A few years back, I started my path towards better health after I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease.
After the desperation, the fear, the anger and the rock bottom, the empowering phase of complete honesty emerged: what have I done to end up like this? (Instead of why me!)
I asked questions on all major life areas and the answers were both upsetting and freeing!
I realized how moving countries twice has been a major stress source and the way I handled it was mostly by working hard and partying hard.
The long working hours meant random eating – and mostly shoving into my stomach anything that was convenient and fast that would settle the hunger. By the time I realized I had eaten far too much it was too late. This lead to mood swings, tiredness poor quality of sleep and well... basically... bad decisions about what is good for me in a lot more other aspects of life than just nutrition.
Whenever signs that I was unwell appeared, rather than slow down and ask myself what kind gesture could I do to myself/my body right now, I simply ignored them and marched on. People who were willing to help me appeared at every step at the right time but even so, they just helped me slow down rather than stop and change. I am most grateful that I see now how they helped me survive so in the end I could find a way to thrive.
After a while, I thought to myself, I am eating rather healthily and more regular meals, good for me!
But the stress remained. The constant agitation and search for perfection in one way or another, constantly worrying about what others thought of me or taking upon myself all the worries of the world kept me from sleeping and lead me towards an internal war of thoughts that I could never win.
This vicious circle of hunger, binge eating, long working hours, stressful thoughts, sleepless nights and bad decisions made me feel disconnected from any divine nature, source or spiritual form of inner strength. I would feel alone, separated and confused about my own inner compass.
I now understand how wrong I was in believing that relaxing after a long day is either a loud party or aimlessly switching TV channels. I bounced between tiredness, depression and anger and only years later I learned to acknowledge and integrate the anger that I now know saved my life so many times.
All of this while I invested a lot of effort to portray to the world a cheerful, "strong" and well balanced individual! Phew! No wonder I convinced even myself sometimes!
I read as many books on self development as I could and reached out to people who have been there before and changed their life paradigms in order to thrive. I started asking questions and listening, really listening when the answers would appear. I decided to be kinder to myself and integrate past stories of hurt and trauma. With every bit of awareness I would gain, the road became lighter and more joyous!
Awareness increased in speed and intensity.
The journey was a "hang on to the edge of your seat" spinning carousel with one moment more intense and more colourful than the last: within 5 years I gave birth, experienced and survived post natal depression, deconstructed and reinvented my marriage to my wonderful husband, got diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease and dealt with the aftermath of being seriously ill and on medical leave for almost a year, then started my commitment to healing, started to live life by design and not by default, turned my life around and became a Bowen Therapist! *Simples!
I hope my story of overcoming hardships and enhancing my well being, will inspire you, will compel you into starting or continuing to seek ways to improve your life and as a Bowen Therapist I want to support you the best I can to make it all happen!
So allow me to humbly share with you in a simplistic way what I found to be for me the whole puzzle towards vitality, optimal health, and harmony with the world around me and my inner divine nature!
Along with Bowen, you may want to explore all or some of these avenues and see how do they apply to yourself and your circumstances in order to get enhanced results about your optimal physical health and overall well-being!
There are 3 major aspects of healing and these MUST work together in order to yield long lasting results: BODY, MIND, SPIRIT.
YOUR BODY: water, breathing, nutrition, Bowen or any other form of remedial therapy, and movement.
YOUR MIND: Your thoughts. Your thoughts create. Either way. Good or bad. Whatever you focus on in your mind, you create through feelings and desires and you manifest in your reality. Learn how to become your mind’s best friend. Practice mindfulness, meditation; guided or on your own. Catch yourself during internal dialogues. Are they kind? Are they critical? Mean? Uplifting? How is your internal dialogue? Awareness is half of the solution. Practice is the other half.
