things about health

My Health Journey: Part III

This is the third post in a series. You’ll be a little lost if you don’t start at the beginning

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When I went back to the doctor and told him everything that was going on, his first suggestion to me was giving me an antacid for the burping, and a prescription for an MRI of the brain for my headaches and lightheadedness. Wow, that is just what someone with anxiety needs, isn’t it? A chance to believe that she could have a brain tumor!! I started crying as soon as I left the doctor’s office, and nervously called my mom. She sympathized with me, and suggested – for the last time – that I see a chiropractor.

My mom had been visiting a chiropractor for years at this point, and she really believes in holistic health care. In fact, at this point in time, she was working on becoming certified to be a holistic health coach with Integrative Nutrition. I did NOT want to get an MRI, as I had a roommate and co-worker who was diagnosed with a brain tumor right around the time that my anxiety started the year prior, so I went home and googled chiropractors in the area. Guess what?? The first one I found was called Living Well; the website explained that the doctors are believers in Jesus, and the name has a double meaning – to live well, but also that Jesus provides the water of life. I knew immediately that’s where I wanted to go.

So far I had been blessed with Christian doctors, but when I met Doctor John I knew that he was different. Our first consultation, he listened to me explain all of my various symptoms until I didn’t have anything else to say. This was a huge answer to prayer, as every night I would have gastrointestinal, neurological, and hormonal issues, and not know who in the world to call, which doctor to go to, or whether I just needed to go to the Emergency Room as soon as possible!!

Instead of recommending immediate changes or giving me a bunch of prescriptions, Dr. John asked me to continue doing everything I was already doing. He ordered a hormone saliva test (you spit into a few different tubes during one day at home, and mail the test back, and they send you a report of your hormone levels), and encouraged me that I didn’t need the MRI; it would just make me more anxious (he was right!). I knew that I needed change in my life, so instead of going to see the counselor that my GP recommended, I asked my mom if I could do a health coaching program with her. We set up a weekly appointment, and I started being able to breathe again – figuratively and literally. It was then that I finally started to get on the right track.

There are so many people, adjustments, and techniques that helped me. I want to go into more detail about all of them, so that if you (or a friend) are in the same position, you have some practical places to start. For now though, I’ll just share a little more detail about the things I’ve already mentioned. Next week I’ll share one last post with some of the other things that helped me.

Chiropractic care – I highly, highly recommend seeing a (preferably Christian) chiropractor if you have any kind of pain, a lot of issues going on, or want someone to give you more personalized care and attention.

Chiropractors don’t have the same training as general physicians, but they have a holistic approach, that looks at your entire body and the underlying systems and factors that may be affecting your health. I do believe it’s still wise to continue seeing a “regular” doctor (GP), but a chiropractor is often able to hear out more of your problems, and often suggests lifestyle changes and herbal medicines instead of just turning to drugs, like “doctors” are prone to do.

Of course, chiropractors, in addition to hearing our your problems and helping you approach health holistically, they do manipulate your spine to fix sublaxations – places your spine is out of alignment. Chiropractic care is safe (obviously make sure you go to someone you trust, who will not force an adjustment), and it’s not just “cracking your back.” It feels amazing if you have neck or back pain! But it’s not limited to that, like I said. Each vertebrae on your spine is linked to health in a different part of your body. So, if you are out of alignment in one area of your spine, it could be affecting the health of your stomach, adrenals, heart, etc. Everything in your body is linked!

Health Coaching – One of the biggest catalysts for change in my health was participating in a health coaching program. It may seem obvious that I would submit to a health coaching regime from my mom, since she had just started her business. However, the final straws had to be drawn for me to visit a chiropractor as well as ask my mom to coach me.

The program was excellent, but it only worked because I wanted to change. I had an open mind, I was willing to learn, and I eagerly tried the techniques my coach taught me. I think that’s the only way health coaching can work. A health coach is sort of a personal trainer for health. A coach or trainer can’t do the work for you, they can only advise you to put in the effort yourself. You have to have the motivation to show up, and put into practice what they advise.

Through health coaching, I learned a breathing technique that helped restore calm (and breath) when I was anxious. Your brain needs oxygen to function; if you’re holding your breath or not breathing deeply, you’re not going to function as well. In addition to visualization techniques, we discussed the importance of eating beans, different ways to eat greens, how to do self-care, and I achieved my three-month goals right on time. It made me feel empowered and confident to work with a coach to achieve health goals; I learned to love my body and value the state of my health, and place importance on working towards my health goals.

That’s it for now… I’ll share the rest next week! {Update: View Part IV here}

6 thoughts on “My Health Journey: Part III

  1. I’m so glad I read your journey! And what a journey it’s been! I can relate to so much of your story. Not long after Brett and I got engaged I started having heart palpitations and trouble sleeping at night. Of course, trying to sleep while your heart is racing or skipping beats isn’t easy and I would just get more and more anxious and not sleep all night…sometimes I even thought I was going to have a heart attack. I decided to go to a Cardiologist and even one day my heart (which I had no idea at the time was actually anxiety) got so bad that I had Brett take me to the ER. All of my test came back fine and so I decided to stop drinking coffee. That helped a ton, but I still had some symptoms. After we got married my heart/panic attacks subsided and later on down the road I realized it was anxiety! Talk about humbling! I have such a laid back/go with the flow personality and I didn’t feel stressed or worried about getting married, but was overall excited! Now I realize that while I may not feel stressed or anxious about something, I may still be subconsciously anxious and my body starts to react by having heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and trouble sleeping.

    I’m so glad I realized it was anxiety that cause all of those problems and that I may have them again when I’m about to go through a major life change (uhhh…like moving to China.) But there are natural ways that hep me alleviate the symptoms such as eating lots of water rich fruit and veggies and not eating gluten. Sleep is also key!

    Thanks for sharing your story! I’m really glad you shared about the chiropractor. That’s definitely something I’ll keep in the back of my mind if I start having symptoms again as we prepare to move to China. Now I should share my story on my blog…raise more awareness!

    Wow. That was a long comment.

    P.S. Just read Eat to Live. Loved it! While I already knew and believed in a lot of what he says, I love how comprehendible it was for us non-scientific people:) I’m excited to hear your thoughts on it!

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    1. Oh wow, that definitely sounds very similar to my story! I had the heart palpitations and I’ve had chest pains as well – so not fun!! It is weird that even have a chill personality you can end up struggling with anxiety. I think support raising had a lot to do with it for me, too, and spiritual warfare along with that. Yess I love Eat to Live! I write more about that in the next post (coming tomorrow!) Thanks for commenting and sharing πŸ™‚ You should def share your story on your blog! I’m sure a lot of people coming to your blog for healthy recipes have struggled with similar things, ya know?

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