I wanted to give a status update regarding realigning the physical body to include not only the skeletal/musculature but the endocrine and digestive systems as well.
As I have mentioned previously, I have been guided to practice yoga on a daily basis. This I have done religiously, though on occasion I have had to skip a day. Change has been slow but there has been progress. So far I have gone from being unable to remain in rock pose without a block because of the tension around my knees, to being able to comfortably sit in that position without a block for very long periods without any tension or discomfort. I can even bend over and almost touch my forehead to the ground (1 in away) without discomfort.
Similarly, I have noticed more flexibility in my hips, hamstrings and shoulders. For example, I can do pyramid pose without issue when I could not when I began a daily practice. I can also do wheel pose (also called “flipping the dog” or “wild thing” lol) now which requires shoulder and hip mobility.
I still have a long way to go and there are some poses I may never be able to do without modifications. However, the changes to my body and energy have been significant enough to convince me that I need to continue a daily practice of at least 30 minutes of yoga while also doing foam rolling (SMR) of specific muscles at least three times a week.
Progress with the digestive system has been phenomenal. I have successfully balanced my gut flora using prebiotics and probiotics, homemade yogurt and kombucha. Each is a part of my daily morning routine. I eat a higher fat diet than I use to – 30% or more of my total caloric intake – composed of healthy fats (nuts and seeds, avocado, coconut oil). I also decreased gluten intake but have not completely eliminated it. I find that if my gut shows signs of imbalance then cutting out gluten completely for a week will resolve it. My guidance indicates gluten creates a mild inflammation response in my body. However, there is not yet need for me to remain completely gluten free at this time (hoping never).
I have also vowed to never take antibiotics again for a skin condition (meaning unnecessary). Antibiotics, specifically Ampicilin, created the gut imbalance in the first place. All in all I took antibiotics (Doxycycline and Ampicilin) a total of around 12 months for acne related issues. Antibiotics should only be taken short-term (14 days max for most), not for 30+ days or more at a time. Doctors give us a quick fix but what they really should be doing is addressing the underlying causes, working toward “whole body, mind, Spirit health”. I am so very grateful to my guidance for being my holistic doctors. 🙂
The endocrine system has been a whole other mess to deal with. For years (since 2014 after my c-section) I have been dealing with skin issues (acne, dry skin, eczema) that come and go seemingly for no reason. Similarly, my hormones have been all out of whack with various symptoms ranging from cramping during ovulation, heavy periods, shorter cycles on and off, and sometimes skipping a cycle altogether (only happened once). It was assumed that the skin issues were directly related to hormone imbalance and so for a long while there was use of antibiotics, skin creams (Retin A), and even birth control (bad idea).
Then this year I was told to stop taking vitamin A in a dream. I listened, stopped supplementing and then stopped the topical cream as well. I was temped to restart antibiotics and even birth control but my gut/guidance said, “No. Just wait. It will resolve.” I had certainty of this but without a logical explanation as to why.
Within a couple of weeks my complexion underwent a phenomenal transformation. The acne faded and my skin returned to a normal hydration level. One morning I was reminded of my earlier skincare regime. So, I decided to return to a skin regime I use to follow years ago in my 20’s. Basically it is using Glycolic Acid 10% along with Salycilic Acid 2% as part of my morning routine. I also went back to a Benzoyl Peroxide face wash and covered my face with moisture cream made for people with eczema and psoriasis.
When my face was clear enough and the dryness gone, I began to do home chemical peels (also from my 20s/30s). I did a series every two weeks for six weeks. The peels mostly just remove old scarring and skin damage, increase collagen production, reduce pore size and assist with hydration levels. I use to have them done professionally in my 30s until I started doing them on my own from home but then stopped when I began to use retinoids (you can’t do a peel when using them). I credit the peels for fixing the areas on my chin that kept flaring up into scabby, scary looking spots that wouldn’t heal.
Just recently I re-introduced the retinoid I was prescribed (Tazorac .1%) but use Short Contact Therapy (SCT) meaning I only leave it on for a max of 5 minutes and then wash it off. The cream is usually left on overnight. I often forget to use the retinoid altogether, though, because my face and complexion has improved so much.
While all of the face/skin transformation was going on I also returned to seed cycling to help balance my hormones. I had success with it before but stopped because I got tired of it. I noticed a shift in my cycle this month (2 months into seed cycling). It is amazing how just eating certain seeds on certain days can lead to hormone balance!
Of course the gut, hormones and skin issues all go together. An unhealthy gut has been proven to lead to acne and skin issues such as the ones I had. Hormones do the same. And yoga reduces stress levels which also contribute to skin issues (acne and eczema for me).
I will continue to listen to my guidance and see if I can come into even more balance than I have so far.