"Whether you think you can, or you can't, you're right!" – Henry Ford
YOUR SPIRIT: Connection to something which inspires you! Which enhances your alignment with your purpose in life. May it be God, Nature, Music, Art, Your Inner Divine Essence, Your Spirit Animal, your friends, your family... anything that you draw positive energy and strength from!
Let's focus on each one of them to gain a deeper understanding.
- WATER – drink LOTS of it!! 75% of our body is composed of water, from cells to organs and systems; water is absolute paramount to sustaining life. Plasma, which is the liquid portion of our blood, contains 92% water by volume. Bones contain 22% water, muscles 75%, the brain is 70% water, the lungs nearly 90%!
Water helps you stay alert and function properly!
Do your best to drink filtered water, if you can afford an ionizer the better and always say a few good words towards your glass before drinking it! Bless your water with good intent and pure desires and it will add to your vitality!
The 8 glasses a day is an easy to remember guide, however your water intake needs might vary according to multiple and complex factors.
- The job you have – are you sitting in a chair all day long or are you a professional athlete? Do you walk about a store, lift things, or are you a driver?
- The level of mental intensity, repetitive work or constantly challenging environment.
- Stress is highly de-hydrating. Your adrenals are two small glands that sit on top of your kidneys, and along with your thyroid, create energy. They also secrete important hormones, including aldosterone. Aldosterone is a hormone secreted by your adrenals that regulates water levels and the concentration of minerals, like sodium, in your body, helping you stay hydrated. Your adrenals are also responsible for regulating your stress response. Stress is so common today that it has become chronic for most people, creating a state of adrenal fatigue. When your body is stressed, more aldosterone and sodium circulate in your system. Once the stress is over, aldosterone levels fall and sodium must leave your bloodstream. The sodium passes through your kidneys and exits your body as urine, taking water with it. If you experience high stress levels on a regular basis, you will weaken your adrenals and dehydrate your body. In an upside down manner, you might not be depressed, you might simply be dehydrated!
- The food you eat – someone eating daily high amounts of fruit and vegetable would need less hydrating that someone who doesn't.
- Your physical state – The total body water percentage will tend to decrease as the percentage of body fat increases. A person with a high percentage of body fat may fall below the average body water percentage.
- Day/night - Your body water levels naturally fluctuate throughout the day and night. Your body tends to be dehydrated after a long night and there are differences in fluid distribution between day and night.
- Illnesses accompanied by increased body temperature, excessive perspiration, vomiting, frequent urination, or diarrhea can also increase our fluid needs. Be sure to drink plenty of liquids if you have one of these conditions, and see a doctor if your fluid losses are excessive or prolonged.
- Are you a breastfeeding or menstruating – definitely a major influence on the water a woman’s needs under these circumstances when an increase of your water intake is needed.
- How much alcohol do you drink a day? Alcohol interferes with your posterior pituitary gland which produces vasopressin (anti-diuretic hormone =ADH). Alcohol reduces how much ADH you make, so it increases how much urine you produce. Each shot of alcohol that you drink forces your kidneys to generate an extra 120 millilitres of urine on top of the normal 60–80 millilitres per hour. Even if you drink extra water to compensate for the extra 120 ml, you'll hang on to only about half or a third of the extra water you drink. Most of it will go out in your urine, and you'll still end up dehydrated at the end of a night of drinking. Mind you, you'll be a bit better off than if you didn't drink any extra water at all, but you'll still be dehydrated. (Maybe that’s where the saying "going on the piss" comes from?!)
- BREATHING – You do it anyway, just do it with awareness. Pay attention. You do not need some fancy technique and years of research… NOW as you read this, take a DEEP BREATH, hold it a while then exhale fully in a slow manner. That’s it! Your first step towards breathing awareness! Do it as often as you can! Plaster for fun post it notes with BREATHE DEEPLY! On your desk, bathroom mirror, bedside stand, cutlery drawer, your car dashboard.. Breathe deeply! If you live in a city, take a break for a while to just be in Nature. Then breathe deeply and clean your lungs. Take a stroll outside during your lunch time and from time to time open your windows at work or at home to let some fresh air in. Indoors air is a concoction of many damaging pollutants such as fine particles, carbon monoxide, microbes, volatile organic compounds and radon.
