Category Archive: Self care
Permanent link to this article: http://www.zenthyroid.com/2015/03/03/guest-post-making-chronic-illness-sarah-downing/
It is a pleasure to have Holistic Health Care Expert Jen Wittman guest post here on zenthyroid.com. I first met Jen on Twitter and love the knowledgeable and compassionate way which she shares advice. Jen is a leader in our thyroid community who has a sincere desire to help others recover from illness. She has healed her own Hashimoto’s (!!!!) and now coaches others to do the same.
Jen is the creator of The Radical TLC Solution, a home study program that teaches an effective and holistic approach on treating and reversing thyroid, autoimmune and inflammatory disease. Jen offers step-by-step plans focused on nutrition, lifestyle and heaps of self-care. I have personally done The Radical TLC Solution and it has changed the way I have approached my healing process. I now see my thyroid disease in a different light – more as a symptom of a larger issue than just the main problem that I need to focus on. I truly feel more empowered! This is the first program that I have endorsed – I really believe this can help so many of us to feel better and have greater control of our health.
In this article, Jen shares the benefits that we can get by expanding our health care team and mindset beyond the doctor’s office. Having a group of healers (including ourselves) approaching our disease from different angles provides us with more access points to wellness.
Don’t forget: Your Health IS Your Wealth.
If you’re a thyroid, autoimmune or inflammatory disease sufferer, it’s time to think outside the HMO/PPO box when it comes to your health.
The kind of health care that is the most impactful and long-term often comes from a team effort. Some practitioners on your health team will be covered by insurance—and that’s a great thing. Other extremely talented, complementary, functional and integrative physicians, practitioners, coaches and experts will not be covered by the health insurance companies’ wee little umbrella. But that doesn’t mean they should be left out of your health care.
When we take preventive measures to protect our health and stay energized and fulfilled, we don’t need to seek traditional medical care as often. We have to invest in our health—whether that means paying out of pocket for services, treatments, supplements or self-care like massage, fitness classes, reiki, etc.
Western medicine has its limits.
If you’re dealing with thyroid or autoimmune disease, chances are you’ve run smack into the limits of Western medicine. Don’t get me wrong: Western medicine can accomplish miraculous things and I definitely wouldn’t want to do without it. What I do want is for our doctors and medical schools to wake up to the fact that Western medicine isn’t all there is.
For example, complementary healing techniques can be powerful tools for reversing thyroid, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Incorporating a few of these techniques will balance your personal healing program and likely speed up the process of reversing these diseases.
Some of these techniques may be covered by your insurance, so it’s worth it to check it out. I know investing financially in your health can be tough sometimes, but many alternative healing practitioners work on a sliding scale or are open to trading their services if you have something to trade.
The great thing is that you get to choose how to invest in your health so you get the best, most efficient health care which, in the end, will pay you back by preventing or eliminating disease as well as cutting down on health care costs now and down the road.
Who’s on your healing team?
Here are the top 5 practitioners I would invite onto your healing team NOW rather than investing in hospital visits later:
Health Coach or Nutritionist The number one key to healing thyroid and autoimmune problems is healing your gut, so a health coach, nutritionist, or other practitioner who can help guide you to getting your gut healed would be my absolute first priority if I were newly diagnosed.
Acupuncturist I came to acupuncture after my husband and I were hit by a semi-truck. I had so many physical injuries and I was under a mountain of stress and health care bills. Luckily, my GP was at UCLA and the clinic next to his office was the UCLA East-West Medical Clinic. My doc referred me there to try to get a handle on my stress and my injuries. I am so glad he did. He recommended I get weekly acupuncture (which was covered by my insurance!), so for 3 years, I had acupuncture treatments a couple of times a month. It really helped with so many things…and any new symptom that cropped up could be addressed in real-time with my beloved acupuncturist. He even helped me with nausea and other symptoms during my pregnancy. Acupuncture can be helpful for a host of things including thyroid.
Massage Therapist Massage is more than just a luxury. It’s true that it’s something you have to invest in, but as with so many of these healing steps, it’s an investment in your long-term health and wellbeing. Medical studies have revealed that even a 10 or 20 minute massage (the kind you can get at the grocery store or the mall!) can have therapeutic benefits including improving immune function, boosting circulation, reducing stress, reducing the time it takes to recover from injury, and alleviating pain. It can also reduce depression and anxiety and promote restful sleep patterns. Massage also promotes circulation and the elimination of toxins from your body, which are key to improving your thyroid health. And, massage is making its way into “mainstream” medical treatment. Some insurance policies now cover massage, and some massage chains (like Massage Envy) are adept at filing claims with your insurance company for you.
Reiki Practitioner I would have never believed that Reiki could work or even tried it if I wasn’t suffering so badly a few years ago. I read and read about it but was always worried that I’d waste money on a Reiki treatment because I wouldn’t be able to tell if it actually worked or not. Luckily, on a visit back home to Indiana, a friend of mine encouraged me to try out her Reiki practitioner when I was complaining of hip pain. The experience I had was life-changing. Not only could I feel this energetic massage, my nervous system felt relaxed, my thyroid felt vital and my body felt energized. I have not questioned the healing power of Reiki since and have incorporated it into my personal healing program.
