Monday, October 27, 2014

Sea Veggies and Mermaid Dreams

Kelp Soakingl Mermaid from Artist Renee Nault
Last night I felt like I was Ariel from the land of The Little Mermaid soaking in my bath filled with 3 cups of Kelp and Dulse swirling around my limbs like I was floating in the Celtic Sea.

Ahhhhhhh - it was SO relaxing! I am a self professed bath lover and bathing connoisseur. I love all things bath related. I order pounds upon pounds of assorted sea salts, (Dead, pink Himmalayan, Black Lava Hawaiian, Epsom.... I cold go on!) all shipped to my home. I've taken (smuggled) home wet sea clay on trips to Martha's Vineyard zipped in zip locks and have soaked in glorious natural hot springs during my year abroad in Japan. I am not even embarrassed to say that I am a bath snob~ Always have been!

And when I buy my house next year- I will buy it based on the bath or the potential of the master bath. I'd renovate the bathroom over any other room first. You should see my pinterest board I am building for the bathroom of my dreams - centered around a fabulous infinity style whirlpool bath tub.

Perhaps bath time is one of my few fun memories of childhood. Back then I loved bubbles- lots of bubbles. I'd give myself bubble beards, bubble boobs and piles of bubble hair.

Nowadays I just love sea salts and herbal soaks. I'm not kidding when I say I could bathe all day long. And I have- in Japan we'd bathe for an entire day - and I was so in my element! Someday I plan to return to Japan and when I do all I want to do is soak! Soak all over the entire country!

I'm fully free in a bath - limbs floating free, head and chest bobbing up and down in tune with my slow, meditative breathe. I actually enjoy the silence of head immersed and listening to the sound of my own heart. If you've ever done this, it really gets you in tune with your ticker. Literally! You can hear the amazing force of your heart pumping and the swooshing of your blood as it pumps in and out of the heart. Tuning into this force is amazing. I love doing deep breathing exercises to see how long my entire upper body can stay submerged into the depth of my bath tub and slowly release the air as I rise bouyant to the surface - tuning into the slowing of my heart rate and how my breath controls the speed of my heart beat.

The bath tub is where all my amazing ideas originate. I get some fabulous ideas - many that still remain as ideas yet- but tons that have been implemented and worked on. For me, I feel like bathing is getting back to source. Connecting my soul to something greater. Perhaps, as I realized last week, in one of my many weekly baths- that fetal position in water is more soothing than any other position... the warm water is all encompassing and it's nurturing. Maybe that is even why I enjoy baths so much- the nurturing power of the bath is what I need.

Iodine is also something I desperately need. After doing an iodine urine test profile, it became very clear just how deficient my body is of this core metabolic enhancing mineral. I'm so deficient and so much of the uterine fibroid and PCOS is rooted in a lack of iodine. I've been painting iodine on my body daily and after some research, I've been trying out soaking in iodine rich seaweed baths. The water actually turns a yellowish green color and I soak at a minimum of 45 minutes.


The benefits of Iodine are really quite spectacular especially on tumors and fibroids as well as any type of thyroid disorder/dysfunction/deficiency. Sadly our diets lack iodine and even when we have iodine exposure, elements like chlorine (in water sources) and bromine (in all flour products) are stronger and bond more easily to our iodine receptors, blocking out iodine. Eating iodine is key, then supplementation and then topical application is another way to get exposure to iodine (painting/baths).

 If you feel like you want to get your inner Ariel on = here is my recipe:

Seaweed Bath Soak 

  • 3 cups sea veggies (Dulse, Kelp) 
  • 1 pot boiling water 
  • 1 tbsp celtic salt 
*boil all 3 ingredients for 30min with lid on pot

 Draw up bath:
  • 4 cups Epsom Salts 
  • 10 drops aromatherapy oil - I love citrus or eucalyptus with my seaweed soaks 
  • Add boiling pot of water to that bath along with the flakes of seaweed.
And SOAK away!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Liver and The Heart of Anger

As I mentioned in my previous post, I've recently stepped up my detoxing program. Literally, I'm detoxing in ways I've never experienced before and I'd consider myself a detox expert. My primary focus is to detox my liver using coffee enemas 1-3x a day up to the point where I either feel changes or have scans of my uterus and ovaries that showcase the change(s).

A LITTLE BACKGROUND ON MY SITUATION:

My body has created a fibroid and a polyp in my uterus. And my body seems to like pearls as much as I do and it has strung strands of pearl-like cysts all around bother ovaries. While the cysts, fibroid and polyp aren't "sizeable," they aren't small either. And over the course of the past 2 years my symptoms have gotten to a point where I have to do something about it. I suffer so much and the pain has reached an unbearable point.

 Of course my GYN wants to wisk me away into surgery..... and a biposy. Well, that is what she wanted to do back in May when I saw her. In fact, in a matter of 3 minutes, she managed to not remember for the umpteenth time that I don't have kids (she thinks 2 or 3 each visit) and drew a quick and quite ugly pic of my uterus and the "blobs" as I call them and then said with all giddiness, "you are in luck, I happen to have a cancellation tomorrow.... at 10:30am, I know it's last minute, but lets get those out of there."

WHOA - WTF?? These people. The MDs - ugh.  

SURGERY? TOMORROW? AND A BIOPSY?

Seriously, it's crazy how the mind can zero in on the stress of a possible pre-cancer/cancer scare. I can't help but go there! And I know it didn't help my already crazy high - ER admitting high BP. 

Luckily, my BP was mega high pre-surgery recommendation : 170/120.

