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Overcome Your Health Skepticism

How to ascend from the inside out, for the Yogi & health fanatic skeptics

By Natalie Joseph, LPC

“Just meditate, eat whole foods, and move your body.” How many times have you heard this?

skepticism alternative health - new directions counselingIn response to these beautiful words of wisdom, you may find yourself day dreaming of sitting in agony, struggling to meditate and think of spiritual things. Or perhaps, you may envision yourself eating an apple while striking a yoga pose that you cannot keep steady long enough before falling.

“No thanks, not for me,” you may be thinking. Yeah, me neither. I am not against it. I want to honestly know why the things I am told are actually going to help me. To put it simple, I like to know the WHY behind all the proposed remedies.

I now dare you to read on, and learn the ‘why’ in why alternative treatments are so special, and freakishly, effective in helping to heal our pain. Set your alternative health skepticism aside for 3 minutes.

Unwelcome Guests Affect our Health

Did you know that emotional pain and trauma live in the body long after the emotional experience takes place? In fact, the energy of trauma is stored in our body tissue until it can be released. This means that emotional experiences that affect us significantly, become a literal part of us.

I wish we had some control over what chooses to attach to us and rent space in our skeletal system. But since we do not, we need to find our power in how we go about releasing this unwelcome energy.

The traditional approaches that aid us, such as therapy, can be used alone. But in tandem with alternative treatment approaches, a person as a more integrative avenue can start empowering themselves against unwanted guests!

Health Skepticism Approach #1 Mind & Body Remedies

Yoga, Tai Chi, and dance, have positive and life changing effects on the nervous system. Breathing, combined with body movement and bursts of stillness, provide an opportunity to feel and accept every sensation in the body in a loving, gentle way.

This is powerful for a person who is storing trauma in their body and may not even know it. With various movements and breathing work, we carve out a way to safely connect with the body. We regain any love, control or acceptance that may have been threatened during a traumatic time.

When we cultivate our ability to regulate our breathing, we are able to bring our system back into balance after experiencing pain. By intentionally breathing and directing oxygen to areas of the body, we relax. Plus, we decrease the pain and tension held in our bodies. It can be comforting to know, if you are not ready to think extensively about painful memories, there is yet another way to feel your way through the bad and release it.

Health Skepticism Approach #2 Trauma-healing gut

Stress damages the body, mind and gut. Know that chronic stress breaks down healthy tissues in our bodies.

Therefore, we need to give the body sufficient ingredients that counteract inflammation caused by trauma. Eating in a healthy manner, can actually reverse the inflammation caused by the excessive stress. This in turn can help you stray away from the comfort food and food addictions that trauma may have caused to begin with. Additionally, the nervous system’s natural response to stress increases our need for nutrients since nutrients are over utilized when we are in the flight, fight, or freeze response.

Eating a whole-food diet as opposed to foods rich in fats, oils and complex carbs, optimizes our energy and has a profound impact on our feelings, mood and mind functioning.

Health Skepticism Approach #3 Meditation & why it works

During meditation, the mind quiets and experiences both physical and emotional relaxation. This helps reduce blood pressure, chronic pain, anxiety and cholesterol levels. Meditation helps to create more space between us and our thoughts and emotions.

We learn that we are not our thoughts and emotions, and not all of our thoughts are worthy of our reactions to them. With practice, we can apply these same principles to our mind’s production unwanted or intrusive thoughts.

Utilizing curiosity and compassion, we are able to addressing expressions of trauma in the body and mind. This is in contrast to letting our stress and traumas overtake us. Instead, we free ourselves from impulsively reacting to our thoughts and patterns of suffering.

Health Skepticism Approach #4 Essential Oils & why they work

Anxiety, depression fear, anger, joy and even happiness, all originate from the limbic system of the brain. Scents can evoke a memory in milliseconds and consequentially, essential oils can help unpleasant emotions surface so that they can be released, effectively.

An essential oil, like Helichrysum Serotinum, helps access emotions and can be the start to your work on self-defeating thoughts. The soothing and comforting scent, aids in the process of getting in touch with unresolved feelings and emotions that may have been suppressed for a long time. It can even help access forgotten memories and is therefore a valuable tool for processing and healing emotional insults.

Rose oil is really effective for grief; often massaged into the heart area and used for baths. Another oil primarily used for trauma is Cistus. It is recommended for administration to the entire body or used in a peaceful bath. All of these oils can be used in a diffuser, water, or spread on the body for comfort. For trauma, in particular, it is helpful to have your entire body cared for with this oil as if you are saying to the bruises, “I see you, and I love you.”

Health Optimism Journey

Our journey started out with a vague idea about alternative treatment approaches and doubted their effectiveness. Till now, we never were given an understanding to what they actually do beyond help us breathe and stay nourished. We then gained the knowledge that pain is stored in our body long beyond the event that caused us pain. We were given a clear outline explaining some alternative approaches and the mechanisms they take to help us get better.

Remember, the next time you come across a yoga stream on Netflix, pass by some organic food in the store, or scroll over an ad for essential oils on Amazon; you will know exactly why these interventions are suggested beyond the new age fads or selling points. These alternative treatment approaches, truly do, have a clear path they take, to release our pain and restore us back to our best selves.

Didn’t eat whole foods today and need help recalling our discussion:

  • Yoga and meditation give us an opportunity to detach from our pain while looking at it without fear and judgement and we can integrate this mechanism, into our everyday lives and thinking process when unwanted thoughts arise.
  • Stress destroys healthy tissues in our bodies and eating healthy can reverse this process and train our brains out of the trauma eating response we have developed early on.
  • Scents evoke memories and emotions that have been suppressed and as they surface, they can be felt and released.

Now that you better understand why these alternative remedies work, it is my hope for you, that you are better able to engage in the healing of your heart.