Are you highly sensitive to chemicals and smells?

If so, I want to invite you to embrace your sensitivity for a bit.  I’ll explain, so stay with me here.  First of all, if you go to war with your sensitivity, you will miss what it is trying to teach you.

There was a time in the mid 90′s that my body was SO sensitive to chemicals and smells, I felt like a freak. I was depressed, I was angry, and I felt totally betrayed by my body. I’m posting this today, because there are a lot of people in the world right now who feel like I did back then, and are looking for answers. The message is still really relevant.

I do want to be clear. Being sensitive to many different chemicals is definitely NOT fun. And I’m not at all saying it’s good to have multiple chemical sensitivities. It’s truly not. However, the fact that you are aware of your sensitivities is something to pay attention to.

My experience of extreme chemical sensitivities was more than 20 years ago. I was at the very beginning of what would become my health journey, and in what should have been the prime of my life.

Everything around me seemed to set off a reaction. I became acutely aware that I could not only smell the brown paper grocery bags in the front seat of my car while driving home from getting groceries, but that the smell almost seemed to suffocate me. Ugh.

Sitting in a theater near someone wearing perfume, was what I imagined it must be like to sit in Hell. I had no energy, and had great difficulty thinking clearly (ever heard the term “brain fog?”)

If you can relate to this at all, then like me, maybe you’ve had (or still have) a long list of chemicals and smells that trigger an unpleasant reaction in you. Some more severely than others.

Fast forward to just a few years ago, and I was sitting in chelation therapy being treated for lead toxicity, when I recalled this severely chemically sensitive time, and had a huge “ah-ha” moment. Suddenly I realized what a gift chemical sensitivity really is. At least it sure was for me.

You see, during that earlier time when I was cursing my body for betraying me, it was actually trying to get my attention! It was trying to tell me something. The sensitivities were symptoms, and symptoms are your body’s way of communicating with you that something has gone terribly awry.

In that early part of my health journey, I’d done some research online, and had discovered a book called “The Yeast Syndrome” by Trowbridge and Walker. As I started reading the book, the authors discussed all kinds of symptoms; and they were my symptoms– including what I experienced as my multiple chemical sensitivity.

The book provided a very regimented eating program to rid the body of offending yeast organisms. The eating plan was not easy for me to follow, but I was determined, and committed to it. And I was totally surprised, that as I continued to follow the plan my sensitivity to the chemicals around me began to lessen.

As my body began to get healthier, I could actually go grocery shopping without being assaulted by the smell of the paper bags in my car. Perfumes were still an issue, but I had regained some clarity of mind, and also was not quite so cold all the time.

Human health is a complex issue, and there can be many causes contributing to an experience of multiple chemical sensitivities. But if you pay attention to your symptoms as a starting point, commit to discovering and eliminating the causes of your symptoms, you can begin to make changes toward a healthier life.

It may seem like a huge stretch of the imagination to refer to Chemical Sensitivity as being a friend. But think for a minute about a really good friend. Friends sometimes have the important job of telling us things we REALLY don’t want to hear.

Having chemical sensitivities is like your body being the really good friend you need. If you’re open to what those symptoms are telling you, see it as your wake-up call, and are willing to make necessary changes in your life, you can start to heal what’s wrong and may look back some day to see that past sensitivity as a gift.

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While undergoing chelation therapy, I embraced the idea of allowing the story line to unfold during the course of my lead detox treatment. (Actually this concept applies to life in general as well as any health journey.)

If you’re wondering what I mean by “story line” as it relates to health and wellness, I’m referring to how an existing “story” identifies any pre-conceived expectations about how the journey might unfold, and then defines that journey. Such expectations often create a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The thing about an already defined story line is that if we accept a story as true, without being open to other possibilities, we might miss unexpected paths in the healing process.

For example, if I accepted a story line that says that it will take me 6 months (or two years, or whatever) to be rid of the lead in my body, I might miss signs of being rid of it in less time.

On my journey, I’ve chosen to allow each day to become a science experiment of sorts, where I’m both the subject and the observer, which sort of helps me in letting the story line unfold. And in any science experiment, it is critical that the observer be very curious.

Here’s another example.

During my research, I discovered that Carnosine is one of many nutrients that aides the body in detoxification. The first evening I took a Carnosine capsule, my sinuses seemed to swell, within 15 minutes. Between not breathing very well, and a lot of rumbling going on in my gut following the addition of that supplement, I had a really hard time sleeping that night.

It would be really easy to create a story line from the observation that proclaims, “every time I take Carnosine, I will experience stuffy sinuses, and won’t be able to sleep. Therefore maybe I shouldn’t take Carnosine.”

