Healing from an Ulcer: My Body’s Wake-up Call
These last few months have been a whirlwind. High highs, low lows, and virtually everything in between. Amidst all the chaos, my intention and commitment remain constant: to share highly valuable wellness information with you that speaks to what’s important to you right now.
Sometimes…that information comes in the form of a reality check.
For starters, I’ve been needing to share these two key discoveries that inspired this post and what will follow:
- A potentially dangerous ulcer that had me in unbearable pain.
- A potentially dangerous misconception that too many of my clients were buying into.
Let’s just say both needed to be eviscerated and laid to rest.
I’ll start by sharing about the dreaded ulcer. This wasn’t the first time. I had an ulcer when my daughter Emma was just under 1-year old that healed, or so I thought. It was lying dormant and came back again full force very recently.
Stress as of late has all been good and I’ve never been happier! I closed my brick-and-mortar and am focusing more on Corporate Wellness, our NAO Ear Seed Kits are selling out, and our Nutrition Consults are booking like crazy. But what I’ve learned is that the body can’t tell the difference between “good stress” and “bad stress” if it’s simply too much stress without enough recovery.
What I didn’t realize as I was plugging along is that my self-care had fallen by the wayside, probably because I’ve been feeling so thrilled and excited with the changes! Sometimes the body produces an ailment to slow you down enough that you start to listen intently to its needs, and that’s exactly what it did for me.
*Infrared sauna is my “happy place” and one of my favorite forms of self-care.
The ulcer left me bed-ridden for 3 days with nausea, exhaustion, and pain all over my body. I became fearful of eating anything because mealtime set it off all the more, so I switched my regimen to licorice tea, cabbage juice, and light meals. I was then concerned about triggering my eating disorder since it made me hungrier than usual.
All this to say that even in our brightest busiest times when we are chipping away at our goals and feeling the thrill of success, the body still needs self-care. It is constantly sending us subtle signs before we reach a point of complete exhaustion, illness, disease, or dysfunction. If you don’t make time for the body now, it will make time for you, just as it did for me. It’s a wake-up call, and it can happen to anyone.
What are some subtle signs the body might be giving you that it’s time to rest, reset, detox, and give it extra love, recovery, and gratitude? There are many: headaches, aches and pains, tension, constipation/diarrhea/IBS symptoms, chronic gas and bloating, skin issues, itchiness, extreme fatigue, nausea, reflux, allergies, anxiety, depression, and even catching the flu, a bad cold, or…a stomach ulcer.
Learning to care for your body and hear its cues takes time, practice, and patience. Love and acceptance of what’s happening in the moment, even when we don’t want it to, and learning lessons for the future are so important. Otherwise, we risk repeating patterns and creating more moments where the body rebels in order to communicate what it needs.
If you are experiencing an ulcer, I’m here to help! Here are some of my top tips that supported me through healing my ulcer (both times). We’re always posting about the best self-care techniques that nourish, heal, and protect your mind, body, and soul so keep coming back and follow us @naowellness~
Prioritize self-care! It needs to be daily/weekly consistent practices. Rather than something you only do when stress is already high.
HAVE FUN. Add activities that light you up. Make self-care a joyful habit rather than a chore.
I love breathwork and meditation as daily practices. Download an app, take a guided class, or look up some free youtube videos and get started!
Be gentle with yourself and your lifestyle habits – take some time off, get extra sleep to help your body recover.
I relied on the healing powers of licorice tea and cabbage juice (yes, you read that correctly) because food is medicine.
Read a book, watch your favorite shows on Netflix, and do relaxing activities that serve as positive distractions from the pain.
Ulcers are not just about physical pain….were there drivers mentally that led to tension? Were you ignoring certain signs earlier that you weren’t feeling “quite right” or were feeling stress from work, relationships, family, etc.? Just notice them and take note.
There is SO much I’ve learned and that I’d love to share about this experience. Stay tuned for more.