Penguin Stepping to health
One day a colleague laughed at me as I was penguin stepping, in a little happy dance, as I came out of a treatment room. When she asked me what I was doing my response was, “I actually feel happy in my body!”. She laughed, I laughed and then I took that moment to feel extreme gratitude for feeling joy in my body again for the first time in a very long time!
You see, it had been a long Dark Night of the Soul for me, you know the kind in which you are sure you will never see the light again. The kind where you forget what the sun feels like on your skin both metaphorically, and physically. I’d been in a place where I literally couldn’t find the strength to get out of my house. My health was so poor that I found it difficult to be present in my body and life.
Let me be clear here, when I say my health was poor I don’t mean it was anything dier, nothing that would actually kill me. It was just that I felt so unwell on a moment to moment basis that my spirit could not find solus in this physical form. There was simply no joy for me anywhere in my life.
“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
My health decline
Looking back, I can see the slow decline of my health. The endless hours working at the business or on the business, the constant decision making, researching, worrying about others, putting out fires and worrying about overhead. The constant stress hit me hard in my gut and chest and left me feeling winded like I had been knocked down from a fight.
You know what I mean?
I know that I am not alone in this experience. I know that many of you know exactly what I am speaking of. The stress that seems small at first, but it builds and builds until it feels like a constant crashing wave of overwhelm that never seems to end.
Do you feel that too? Maybe you’re a busy business owner, an overworked parent, a caretaker for loved ones, weekend warrior, or an overloaded student. No matter what we do or where we go, there are many stressful situations that can make us feel constantly overwhelmed.
“They” say “stress kills”, and the truth is that it actually can, or it can take you away from truly living. That’s why I’m continually fascinated by the way it affects our bodies and what can be done to settle the physical effects on our bodies, minds and spirits.
Up Close and Personal with Adrenal Fatigue
For me, when that chapter of extreme stress was complete I literally couldn’t get out of bed for 6 months. This is when I learned the real meaning of Adrenal Fatigue.
First, let me state that Allopathic Medicine does not recognize Adrenal Fatigue as a condition. That said, as a Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine I have successfully treated it for years in my practice and after the collapse of my business it came out of a textbook and took place in my real life.
The common signs and symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue are extreme exhaustion, muscle weakness, loss of appetite, weight loss or weight gain, non specific digestive issues, insomnia (too tired to sleep), emotional imbalance, depression, etc.
I suffered with all of these symptoms. Because of the endless nights of restless sleep, I only got out of bed to treat a patient or to do only the things that were completely necessary. The exhaustion was all encompassing.
‘Out of suffering have emerged the strongest Souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” – Khalil Gibran
What I Did to Bring Back the Joy
This was a huge learning lesson and I knew I was the only one who was going to be able to get me out of this dark place.
I live to serve other people and I finally came face to face with the realization that I couldn’t do that if I didn’t serve myself first. I had to learn to say no. That was huge for me. Saying no, meant I had more time to say yes to the things that were actually good for me and energized me. It also gave me more time to do what I needed to do. I made my self-care a priority. Sleep and allowing myself time to rest became daily priorities. I cleaned up my diet, took supplements, booked regular treatments for myself to ensure better health and I found an exercise program that felt right for my body.
I finally put myself first and listened to the inner wisdom of my body. It’s helped me to make better decisions in my life and for my life.
Slowly but surely
I had decided that if I was to have Adrenal Fatigue (which indubitably my body had decided I would have) I was going to do my best job ever to help my body recover from it. I had realized, that I was the one in charge of getting me to this dark place and I was the only one who could make life good again. Slowly, but surely, months passed and I made small marked improvements to my health and celebrated everyone of them. I decided to turn all my love and affection towards my body and just sit in the knowing that I would eventually feel good again. Don’t get me wrong, there were days that I could hear the smallest violin in the world play loudly in my ears and I felt lost in a puddle of self pity but the next day (or maybe the day after that) I felt improvement and took soulus in these days.
It is fascinating to me that when really looking at the issue the root cause was all about personal boundaries. I didn’t have to skip meals or eat foods that I knew my body didn’t like, I didn’t have to say yes to all the things I said yes to. I could have gotten my anxiety and sleeping under control years ago. The thing is that I really do know better! My education includes negative lifestyle effects on the human body. I’m not sure if I thought that just because I knew better my body would magically just not get sick, but alas, I was wrong and I am grateful that I was. When we have a personal experience with a health concern it takes it off the pages of our texts book and places it in the memory of our cells. This makes it so that I will forever know what it feels like to suffer from Adrenal Fatigue and this is a good thing for you.
I get you!
A lot of people with Adrenal Fatigue feel completely misunderstood or unheard by their health care practitioners because those practitioners haven’t lived the experience. . Additionally, because Adrenal Fatigue symptoms seem vague and the blood work comes back normal. There isn’t a lot that an Allopathic Medicine doctor can do to help you. But a doctor of Chinese Medicine can, and most especially one who’s been exactly where you are.
So when I’m sitting across from you, in your initial assessment in my office, you know that I have been where you are – overwhelmed, exhausted and extremely worried about my health. And you’ll know that together we are going to figure out the best way for you to get back to healthy again, where you can enjoy every drop of joy this life has to offer.