When it comes to chronic health challenges, the healing process is very much like unraveling the layers of an onion. It takes stamina, patience, and a solid strategy. It's complicated, and also highly emotional, and I think many people don't discuss this outside of a counselor's office.
Because I've gone through the process, I am on my last phase of healing entirely, and I thought I'd share my top 5 steps to unraveling the onion of chronic health challenges. Note: when I say "chronic health challenges," this can range from MS, to lupus, to depression, to anxiety, or even obesity.
1. Accept where you are.
The first step in unraveling this onion of your ill health is to accept where you are. Crying, leaning on friends and family, and praying about it is a combination of first steps that will help you get to a place where you're ready to tackle this once and for all. Come to terms with the fact that you're going to deal with this by working with your body versus against it. You're not going to curl up in a ball and simply exist, rather you're going to obtain optimal wellness again, whatever it takes.
2. Find a reputable integrative physician in your state.
An integrative physician is a doctor who practices both Western and Eastern medicine, who also practices Functional Medicine. They tend to look at the body/mind as a whole, provide testing that Western Medicine physicians do not, and approach the root cause of your health challenges instead of bandaiding symptoms with medications.
3. Eat a whole foods diet.
It's been scientifically proven that a primarily whole foods, plant-based diet will aid in flooding your body with alkalinity. When a body reaches it's optimal alkaline state, cells began to heal. I recommend reading The China Study or watching a film called Forks Over Knives to learn more. If you need to see a nutritionist to find out what food will work best in contributing to your healing process, go for it. You must change your diet and be consistent with it.
4. Visit a chiropractor/Cranial Sacral Therapy.
From my own three-year, complicated battle with chronic illness and recovery, in addition to the stories I've heard from countless others, a critical step is meeting with a chiropractor and/or osteopath who can provide a long series of cranial sacral/chiropractic adjustments. When the spine is aligned, your body systems have the best chance of healing. These treatments alone can aid in helping migraines, brain fog, anxiety, neck/back pain, etc. essentially disappear.
5. Discover yoga/Pilates/stretching.
You have to move your body even if you cannot get out of bed. You must move, stretch and help get your blood circulating. This in turn will get your lymphatic system moving. I learned that you can do this even if you are bound to 24-hour bedrest by rotating your ankles in circles, doing leg lifts, moving your arms up and down, etc.
If you are functional and mobile, get to a restorative yoga class, breathe, tell yourself that you are accepting healing. Do this four days a week and if you are depleted afterwards, then rest.
These 5 steps are essential to everyone facing a chronic health challenge. A combination of these is going to help you get back a sense of control, calm, and give you more mental clarity and stamina so that you can tackle the next 5 steps.
I hope this was helpful! Please let me know your thoughts!