I was the poster child of hedonism. I chased highs and escape. I ate too much. I drank too much. I gossiped too much. I bought too much. I smoked too much. I worked too much. The list clearly goes on.
Because I felt so empty, I used an insane amount of external things to fill the holes on the inside —anything that fed my senses, I was hungry for.
My first attempt to quit pills had mostly been sustained by my decision to not use. But because I had failed to address any of the things that were driving the need to escape in the first place, that first go at ditching my drug of choice crashed and burned.
But then, I switched my plan of attack.
Instead of just going for sobriety, I began to go for healing. This approach led me down a lot of different paths —to healers, spiritual teachers, books, meditation, and notably, a lot of yoga classes.
It was during this time that holistic therapy began to take on a whole new meaning for me. I wasn’t engaging in these activities to simply sustain my life as I had all those years. I was using it as something I needed to change my story. So here it goes.
Everything begins in your mind. I mean, your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. And well, your values become your destiny.
As a result, I knew I needed to start with my mind. As a stressed person, to begin with, my head never stops. I think that’s partly why I found such joy in opioids because they hushed the chaos like I never could. Except that isn’t healthy for anyone.
Then, yoga found me and that’s when everything slowed down.
Yoga (specifically meditation, which falls under the yoga umbrella) teaches us to draw our awareness away from these external stimuli, detach from our senses, and direct our attention inward. We are thus able to build a connection to our inner world and higher selves.
Over time, this practice of “turning in” to our innate wisdom teaches us to become more reliant on the peace within, and thus less reliant on the stuff outside. In other words, we become less inclined to chase the longings of our senses outside of us —the longing for external pleasure, and more inclined to chase the pleasure that lies within.
While I am still an external pleasure chaser and can numb out with a piece of chocolate, or other cheap thrills from time to time, I now crave the natural high I get from yoga and meditation more than anything else. My physical self thanks me on the reg.
Now, there are days when I hurt and can’t seem to make it out of the house. Those are the days, I need extra help. I’m a recovering opiate addict and type one diabetic with severe anxiety and depression, so yes, I’m cautious as to what I’m putting inside my body. But then, I came across something that changed a bad morning into a good day. I owe that to CBD.
Some may assume it’s a drug like THC, when in fact, it’s medicine.
I mean, when my sugar goes high and everything aches, I need something to bring me back to zero. I also want to make it to yoga class and you know what, CBD helps me do just that.
Significant medical benefits are attributed to the non-intoxicating sister molecule of THC called CBD, also known as cannabidiol. CBD has been shown to reduce the side effects caused by THC and enhance the benefits of THC.
In animal studies, CBD has been shown to decrease addictive behavior. Medical scientists found that the heroin-seeking behavior of self-administering rats decreased when the animals were given CBD. And I can attest that in humans, it’s no different.
For me, lately, I have more energy. I’m worrying less and socializing more. My illnesses no longer define me —despite the obstacles staring at me in the face. When it’s all said and done, CBD helps me heal every day.
Now, we can’t forget about how this all originated. Like I said in the beginning, everything starts in the mind. And so, all of this almost becomes moot if you’re not dealing with the root of your problem, which is where holistic counseling comes into play.
Holistic counseling takes every aspect of the individual’s life into account because each piece is equally important to the whole.
And so, a holistic counselor will look at your symptoms and evaluate how your physical body affects how you act and behave. Your counselor would guide you through a range of holistic techniques such as relaxation and life skills to enhance social relationships and personal motivation.
It then explores a wide range of tools for self-discovery and optimal growth, which may be used in various combinations to promote complete wellbeing. These counselors have a spectrum of areas they specialize in.
Reiki-based treatment, yoga instruction, energy healing, chiropractic techniques, massage therapy and applied acupuncture are some examples.
Many offer their clients assistance with dietary issues, weight management, vitamin supplementation, exercise and the development of proactive health measures. Research suggests that holistic techniques used to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression are being utilized by patients and clients more than ever.
So when you find yourself looking to man-made tangible items to make you feel fulfilled, consider holistic therapy instead. Because when an illness is part of your journey, nothing can heal you until your spirit has begun to make the change that your illness was designed to inspire. The answer is always found within.