Well over a decade ago I sat in a doctor’s office to discuss the surgical procedure that I’d had under general anaesthetic to remove the gnarly endometrial tissue that was in my womb. The most discombobulating side effect of the anaesthetic was that it catapulted me ‘out of my body’ and despite my best efforts I was unable to get back in. Thankfully a lovely friend who was also a wonderful massage/energy therapist worked her magic and helped me to step back into my body and feel like myself again.
So in our post-operative discussion when the doctor said, “We don’t know what causes endometriosis and we don’t know how to prevent it. So when it comes back we’ll just do this procedure again.”
The internal part of me that was still feeling traumatised screamed, “THE HELL WE WILL!!!”
And with that I left her office hell bent on educating myself about endometriosis and finding a way to prevent it. I found a wonderful Chinese Medicine practitioner who knew all about endometriosis, exactly what was causing it and more importantly how to stop it coming back, which it never has.
I have some great friends and clients who are wonderful and enlightened doctors but in many cases what we call western, modern or allopathic medicine is often focused on combating the symptoms of an illness or disease as opposed to getting to the underlying cause. I prefer to get to the root of things.
So in February when I still couldn’t shake off the last vestiges of the flu like virus that I had at the start of the year, I knew I needed some help to get to the root of the problem. Serendipitously I was introduced to an Ayurvedic Doctor, who lives and works, right here, on the mountain. Let’s just say I really felt that the Universe had my back!
During my appointment which lasted 90 minutes, he explained to me what was happening in my body and why. What was causing it to be inflamed and bloated and most importantly what I could do about it.
The ‘prescription’ he gave me included:
- A list of food and spices to avoid for a while until my body became less ‘hot’ and ‘irritated’.
- A list of food, spices and medicinal herbs to help restore balance to my body.
- A yoga posture and two breathing exercises to get my digestive system working and to help my body ‘cool’ down.
- An essential oil to be massaged into my feet (by my husband!!!) to reduce inflammation.
- Strict instructions that I was to stop putting other people’s needs before my own.
- And an even stricter instruction to laugh more!
Because I felt seen.
And I felt that he really did understand.
And he said out loud the things my body knew but that my head really didn’t want to hear.
And I knew that I was cared for.
And that he understood the root of the problem.
And that I was going to be ok.
Three days later the bloating was gone. A week later the inflammation was abating and my energy was starting to return. That was 6 weeks ago. My daily routine of herbs, yoga and breathing exercises and eating new types of delicious food etc. has turned into the most beautiful and gentle self-care ritual. And it has really reminded of what it is to care for myself whole-istically, body, mind and soul.
He looked at the ‘all’ of me and when I made the subsequent changes they affected the ‘all’ of me, the all of my life. I had a desire to engage in my relationships again (all be it in a slightly different way), to get back to work, and do some planting in the garden and to recommence writing a book that I had started some months ago.
One of the most important life lessons I have been reminded of on this journey back to wholeness is that whether we are doctors, nurses, social workers, parents, therapists, shamans or accountants it is so important to be fully present with our clients, our friends, our families and to meet them where they are at. In doing so we can hear what needs to be heard and then provide them with the wisdom and support they need to make empowered decisions and choices.
When I left that doctors office all those years ago I really didn’t know what to do or how. When I left the doctor’s office 6 weeks ago I knew exactly what I had to do, but it was up to me to do it. What a precious and empowering gift that was.