In other posts I’ve talked about how difficult watching my body change is for everyone in the system. Every part of me (including my body as it is an alter personality) struggles with the sensations that signal memories, trauma, illness, or healing as body parts change in:
texture (firm/soft/squishy/hard/bumpy/smooth), size (grow/shrink/expand/contract), color (red/pale/yellow/green/blotchy/tan/normal), and shape.
Right now, my biggest concerns are related to physical pain, recovering memories that trigger changes in my body, coping with both memories and pain, and understanding how to improve my lifestyle (diet and exercise and self-care) to accommodate these changes.
- Four months into my new home, and I’ve had to face some hard facts:
- Internal healing means my body mass is shifting even if I’m not actually gaining or losing weight
- I’m doing slightly more exercise than I used to and using different muscle groups because of the layout in my new apartment.
- More and different exercise means more calories burned and clothes fitting differently
- The weather here is milder, but still cool in autumn. More clouds, less sun equal vitamin D supplements and maybe others too to help with fatigue and other deficiency-related issues.
- The spinal pain, abdominal pain, persistent cold that won’t go away, bloating around my middle and other odd places, and sinus pressure are all related to my current food choices and lowered levels of activity.
How did I learn this?
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) including acupuncture and gua sha (type of massage) treatments with a student and supervising practitioner who have been helping me pinpoint where and how the pain manifests to find a root cause.
In TCM terminology, I have a persistent dampness and some heat causing circulation problems with my qi. That means:
- I’m having trouble digesting food and getting nutrition
- I’m having trouble eliminating toxins in my body
- This is causing sinus pressure, swelling, fatigue, lack of appetite, headaches, stomach aches, nausea, vomiting, mucus/phlegm buildup and so on.
- It’s also causing the swelling around my spine and abdominal area to increase/decrease depending on what I eat, how much, and when.
- Acupressure (massaging points related to those problems), dietary changes, and moving around more along with my regular acupuncture treatments will help in the long term
- The process is slow
Why this is triggering
When I started nutrition therapy, I was eating mostly vegetarian/vegan style because meat products (chicken, beef, eggs, etc.) were too difficult to digest and made me feel sick/not hungry, etc. But I wasn’t getting enough nutrients at the time. And I was mostly making this decision from anxiety. Eating food my family enjoyed triggered lots of anxiety and made eating/digesting food that much harder.
Since then, I’ve become adventurous about food again. I’ve faced and conquered many of my food-related fears and enjoy trying new foods. My alters have also faced many food fears and learned to enjoy eating, cooking, shopping, and preparing food. The cleaning and storage parts are still difficult, but that’s another topic for a different post. Part of that facing fear was eating different kinds of meat and dairy products again.
Another part was recognizing my cravings and urges to eat or not eat certain foods as triggers and anxiety reactions to hurt/punish myself instead of nourish myself. And as the memories come back, I’ve been indulging in those foods while ignoring how they make me feel – sick, tired, heavy, low energy. But eating the food reminds me of happy times with my uncle and father’s side of the family.
But lately, I’ve been frustrated about my food choices. Not interested in eating anything really. Not interested in cooking either.
So when the practitioner told me she could see and feel the physical symptoms of dampness in my body, I decided it was time to make some changes along with regular treatments. I’m going to try eating more plant based/whole foods style. When I get a craving for chocolate or dairy or meat, I will pay extra to buy and use one of the substitutes instead. Instead of buying pre-made juices and hot chocolate, I will experiment with making my own from spices and herbs that are beneficial and can be easily included in those drinks with a blender.
And when I feel like eating a meat product or dairy and my body is feeling healthy again, I will eat a little bit and see what happens next. If I feel okay still, I will continue to add small amounts. If I feel bad, I will continue to make alternative choices.
So what do you think? Is this a good trial?
Thanks for reading 🙂