Walking the Talk

| October 1, 2012 | 0 Comments

I habitually live so much in my mind that my body needs to go to dramatic measures to get my attention.  For instance, in the past it has resorted to frequent cluster migraines in order to communicate its need for some lifestyle changes. When I made the changes, the migraines went away.  Last month, the message from the body suddenly got VERY LOUD, with symptoms of Lymphoma. Beyond scaring the heck out of me with the half-collapsed lungs and surprise diagnosis, it has presented me with the maximum test to living by my (holistic health) convictions.

Being released from the hospital, I was faced with the task of researching information on Lymphoma, its treatment options and prognosis. This has included many visits to a wide variety of doctors and health care providers, and much soul searching about their input. Along with that was the fear and uncertainty of how soon my symptoms might reassert themselves and in what form.  Would I be able to go back to work?  How will I deal with the admonitions to “quit messing around with herbs now, because this condition is serious”?   For those who profess the desire to be of support to me, a good place to start would be to truly accept my decision-making process and take my expertise too seriously. As an alternative health provider I have endured a lifetime of skepticism and disapproval; I am not putting up with that now.

Once my fear had turned to anger, it motivated me to take action.  Instead of responding to the emotionally laden name given to the diagnosis, I took a look at the body functions involved in order to come up with a plan to manage the symptoms. These are things that I know how to deal with.  There were a few core dysfunctions to address.  First, there was a lot of inflammation.  This was resulting in fluid accumulating in the lining around the lungs, restricting breathing and denying my body oxygen.  Once you deny the body oxygen lots of things start going wrong and the risk of damage to the whole body is very real.

Inflammation has many evidence-based and proven modalities to apply.  Adopting the anti-inflammatory diet that reduces or eliminates animal protein and fats, minimizes carbohydrates and emphasizes green leafy vegetables is an essential place to start.  Next is to take concentrated doses of curcumin, the extract of turmeric, emulsified with good quality oils that boost absorption. Guggul and boswellia resins are additional proven anti-inflammatories. Chamomile, ginger and/or Red Clover iced tea rounds out the regimen.

Toxins come from a variety of sources. Polluted air, chemicals on the foods, plastic outgassing of BPH and many external factors contribute to the toxic load.  Internally produced hormones, cortisol from stress, lack of hormonal balance from lack of sleep or exercise and unresolved emotions are also part of what the body must process. Reduce as many of those factors as possible with organic foods, rest, meditation and deep breathing.

Detox is a matter of cleaning out the liver and supporting it in Phase 1 and Phase 2 detox processes. There are many ways to do this. Wheat grass juice is a great place to start.  Dietary fiber, digestive bitters, and high potency anti-oxidants are also needed.

Happily, improvement in my symptoms came almost immediately from using this functional approach.  Gone was the edema, the fluid around the lungs, the rib pain, and the shortness of breath.  The results continue to improve every day.  And I am feeling proud of making choices that are consistent with my education, training and understanding of health.

Charlotte is on a journey for health.

My most recent conversation with the oncologist has resulted in a plan that I can live with.  The chemo treatment will be available as the fallback plan, in case I need it. Meantime, we monitor and track the biological markers as I proceed with my own symptom management.  As with all chronic conditions, this is not something that will go away, but it can be managed by making lifestyle changes, if I am willing to do the necessary work. By managing the physical symptoms, I now have time to discover what the soul-deep message from my body might be about and find a way to respond to it. In Mind, Body, Spirit healing, only a third of the equation deals with the physical.  And many big thanks to those of you who, early on, asked me what it means that this challenge is showing up in my life at this time. That is the right question.

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Category: Health & Fitness

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