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Dec. 22, 2023

Episode 006 | What most people get wrong about their body's role in overcoming chronic conditions

Episode 006 | What most people get wrong about their body's role in overcoming chronic conditions

Are you stuck battling chronic symptoms and feeling betrayed by your body?

You may feel  like you've already tried everything and still can't get your symptoms under control and now you don't know what else you can do

Many people with chronic illness believe that their bodies are working against them. This keeps them stuck in a vicious cycle of pain and suffering as it prevents them from tuning into their body’s wisdom and finding out what’s really wrong.

Learn how by changing how you think about your body can help create an environment for healing.


BY THE TIME YOU FINISH LISTENING, YOU’LL LEARN : 

  • Why viewing your body as an enemy worsens chronic illness
  • How to create a loving, healing relationship with your body
  • How to get started with supporting your body's innate healing abilities

 

Changing the way you look at your body is the first step to embracing your healing journey.

If you want to create a loving, healing environment by connecting with your body and empowering yourself with tools such as self compassion, gratitude, journaling, mindfulness then the free ebook Autoimmune healing toolkit” is for you!

Head to aninditarungta.com/toolkit and get the free guide!



RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:


"If Your Body Could Talk" book by Jacquie Sharples


Facebook community-

 
https://www.facebook.com/groups/embraceyourhealingjourney

When you finish listening, I'd love to hear your biggest takeaway from today’s episode. Take a screenshot of you listening on your device, share it to your Instagram stories and tag me, @aninditarungta .

While you’re there, make sure you follow me on Instagram so you can see behind the scenes of how I teach women how to discover their own power to HEAL.

LEARN MORE FROM ANINDITA

@aninditarungta | nourish heal connect | Embrace Your Healing Journey

Transcript

In today's episode, I'm going to share with you one very important thing that people get wrong about their own bodies rule when it comes to dealing with chronic conditions. That's all coming up next right here on Embrace Your Healing Journey podcast. 

 Welcome to Embrace Your Healing Journey, a podcast for women with autoimmune and other chronic conditions to help them navigate the illness without fear of isolation and uncertainty and find relief from their symptoms. Your body is your guide and ally in healing. If you're ready to embrace this journey with compassion and awareness, then the show is for you. Tune in weekly as I, a Functional medicine certified health coach, deliver tips and insights that demystify the healing process, guiding you towards the relief you deserve so that you can feel healthy and happy once more. 

 Last year, I had a bad case of sciatica. Nerve pain. Uh, you know, I had initially ignored it because I was constantly traveling. That time, my daughter was doing, uh, back to back competition trainings, um, and mostly in the city of Bangalore. So I was I was constantly with her. And when, you know, it started with a little niggling pain in my lower back on one side, on the left side and I just sort of ignored and I thought, I don't know, when I come back to Bombay, that's when I will go to the doctor and figure it all out. And it was not much. So I started doing some stretches, etc. but by the time I actually went to the doctor, it had been a couple of months and my pain had become worse and I really could not walk without pain radiating from the lower back to my calf of the same leg. And so I went for an MRI and it was confirmed that a disc bulge was causing the sciatic nerve to compress and leading to this constant pain. And this doctor said that if things didn't improve over the next few weeks, an epidural injection or microsurgery were my only options. And of course, I did not want to, uh, you know, do surgery as an option. And I wanted to figure it out. So I asked him about some kind of physiotherapy exercises, and he didn't have anything to add. And this is one of the top doctors in Bombay. however, I did go to another specialist, and this time it was a sports medicine specialist. And I was still trying to figure out, you know, what kind of exercises would not aggravate this condition, right. It's my back. And this time around, this for the second opinion, this specialist that I went to, he also confirmed the same diagnosis. And again, by this time I was not able to walk, but also, I was not able to sit down properly or lie down properly. And he mentioned that even an epidural would not be enough, and surgery was actually the only option, and that I was supposed to get back to him when I was ready to go to the hospital. And you know what I mean. I came out hobbling out of that clinic, and I still remember this was last year, and I refuse to believe that this was my only option. I had not really tried anything else. I was hoping to get some answers from the doctors and hoping to get to the root cause, because I had no clue what was really going on and what had led to this. I knew that of course my fitness might have something to do with it. Maybe there was something to do with my posture, with my core, which I had been trying to work on, but I really didn't know. And I needed some guidance. And, um, finally, I did get that guidance. 