While being open to the possibility that I might have had an allergic reaction to Carnosine, I decided to allow myself to experiment with it. Choosing to be open to a different story about it, while continuing to be observant and curious, I decided to try it another evening, and had an entirely different experience. I then proceeded to taking it twice daily with no apparent problems.

Let me be clear, here. I’m not at all suggesting that you disregard any experience or intuition you might have while on any journey. I’ve found that it’s important for me to also pay attention to my intuition. And I felt inspired to try Carnosine again. I also assessed any potential risks before doing so.

I encourage you to find appropriate medical supervision while on any health journey. In addition, you must listen to your own body in determining what actions to take. By any means if something feels life-threatening on ANY LEVEL it’s important to follow your instincts.

What has been very supportive to my healing, is approaching each day as a new day, from a place of curiosity. As lead is something that must be pulled out of the body tissues (including bones), it was helpful to know that each day’s specific supplement doses were getting me a day closer to being lead free.  And I was open to each day bringing whatever experiences it brought.

Every day when I get up, instead of expecting that today will be another confusing day, or tiring day, or whatever I might have experienced the day before, I wake up noticing how I actually feel that day. And I follow the observation with, “Hey isn’t that interesting. Right now I’m feeling really clear.” (or energetic, or tired, or whatever it is I’m actually feeling.)

I remain open and curious to how I will feel later in the day…. then I pay attention to what my experience actually IS. It takes some energy, and focus. And it is SO worth it.

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I started writing this blog, hot on a mission to share my past health/wellness journey in the hopes that if my story could help or inspire even one person; it will have been worth it. Meanwhile, I continued to pursue an even deeper level of health for myself – expecting it would be a fairly straightforward path.

The straightforward path however, turned out to be a little more complicated when I discovered that I had very elevated levels of lead in my body. What then?

In a previous post I shared about my diagnosis of Fibromyalgia years ago, and how I was able to look at it as just a diagnosis, and come to a place of healing from the imbalance and resulting symptoms. I shared about my Mother’s diagnosis of Fibromyalgia, and how it came to define her in her last few years.

This discovery made me wonder how the journey changes when a diagnosis seems to be in black and white. Is it possible to detach and not have expectations about the new path I found myself on? How does a very clear diagnosis affect mindset and approach?

How do I continue to reframe the path without claiming host to “here’s what it’s going to be like”? How do I stay present to the journey, take care of myself, and be honest about my experience without becoming “that person with lead poisoning”?  I’ll talk more about this in following posts.

Meanwhile, I took a break from the blog and did tons of research about heavy metals and lead toxicity, while beginning the detoxification process (which for me included both oral and IV Chelation).

While a chelation path is different for everyone, I’ll plan to share some of my chelation journey on this blog, along with stories from my earlier health/wellness journey before and after my Fibromyalgia diagnosis.

If you can relate to any part of my journey, perhaps you will find comfort in knowing you are not alone. If this is helpful to you at all, please leave a comment, and share your experience, and/or let me know what else you would like to see discussed here. I’m glad you’ve joined me!

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EFT is something I heard about a few years ago, but had never practiced diligently. I was too caught up in not understanding how to formulate the set-up statements. In February 2011, I attended my first evening of the 2011 Tapping World Summit; a virtual summit of tapping experts. As a result of the summit, I experienced tapping as I’d never experienced it – starting with even the first two sessions!!

The first day’s topic had to do with money, and the two guests did a fabulous job of giving examples of ways to tap around money issues. I’ve been listening to these money sessions over and over again – and as I listen, I’m struck by something about tapping I’d never thought about before, and it really resonates with me.

Short interruption here…. Are you wondering what money has to do with health? If so, just notice: how stressed are you around money issues? Whether debt, income, or another aspect of money—it doesn’t matter. Stress is stress, and we all know what stress does to the body. It’s a really simple connection.  Anyway as I listened to more of the interviews I became more enlightened by several health tapping experts as well.

Okay. Back to what I’m learning about tapping. At its core, when practicing EFT, you’re tapping on acupuncture points to release energy that’s stored in the body. On physical/ metaphysical levels that makes total sense to me. It’s also about tapping through “the truth of our experience.” That’s what has really excited me.

I’ve studied metaphysics for years (until I got bored of the study). Through various points in my life I’ve written, spoken and thought affirmations while “practicing” the Law of Attraction – and they never seemed to work for me. I’ve learned for myself, that if I do affirmations, but really don’t believe them, I’m just saying the words, and my “truth” – whatever I really believe – will be what I continue to create in my experience.

What I’m discovering through my renewed interest in tapping, is that we tap on the acupuncture points while we tell the truth about whatever is really going on. So energetically, the body begins to release the hold on the energy of what’s been keeping us stuck, or holding us back. THAT energetic release is life changing.

In coaching, we look at ways to shift perspectives in places that are keeping us stuck – tapping provides another tool to release the energy so we can in fact focus on what we want to create.

