me. I had all the same symptoms and disability that I had when I was diagnosed with Lyme disease that was improving while taking antibiotics, and suddenly has become something else? That just did not make sense to me.
So, I continued to seek answers and doctors who would be willing to help me. It was a tough battle at that time. So little was known at that time about Lyme disease and there was clearly a line marked in the sand about how to treat, how long to treat, and how long treatment would be covered by insurance.
Long story made short for this post, I persevered and found a wonderful Lyme literate doctor, Dr. Stephen Phillips in Wilton, CT who was helping people who were diagnosed incorrectly get their lives back with long term treatment for tick borne co-infections. He helped me realize that this was my second infection and as we looked back, realized I had been dealing with neurologic implications for several years, (we traced it back to symptoms and a previous removal of a tick in 1996.) This explained why I was so sick this time. I also gathered a strong team of doctors who all worked together in supporting me.
Fast forward after more than five years of traditional medicine alone, which was slowly improving my quality of life but not fast enough for my liking, I turned to other options.
I opened up to a whole new world of alternative health
I began to receive acupuncture treatments at Gentle Currents Wellness Center with Lisa Rothermick.
I read a book by Brandon Bays, which introduced me to the power of the emotional journey to healing. I gave the book to Lisa and asked if she would combine the process from the book with my acupuncture treatments. I was having powerful experiences with this combination. I also went through the emotional journey process on my own several times. I was beginning to see some improvement in my symptoms.
Then I read, You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay, and did all the exercises. This opened my eyes to another way of looking at illness and the life I was living and gave me a new direction in which to take responsibility for the underlying causes to why I got so sick from Lyme disease when other people did not.
My acupuncturist, Lisa introduced me to EFT Tapping. We both were amazed at how it basically replicated how she had been treating me, except without the needles.
Two more introductions to this amazing energy tool got me hooked, especially when I started to work with Ingrid Dinter. I saw my health begin to improve in ways I had not experienced before. I began to train with Ingrid to become certified in using EFT. She continues to offer training for certification.
The power of hidden or repressed emotions, trauma leftover from childhood, nervous systems feeling under attack for years have a huge impact on disease. I have seen it again and again, as well as the improvement when healing those emotions.
During all of this, I had also found yoga. Practicing yoga continues to be a source of inspiration, intuition, physical, spiritual and emotional wellbeing for me.
In the days of beginning yoga, I was so grateful for the community and the healing it offered my spirit and my body. I have practiced at many studios with several teachers, changing it up and exploring what works best for me.
Here are some of my favorite yoga studios in the Seacoast area.
Yoga has many styles and studios and teachers differ. Find what resonates with you, helps you, and is a space in which you enjoy being. Some yoga is gentle, other is more physical and strenuous, and some are more healing to the body. The most important thing to remember when practicing yoga or any other physical fitness regime is to listen to your body because you can push yourself too much and cause injury.
Combining traditional doctors with Naturopathic docs
The combination of traditional medicine, alternative therapies including, acupuncture, emotional work, yoga, energy healing and EFT were helping my health improve. I was gaining more of my old self, back.
Yet, in hindsight, I should never have been trying to get back to my old self, but move forward into my new and improved self. It would have been a less challenging journey. I eventually did see that, which helped tremendously. Surrender, presence and love have become my new friends and guiding light.
Another Bout With Lyme Disease
I got this lesson with the third bout of Lyme Disease. This time I worked with Dr. Leon Hecht, a naturopathic doctor at North Coast Family Health Integrative Medicine Clinic in Portsmouth, NH.
He treated me from many different perspectives, including using antibiotics, herbs, supplements, and testing for environmental allergens. He discovered that in addition to the tick co-infections, I also had a mold infection in my sinuses that was contributing to many of my symptoms and my constant battle with sinus infections. We were able to clear that with a specific treatment in addition to the treatment for Lyme. For the first time in years, I felt like my brain was working more strongly again. I cannot even explain how wonderful this feels.
My husband and I cleared our home of all potentially moldy items, mostly housed in our basement. Fortunately when we tested the house for mold, none was present. We fixed it with the clean up.
Time to look at nutrition
Dr. Hecht started to take a look at my nutrition. Also, my daughter, Erin, who studied nutrition both from a science perspective and a holistic understanding, and is the owner of Erin Holt Health, was a huge support to me in this area. She also suffered with her own health challenges, and discovered how food had been impacting her health in ways we never knew while she was growing up. I saw improvements in her health, and slowly became open to looking at how food was contributing to my lackluster health.
I began to eliminate foods from my diet, started to pay attention to how my body felt when I ate certain foods, and now eat pretty clean. I buy foods as much as possible that are locally grown, treated humanely, pesticide free, and grown in the way it was intended. That has made a huge difference in how I feel, even today.
I love Vernon Family Farm in Newfield, NH for chicken.
Hurd Farm in Hampton, NH offers all meats and poultry. I just picked up our fresh turkey for Thanksgiving from their farm.
Kellie Brook Farm is another favorite for all meats and poultry.
There are many local farms for vegetables, too. I was shopping at the Farmer’s market in Portsmouth and Exeter all summer where I met all these wonderful local farmers and now I go to them directly.
I do not eat gluten, dairy, soy, corn or trans fat. It’s not always easy, yet I choose to see the gift in the wonderful foods I can eat and that nourish my body.
It’s possible that you could benefit from eliminating some of these foods and notice if you feel better. It may reduce fatigue, stomach discomfort, brain fog, muscle or joint ache.
Honor your body and all that it has done for you
For me, it does not matter whether I have residual Lyme disease or fibromyalgia. What is important is that i honor my body and treat it with respect and kindness. After years of abuse, pushing it, demanding from it, loathing it, judging it, being disappointed by it, it is time to love it.
Can you relate? How do you treat your body? Do you rest when it needs it? Do you expect more from it than it has to give? Do you nourish it with healthy foods? Do you move it regularly in ways that feel good? Do you think kindly of it?
Think about your answers to these questions, and see where you can make some helpful adjustments.
Exploring another leg of the health wheel ~ The stuff we put ON our bodies, not just IN them
Have you ever thought about what ingredients are in your skincare and beauty products? I really hadn’t for a long time. Then I began to use as many all natural or organic products as I could find, but I didn’t love how they performed. I’ve also discovered that "natural" does not necessarily equate to safe. Nor are all chemicals bad for you. With so much conflicting information out there, what’s a person to do?
Fortunately there is a non-profit and non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting health and the environment, called Environmental Working Group. They research, write about and even have a database about what is in our environment and in our products that are linked to disease, infertility, cancer, ADHD, and autoimmune disease.
As I became more aware of the potentially harmful ingredients in the products I was using in my home and on my body, I began to look for safer alternatives. I began to use therapeutic grade essential oils on my skin, in vegetable caps, and diffused in the air. I even make my own cleaning products with essential oils.
I also found a chic, stylish line of skin and body care, cosmetics, a kids bath collection and a baby line - all feel great, are high performing, and most importantly are health protective. This products have the most comprehensive ingredient selection process in the industry. All known harmful and questionable ingredients are kept out of every single product so that you can be rest assured that you've made the healthiest choice for you and your family. These products are verified safe by the EWG in their skin deep database.
I have shared lots of information. Don’t be overwhelmed, check in with yourself and go first with what calls to you the most. Take it a step at a time. If you need help in putting a plan in place or just having an advocate holding space for you, click here, and let’s get the conversation started.