I Had Forgotten What It Felt Like to Have a Body Free From Pain

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About two weeks ago, a very strange thing happened. I woke up one morning and realised I had no pain in my body. This had happened once or twice before, but somehow this felt different. Not only was I pain-free, but I felt energised, joyful and light. And the strangest part was, the feeling actually lasted all day. It was totally surreal. I went for a long walk, danced my heart out at a 5Rhythms class, I had lunch with friends and I stayed out almost all day. My auto-pilot thought was that I needed to go home, go straight to bed and brace myself for the epic pain and fatigue that was sure to follow such a “full on” day. But it never came. Read More


Can I Have My Cake and Eat Anti-Inflammatory Too?

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I’ve been asking myself this question a lot lately. It all started the other day when my boyfriend asked me what I would truly want to eat if I wasn’t following an anti-inflammatory diet to support my healing. I told him honestly I have no idea. I’ve had a disordered relationship with food for most of my life. I can’t actually remember a time when I just ate what I wanted, without “shoulds” or shame or regret or overthinking. I was on my first diet before I was a teenager. I would obsess about food all day and beat myself up if I “failed”.

As I’ve gotten older, I have done a lot of deep inner work to develop a healthier relationship with food and a much stronger sense of self that isn’t tied to what I eat. Read More


Finding Purpose in Pain

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When people ask me what it’s like to have chronic pain, I often describe it as being like having a huge, flashing neon sign in your brain with the word PAIN on it. The sign is so big, so glaring, so alarming in how it is flashing that it is almost impossible to focus on anything else. No matter which road I take in the labyrinth of my mind, the pain is still there, flashing away and taking up almost all my brain power. The thing is, pain literally is a warning sign. It’s the way our body communicates danger, the way it lets the brain know there is something wrong. Pain is a signal that tissue has been damaged, and that we must take immediate action to prevent further damage. For example, the sharp sensation of burning tells us to move our hand away from a hot stove. Our body and brain wants us to be unable to ignore pain because it could mean life or death.

But what happens when there is no hot stove to pull away from? What happens when pain signals are screaming at us to take action but there is no clear action to take? Read More


What is Your Body Saying No To?

 

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It seems like each week I discover a new rabbit hole of natural healing possibilities to research. It can be overwhelming sometimes but mostly it gives me a sense of hope and purpose to know there is always a new method or tool to try. Lately, I have been exploring flower remedies as a way to support myself emotionally. I have also been diving deep into the work of Lissa Rankin. She is a doctor who believes our mind is the most powerful – and often completely ignored – element to healing our body. She has so many fascinating ideas about healing. A lovely friend lent me her book Mind Over Medicine and I listened to podcasts like this one where she says, if you have reached a healing plateau, ask yourself: ‘What is my body saying no to?’

This question really struck a chord for me. Read More


Emotional Self-Care During a Pain Flare

love LA

As I continue on my natural healing journey, I have been experiencing a lot of pain-free times lately and have been off heavy painkillers for about six weeks. This is HUGE progress. For the six months prior to that I was taking codeine on the daily. Most of the time my pain has been between 0-4 out of 10, rather than 7-11 out of 10 like it was previously. It was beyond exciting to realise all my many natural remedies and modalities were working! (You can check out my natural healing plan here.) I was  feeling so joyful and grateful and positively sparkly. Then, I had a hugely stressful week and was consequently hit with an epic pain flare (isn’t it so fun and convenient that the two go hand in hand?) I immediately felt deeply disheartened and like the hope-filled light at the end of the tunnel was suddenly extinguished. 

I’ve gotten pretty good at looking after myself physically during a pain flare (Hello bed, heat pack and Netflix, my old friends!) But I realised this time I really needed to focus on my emotional wellbeing to stop myself from downward spiralling into unhelpful negative thoughts. So, if you are going through a pain flare and feeling all the feels, here are some emotional self-care techniques I can recommend to get through … Read More


The Pure Magic of an Emotional Support Animal

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She snuggles up to me to remind me I’m always supported.

She meows for breakfast to make sure I get up for my morning self-care practices.

She makes me laugh with crazy antics to remind me its always possible to find joy.

She happily runs to meet me when I get home after a long day to show me the simple joy of being in the present moment.

She demonstrates how to prioritise my own needs by always doing exactly as she pleases. Read More


You Can’t Rush Your Healing (And Other Lessons From Chronic Illness)

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you can’t rush your healing
darkness has its teachings
love is never leaving
you can’t rush your healing

You Can’t Rush Your Healing, Trevor Hall

I have always believed that things happen for a reason. Actually, I’m even more “woo-woo” than that – I believe our souls choose to have certain human experiences in this life in order to grow and evolve. (Even if it’s not true, it gives me so much peace and allows me to let others have their own journey, so I am happy to keep believing!) But I have to be honest and say during this illness there have been times when this belief wavered. I tried and tried to find the “lesson”, the reason for me being sick and in pain. I thought that once I found the lesson, I would get better. This resulted in me getting more and more frustrated when I couldn’t figure it out and my symptoms continued to worsen. But I have since realised that the lessons actually don’t come from resisting, fighting or beating this illness – the truest, deepest lessons have come from accepting the pain, accepting the illness and flowing with it. As Trevor Hall says, darkness has it’s teachings. Read More