The other aspect of the World Tapping Summing that I really appreciated, is that my issues of understanding how to formulate set-up statements – have (gratefully!) been addressed in each interview. I now find myself thinking of all kinds of things I can do EFT around! And as I wrote this, I had started to practicing tapping! (Full transparency – now a few years later, I’ve let the practice slide again. And I still see tremendous value in it!)

 

Categories : Natural Health
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What is a healthy mindset? And how do you create one in the midst of experiencing dis-ease or discomfort in your body?

I’ve been reflecting on this recently, and especially in contrasting my journey with the health journey of my mother who passed away a few years ago.

My mom was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 1995. Around that time, I had hit a low point in my life, and suffered from constant fatigue, difficulty thinking and tremendous physical sensitivities. In 1996, I was also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.

While we each experienced slightly different symptoms, there were some symptoms we shared.

Obviously, she was older than me and was likely facing other age related issues. She didn’t talk much about how she experienced aging in general, but she did talk about having Fibromyalgia. A lot.

When I finally received the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia (after a lot of diagnostic tests to rule out other serious conditions), I was relieved to have a place to start looking for answers.

What struck me shortly after my mother’s passing was how differently my mother and I approached the diagnosis. It occurred to me that I never really OWNED the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia. When I did need to talk about my health, I usually said that I was “diagnosed” with Fibromyalgia, and was researching what was causing it. When I looked at a list of symptoms typically associated with Fibromyalgia, I could relate to almost all of them. But I still saw my diagnosis as “just a diagnosis.”

My mother, on the other hand clung to her diagnosis as if for dear life. And maybe it seemed to her as if she needed to. In the 15 years following her diagnosis, I often heard her speak about her physical symptoms with resignation, as she proclaimed, “Well, I have Fibromyalgia. You know how THAT is!”

It became her REASON for having a fuzzy memory, a REASON for not having energy, a REASON for hurting, and a REASON for many ways that she reacted to the world. I’m sharing this not to judge my mother or her choices, but to simply point out that perhaps a different attitude can change the outcome.

My attitude about my diagnosis left me room for doubt. It was, after all just a diagnosis. My mother’s relationship with the diagnosis seemed to be about certainty of disease. She HAD Fibromyalgia. She OWNED the disease label.

Looking at Fibromyalgia from the perspective of having just a diagnosis opened me to a sense of possibilities. My mother expected to see her health deteriorate, and expected to see the symptoms that accompanied her diagnosis continue and even get worse.

She did keep an eye out for supplements or alternative “cures” that might help her reclaim a better quality of life, but I don’t believe she ever really expected she would get better. And she never really did.

I tend to look at illness as an imbalance in the body system. Restore the balance, and the need for illness is removed. I think of every symptom as my body’s way of communicating with me.

I spent hours researching anecdotal evidence of “cures” on the internet, as well as making lifestyle changes where lifestyle might be affecting my health. I searched for reasons that my body might be trying to get my attention. Where could I be grossly out of balance?

Today, I no longer see myself as a “victim of Fibromyalgia”. The diagnosis is a part of my past, but I no longer experience the symptoms that went along with it. Within 5 years, I was well on the road to recovery. My mother’s last 15 years were not much fun for her. She continued to claim how bad her health was.

When you think about health problems you are experiencing, I invite you to consider your beliefs about your situation.

Do you believe that some health challenge is incurable, or do you believe you can find a way to re-balance your body and experience better or even optimal health? Are you open to considering “just a diagnosis?”

Are you open to taking charge of your healthcare experience? What might taking charge of your healthcare / wellness experience look like?

My experience tells me that being willing to be open is the first step in creating a healthy mindset, and turning health around. Join me as I share more about how my journey unfolded in following posts.

Categories : Healthy Mindset
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Are you experiencing less than perfect health, but you’d like it to be better? If so, perhaps you’ll discover here, some things that you can do naturally to improve your health.

Is your health pretty good, or maybe even great, but you are wondering what might happen down the road? You don’t have to watch your health decline as you age. I’ll connect you with ways to keep your health at its peak.

Join me as I share my personal journey, and learn about ways that you, too, can support your health naturally. I believe that aging does not have to bring with it a dependence upon pharmaceutical drugs that lead you spiraling down a road of declining health –taking more and more drugs to combat an ever growing list of side-effects.

If you are willing to keep an open mind, I’ll introduce you to possibilities you may not have considered. You may find new resources that will become your trusted allies as you embark on this journey of improving your health, and claiming YOUR BEST LIFE!

I’m happy you’ve discovered my blog, and hope this journey will be as much fun for you as I intend it to be for me! I welcome and look forward to your comments, and to improving our health together!

Categories : Natural Health
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