I did reach out and after a couple of false starts, I started physiotherapy as an intense rehab in October. Right. And by this time, lying down was difficult. Sitting was difficult. Walking was, of course, you know, very, very painful. And I was almost confined to my bedroom.  I was simply in my room and it took six painful weeks of therapy. Uh, you know, I remember 32 sessions in, you know, specifically. And after that, things started improving. Like, I could actually see noticeable improvement. I saw some reduction in pain. But the point is, when I when I landed up at this, uh, clinic, when I spoke to this lady who runs this clinic, this amazing lady, you know, uh, she got right to the root. You know, she told me that you have your posture, your flat feet, which had never really bothered me, uh, all this life. And because I thought it was off, you know, no real, uh, significance, per se. I didn't know, actually, that it was all connected to my structural alignment. And so after working on my alignment, working on the posture, you know, doing all kinds of, you know, the muscles had become so stiff, you know, working on all of that. Uh, slowly things started to improve, but. Because I had so much faith in my own body, of because of all the work that I had done. And I had faith in the process because once she explained to me, it all made sense. It made sense that this had happened, and it made sense that it would start getting better. Eventually, once I was, you know, putting in the effort, putting in the work, it all made sense. And so I took a chance on my own body, above and beyond everything and everyone else. And by the end of December, it was actually three months. I remember because we were going to Calcutta for a family trip. I was almost free of pain, and since I had decided to not take any painkillers and that was a personal decision, I had taken some muscle relaxants, etc., some herbal remedies and all that. I knew that we were on the right path because the pain would have not gone away had I not been able to address the root causes. And it took another five months of therapy of exercise before things went back to the way they were before. But honestly, I came out as a different person that, you know, that time taught me many things about my body. Um, you know, certain things that of course, we start taking for granted, even though I teach it with, you know, in my own program, etc. and I share it with you here in this podcast. Sometimes I forget and I need a reminder, and this was a very painful reminder, believe me. So I was wiser and more tuned into how I could prevent this from ever happening again. Right? Because you may be confused about whether your body is really on your side or has betrayed you in some way. You may be living in constant pain because of your disease, not knowing what you can do to make it go away without taking painkillers. Or you may be feeling hopeless or helpless, like you've tried everything and you still can't get your symptoms under control. The real problem is that you still haven't understood one thing yet. Your body is not your enemy. In fact, it's just the opposite. It's your guide if you allow it to be, if you allow it to guide you, if you allow it to tell you what's wrong and show you the way. And I want you to also know this, that it's not really your fault, that you believe otherwise. Because again, you know, it's the conditioning that we have, you know, right from childhood, the media, the messages that we get, you know, all of that tells us that our body has probably betrayed us in some way. Right? Many of us feel like this. And this is very true. I find in the case of a disease dynamic, when it comes to autoimmunity, when the immune system starts attacking our own cells, and then it feels even more, uh, so that probably our body is betraying us. Right? It's like an endless battle against our own bodies. But you can change all that, and it's time to change all that, because clearly this is not working out for you, right? You've tried so many things. You might have tried taking immune suppressing medications for at least two years, but your symptoms have continued to worsen because the disease has continued to progress. You may also have continued to focus and time, uh, you know, focus your time and energy on getting test done, one test done after the other for more than a year, and trying to find that right medicine that will help you to make this all go away. Right. And you've paid a price for that. You've actually may not have the time to explore the root causes of your health issues, or you may have ignored the minor irritations and symptoms. Just like me, right? I actually ignore the niggling back ache and all, and I was doing heat compress and other things. Uh, not taking the time to really sit down and, you know, sort of figure it out or try and reach out to somebody. Because a lot of times we do that. So you may have ignored minor symptoms like headaches, indigestion, constipation, bloating, dry skin for many years actually because you believe that they are all separate issues. And the price that most people end up paying is that they remain stuck in what I call a “disease- merry-go round” and they go from one specialist to another. They get one diagnosis and uh, or they may not get a confirmed diagnosis and they are put on one medication and maybe they are put on another one to deal with the side effects and a third one and so on and so forth. And they believe that there is no other way out. And for me, in my case, I went from one specialist to another. But I soon realized that, okay, um, I mean, I for me, because I, I do this work, I knew that this was not the right path for me. And I figured out fast, uh, but you may, uh, you know, take a bit more time, but you need to become aware of this, because the thing is, I am not against medications, treatments or getting a diagnosis. These are important. And life saving medications can prevent further damage from occurring