I grew up in NYC. I went to conventional doctors. I did not know a dandelion from a tomato plant, nonetheless know that plants can actually heal you. I grew up in a terrorized family of Holocaust survivors and lox and bagel Jews. I definitely did not learn that there are ways to listen to the body and be in harmony with it, instead of feeling confused by the body’s signals or feeling like I was in a constant battle with it. When I was age 11, I injured my sacrum just by sitting the wrong way on a couch. I was in pain for ONE YEAR. It was scary to be so young and in such physical pain. I did not know what was happening in my body and it felt like it was failing me. In 7th grade, my mom finally took me to a chiropractor for the back pain. This was my first time seeing a holistic doctor. I was scared, I thought she would be a quack, but she turned out to be nice and helped me. I was pain free after that, but continued to have back and hip pain throughout my 20’s that I was able to manage through yoga, nutrition and bodywork.
My next experience with holistic medicine was in my early 20’s. I had been an environmental activist, but growing up in a city, I felt no connection at all to the earth, to any piece of land or river, to any part of nature. So I started working on small scale, family organic farms. The best part was getting my hands in the dirt, and being outside observing the night sky and the moon. I had my first foray into herbal medicine. I started doing yoga as well. My menstrual cycle had been completely erratic for 8 years. I would get my cycle one month, then not again for another 6 months .I was told what too many young women are told when they have similar symptoms, to take birth control pills. Birth control pills do not treat the cause of the problem and often have undesirable side effects, such as breast tenderness and mood swings. I declined the medications. After 1-2 months of farming(which involves a lot of squatting), eating fresh, organic foods, and basking in the moonlight, my menstrual cycle reset and I started bleeding monthly. In naturopathic medicine, we call this the foundations of health-good nutrition, movement, clean air, and healthy relationships with people and our environment.
When I found naturopathic medicine, specifically herbalism, nature cure-hydrotherapy, forest walking, cranio sacral therapy and myofascial release, I found a way to listen to the body and I found a home. I found a practice, a place where I could be open hearted, loving, wild and connected to nature, and a system which integrates all the modalities I had been studying before, a structure for all these different tools of healing through learning to listen and observe the vis-the vital inherent healing energy within all of us.
Most times with chronic pain and unresolved digestive issues, we need some guidance and support. Most of us know we should exercise or eat better., but we don’t know how, why, or what exactly. My 5 step protocol, involving identifying the cause of your most pressing health concern, visceral manipulation and craniosacral therapy, as well as a program for instituting the foundations of health will help get you on your way to being pain free.