Yoga, Tai Chi, or Qi Gong Instructor Qi Gong, tai chi and yoga are all ancient forms of mindful, meditative and gentle exercise, and also happen to be easy ways to increase the circulation of your lymphatic system. The movements of all of these mind/body fitness techniques helps provide relief to the lymphatic system as well as assists with lymphatic drainage, which is important to detoxifying your body. These techniques also relax the nervous system while providing energy to the body. We all know we need to exercise, even when we’re dealing with thyroid symptoms, and a good yoga class can be gentle enough for even your tired days, while invigorating enough to be beneficial to your body.
I know, first hand, that we can take charge of our health and our bodies and heal ourselves with the right application of TLC. If you’re ready to invite more healing into your life, I encourage you to check out my brand-new program, The Radical TLC Solution: Your simple, 6-week self-care strategy to turn around thyroid, autoimmune & inflammatory disease.
About Jen Wittman:
Jen Wittman, creator of Thyroid Loving Care, is a Holistic Health Care Expert and compassionate thyroid/autoimmune coach providing one-of-a-kind, long-lasting healing programs with a heaping dose of joy and humor. She offers a FREE program to thyroid & autoimmune sufferers on how to love their body back to health as well as in-person, Skype and phone coaching for groups and healing programs you can do at home. Jen has degrees in psychology, nutrition, culinary arts, transformational coaching, and Italian.
She spent a year honing her cooking skills in Italy and is passionate about helping thyroid & autoimmune sufferers take back their lives and feel normal again. She works tirelessly as an advocate, resource and coach to help people reverse disease and eliminate thyroid & autoimmune symptoms so they can live a life full of energy, joy and fulfillment.
Jen created The Radical TLC Solution (Click Here!) a six week program that teaches participants the diet and lifestyle changes that improve thyroid, autoimmune, and inflammatory disease and sets them up for a healthy, vibrant life long-term.
Permanent link to this article: http://www.zenthyroid.com/2014/03/25/health-wealth-guest-post-jen-wittman/
The other day while getting myself a little inspiration on Oprah’s YouTube channel, I heard one teacher say that to heal, we need to lean into our pain. Shortly afterwards, I was listening to another talk in which the speaker said that we need to get away from our pain to get better. I think they are both right. There is not one way to heal, in fact, there are as many ways to heal as there are people who are healing. We each have our own path and there are different methods that we can employ at various times on our paths. Sometimes I do need to lean into my pain, feel my pain so I can understand where it is rooted and give it attention so it may heal. Other times, the best thing that I can do for myself is to detach from illness. Both ways – and many ways in between – are tools I use. Here are a handful of those tools…
Determining what we need and when we need it
-Realizing that this is a process and cultivating patience to allow the process to unfold as it needs to. Because it WILL unfold as it needs to, whether we agree to this or not. So we might as well get comfortable.
-Taking time to be still, focusing on our breath and quieting our minds with meditation. #1 healing ritual for me.
-REST REST REST – Tied for first with meditation. Whenever I try to overlook the importance of rest, I am forced into it anyway by you-know-who. My thyroid, she can be a pushy one.
-Figuring out what to feed our bodies, inside and out. Learning food sensitivities, protecting our delicate skin, taking time for self-care. There are so many things that we can do to contribute to our healing. I believe that each time we do something to care for ourselves, we nourish our bodies, minds and soul. Even though it may not always seem like it at the time, every little thing we consciously do is most definitely a step in the right direction.
-Checking out all of the amazing resources in our extraordinary thyroid community. There is so much info, with so many ideas and so many paths that have been carved. Learning by trial and error to take what we need to forge our own path, remaining aware and flexible to adjusting as necessary.
Remembering that in every moment, we are healing
-Complete, total, radical acceptance of our situation. This one thing was the catalyst for me to start paving my healing path. Before I learned to accept what was happening to me, I was wandering aimlessly in the dark, gripped by fear.
-Demanding ourselves to have blind faith during those times when we feel so hopeless. Hopelessness is the worst, yet I think was inevitable for me. I had no choice but to keep going because I was not able to allow myself to experience that terrible feeling of hopelessness again.
“We don’t have to let go, we simply have to not hold on.” ~Joseph Goldstein
Healing is not some landing-place somewhere far off in the distant future. Healing isn’t the destination. Healing is happening moment-to-moment, day-to-day. Healing is happening NOW.
I would LOVE to hear about your healing path. We are all in this together! Know that I am grateful for anything that you choose to share, here, in OUR space. And know that I am grateful for you if you choose to simply read this post.
Love and wisdom from around the web:
1. I just adore this guided meditation by Dr. David Simon ~ “Intention of the Heart”
2. Here is a link to a website which gives info about SB 959, a bill that may compromise our rights to obtain compounded medicine. I personally get progesterone from a wonderful compound pharmacy so this affects me directly, as I know if does many of you too.
3. Have you checked out the Hypothyroid Mom Facebook page? This is a wonderfully supportive community full of great information and strategies for managing symptoms of thyroid disease.
p.s. I am having some issues with being able to add photos on WordPress. If you have experienced this before or are some kind of WordPress genius and have any insight for me, please contact me. Thanks 🙂
Permanent link to this article: http://www.zenthyroid.com/2013/07/29/finding-our-own-way/
Permanent link to this article: http://www.zenthyroid.com/2013/05/25/celebrating-world-thyroid-day-with-tlc-thyroid-love-care/
Permanent link to this article: http://www.zenthyroid.com/2013/04/21/super-healing-remedy-for-dry-thyroidy-skin/