Why did you start doing yoga? Everyone has a story, about their first time. But what made you stick with the practice? A health diagnosis put me on a path to a healthier lifestyle. Where yoga ended up my ailment to endometriosis.
What is endometriosis?
It is when cells that typically line the inside of the uterus, grow on the outside. These cells will form lesions that form their own nerves, and bleed during menstrual cycles. Since the bleeding is happening outside of the uterus, the body reacts to like a wound. In short it is pelvic pain. Shooting pain and twisting cramps that ring up the spine, or down the legs. It can be sync up with a woman’s cycle and/or become a chronic disability in everyday life.
How to treat endometriosis?
In 2016, I was diagnosed after a long battle of worsening pain. Cure options are slim pickings. Current medicine treats endometriosis with NSAIDS (ibuprofen) and “surgery on the side.” A hysterectomy eliminates the intrusive symptoms. However when you are young, that is a tough decision. I opted for a holistic approach.
Now I am no doctor but there are a couple changes I made that drastically improved my wellbeing. These are the most successful alternative remedies I found for endometriosis
- I integrated organic foods into my diet
Being relatively healthy, this wasn’t too difficult of a transition. However once I cut out processed sugar and added salts, there was a noticeable difference in my symptoms. Salt and sugar in large doses, cause disruptions to the body’s hormonal response. Anything in excess causes the body to release trace amounts of cortisol, a stress hormone. Which was depleting my magnesium levels, an internal pain killer. I was basically pouring salt and sugar on my wounds.
- I went toxic free with my beauty, bath, and cleaning products
Everything in the body works on hormones. What you put in and ON yourself, has a cause and effect reaction. I was suddenly hyper aware of the products I was using on my skin. I scrutinized ingredients labels for endocrine disruptors. These nasty little invaders mess with the endocrine system. That is a chemical messaging in the system that lets it know when to release certain hormones. Good clean beauty, bath, and cleaning products result in a happy and healthy body.
- I began yoga as a way to ease my pain during my cycle
Yoga was the gateway into a new me. I read something about a yoga teacher dealing with pain from endometriosis. Not only did the poses help in the moment. Overall it helped my mental wellbeing. On debilitating days when I couldn’t do anything bed rest, I practiced meditation.
Yoga Poses for Endometriosis
I am a big fan of twists, hip openers, and lower back postures during my cycle. On the days where the pain scale is high, I opt for a floor practice. I’ll grab a good book and hang out for awhile. These are my go to yoga poses for endometriosis:
-twisting pigeon pose
-half lord of the fish pose
-folded fire log pose
-cow faced pose
Red Ball Meditation for Endometriosis Pain
Prior to my lifestyle renovation, a friend of mine told me that my endometriosis pain was “all in my mind.” I rolled my eyes, at a technique she heard from a friend of a friend. You know how that goes. But today, it remains my favorite meditation during bed rest.
She said, “ Picture your pain like a big red ball. You can make the ball grow bigger, and make the ball grow smaller. Eventually you can make the red ball disappear completely. Viola! Pain. Gone.”
It is not always so easy, but coupled with breathing techniques, the ball does shrink. It helps to think of the disease as something outside of myself. I owe that empowered feeling, to my yoga. Now I find strength from my endometriosis.