What's Your Kryptonite?
Just “prescribe” something that will relieve the symptoms. This is the mandate all health care practitioners face – from insurers and patients.
Insurers want to limit what they are expected to pay for. Patients want relief from whatever is slowing them down. And, if a medication (or even a supplement) promises to help “kick the can down the road,” few questions are asked.
This approach completely ignores several important considerations.
- The long-term cost of treating escalating disease.
- Lower costs today may create long-term consequences.
- The value that symptoms offer as a diagnostic tool.
- The extra "noise" created by aggressively suppressing symptoms.
- The self-healing capabilities of the human body.
- A body part that is surgically removed was integral to the whole.
Symptoms are a window into our internal world and hold the keys to our vitality and longevity. Mining the value out of symptoms requires a patient and collaborative approach.
An approach that depends on patience and collaboration can be slow to produce results. But the results that are produced are often superior!
I had the great fortune to experience this approach myself many years ago. It has inspired my journey … personally and professionally.
It’s the stories that stay with us. Let me share a bit of mine.
I was one of those kids on antibiotics, non-stop. Chronic bronchitis.
I still have my tonsils because I wasn't well enough, for long enough, to have them removed. By my early 20s, I was used to a common cold developing into a painful and scary sounding cough.
I would delay a trip to the doctor for yet another round of antibiotics until someone would force me to go. I was told more than once that I should have come in sooner. I had walking pneumonia.
In my late 20s, my fiancé and I were hosting a family get together. I overheard my father-in-law to-be compliment my grandmother on aging well. He encouraged her to avoid medication, even if that meant keeping doctors at bay. This was a bit confusing because he was a well-respected Harvard trained surgeon.
What did he know, as an insider, that we aren't told about the medication prescribed by doctors? I started seriously questioning what we're told about taking care of ourselves, particularly where our health is concerned.
A few years later, a chiropractor (who had become a personal friend) encouraged me to resist the antibiotic quick fix the next time I got sick. She recommended an all-natural, holistic protocol.
I was warned that it would probably be uncomfortable. This was something I was already used to. Bronchitis was accompanied by a painful cough that persisted for weeks. I assumed I could handle it.
She insisted that it would be worth the discomfort in the long-term. If given the chance, my immune system would educate itself as it cleared the infection. In the future, it would know what to do when a similar foreign pathogen was introduced.
The promise for the future? When I caught a “cold,” I could expect mild infection symptoms and a speedy recovery. I was intrigued and was soon given the chance to put her advice to the test.
I felt a “cold” coming on and could tell that it was gaining momentum. I was committed to sticking with the plan and as prepared as I could be. After two solid weeks of tolerating overwhelming symptoms … moving from my bed to the sofa with a box of Kleenex never out of reach, I finally turned the corner and began to recover.
Since I had been prepared for the onslaught, I found it interesting to observe the process as my immune system attacked the infection on all fronts. The human body is truly amazing!
I have never been that sick ... or prescribed antibiotics for bronchitis ... again. 25 years later and my naturally acquired antibodies are still on the job and working!
Caution: Don't try this unassisted or without an effective natural protocol. There could be a point where the body can't handle the internal storm and needs more intervention … including antibiotics.
Over the next few years, I turned to natural medicine first … for any health issue. Even if I needed intervention from a medical doctor, I always complimented their protocol with my own holistic one to offset any toxic side effects of traditional treatment.
Health care should be focused on cleanup rather than creating more toxic waste. Toxic waste is what creates the problem, or disease, in the first place.
One of the most prevalent sources or causes of dis-ease that escalates to disease is stress. This isn’t the “garden variety” stress we thrive on. It’s toxic stress that results from chronic exposure to toxins coupled with an internal environment that allows it to take root.
Stress is a natural by-product of living a full and fulfilling life. Eliminating or avoiding it isn't an option. Stress has to be managed or it drains your power and energy ... just like "Kryptonite!" It threatens your ability to maintain "Super Woman" status in your world and steals the joy from life.
Managing stress starts with identifying the most powerful source of stress for you - your "Kryptonite." To do that you need to evaluate the signs and symptoms that you know (or at least sense) are threatening your life and lifestyle. By following the signs the symptoms create, the source of the toxic stress (your "Kryptonite") reveals itself.
