Throughout my journey I’ve been kind of up and down about how well I pick up on my inner voice — and whether I listen to it when I do hear it… In a couple of arenas though, I consistently both hear and receive/act on the messages: which alternative health therapies, therapists, supplements, etc. are the next best step for me and which spiritual teachers, classes, etc. are for me.
In the last couple of months I’ve had several alternative medicines tap me on the shoulder and trying them has been life changing. Several people over the years have expressed interest in hearing more about some of the alternative health paths I’ve explored, so I thought I would share these latest additions.
First, my friend Hanna started touting catnip tincture and gave me a sample from a recipe made by a friend. She offered it for sleep and, while it does ultimately help me with sleep, nothing is enough to overcome the muscles in my face yanking. But I quickly noted how very calm and peaceful I felt and then that I slept a bit longer and more deeply once the yanking stopped.
I googled and found recipes and made a batch of my own. Initially I just used it once or twice a week, especially if I faced a busy day and wanted to be more sure of getting some rest. But lately I’ve been taking some every night and have had more sleep in a week or 10 days than I’ve normally had in more like a month.
Facebook has figured out that I’m interested in alternative remedies, so sometimes I see something there that’s new to me. Most of the time I shrug and move on, but once in a while something grabs me in that “knowing” sense so I do some research and nasaya oil was one of them.
This winter I had an unusual run of allergy issues and just as I was wondering what alternative thing I could try — besides the nasal cup I already use daily — nasaya oil popped up. It’s an ayurvedic formula of essential oils and you just put a drop on your finger and rub it around a bit in your nostrils.
Not only did it clear my unusual sinus/allergy problems in winter, but now that we’re in the spring pollen season which is often miserable for me, I’m having no problems at all. Not even on the days when the pollen count is super high. If I start to itch, I can rub a drop around and in minutes, problem solved.
It’s so effective I have a tendency to forget to use it every day and the impact even lasts pretty well through several days of spacing it out. And as soon as any symptoms arrive and remind me to use it, one drop erases the symptoms.
Ashwagandha appeared on Facebook one day, felt drawn to it, and immediately set off to read about it. There’s a nice piece on Chopra’s site and also a good explanation here. I was excited by what I read. While most customer reviews rave about its stress-relieving effects, it was the thyroid and adrenal benefits that roused my interest, along with its boost for weak immune system, and antiinflammatory impacts for my mom’s arthritis.
Last year the muscles around my thyroid loosened enough for me to spontaneously lose quite a bit of weight as my thyroid began to function again. I still have some symptoms of low thyroid but I figured with the looser muscles there’d be a chance a supplement would help.
My various acupuncturists used to treat me often for weak adrenals and sometimes their needles and/or herbs gave a boost but once I found out the real problem was muscles squeezing all my glands and organs, I understood why none of it ever lasted.
Recently the muscles squeezing my kidneys and adrenals have finally loosened a bit. Seemed like a perfect moment to see if ashwagandha’s adrenal benefits could give me a boost. After a bunch of research on the “best” ones, I chose Nutraherbal Organic Ashwagandha with Black Pepper Extract.
After looking at lots of them I realized they come in many different numbers of mg and with wildly differing suggested daily doses (mg wise). I picked this one not only because it made several “best” lists but it’s also one of the highest dosages. I started off trying just one of the two suggested daily capsules and it has turned out to be plenty for me — in fact two seems like too much, moving me from energized to feeling a little hyper.
Many sources told me it could take a month or two to decide whether it helped, but I felt energized an hour after taking the first one. Since then I have been building more energy during the day, going to sleep earlier at night (that one still needs a lot of adjusting but any change helps!), staying asleep for more hours (helped along by the catnip tincture).
Back when I was getting regular acupuncture (and the chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia were FAR worse), I’d get a boost from each treatment or new herb try that would give me a few days of pretty good energy. Since stopping acupuncture in favor of body work for the muscles, I have rarely had any of those “energy” days. And once the unwinding started interfering with sleep, almost no days of feeling energetic.
As the muscle stuff has gotten better, I’ve been working a bit at re-building stamina and have been pleased with small increments of improvement, but most of the time I’ve just felt exhausted. I’ve been taking Ashwagandha for about six weeks now and energy has been slowly building.
I’m regularly staying a bit busier during the day than I’d been able to be for years, which has been helping the stamina building process. I haven’t felt this good in decades — and to be honest the last time I had this long a sustained period of feeling energetic, it was mostly thanks to caffeine and nicotine– combined with being completely neurotic and anxiety ridden– pumping me up.
Ashwagandha so far has exceeded my expectations, bearing out once again how well my instincts operate for this kind of thing. I’ve been waiting for years for all the alternative treatments and therapies to finally bring me some energy back.
Without all that came before, I doubt the Ashwagandha would be having this dramatic impact, so I don’t credit it alone, but wow, how perfect a tap from the Universe this was.