I touched a little on my journey of how I began taking this holistic approach to my health, but I wanted to go a little more into detail the exact reason for this change and my thoughts on the experience.
At the beginning of summer 2018 I began experiencing headaches, this was really nothing new to me as I have on occasion had really bad headaches all throughout my life. This time the headaches were constant, for several weeks. I was completely miserable. I was also experiencing bloating and a lot of pain with it. Growing up I had noticed off and on a lymph node swollen at the base of my head in the back of my neck, of course I didn’t know it was a lymph node until a few years ago. Doctors always said it was because I had an ear infection, they would prescribe antibiotics and send me on my way. This time the node had swollen and was painful for several weeks, right along with my headaches. I was so ready to just feel better, normal again. I had made an appointment at my regular doctor, but something told me to not take it. That same day I cancelled the appointment I called to schedule an appointment with a local naturopathic doctor (Holistic Nutritionist).
I had about a three week wait, so I researched all I could about things she might say, what to expect, and ways to naturally heal. I have been researching holistic approach to healing for some time, but this time it was different because I knew I would have to start putting all what I learned into action to actually heal myself.
One of the first things I did was switch my shampoos, to actually a “no poo” solution. I firstly started this as a way to get my hair growing faster, I had a not so good experience with the last haircut. In starting this “no poo” journey I researched more and found that really no one should be using the commercially produced shampoos, conditioners, and soaps. There are so many harmful chemicals in them that are terrible for our health and hormones. I started using a baking soda and water “wash” with an apple cider vinegar, water, and essential oil “rinse”. Seriously the best experience ever! I even played with the rinses and made a rosemary and water mix that I really loved too. The scents and freshness I felt with washing my hair this way was so nice. There was some oil at first with my scalp detoxing all the gunk buildup but after a few weeks of being consistent and not washing my hair everyday it really improved my hair and scalp feel. One of the first things my naturopath doctor told me was to stop using the chemical filled shampoos and conditioners, who knew I would be one step ahead of the game!
The first day I walked into my new doctor’s office I was scared and so nervous but really excited. It was like the first day of school or work, not knowing anyone or what to expect. I had actually accidently walked in a week earlier thinking that it was my appointment, I was wrong and really embarrassed, but it got me familiar with the building and atmosphere.
As I walked in and sat down in the chair she asked me what all was going on and what had brought me to her office. I really didn’t have a clue where to start my story, so I just told her as much as I could think of. As she listened and took notes and asked questions, I got more relaxed and felt okay to be sharing even the things we don’t like talking about when it comes to the weird things the body does. She gave me so much information I got a little overwhelmed, I really should have recorded it! What she had to say was very important though. My lymph node was swollen due to buildup of toxins and it not being able to fully drain. This can happen from many different things, some of mine included years of off and on ear infections with antibiotics being the “Band-Aid”, having my wisdom teeth surgery, and buildup of toxins from my shampoos -I would later find out that also my muscles were so tight that it wouldn’t allow the lymph to drain as well. The headaches could be link to the pressure build up, but also the toxins in both my lymph nodes and in my gut. My gut health was not the best, hence the bloating and pains. She advised to start an elimination “diet”-I use this word in quotes because I don’t want you thinking it is the “diet” people go on, in my eye now “diet” refers to what we eat, what we feed our bodies. She also advised taking a high concentrated probiotic and liquid multi vitamin for better absorption.
So began the process of healing my body naturally. I have not been perfect on this journey; I never want you to think I am, it has been a real struggle to get into a routine and find what does and doesn’t work for me. I am always working to become better, some days I will slack and beat myself up for it, but I quickly remember that no one is perfect on their journey and I don’t have to be either.
I will go into more detail in my next blog on what steps I took for following an elimination diet and healing my gut. There is loads of information out there for this, I will be sharing my input and my research as well as my struggles.
Much love, Ashley