I want to share with you something I have really been thinking a lot about today. Many people don’t have a good understanding of how much our emotional state can damage our mental and physical health. They don’t connect the health problems they have today with the time when someone in their past caused them emotional pain. There is a lot in the literature about how the mind affects the body, but instead of quoting from studies today I want to tell you about my personal experiences and how I was able to heal from them.
Many years ago, as a new nursing graduate , I started work at a small hospital where I was placed on a team with four other people. The senior nurse on the team took a dislike to me from the moment I met her. I never could figure out why. Maybe I carried a bit of a know-it-all attitude with me since I had trained at large hospitals and this was a very, very small hospital. Maybe it’s because I was a happy sort of person, and she seemed to be a miserable sort of person. Whatever it was, she gave me an awful time. Everything I did was wrong, and she made sure all the others on the team knew it. She would smirk, and roll her eyes and make sarcastic remarks about every action I took.
Well, the more she found fault with me, the more nervous I became. The more nervous I got, the more mistakes I made. The more mistakes I made…well, you get the picture. Soon it got to a point where I doubted myself and started doing everything very slowly and carefully, checking and double checking each task. Then I was too slow and got into trouble about that.
Every shift I would hope she would call in sick. Unfortunately, she had extraordinary good health and always reported in on time. My anxiety increased daily. I had trouble sleeping at night. I wasn’t eating properly. My self-esteem plummeted and I became depressed.
I didn’t know how to tell her to stop bullying me and I didn’t want to “tattle” to management. Finally there was a rotation change, and I was moved off of her team. When that change happened my confidence grew and so did my skill level. I stopped feeling so anxious and enjoyed my work more.
When I reached a point where I was able to forgive that nurse, my anxiety went away. I still don’t understand why she treated me the way she did, but I can think about it with much less pain now. I stopped giving her the power to hurt me.
Fast forward a few decades to my separation and divorce. We had been married for twelve years, and like most people who go through the ending of a marriage, I felt angry and betrayed. (You know when a relationship ends it is always the other person’s fault, right?) I totally blamed him for the situation we had ended up in.
I developed jaw pain soon after we split, a jaw pain that wouldn’t clear up. I saw a dentist and a dental specialist. Tests were done, medical recommendations were made.
One day I made the decision to forgive my husband. I didn’t really want too, since continuing to nurse the grievances I had against him made me feel like I had “won” some sort of battle. By forgiving him I thought it would trivialize the pain I felt, somehow excuse his actions. I still went ahead and forgave him. Guess what? My feelings about him and our situation didn’t go away. Our fractured relationship didn’t miraculously knit itself back together. Nothing really changed between us.
But something did change within me. My jaw pain disappeared and never come back.
These two episodes really brought home to me how much emotional health is tied to physical health. When I feel hurt by someone and I replay that hurt over and over in my mind, when I don’t want to forgive them, the pain and hurt is really inflicted on me. When I can forgive that person, it doesn’t suddenly make everything “right”, it doesn’t usually change the situation, but the hold they have on my emotions is loosened, I can start to heal and I can move forward in my life.
So, I am speaking from these experiences when I ask to check your own emotional temperature . Is there anyone in your life that has hurt you at some point in the past, and you are still hanging on to that experience? If you want to release the hold you are giving them over your mental or physical health, forgive them.
Forgiveness will release that hold on you. It will not remove the feelings you still have for them, or take away the memories, or diminish the harm they have done you. It may not change your relationship with them. What it will do is free you to start to heal the mental or physical illness you have developed as a result of that hurt. Remember, forgiveness is a conscious act, something you decide to do, not a “feeling”. It is something you can decide to do, regardless of how you feel toward that person. Check your emotional temperature today. If you are registering “hot”, the remedy is forgiveness.
