Have you ever been frustrated by the varying opinions of all the health professionals you seek advice from? Why everyone has a different answer for your questions? I certainly was. Desperately seeking answers to why I felt broken physically. That was, until I realized the reason– none of the professionals I was consulting, despite their vast knowledge and expertise, is me!
When I realized the incredibly complex spectrum of variables that comprises the state of my health—what I eat, drink, breathe, think, how I move, how I perceive stress and how I act upon it, how much I sleep–all of these and more, affect a cascade of chemical processes in my body which result in the sum total of my health. The variables are incalculable by others, but I am in full control of these variables, and thus have the keys to my own health and healing potential. Medical studies provide essential information about average outcomes and trends. We must use this information as educational tools to guide us in tailoring a program which then incorporates all the variables of our individual lives, according to our lifestyles and epigenetics; how our experiences and environment determine which of our genes are turned on or off. There is no magic pill for health. The magic is in taking the reins, and–one healthy step at a time–creating an up spiraling cycle towards optimal health. We have incredible potential to reverse patterns of disease and imbalance. And to attain the optimal health we strive for. The key is defining the goal, and taking action towards it.
This week I celebrated a dramatic turn around in my own health–my bone density– attained through changes in my lifestyle and with no medical intervention. Last year I was diagnosed with mild osteoporosis (at the age of 41), as seen on a bone density scan (DEXA) and specific blood markers. With a lifetime of rigorous dancing, low body weight and amenorrhea, I was the classic case of female athletic triad, and my bone density suffered despite taking prescribed hormones for 20 years. I was stunned. I realized 20 years of medications were not helping as they were not addressing the root cause. I dove into a program of self healing. I stopped all hormones, increased my pilates practice, started cross fit and lifting heavy weights, adopted a whole food/high fat/nutrient rich diet with plenty of bone broth and collagen enhancing nutrients, and focused on wellness. Sleeping 7-8 hours a night became a priority instead of how much I could produce in a day; I learned to be more efficient in my work, and more invested in my well being. Play, recovery, and time in nature (often all at once!) have become as important as my work and service. It was an entire paradigm shift, elicited one step at a time. And the results are in; bone density has increased!
Consistent shifts in lifestyle have lead to healing systems from within and restoring strength and resilience to my bone and tissues. I am incredibly grateful to the wise mentors who have guided me to have faith in the body’s ability to heal itself when the blocks are removed, and the correct tools and environment are provided.
I tell this story in hopes of empowering others to heal from within. By turning inward and assessing how we are living our lives, we not only turn our genes towards healing, but we raise our energy, our well being and our sense of vitality. All these keys lie not in a pill, but in the cascade of variables involved in how we choose to live our lives. Food is medicine. Movement is medicine. Our thoughts, feelings and behavior are medicine. It can at first feel overwhelming and isolating, but if we choose to take the reins, the ride of health and empowerment is an extremely rewarding one. Highly recommended.