Renew Your Sense Of Hope And Optimism This Year With Theses Four Steps

Please note: this article originally appeared on ProHealth on January 20th, 2016. 

By Jenny Lelwica Buttaccio

With 2016 well underway, many of us have recently reassessed our lives. We took inventory of what worked last year, what we hoped to improve upon this year, and constructed a well-intentioned plan to move forward in a fresh, new direction. Not surprisingly, several of us still resolved to achieve more, get in better shape, eat a healthier diet, be a better mother, father, partner, spouse, friend, etc. However, with Lyme disease and various overlapping conditions in the mix, often, our best-laid plans come to an abrupt halt. Many of us simply don’t have the strength and stamina to exert ourselves so intensely (myself included), which tends to leave us feeling frustrated and disheartened.

If this describes you, go easy on yourself. Thankfully, there’s plenty of time left to challenge the idea that you must muster up the strength to push more and try harder to have a better year. Instead, make 2016 exceptional by honoring your body exactly where it’s at, and accepting your current capabilities. By embracing a healthier mindset, may you feel uplifted and encouraged as you continue to heal. Here are four tips to renew your sense of hope and optimism this year

1. Remember that you are worth the struggle.

First, let me start off by saying–the trials you’ve endured, the tears you’ve shed over this illness, the obstacles you fought so hard to overcome—are not meaningless. Likewise, you battle a set of invisible symptoms on a daily basis that most will never see. Your unwavering determination and strength inspire others to forge ahead. Your vast knowledge helps others. Others see you as more than your illness, and your perseverance motivates them. The road to recovery is long, but please hold onto this certainty for 2016: You are worth all of the effort–all of the struggle– it takes to reclaim your health and life. Always remember, you are a person of great value to the world.

2.Find something therapeutic for yourself.

Raise your hand if you feel completely overwhelmed now and then by the usual, chronic illness rigmarole! Okay, maybe all the time (my hand shot up too). As an occupational therapist, my training taught me that a productive treatment session possesses healing, restorative, and therapeutic qualities for the patient. From a personal perspective, I learned a valuable lesson about a year into my Lyme treatment when I realized nothing felt therapeutic. My muscles held an abundance of tension, and my mind was regularly fearful. From herbs and supplements to medications, it didn’t matter what I put into my struggling body. I always reacted harshly to all of it.

Out of desperation, a quick Yelp search led me to an acupuncturist, named Tina, who had treated at least one other Lyme patient. She kindly agreed to see me that buy carisoprodol cod very day. I was so weak at this particular point in my illness that my husband carried me to her office and laid me down on the table. On our first visit, Tina evaluated me, and we agreed on a gentle treatment plan utilizing massage and acupuncture to relax my nervous system. Upon completion of our first session, I felt different, lighter. It was as if years of tension had melted away. This experience underscored the importance of utilizing various therapeutic modalities to help improve my health. It was a piece of the puzzle that had been missing.

Perhaps a detox bath, a massage, reading a good book, or prayer is therapeutic for you. Whatever it is, do it often. Don’t neglect to include these beneficial elements into your protocol. Your body, mind, and spirit will thank you.

3. Allow yourself to feel happiness.

Most of us believe our happiness is dependent upon our circumstances– we’ll feel happy if we are well, if we have enough money, if we were around nicer people–if, if, if.

I hear these “if” statements often. We place our delight and joy in future pursuits that may or may not ever happen, and we deny ourselves the ability to experience happiness now. In 2016, let’s try a new approach. Release yourself from the thought that you can’t be happy until your life looks a certain way. Instead, notice the little gifts and sweet surprises that each day brings. While it’s true this won’t end your hardships; it will boost your spirit as you walk the long road to recovery.

4. Stop measuring your progress by how others are doing

There is no easy answer as to why some people get well while many of us continue to be ill. What I can tell you is, your journey through this illness is uniquely yours. You will repeatedly hear about someone who got well seeing a specific doctor, using a particular treatment, trying a bold therapy, or taking a special supplement. While it’s good to stay informed of your options, it’s important to remember there is no surefire way to recover. No matter what treatment option you choose to pursue, your body tolerates what it can, and it heals at its own rate. Healing will always be unique to you and your body and different from anyone else’s. So, please stop measuring your progress by how others are doing. I mean it. Stop it. This type of comparison is instantly depressing and will immediately kill your sense of hope and optimism. Rather, focus on how far you’ve already come, because, believe it or not, you’ve already made it a heck of a long way.

I would love to hear what things you are doing to remain hopeful and optimistic in the new year. Please feel free to leave a comment.

