Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Listening to Our Voice

Ancient people were intuitively aware of the inherent order, the natural perfection of the universe. Nature was not an enemy to be conquered, but a friend that supplied food and water for physical needs and beauty to satisfy spiritual and emotional needs. When people got sick, they knew how to use natural remedies to heal themselves, and they trusted the inherent perfection of nature to assist in healing.
We must once again start accepting nature's ways, trusting and nourishing our intuitive selves. We will then be in a better balance with our rational, intellectual selves, resulting in exciting opportunities to create the world as we really want it. ~ Donna Gates, Body Ecology Diet

In November of 2004 when I had been on Methotrexate, plaquenil and predisone for many months and saw my body and spirit quickly declining, I searched for additional help. That help came from a naturopath in the city who from the first visit gave me hope that my body was capable of healing and a feeling of empowerment that I was in charge of that healing. With her help I learned that in order to feel better I would have to put in some hard work. I was ready. I accepted each of her challenges and within two months my inflammation rates were finally within a normal range again and slowly I started seeing my body heal and experience remission.

Several years later I started experiencing extreme pain in my feet again and having flare-ups in my shoulders. My rheumatologist recommended moving to new medications and handed me several handouts. I refused to read them. I knew that wasn't the path I was meant to take. In the years I had worked with my naturopath and was required to learn about my own personal body with all its aches, pains, fears, etc, I had learned to listen to myself. I had been given the wonderful gift that Donna Gates speaks about in her book "start accepting nature's ways, trusting and nourishing our intuitive selves."

In February 2008 I took myself off all medications. (I had been off predisone for some time and slowly reduced the others) In hindsight I wish I had first looked at my current diet and made sure it was still as clean as it had once been. If I had looked at my diet before going off medications I would have realized that I had slowly incorporated many toxins back into my diet: wine, a little dairy and gluten here and there, and lots of sugar. Sure, I was still eating lots of good things, but unfortunately my body is not able to handle the toxins. So, with a weakened body I took myself off meds and experienced a full body flare-up which made it that much easier to continue adding back the toxic foods.

When I started seeing my current chiropractor and acupuncturist, they both recommended some diet changes and I explained to them that I wasn't ready for diet changes again. I knew I needed them but I was exhausted from fighting the pain and inflammation that comes with RA and emotionally drained. I just wanted someone else to "fix" my problem. As you can see, that didn't work.

Luckily that gift of trusting my own intuition and listening to myself was still inside me and ready to make a comeback. You see, once you really start listening to yourself, it is hard to stop. The Body Ecology Diet kept coming back to me in different ways as if it wasn't going to leave me alone until I gave it a try. I had read the book several years ago and found it intimidating, but with the new read, it made perfect sense. I knew I had to try it.

In the last two months of the diet I have experienced pain that I haven't experienced in a long time, if ever. My body has been working hard to clear out the toxins and I thank it each day for the work it does. Each day I learn something new about my physical and emotional body. I feel my spirit strengthening and my confidence growing. I visualize all the repair work that my body is doing on the inside so that when it has the strength, it will be able to work on my joints. I am learning patience beyond anything I ever imagined and that makes me happy. I almost hesitate to say this but in the last few days the pain in my knee has reduced and the swelling is shrinking. I find this interesting that it is happening at the same time I am seeing changes occuring for the better with my digestion.

For me choosing a medication free route is not just about the fact that I fear what medications may do to my body as they try to relieve the pain and swelling, but it is about finding the core cause for that pain and inflammation. It is about learning about myself and learning to trust in myself and nature. It is about nourishing my body and that of my families so that one day they do not have to experience what I am experiencing today. Being medication free is empowering to me. I like having some control over how I feel and with medications I just never felt that way. We each have a path to follow and when we listen to our own voices, we know which path fits for who we are. I am happy with my choices and happy that I have learned to listen to my voice.