If you smoke.. do your best to smoke less and consider stopping completely. Until 5 years ago, I used to smoke as a social smoker and I don’t want to preach, I have a higher aim: I want you to change your paradigm of seeing things and loving yourself enough to give yourself the best shot to actually stop! Ask for help, research, set your intentions and do it! Support and success is inevitable!
- NUTRITION – as in the food we eat… Oh dear..this is where there is no consensus, there are tones of information pieces out there and just by reading it all you’d wanna grab a burger and some chips! Oh, wait… the burger might hardly be made of meat and if it is, you might actually be eating hormones and antibiotics and the chips are deep fried, full of trans fat and nasty carbs and they take up to 48 hours to be digested! You might want think again..maybe stick to the boring research and grab an apple while you read this! An organic one!
Fruit and veg, plenty of it! That’s the foundation – live enzymes, vitamins and minerals! Oh yes, they contain (the good kind of) carbs and they contain protein (in case you were worried they might not). Nuts and seeds are amazing minerals and good fat source! Avoid any processed sugar and keep off as much as you can of cereals! Make sure you up your probiotics intake to keep your gut flora thriving! That’s it! Done!
If you still do, eat animal products in moderation and if you can afford to, buy organic and free range. Remember that free range does not mean organic. Have some regular days where you eat only raw (uncooked) fruit and veg. And start juicing!
Follow all the above or some, but definitely look into it and make sure you listen to your body and be your own adviser on what your body needs and how much of it! I am passionate about good food. SCD nutrition alongside Bowen saved my life and restored my health in spite of doctors’ predictions that I will have to live on medication for the rest of my life.
I also learned in the process enough to understand that if spinach is great, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good for you as an individual! Perseverance and determination to find what works for you is paramount here!
- BOWEN – yes, you are on a Bowen website, do browse around to learn more about how Bowen technique and choosing me as your therapist may enhance your life!
Book your appointment HERE if you are already ready to.
- MOVEMENT – Notice I do not say exercise because each of us have different range of movement and body capabilities – keep your body moving in whichever way you find that adds vitality to your day! It may be gentle or brisk walking, yoga, walking your dogs, gardening, dancing, bike riding, Pilates, going to the gym, walking to the supermarket, lifting weights, running, swimming, chasing after your kids, hoovering (oh yes, house chores do count!), taking the stairs rather than the lift. Do anything you feel attracted to and is within your range of movement! But do move… You will feel energized, your brain will fire up all the good hormones, your heart will pump happier and your muscles will put in motion the lymph system so detox will happen naturally leaving you with enhanced clarity, less weight and more zest for life!
- YOUR OWN THOUGHTS – where do I begin?! Such a vast area to explore, which we all do our best to understand and be in control of – our own mind. From the simplicity of breathing, you can create the space to slow things down in order to pay attention to what you think. What is your inner dialogue like? Are you empowered? Are you speaking with an encouraging tone of voice to yourself? Are you overwhelmed by the constant inner chit chat to the point you can’t rest? Are you depressed? Anxious? Or are you gentle, kind and forgiving towards yourself through the thoughts you chose to focus on?
Meditation is a great way to slow things down, quiet the mind and raise awareness.
There are many techniques and the internet and Youtube in particular is a vast source of guided meditation, binaural beats, soothing music, which take you to a certain state of brain waves length.
Have a look at this easy and fun explanation regarding meditation! Click HERE.
Meditation has been scientifically proven to:
- Help overcome anxiety, depression, anger and confusion
- Cultivate healthy habits that lead to weight loss
- Boost your creativity
- Increase your focus and attention
- Overcome stress
Please check HERE to discover some of the resources I found helpful along my journey. Joy and blessings your way!