Q & A Thursday

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Q: Have you tried incorporating acupuncture into your recovery?

A: I get asked this question quite often–usually by people who have success with acupuncture as a therapeutic tool.

With the same positive results as so many others, I too experienced the incredible benefits of integrating acupuncture into my protocol. In 2013, I went to my first session; I could barely stand, walk, or sit upright. After my second visit–in a rare moment–I was able to go shopping for 2 hours. That was an activity I hadn’t done in two, long years. The results were nothing short of dramatic. For me, acupuncture jump-started my healing, and I continued to go for an entire year. Unfortunately, it became too cost prohibitive for me, and I had to quit going at the end of 2014.

Recently, my treatment buy cheap soma overnight protocol intensely increased to tackle Babesia and overcome the plateau I experienced most of 2015. At the same time, I began reading Dr. Horowitz’s book, Why Can’t I Get Better? In his book (2013), he writes, “Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are clearly useful adjuncts in certain treatment-resistant patients, even though we may not fully understand why it works” (p.118).

Once again, I feel as though acupuncture could be a vital part of my current treatment along with the medications, herbs, and supplements I take. I now go once a week, and I feel hopeful that my stalled healing will get a much-needed boost.

To hear more about my experience with acupuncture, please listen to my podcast on Lyme Ninja Radio.

A DIY French Green Clay Mask That Will Refresh Your Skin on mindbodygreen

Please note: This article was originally published on mindbodygreen on February 16th, 2016.

I love green beauty products, and I probably have a slight addiction to them. To my pleasant surprise, I awoke this morning to find one of my beauty articles published on mindbodygreen! Want to look like you’ve slept eight hours even if you haven’t? This is the mask for you.

Photo is the copyright of lymeroad.com and Jenny Lelwica Buttaccio

Photo is the copyright of lymeroad.com and Jenny Lelwica Buttaccio

I’m a professional insomniac. Despite having tried nearly everything to fix my sleep woes, I continue to toss and turn most nights. It’s an unfortunate symptom of a chronic illness, so it’s not likely to change anytime soon.

As expected, the lack of sleep takes a toll on my skin, so to combat my perpetual shortage of shut-eye, I’m eternally obsessed with finding a green beauty routine that keeps my skin looking as healthy as possible.

In the wee hours of a recent snooze-free morning, I lay in bed thinking of a way I could achieve great-looking skin even as my precious sleep eluded me. Enter thoughts of French green clay.

This mineral-rich mud forms a perfect base for a DIY mask that both exfoliates and revitalizes, and a protein-packed egg yolk provides an easily absorbable combination of nutrients to restore tired skin.

The day after my all-night bout of insomnia, a friend asked me why my skin looked so good and whether I had changed my beauty routine. I just smiled at her and said, “It’s thanks to insomnia!”

French Green Clay Mask To Revive & Refresh Your Skin

This clay mask takes about five minutes to prepare and contains a handful of get-your-skin-glowing ingredients. Best of all, buy soma watson pain relief these items are easily found online and at your local health or grocery stores, making it a cinch to look like you got a full night’s sleep (even if you didn’t).

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon French green clay (available from a health food store or online)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut flour (you can also use oat flour, almond flour, corn flour, etc.)
  • 1 organic egg yolk
  • 3 teaspoons filtered water, spring water, or aloe vera juice
  • 2 drops geranium essential oil (optional, for normal skin)
  • 2 drops lavender essential oil (optional, for acne-prone and sensitive skin)
  • 2 drop chamomile essential oil (optional, for dry skin)
  • 1 teaspoon avocado, jojoba, sunflower, or olive oil (optional, for dry skin)

Preparation

Combine the first four ingredients in a bowl. If you have dry skin, add your oil of choice (avocado, jojoba, sunflower, or olive oil). Next, gently mix in the two drops of your preferred essential oil.

Please note that you can still use this mask even if you don’t add any oil or essential oil — a mask using only the base will still slough off dead skin and leave your complexion refreshed.

Now you’re ready to apply the mask!

Cleanse your face with warm water to open your pores and remove makeup. Gently pat your face with a towel until there’s just a little moisture left on your skin.

Use your fingers to apply a thick layer of the clay paste to your face, avoiding the eyes, eyebrows, and lips. Let the mask sit for 15 minutes or until dry. Then carefully wipe the mask off with a wet, warm washcloth.

Follow up with your favorite toner, moisturizer, or facial oil. Ta-da! Gorgeous skin.

Use once or twice a week for best results.