and can make symptoms more manageable. But they are not the solution that you think they are. Right? You have a choice here to make a dif, to take a different approach, and an approach that allows you to tune in to the messages that your body is sending you in the form of symptoms. And this is irrespective of whether you have a diagnosis or not. Right? The fact is that our bodies and our immune systems have evolved over millions of years to protect us. It is what has kept a species alive till date. So they are designed to keep us safe, to help us live. Right. So they have been designed. It's not a mistake. So having an autoimmune condition or any other chronic illness for that matter, doesn't mean that your body is at war with you. There is something else going on, and it's your responsibility to find out what that thing is, right? Because that's what I needed. I realized I needed to do; I needed that reminder. I had to find out why I was having this pain. And it's only when I got the help of someone I actually figured it out. I mean, we figured it out because when you start believing that your body is weak, frail, dangerous, defective, broken, you can take your pick. Then it's easy to start seeing your body right as broken, like it has betrayed you, like it has turned against you. And then is it any wonder that when you do get a diagnosis, you feel like you are at war with your body? High, because the key to reversing any chronic condition is to view your body as a friend and an ally, rather than an enemy that you're at war with. And I'm going to repeat that again. The key to reversing any chronic condition or prevent one, is to view your body as a friend and ally, rather than an enemy that you are at war with. And do you know why that is true? Because you can't be at war with your body and create an environment for it to heal at the same time. You can't do both those things. Do both those things at the same time. And to create a healing environment, you need to work with your body and support its healing process. Because the environment is what you know what's going to make a difference. And by environment, I mean internal as well as external, right. What you're putting inside your body as well as what's outside your body. So the toxins that you're exposed to, the lifestyle that you, um, lead the, you know, the thoughts that you have. So it's it's actually a mix of both. 1s So you need to give your body a chance to heal. It's asking you for help. 1s Because think of it this way. What if your body had a choice about who would own it? What would your body say about you? Think of it that way. Okay. And I this is a lovely book. It's called If Your Body Could Talk Letters from your Body to You. It's by Jackie Sharples. And I love this book. It's in the form of these letters. And each letter talks to a different person. It's from the body's point of view, right? Telling us how it feels. And I love I'm reading. I'm going to read out one such chapter for you. It's a it's a beautiful book. So here it goes. We are a team. It's not all about you. Your career, your social life and your needs. I have needs too. I know we can fix this. I know we can make things better. Please don't leave it too long. Please don't put me on the bottom of your to do list. Please don't take me for granted. I won't be here forever. I am a gift that was given to you. A gift you only get once. Love always. Your body. 2s Right. Doesn't that letter doesn't that make you really think you know how you treat your body, right? Doesn't that make you think differently about how you would like to treat your body in the future? Isn't it? It's a beautiful way. It's a it's a lovely way of making us understand, make us realize the kind of relationship that we have with our body. Because it's not just about only when you're dealing with an illness, right? It's the relationship that we have. And of the most important relationships that we have is with our selves, with our bodies. Right. That's that's it. That's all this is about. So here are two ways to get started with this. Right. First, as I've already mentioned. Stop seeing your body as your enemy. Right. Start finding ways to make it your friend to, you know, appreciate the small things that it does for you. So whether it's a body scan, whether it's a bit of self reflection, journaling, whether it's, uh, you know, uh, allowing a body to rest when it needs to when you're feeling tired. So stop seeing your body as your enemy and treat it like you would a friend who is in need who you care about. Second, make it your responsibility to find out the real underlying reasons for your health issues. Right? And this is, of course a bit harder for you. Maybe, uh, than others. But you can find out, right? You can, um, reach out to people, connect with the right people. I share a lot of resources here in this, uh, in this podcast and also in the Facebook community that I have. So there are so many ways that you can do this. Right. And I hope that you get started today without wasting any more time. 1s So if you would like to be supported while you work on this, then join our empowering and thriving Facebook community for women called Embrace Your Healing Journey podcast. 2s So thank you so much for joining me today for episode six of Embrace Your Healing Journey. If you want to create a loving, healing environment like I mentioned in this episode, by connecting with your body and empowering yourself with tools such as self-compassion, gratitude, journaling, mindfulness, and the free e-book, Autoimmune Healing Toolkit is for you. You can head to anita.com/toolkit. That's an intercom forward slash toolkit. 1s In the next episode. 1s On Your Health a conversation around the art of self-advocacy for managing chronic conditions. I will be in conversation with two amazing women where we covered something very important addressing our health issues by finding our voice. Don't miss it. Your body knows how to heal. Are you ready to support it?