For many of you that are new to my blog you may not know my journey began with acute anxiety and panic attacks. So much so I parked everything once for six months and moved home.
Anxiety is no stranger to me. In fact, when I’m pushing myself too much or bottling up emotions or driving away my fears it comes knocking. And knocking it has come over the past couple of weeks in the loom up to my third surgery for endometriosis.
Often in a space of fear, stress makes the mind sharper and strategically focused to get us to safety. Yet many of us are operating at a base line far deeper than this, like stress on top of stress. We deal with it, push it down, hide it, splur ‘oh im fine, just a bit stressed’.
This is not natural. In this place, the body fills with too much adrenaline and we lose focus, clarity, we become forgetful, depleted.
When we need rest, we’re on a wheel that we can’t get off. Plates keeping falling off, but the wheel keeps moving faster and faster.
Living with endometriosis, this is a disaster in motion. It depletes our progesterone hormones and swings the body to estrogen dependant state. This signals the endo to grow.
When we’re caught in this cycle, we can forget the things we most need, the things that bring us back to vitality, wellness, calmness and nourishment.
So I’m sharing my personal list of nourishing rituals and practices across…
…in the hope it will help you remember your own path back to wellness.
**I share this as a source of inspiration. It is not meant to be overwhelming. The reason I do so is that these are not things I did all at once (AT ALL), I needed different things along my journey for different times, and so will you.
PREPARING MIND, BODY & SOUL FOR SURGERY
Stress has become the health epidemic of our century. This is affecting your endometriosis and here’s why. Start with scheduling a 15 min me session every day.
· Cultivating Stillness through Meditation. Whether it’s an app, a class, a personal session or course, meditation is proven to ease not only stress and anxiety but also reduce inflammation. Meditation increases our self-awareness. We’re able to cultivate a better understanding of and relationship with pain from periods or chronic pelvic conditions like endometriosis.
· Grounding through Visualisation. When we’re stressed we can spend wayyy too much time in our heads. By grounding down we learn to move from our heads and into our body. Our feet are our roots, our wings to our womb. As we connect in and centre ourselves through grounding we’re inviting nourishment and support up from Mother Earth into this sacred space.
· Getting out into Nature. Our bodies vibrate at eight hertz, the same frequency as nature. When we walk in natural areas, our bodies resonate and absorb this vibrational energy which helps us to feel relaxed and in harmony with any changes and difficulties going on around us and throughout the month.
· Yoni Nidra. A Yoga Nidra (known as yogic sleep) created for women’s health by my loving teacher Uma Dinsmore-Tuli available here. This link is a selection of nourishing meditative practices to promote cervical wellness, and vaginal, ovarian and womb health. I love to play them just before bed. Golden!
· Cycle Awareness. During our period, we are in our inner winter phase. The more we can honour the call to rest and nourish here the more we honour the time our body needs to replenish. When we push against this, we are likely to be depleting our energy creating more stress within our lives. Read more about the seasons of our cycle and honouring each phase here.
· Acupuncture. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the uterus and the liver are closely related. The liver is responsible for maintaining the free flow of qi (energy). The liver along with the spleen and kidney channels run through the pelvis. When these channels are unbalanced it can affect menstruation and pelvic disorders like Endometriosis. Acupuncture helps to remove stagnated energy so the channels can flow freely.
· Reiki. An energy healing that works in a similar outcome to Acupuncture. Reiki heals and clears stagnant energy blocks and patterns so energy can flow freely in your body. This energy is deeply nourishing helping to soothe chronic conditions, release trauma and assist in physical recovery.
· Sound healing. Being bathed in frequencies has the power to release blockages and clear any areas of disharmony. During a sound session you can drift off into higher states of consciousness receiving visions, insights and connecting to yourself deeply on a soul level. If you’re in London, visit Josie (@elevenhealing) her sessions are like a massage for the soul.
· Aromatherapy oils. Wild Orange and Frankinscence are a warm and grounding mix to help relieve stress and reduce inflammation.
· Hot Organic Cacao & Ashwagandha. Ashwagandha is a unique adaptogenic herb, meaning it supports the body's ability to cope with physical and psychological stressors. It reduces cortisol (stress hormone) and encourages deep deep sleep.
· Chamomile Tincture. Great for not only sleeping but also inflammation, muscle spasms, menstrual pain and gut problems.
· Chinese herbs. Chinese herb teas and tonics were the one thing that helped me to get my sleeping patterns back to a schedule that allowed my body to truly rest and restore at night. Find a practitioner that specialises in Endometriosis or Women’s health.
· Creating a safe energy to sleep. Seriously no screens in the bedroom. Create one zone at home where you don’t have to be “always on”. Bedrooms should be for two things; sex and sleep. Using Sage and/or Palo Santa is a great way to clear and cleanse spaces and yourself at the end of the day.
· Womb yoga. A deeply nourishing yoga practice designed to restore women’s health and vitality by responding to our unique and changing needs. A natural form of healing and pain relief from chronic pelvic conditions.
· Ecstatic Dance. Free flowing with your body. Expressing and releasing blocked energy to encourages circulation and loosens tight muscles.
· Breath. When we’re in pain, many of us are breathing shallow breaths into our chest. However the quality of our breath has a far wider impact than just on our lungs. Our diaphragm is a large massaging muscle on lower organs too. By inviting the breath down in the lower abdomen we’re improving digestive, adrenal, liver, uterine, ovarian, pelvic floor, bowel and bladder functions. We’re inviting fresh energy and healing into our womb and pelvic space, which can also really help with pain management.
· Kirtan. Our voice and womb space are deeply connected. Blog post coming on this soon!
I’m not a nutritionist so rather than speaking of diets, this section rather focuses on supplements and practices that can supercharge your food for holistic mind, body, soul nourishment. We’re all bio-diverse so finding our own rhythm and working with a nutritionist will be golden here. Dig in.
· Turmeric. Used in ayurvedic medicine for centuries. The active compound within Turmeric called Curcumin is a powerful anti-oxidant known to reduce inflammation.
· Ginger. This root/spice is also known to have an anti-inflammatory effect. Warm spices like these are your livers best friend. According to TCM, these warming foods decongest, strengthen and therefore nourish your liver improving the flow of qi (energy), blood and detoxing excess hormones like estrogen.
· Vitamin B Complex. Another friend to your liver, helping to convert estrogen into components easily assimilated. At the same time it increases progesterone production and boosts the immune system.
· Probiotics. A healthy microbiome is essential. This is good gut bacteria that produce an enzyme that supports the metabolisation of estrogen and hormones out of the body.
· Vitamin D. Known to reduce inflammatory responses. Recent research found low levels of Vitamin D were connected to Endo severity and to those who have the largest ovarian endometriomas (ovarian cysts).
· DIM. Another supplement that supports the body in eliminating estrogen. DIM is derived from cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, sprouts and cauliflower.
· Udos Choice Oil. Organic and plant based source of omega fatty acids helping reduce inflammation and boost the function of your immune system.
· Listen to your body. Instead of trying what everyone else is trying. Sit with yourself and notice, listen, feel what your body most wants and needs right now. What’s it calling? What does it tingle with relief at the thought of? What keeps coming into your awareness? What do you keep noticing? What’s the one thing that has come to mind right now? Or really drummed off the page maybe as you read the list above? It can be overwhelming figuring out this journey (and expensive) so start with your own intuition – that is priceless and the biggest healing gift you will ever receive.
Next up on the blog will be > POST SURGERY HEALING.