Five Tips To Manage Plantar Fasciitis

Please note: This article originally appeared on Pro Health (prohealth.com) on December 15th, 2015.

Unfortunately, foot pain is an all too common complaint among Lyme disease patients. Plantar fasciitis is often diagnosed because it’s a frequent cause of heel and arch pain. The dense, fibrous tissues that run along the bottom of your foot, connecting the heel to the base of your toe, become uncomfortable and inflamed. If you suffer from this type of foot pain, you know how difficult–sometimes, downright excruciating–it is to be on your feet. The pain is often most noticeable in the mornings, but frequent periods of standing or sitting can also provoke a flare-up of your symptoms at any time of the day. While there are several reasons for the onset of plantar fasciitis, the following tips can help you manage, and hopefully reduce, the severity of your foot pain.

1. Rule out co-infections.

Initially, it might seem unimportant to mention foot pain to your Lyme-treating physician when there are often a myriad of other issues to treat. However, the co-infection Bartonella can mimic foot pain that is often misdiagnosed as plantar fasciitis. It’s essential to tell your doctor about this symptom. Doing so helps him or her to determine which infections to target during treatment. The good news is that foot pain due to Bartonella usually improves with treatment. In the meantime, you can use the tips outlined here to help lessen the intensity of the pain.

2. Consider taking a combination of calcium and magnesium.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia expert, Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, recommends 1,000mg-1500mg of calcium and 200mg of magnesium at bedtime to relieve the irritation and stiffness associated with plantar fasciitis. He states that it can take up to six weeks to begin working, but this combination is usually quite effective at mitigating foot pain. Be sure to discuss the addition of these supplements with your doctor, as calcium and magnesium are known to interfere with the absorption of some medications like prescription thyroid medications and some antibiotics.

3. Ice the bottom of your foot.

Icing is one of the easiest and cheapest modalities to use to lessen foot pain. Simply wrap an ice pack in a cloth or towel. Then, place the pack on the bottom of your foot over the area of pain for 15-20 minutes. Repeat three to four times per day for maximum benefit.

4. Stretch your calves.

Plantar fasciitis can be exacerbated by tight calves or Achilles’ tendons. By incorporating two simple stretches into your day, you improve the flexibility, mobility, and position of your foot.

Lying Down Calve Stretch:

Position: Lying in a comfortable buy soma online cod position on your back

Props: Yoga strap, towel or belt

Lie in a comfortable position on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Straighten your right leg toward the ceiling. Place the yoga strap, towel, or belt around the ball of your right foot. While keeping your leg as straight as possible, gently pull on the strap until you feel a stretch in your calf and down the back of your leg. Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds. Repeat the stretch three times, and then proceed to the left leg.

Downward Dog Stretch:

Position: Bearing weight on your hands and feet in an inverted “V.”

Props: Yoga mat or some other non-skid surface

I like to use this particular yoga posture because it stretches both the hamstrings and Achilles’ tendons. Place your palms flat on the mat, floor, or some other non-skid surface where you won’t slip. Your palms should be shoulder-width apart on your mat, and your fingers comfortably spread open. Step back with each leg until your body is in the shape of an inverted “V.” Press your feet into the floor, straightening your legs as much as you can–never overdoing the pose. For some people, the heels will reach all the way to the floor. For others, they won’t. The goal is to feel gentle stretching down the back of your legs and into your Achilles’ tendons. Reach your tailbone to the sky, and relax your upper back, head and neck in this pose. Hold for ten deep breaths.

Advanced: If you are familiar with this pose, you can bicycle your legs; lifting the right heel, then the left, to deepen the stretch in the calves. Alternate heels for ten deep breaths.

5. Massage the bottom of your foot with a tennis ball.

Position: Either sitting or standing

Props: A tennis ball

You can perform this stretch either seated or standing, depending on what feels best to you. Place a tennis ball on the ground. Put your foot on top of the ball and roll it back forth along the length of your arch. Use enough pressure so that you feel a deep stretch. When you locate areas of soreness, continue slowly massaging those areas until you notice an improvement.

While these tips are helpful to many people, It’s important to remember they can take a few weeks to a few months to yield improvements. If you do not see progress in your pain levels within a reasonable timeframe, please don’t lose hope. There are several options to discuss with your doctor, like physical therapy sessions, personalized orthotics, and taping techniques, as well as others, to get you on the path to recovery.

References:

Teitelbaum, J. (2015). Plantar Fasciitis. From Fatigued To Fantastic. Retrieved from

http://www.jacobteitelbaum.com/natural_cures/plantarfasciitis.html

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