NOTES FROM THE PRACTICE
Joyce had been my patient 8 years ago when I helped her with her fertility issues (she now has an 8 year old son) and recently returned to my practice with extreme fatigue, thyroid imbalance and what was diagnosed as Rheumatoid Arthritis. She was seeing one doctor for her fatigue, one for her thyroid and one for her RA; there was no communication among the 3 different physicians nor was there co-ordination of her care.
The beauty of root case health care is that I immediately knew all of her symptoms were related; they were branches of the same tree. The trunk of the tree, so to speak, or the main cause of her not feeling well, was 8 years of too much stress, and the inherent putting her needs on the back burner, letting herself, in her words, “become a door mat.” The limbs were the symptoms of fatigue, thyroid imbalance, muscle and joint pain. All of these symptoms had an underlying cause of inflammation.
HER TREATMENT PROTOCOL
Nutrition • Acupuncture • Functional Medicine Supplements • Exercise • Relaxation
I contacted her endocrinologist and we agreed to add Cytomel to her Synthroid regime. There are some patients who have a difficult time converting the inactive form of thyroid hormone (T3) to the active form of thyroid, T4. She had previously had her Synthroid dose increased and felt no change but after 5 days on Cytomel she began to notice more energy and an easier time focusing.
Joyce came twice a week for acupuncture treatment as well as herbs and Functional Medicine supplements. She also started a Gluten Free, low carbohydrate diet. 6 weeks after beginning treatment she had enough energy to look at what had happened for her that she allowed her self to get “so far down”, and what could she do to prevent that from happening again.
HOW DID SHE GET THERE?
I believe that part of recovering from an illness is going back to the time when you first started to not feel “your self”. This introspection takes a certain amount of energy and when Joyce first started seeing me, it was only through determination and will power that she had been able to go to her job as a kindergarten teacher and take care of her family.
WHICH CAME FIRST, THE CHICKEN OR THE EGG?
During our conversation, she began to be able to separate what she called “her good voice” from the “negative or destructive voice”. The “good voice” or the positive Animus as it is called in Jungian psychology, supports the inner development and healthy habits of women. (Men have this too, but it’s called Anima) This is the part that shops for good food, cooks in a healthy way, fits time in to exercise and enjoy creative efforts with friends and family.
The negative Animus is the part of women (Anima for men) that says “you’re not doing it right” or “you’re not doing it correctly” or “you’ll never succeed” at what you are attempting. It’s the part that, perhaps, doesn’t believe you deserve to succeed at your health recovery. It’s the part that doesn’t love your self –enough- to help you achieve that success.
How does this negative voice develop? Trauma, stress, lifestyle difficulties, depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance, all lead to the body becoming depleted and out of balance. When the body’s out of balance the “negative voice” has the ability to take over-making it harder to do the positive things to take care of you. Becoming aware is the first step in “decreasing the voice’s volume” and having a productive, connected and happy life.
THIS IS MIND BODY HEALTH CARE
I’ve found that conversations like this, where the unconscious or hidden perceptions are discussed, are critical for success in treating and overcoming disease. This is especially important if the person has had the illness for a long time and has seen different practitioners without success. If the inner dialogue is not brought into the light of the treatment room, the person often drops out of treatment before they are completely well. This is also an example how a multi-disciplinary approach, the use of psychotherapy, contributes to depth healing and illness recovery.
It requires a great deal of change and commitment to become healthy. Old unhealthy habits need to be replaced with healthy versions, lifestyle changes need to occur and this can be a lot to input. So we go slowly and every week attend to a different health change.
For Joyce, these conversations, encouraging her to become aware of her inner dialogue, were the turning point in her being able to commit to the supplement protocol, as well as the necessary lifestyle changes. Within 8 weeks, she reported feeling 75% back to her “normal” self. I believe she can achieve 100% lasting health.