A big part of my journey has involved physical issues. I’ve mentioned my journey through alternative medicine occasionally and people have expressed interest in hearing about what I’ve learned. So I decided to start occasionally posting “Sage Advice”.
When I first started having issues in the 80’s, western medicine held quite firm on insisting neither chronic fatigue nor fibromyalgia existed. I knew something was wrong and when I grew tired of hearing them suggest I see a shrink, I turned to alternative medicine.
My first foray into the alternative medicine world was acupuncture, a modality I love and stayed with regularly for 15 or so years. One of the things I’ve loved most about alternative practitioners is they always try to make sure I understand what’s happening and what I can do to help and my first practitioner, Chicago’s Jody Speckman (still in practice, for any of you in the area) taught me SO much.
One arena of advice has been on my mind a lot lately. When it came to many things to do with what I ate or drank regularly, she told me not to try to stop cold turkey. It’s mostly a path of frustration. And the most unusual corollary: as you move more into a state of balance your craving for the things that are harmful will naturally fall away. She suggested I cut back as best I could but to let the desire fade as healing proceeded.
I’d always thought cold turkey seemed like a goofy plan and I was so struck by the idea that it’s more important to work toward a place of greater balance/healthiness. In this case the acupuncture and a lot of horrible Chinese herbs made into “teas” were doing the work.
As you know, a whole lot of stuff was way off kilter for me, so it’ taken a long time to reach the place where I absolutely see the truth of her advice. I’ve been slowly changing various dietary habits ever since I started seeing her, especially since she found I have mild allergies to wheat and dairy. But it took years before shifting those habits combined with therapies to get toward that balance.
Lately, though, I’ve been noticing that I’m more naturally attracted to healthier food. Not that I don’t still love some fried chicken or a chocolate sundae, but far more often I want something healthier. And for the first time ever I’ve been drawn to eat kale-broccoli slaw or half a grapefruit for a snack instead of some dark chocolate or a handful of potato chips.
This change arrives at the moment when all the years of alternative therapies and medicines and my own spiritual and physical activities have paid off in feeling better than I have in years. Not sure Jody foresaw it would be 30 years down the road before I hit the place of balance to which she referred 🙂 , but it’s so true that when your health is in better shape you tend to crave more of the things that keep it healthy.
It seems such a kinder way to treat yourself. I’ve watched so many people struggle with going cold turkey off of things and then feeling depressed by failure, a slower gentler approach makes so much more sense to me. And then it’s so easy when you have improved enough to have healthier cravings.
So first advice: work toward balance and then watch your habits change to hold the new, better feeling.