I feel that it is important to share a recent development in my life to put into perspective the body and mind balance and when to seek medical treatments and support (from a functional medical doctor, integrated doctor or naturopath) to support chronic fatigue/adrenal depletion.
The psychological and energy approach is powerful and can be all that is needed
For a long time now I have been managing my health and energy through the various psychological and mindfulness methods that I teach my clients – moments of connection, quiet, and staying tuned in to what my body needs; as well as working with my natural rhythm and the natural rhythms around me so I am not resisting but flowing more; and having compassion for my emotional states rather than suppressing. I also have regular BodyTalk treatments and other bodywork and energy work done.
In the last year this has made a huge difference to me and I felt myself teetering towards the edge of a minor burnout once or twice but was tuned in enough to pull right back, look at what was out of balance and listen to what I needed. This way I avoided a crash. This got me through selling our house privately, packing up and moving homes, getting used to new rhythms and routines with the children’s school being so far away after that; then a family trauma which shook me up a great deal. This year involved both children starting at new schools with my youngest going through many difficult days and this playing out at home as well. And through all of this still seeing clients, writing a book and setting up my online business. It’s been a lot and, yet, I have not crashed again as I would surely have done as recently as 3 years ago (and that would have been a good month or two when I would not be able to function well at all).
But Sometimes we may need more
HOWEVER, in the quest to manage everything through the non-medical and psychological (‘mind’) route I also neglected to realise that there are still times when external physical/medical intervention and support may just be needed. I set up the way I teach my clients to manage their exhaustion so that they can avoid crashing regularly and avoid constantly relying on supplements to stay ‘normal’.
Yet, unfortunately, no matter how much connecting, healthy eating, living in flow we do there will just be times when life gets too much and we need a bit of a physical boost. I realised that I turned my back on the medical interventions to ‘prove’ to myself that it was possible to stay healthy through a good body and mind connection and psychological balance. And I still do believe this but not necessarily during times of sustained and increased stress. The techniques I have been using certainly helped me to weather the stress MUCH better than I would have in the past but life was still just all a bit much and I had to admit that even the healthiest person would need physical support on top of the psychological and bodymind practices to get through what I had gone through.
I realised I needed additional support
So it was that I found myself with hormonal imbalance and lots of body aches and pains at the beginning of the year. My energy was not terrible but was also not it’s best even though I was not feeling any of the typical Adrenal Fatigue symptoms. So, finally I realised, I needed to understand what was going on from a medical perspective. In April I booked an appointment with a functional medical doctor whom I regularly refer my clients to and my bloodwork showed that my thyroid was under-functioning. She felt this was most likely due to the increased stress over the past year, gut imbalance and some candida overgrowth.
What was the body and mind connection?
That was the medical explanation. This is the body and mind explanation: After my surprise about the thyroid I was actually not surprised at all, given my current experience. I am about to launch a coaching offer (which relates to the book I am writing) and this involves having to put myself, my skills and my offer out there with confidence. It involves my voice and trusting my voice. While I know I have something to offer, and have had success with many clients face-to-face, going online feels so much bigger. Some doubts were coming up.
The consciousness of the thyroid (and throat) is expression of the voice and ones’ truth and so my psychological process was impacting my thyroid physically and energetically! The gift in this was to help me to focus on the blocks to expressing my truth and healing and balancing the throat chakra and thyroid. I’ve been doing some interesting childhood work around speaking my truth and trusting my opinions and the improvement in my thyroid and the aches and pains has been rapid (helped of course by the gut repair and detox).
Balancing medical support and your own body and mind practices
What I want to emphasise is that there is a place for integrative/functional medicine in your healing journey (and I refer all my first-time clients to these doctors). Then, when that is being sorted out, it is vital to address the patterns and psychological aspects; the body disconnect; and the need to control and resist - to address the underlying causes of stress and physical manifestations of stress. This helps to avoid continuously crashing and needing to rely on supplements and treatment.
That said, there may be times that you will still need a little more medical support (in the form of supplements, a gut repair, a detox) especially during/after a particularly stressful time. However, you will not have to rely on it to feel ‘normal’ all the time and only during the particularly stressful time IF you also integrate the psychological and mindfulness practices.
So just like you may need a little bit of oil in your motor vehicle every now and then, as you cannot just run on the petrol/gas (especially after a few long drives), you may need to rely on a little bit of medical support to supplement the rest of the body and mind work that you can do yourself. That does not mean that there is anything wrong with you and is part of learning to know when to ask for help and to receive even though you may be very self-capable.
This is clearly a lesson I am still working with!
PS look out for my next post when I will explain how a strong body and mind connection will support you when seeing a doctor and starting at treatment protocol.