“It Takes a Village” Prevention vs. Crisis Management
It was a lovely September day, I had just come out of my Thermography follow-up at the Tummy Temple; I’d had the first one back in February. I was encouraged by the changes in the images. It showed unequivocally that the efforts I had made over the last seven months had made a difference. I was excited to tell my friend about it as she had booked her first Thermography session for the following day. I called her as I was having my lunch in the park and shared the news. She had some not-so-good news to share with me. Her mother was in the hospital. It appeared she had been having gallbladder attacks and had been attributing it to gas or other digestive discomfort. It had finally gotten so bad that she was hospitalized. The surgeons had to open her up as the gallbladder had ruptured to the point that there was bile everywhere eating the soft tissue. There was serious inflammation of the liver as well. She is going to be okay but she is likely pre-disposed to a lifetime of digestive issues and possible pancreatic problems. She is only in her sixties.
Ironically, my story was gallbladder related as well but with a much happier ending. When I had my first Thermography session back in February, it revealed some lymphatic congestion, low thyroid function and inflammation around the liver. I received the report and had it interpreted by my Naturopathic Doctor. In the consultation we devised a plan to address these issues that included diet, supplementation and treatments.
For the lymph congestion, I scheduled a Lymphatic Drainage appointment at the Tummy Temple. I had two such sessions followed by Colon Hydrotherapy, as suggested, over the seven month period. The sessions were relaxing, pleasurable and I feel much less breast tenderness and upper body congestion.
Then we talked about the underactive thyroid; she has had me on thyroid supplementation for the better part of fifteen years. Sometimes I was diligent about taking the supplements, other times I got lazy. Though she’d run the tests and confirmed low thyroid function, I didn’t experience typical symptoms so I had half-heartedly attended to it. In the months before the first Thermography session, I had not been taking the supplements consistently. So she gave me two options: did I want to run all the tests again and see if my dosage needed to be adjusted or did I want to be consistent and see what the next Thermography session showed? I opted to be more consistent.
And finally for the inflammation around the liver, she suggested a liver cleansing supplement for a six month period combined with a metabolic clearing supplement to move the toxins through more readily. “The liver is a fairly easy fix with the right changes.” she said. She also suggested some dietary adjustments to aid the liver cleansing process, more leafy greens and beets, less meat, fats, alcohol and refined sugar. I began to take the supplements regularly but was slower to implement the dietary changes.
A few months later, my husband and I were playing around and wrestling. His thumb slipped between two ribs on the right side of my body just about the level of the gallbladder. All of a sudden, I felt the wind had been knocked out of me and I couldn’t breathe! I recovered after a few minutes but about an hour later I began to grow extremely nauseated, bloated and felt very sick. This kicked off an eight week period of illness and fatigue that, at first, had us perplexed and concerned. It turned out I was having gallbladder attacks! In addition to the digestive discomfort, the area felt inflamed and very tender. Being a Certified Visceral Massage Therapist, I knew where to go for help and made an appointment for Visceral Massage. In the first session I began to feel relief.
Over the next eight weeks I would integrate treatments of Reiki, Visceral Massage, Acupuncture, a homeopathic remedy from my Naturopath and, finally, seriously implement the dietary changes that I had only been toying with before then. It was a rough ride; I didn’t know what foods were going to digest well and what was going to make me nauseated. Sometimes the same food would one day be fine and the next make me feel really ill. When I ate the “wrong” food it wouldn’t be a few hours that I would suffer but three days! I decreased the fats, even the good ones, eliminated meat all together, significantly increased my veggie consumption and drank loads of lemon water. Slowly, I began to feel better, more like myself. I realized that yes, indeed, I had liver inflammation, just like the Thermography session had revealed in visual pictures. There was no denying it.
Fast forward to September, June Drennon is back at the Tummy Temple with her thermo graphic imaging equipment and I have scheduled my follow up. I am feeling myself and have been for a month or so. “These look great!, she exclaimed comparing them with my February images. “Look”, she pointed out, “That lymph congestion that you had around the armpits is significantly less, there is much less red area around the liver and look at the thyroid. Last time it was blue, meaning cold. It’s now gold-green showing that it is functioning. And your breasts are even bluer, this is great. What have you done?”
I proceeded to relay the story that I had taken the Thermography results to heart and took steps to address the issues. My body was not wholly impressed with the speed of my efforts so hurried me along with a gallbladder scare and thus, these are the results. I was thrilled! She was thrilled! I got to see first-hand that my efforts did indeed make a difference; it was right before my very eyes!
Thus, I rushed out to share the good news with my friend and received the bad news about her mother. I thought it very ironic timing and it felt like a validation of my preventative measures. Stories about ignoring or misinterpreting symptoms and winding up in crisis strengthen my resolve to pay attention and listen to my body. I’ve learned that the more closely I am in tune with it on a daily basis the better the chance that I will be able to discern when I need to take action. Preventative measures certainly do not guarantee that crisis will not visit us but it does decrease the odds.
Beyond avoiding crisis, keeping an eye and ear to the body and listening to her/his wisdom results in an experience of being alive with more vitality, ease and enjoyment. All of the treatments I received not only helped my condition; they calmed my nervous system, increased my body awareness and made my everyday experience more pleasurable. It takes a village; the body is complex and varied treatments accomplish different results. Taken all together my preventative efforts, in response to my Thermography results, clearly made a difference. My commitment is confirmed; I vote prevention, how about you?
Shelly Shelley LMP is a Certified Advanced Soma Practitioner, Certified Visceral Massage Therapist, NYR Organic Consultant and Reiki Master. She has been in practice as a LMP since 1996. In addition to her private practice, Shelly has served as a post-graduate instructor and workshop facilitator for the Soma Institute. It is Shelly’s goal to assist her clients in sharpening their own ability to listen to the wise council of their body in order to live a life of full of vitality, beauty and meaning.
Gratitude to my Village:
My colleagues at the Tummy Temple for their combined infinite wisdom and delivery of the following treatments:
- Lymphatic Drainage
- Colon Hydrotherapy
- Registered Dietitian Consultations
- Naturopathic Consultation
- Massage Therapy
June Drennon and her Thermography equipment
Biotics for their high quality supplements
Tummy Temple Community Partners:
- Dr. Nancy Roberts
- Marty Ryan, LMP, Certified Clinical Visceral Massage Therapist
- Julie Johnson at The Pin Cushion Community Acupuncture Clinic
- Eileen Dey, Reiki MasterMichael Emanuel, Reiki Master
And last but certainly not least, my wonderful husband and my fabulous family and friends for their love, concern and support!