Today is March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day. A day often celebrated by my husband’s side as they are all Irish. A day I have been known to go drink a Guinness “just because”. But THIS day will no longer mean Irish-relatives and green lunches anymore. THIS is the anniversary of the day by health went.to.shit. THIS is the anniversary of my Less Is More story – and I’m going to tell you that story.
It’s a darn scary thing when you feel your body do things you have NO CONTROL OVER. And I’m not sure why or how – but it sometimes DOESN’T matter how healthy I eat or how much I move my body. Sometimes my body has its own way of doing things.
March 17, 2013 – I went to see my TCM doctor in Toronto – a tiny, Chinese powerhouse. Who practices Traditional Chinese Medicine in a very TRADITIONAL CHINESE way. I had begun seeing her a couple months before to help with my periods and menstrual cycles – her speciality. It was always a bit intense.
I would usually get some cupping done (which is HOLY INTENSE), some acupuncture (not the gentle kind I’d received from my naturopath) and some Chinese herbs in powder form that I was to mix with hot water and honey and CHUG (and almost throw-up every time). Was it worth it? I thought so. I thought it would be – eventually. Sometimes I’d leave there feeling incredible. Other times a bit weird. But THIS time…we ran out of time and she gave me an intense-quick version of acupuncture – i don’t know if that’s what did it – but I’ve never been the same since. I wish I was fibbing.
I left there aching all over my body. Fine. I’ll go home, have an epsom salt bath and rest – feel better tomorrow. Tomorrow comes and its WORSE. Aching, like a fever, but with no fever. The day after I’m getting freaked out – I text my TCM doctor – she brushes it off like I’m acting like a baby. Fine – I’ll suck it up. The day after that it’s worse. Five days in I can’t get out of bed. This lasts TWO WEEKS!!! But doesn’t ever go away. I feel like my body is an aching, throbbing mess. My energy levels are about 20% of normal. Walking the kids to school seems an unbearable task. I go to homeopaths, naturopaths, medical doctors – no one can help me. Everything sends me to someone else. I am SCARED! I am DEPRESSED! I actually stop working – shut down my nutrition practice. Tell my clients I can’t see them anymore. After two and a half months I take out ANYTHING from my diet that is REMOTELY inflammatory. Gluten is the biggest one. Sugar and alcohol – though not something I normally consume much of – triggered things. It became obvious if I stayed clear of gluten I would be semi-okay. The aching, throbbing pain would stay at bay. I barely ate it anyway – but it became essential.
One year later I am so much better. This changed my life. In bad ways, but also in good ways. I look at my body differently – that’s for sure. I look at the health industry differently. I’m scared to do any new treatment of any kind. But I listen to my body intensely. And I nurture it as best as I can. I stay away from gluten – but when I can’t the after-effects are slightly better.
My point in all this? We do things to take care of ourselves – often in an intense way. And this whole “no pain no gain” mentality can be very dangerous. This intense type of treatment works great for some people. For others it is the WORSE THING POSSIBLE. I’m slowly learning (and have done so the hard way) that less is more. I cannot repeat this enough – LESS IS MORE. The gentle way is usually the safe way. And the MOST EFFECTIVE WAY. It may take longer, and frustrate you in the meantime – but if it takes longer it often lasts longer.
What happened to me was scary. But I’m happy to finally share it. Because I think we all need to look a little harder into what can happen to your body in someone else’s hands – regardless of how “natural” they are…no matter their good intentions, or yours…and the only person who deep-down knows what’s best for you…is you.