Keep these five remedies on hand since they last a lifetime, and can be used to treat anyone, regardless of age, disease condition or other medications. The only contraindication is an anaphylatic type reaction to lactose, since this is the base of these tiny pellets. A person with the usual milder dairy intolerance will not be adversely affected. Use a 6x or a 30 ch potency. If no improvement is noticed in the first two days, a different remedy may need to be used. If the symptoms change, choose a different remedy. If the person is much worse or much better, stop the remedy. To begin with, give one pellet under the tongue , apart from food or drink, a few times a day. As improvement occurs, give it twice a day, then once a day etc. Use a non-mint toothpaste and avoid coffee. Store the homeopathic remedies away from strong smelling perfumes, cleaners etc. I have written the keynote, (guiding symptom), of the remedy right after the name, so that you can quickly scan the list when looking for the right remedy. Remember that finding the correct homeopathic remedy is not based on the common symptoms of influenza – fatigue, fever, sore throat, headache, achy body, cough, but on what unusual feature one or more of these symptoms has for the person, something that isn’t as common or an exaggeration of a certain symptom.
1. Gelsemium 6x or 30 ch ( profound apathy and fatigue)
– this was the main homeopathic remedy
used in the influenza epidemic of 1918
– weak, tired and aches throughout
– great torpor and apathy, drooping of
– paroxysms of sneezing with burning
– constantly chilly and wants heat
– cough is hard and painful
- – fever less severe than aconite
2. Bryonia 6x or 30 ch (worse with any movement)
– just wants to be alone and still,
worse with movement
– painful dry cough
– headache and pains
which are better from pressure
– very irritable and thirsty
for cold drinks
3 . Eupatorium Perfoliatum (Eupatorium) 6x or 30 ch (think bone pain)
– used almost exclusively
in the early stages of flu
– much soreness and
aching of whole body
(a keynote is that it feels
like bones are broken)
– runny nose with thirst
– throat and upper chest are
very sore, high fever
– hoarseness and cough
which hurts chest
– drinking causes vomiting
4. Aconitum Napellus (Aconite) 6x or 30 ch (from a chill )
– used in the early stage
of a cold or flu
caused by cold wind or chill
– great restlessness and anxiety
(may even feel that they will die)
– high fever and chilly
5. Baptisa 6x or 30 ch (think diarrhea)
– influenza symptoms with
putrid diarrhea, stuperous
If there are life-threatening symptoms such as great difficulty breathing, or the person is very old, very young, or has an additional serious medical condition, seek professional medical help immediately. Dr. Wendy Presant-Jahn, ND, CFMP – November 2013
Just thought I would check in and let you know we have been consistently doing the “Fitness Blender” program for one month now. Today we retested and we noticed improvement in almost all areas. I was able to knock a minute 7 seconds off my one mile time and increased in all other areas except squats, but the ones I did today were much deeper squats than a month ago. I was also happy with my flexibility which increased in the reach test by four inches. My daughter also improved in all of her areas, most notably in crunches and push-ups.
I am very pleased that I have had no injuries including muscle strains through this program. Usually that has been the case with other exercise regimes, but the narrator guides us well through the exercises. I also like the variety of the videos, I am not bored yet! The videos do occasionally jam, and we have to restart or not watch them. This has only happened a couple of times though.
This week we took off Sunday, Wednesday and today. Friday we did lots of walking and some swimming instead of the workouts. So Monday, Tuesday and Thursday were workout days with the program. I am finding my endurance improving. I think we have done well to be entering our third week of consistent workouts. Some of the video workouts I can keep up to fine, but I am not able to do a workout with too many burpees or jumping jacks. I think I dislike burpees more than jumping jacks now! Anyway, it is fun working out with my daughter and she will choose one of these workouts over a walk any day.
We are well into the second week of our fitness program now! Worked out on all three days, kept it to a 30 to 45 minute workout each time. When I have reached muscle exhaustion, or am starting to feel a little sick, I either ramp down the intensity, or shorten the workout. I was happy to find that the low-impact workout today didn’t really seem very hard, and that I was able to finish all three rounds. We are both finding the stretching at the end of the workouts to be very nice, and I think I am noticing some gains in strength and endurance!
We worked out with the tapes on days 5 and 6, a half hour seems to be about all we can manage. Yesterday, though, I started feeling a little more energized after working out, instead of just tired. Maybe we are starting to get a little fit! Took a rest day today, but I was out pulling weeds in the yard, and we went for a short hike as well. I am trying to listen to my body and not overdo anything. We did well though, 5 workouts in 7 days. More workouts than I have done in quite awhile! I must say that I detest jumping jacks, though. I won’t specify why, I think there may be other middle aged female readers who can relate!! Anyway, I sometimes do a few, then just jog in place for the rest. The variety of exercises on the tapes is really great though.