Where do you start when you know you should be managing toxic stressors? Making a few important, and likely challenging, commitments are required.
“Super Woman” is not known for taking care of herself. She’s revered for taking care of those people in her world who depend on her for their own well-being.
They’re her stakeholders!
You have stakeholders who depend on you too. And, rarely will you hear them encourage you to take the day (or week) off.
What would you do if you could spend all of your precious time doing things that selfishly bring you joy? For many “super women,” that’s a question that stumps them!
If enjoying the luxury of an extended period of time (and other resources) to focus on yourself is a distant memory, it’s been too long. It’s time to reconsider your priorities.
Committing to self-care will help you notice the signs and symptoms of stress when they are still whispering. You have to slow down to hear the message they carry.
Resolve to Resolve the Root Cause
Avoid suppressing symptoms with medication – including pain relievers and other over-the-counter remedies. Some of the most common symptoms we tend to quickly suppress include headaches, sinus issues and indigestion.
When we regularly turn to symptom relievers to buy time to deal with what’s on today’s “To Do List,” it gets harder to find the root cause as it’s pushed deeper into the body. The symptoms become more frequent and “louder,” but they may be more difficult to interpret.
When someone is screaming for help in an emergency, they are nearly impossible to understand. That’s the equivalent of what your body is doing with your escalating symptoms.
As we work to identify and manage the toxic stressors, it’s important to keep in mind that the solution we develop will be focused on the root cause. The uncomfortable symptoms are ripe with useful information.
It can be helpful to keep a journal to capture details that are often the missing link. Include any information that seems relevant. For example …
- When did the symptom appear?
- What were you doing in the hours prior?
- Did you notice any “warning signs?”
Reboot Your Immune System Regularly
If you grew up using Microsoft Windows, suggesting that you reboot regularly to avoid the “blue screen of death” will bring a clear unpleasant vision to your mind. When we have too many programs running in the task bar, have dozens of tabs open in the browser, or have ignored the “updates required” notification for too long, a spontaneous reboot is imminent.
A spontaneous reboot is the equivalent of the flu on the low end and a life-threatening diagnosis on the upper end of the threat spectrum. No one wants to spend precious down time being sick … but that’s what happens when stress builds to a toxic level.
One of the easiest ways to reboot your immune system intentionally involves fasting. Your immune system effectively reboots with at least 24 hours of digestive rest.
If you would like to use fasting as a fairly easy way to improve your health, there are many great resources on the subject. Our community uses a gentle approach to fasting that prevents aggravating the adrenal glands.
I share more about our approach to identifying and managing toxic stressors and answer commonly asked questions in my online program. It's called the MOLT Method™ Program.
I created a quiz to help you determine if stress is draining your "super powers." It's a great first/next step on the journey to managing toxic stress. You can take the quiz using the link below.
In the movie, “The Prince and Me,” King Haraald played by James Fox said, “It is at the end of a man's life when he realizes how important his decisions were at the beginning.”
He was quite ill and facing death. Wealth and power were no match for disease.
Don’t wait until you’re deathly ill to take the signs and symptoms your body is sending you seriously. In the early stages, some minor adjustments could be all that’s required to restore your body’s full capacity for self-healing.
You need to learn how to monitor your current threat level. And, know which tools to use when the level rises. Even Kryptonite can be managed if you know it's there!
As a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist and naturopath, I blend the ancient wisdom of oriental medicine, bio-botanical medicine and state-of-the-art technology to help patients prevent disease … or restore health if necessary … naturally.
I develop a unique protocol to support my patients as they restore their energy with a deep cleaning and reboot of their immune system. This deep cleaning is not that different from the spring cleaning we do around the house. Or, making sure we get our teeth professionally cleaned once or twice a year.
In today’s health care system, patients are required to create a relationship with a “Primary Care Practitioner,” also known as a PCP. This general practice physician is responsible for coordinating health care services including authorizing referrals to specialists.
My patients assume the role of their own “PCP.” I believe the best primary care person is the one who is closest to you – yourself!
The body knows what to do. Sometimes it just needs a little extra support and professional guidance when it has become overwhelmed and overburdened.
I'm on a mission, for myself and anyone who chooses to join me. We need to prevent disease by focusing on optimizing health and managing stress … that involves removing toxins.
What’s your "Kryptonite?"