Yesterday we worked out for 1/2 hour. It was supposed to be for an hour, but it started to storm, so we turned the computer off. Truthfully, it was long enough for me! My muscles were protesting! Today we had a rest day. Except that I cleaned the eaves-troughs and was up and down the ladder multiple times. So far the videos are great for the variety of exercises offered.
We did our first workout today. I really like these video workouts, just when I am getting tired and ask “are we almost done?” the guy in the video says, “almost done!”. So cool. Like a real personal trainer. This was supposed to be an easy workout today. It wasn’t that easy, but we got through it. My daughter is following along too, which I am very glad to see. I am happy we are doing some activity together rather than just the usual more sedentary activities. The only thing about this program is that I think they have workouts listed for every day. I am not sure how that will go.
We might take the odd day off now and then and let our bodies recover. I guess if it is varied enough, then the same muscle groups might not get overused. There is also the option of taking a day off if you are doing another activity, such as bike-riding. Of course, that would mean getting my bike fixed first. Which means trying to figure out how to put the bike rack I bought a couple of years ago on the car since I forgot how and can’t find the directions. Life can get complicated sometimes! At least mine can…
Last night we did the test portion of the fitness challenge. It was pretty exhausting for both of us, I slept 9 1/2 hours last night! Just shows me how very unfit we are… The first test was how fast we could run/walk a mile. I did this on the treadmill and with no incline I managed 17 minutes and 42 seconds. My thirteen year old did this as well, but kept telling me how very hard it was. She came in at 20 minutes 10 seconds. When I used the treadmill after her, I realized that she hadn’t adjusted the incline, so it was at 5, the maximum setting, the whole time! So I think she did pretty well considering she ran uphill the whole way!
Push-ups from the knee for me was 8, for my daughter 6. Squats for me – 30, daughter 50. Plank 20 sec for me, 1 minute 5 sec for her. I did 17 crunches, she did 10. My flexibility was poor at -9 inches, my daughter reached the tape, so her score was 0.
Our goal for this is not weight loss. In fact we are both a little underweight. We want to develop a habit of fitness, and grow stronger and in my daughter’s case – taller! For me, I want to prevent osteoporosis and the chronic health conditions that can creep up in middle age.
I just returned from a couple of weeks in Ontario where we visited with family and friends. Sadly, while we were there, my mother had a stroke. She is recovering, but it caused me to give my own health a closer look. Can I improve my lifestyle to reduce my risk for stroke and heart disease? I can certainly influence my health in two areas. The first is nutrition. I do well with diet. I take supplements based on my Organix urine profile which shows exactly what nutrients the cell needs to function properly. I have also figured out, through experimentation, exactly what foods work best for my body.
The other area I can influence is exercise. I hate to confess this, since I am a naturopathic doctor and an advocate of health, but I hate exercise. There. I said it. I tell plenty of other people to exercise regularly, but I generally do not exercise. I like walking, I do physical things around the house such as gardening, housework etc, but I do not do a purposeful daily or even weekly workout program. This is not to say I don’t have good intentions. Currently I have at least eight books on exercise routines, seven videos, have joined a gym twice, own a treadmill, exercise ball, rebounder, various weights, tubes and skipping ropes and a yoga mat.
I want to work out regularly. I want to set a good example for my daughter. Teens who are physically active are much more likely to be healthy as adults. She will follow whatever I am doing, so I better lead well in this.
Today I came across a Facebook link for an eight week fat burning program. I like that this program is very cheap, I can do it from home and that it has great reviews. I ordered the round 1 program. Here is the link: http://www.fitnessblender.com/v/workout-programs/ . I think this will be a good summer project, if I stick to it. I may go on to round 2 and then round 3 if round 1 is successful. If anyone else wants to join us with this – great! The usual warnings apply about talking to your health care provider first before starting a new exercise program especially if you have any health issues. I’ll get my daughter to work out with me, and I’ll post regularly on how it is going, since this is the best way for me to stay accountable!. Time to practice what I preach! Somehow I’d rather do another detox diet….