The hypertension is a symptom that after a crazy course of cardiovascular tests, CT scans and a Renal Arterial Scan called by my super nice, super educated, super cute and super open to natural healing, Cardiovascular Doc (Dr. Alex Jackson) says is more than likely from the high Testosterone Levels caused by the cysts on my ovaries (PCOS).

And of course - my heart guy asked my why neither the GYN nor the Endocrinologist (total Dud!) are not addressing this?! Seems every doc, except my super cute heart guy, want to either operate or point fingers and say that isn't their thing - like the Endo who said high testosterone levels and PCOS are a gynie thing - seriously? What about addressing the entire endocrine system vs just the pancreas where you can prescribe meds?! Can we talk about the metabolic syndrome as an entire endocrine system meltdown?! Oh wait - that is my world - my ND work.  Nevermind MDs...  (sorry, soap box and I digress....)

The only saving grace this high BP has yielded: my overzealous GYN took back her eager offer for next day surgery and said we needed to get that under control and then ordered an in office biospy and intrauterine saline ultrasound that will identify size, location and type of uterine tissue she would need to remove.

This last element is one I'm waiting to put off as long as I can as I heal myself. I'd prefer to prove them that there is a better way - a non-surgical way to heal.  And I just don't like the idea of invasive biopsies. UGH!

So each month my cycle arrives, I experience pain and symptoms like extreme fatigue, dizziness, crazy cramping - the kind where it feels like there is an alien trying to tear me apart from the inside out.  I sometimes cannot stand or sit up straight and I now have to take a "sick" day and spend the majority of a day soaking in my hot bath and curled up in bed with hot packs sipping herbal teas and using homeopathic medicine to try to cut the pain.  I prefer not to take pain meds - don't like the idea of advil or any pain reducing medication.  It's just not me.

LIVER DETOXING & ANGER

Okay, so back to my liver and this detoxing..... I have to tell you it's been 5 days now and I've been diligently doing my 3 coffee enemas a day.  Holding for min of 15minutes, sometimes more - sometimes less.

As I have been doing this I've been feeling a lot of emotions- anxiety particularly and grief and ANGER.  Wow-serious anger!  Both the anxiety and anger are liver rooted- at least in the emotional sense.  Organs and glands have specific emotional properties.  The chinese way of viewing healing and medicine is to connect each organ and gland to our emotional state.  It's all connected really.

My liver is quite sluggish and slowly operating.  My love of wine probably doesn't help - not that I polish off a bottle a night- but have enjoyed my glasses of wine and even liquor beverages when out with friends more often than not.

Simply put- I feel like my liver is my heart of darkness - a sludgy, dark, seedy battle ground that has held in anger from my childhood, relationship with my parents, frustration about work, finances, anger about past bosses and people I hired, deep anger about breakups and an untapped mound of anger over the passing of my beloved Gram- my one true mother and champion.  My liver has wounds- it has words and phrases etched into each corner - sometimes from my own thoughts and mostly from those of others who have hurt me.

If my liver were a car, it'd need an oil change PRONTO - in fact it'd probably need an all new oil system with new filters.  In fact, that car wouldn't function it'd be so toxic.

My toxicity is hormonal and from toxic chemicals and heavy metals.  I've tested all these.  But deeper and probably more imporant to address is I'm emotionally toxic.

If I get real with myself, I'm really ANGRY!  I am ANGRY at certain people from my past and I'm ANGRY at the universe.  And I put on a happy face and act like I'm not angry because it's really not becoming is it? An Angry person.  No one wants to hear about your anger, well only your therapist, but really people want happiness, sweetness and smiles.  Luckily, I have an amazing therapist I see weekly, who lets me release, and cry and yell.

And so here I am - detoxing my liver.  And as I do this - I'm detoxing my emotions - feelings are percolating - and it's really interesting.  If you choose to do this- be aware-- detoxing is like a pandora's box.  Things start making their way up to be dealt with - weather you want to or not.

My loving Gram, Irene Gallagher
I don't think I have really gotten over a few major events in the last 10 years that are necessary for me to address - especially the death of my Gram.

I remember being in a shocked daze just hours after she passed (2a) and was back at work that morning(8a), at my center greeting clients as they came in to my center.  I remember one client, as she walked in, taken aback by me being there and while I couldn't manage being there and not being an emotional wreck, I didn't know what to do with myself- and I had been out of work for a week and desperately needed to tend to my client schedule. I stuffed that grief until one summer day months later I broke down in my shower sobbing - uncontrollably and still I have more to release.  I miss that woman more than I can describe and losing her is a loss that have left a whole in my heart and in my soul.

Even as I type this- I can't help but cry and I'm allowing it all to pass through and out of my vs. holding it in.  It's better that way.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Getting Real, Getting Authentic - Opening the Kimono For the First Time

Shit is getting real! Pardon my french! But in all authenticity - it's time for me to open my Kimono to the world and reveal my journey.

So here goes... (this is really, quite frightening)

Writing from My Home Office
Hi! My name is Melissa.  My friends call me Mel. I'm 36. I live on the water in Sunny, FL.  I'm trying to heal my body so I can avoid surgery on my uterus in an attempt to remove a Uterine Fibroid and a Uterine Polyp in order to save my fertility. I am a single lady and I want to get married and have kids before I turn 40 - and not exactly in that order either.... Currently I am a fur mama - 4 fur babies whom I ADORE!

I'm a Naturopath.  I own my own practice and the financial stress of being a business owner is my biggest stress - in fact it's part of what is causing my current health crisis.  I wear every hat and some of those hats I don't like, so I choose not to wear them (not always a good choice).

While I juice quite a bit and eat organic fruits and veggies, I am a closet sugar addict.  I crave Kit Kats in a way that scares me- I would steal a kit kat bar from a child.  I have driven to the store just to load up on my supply -- hmmmm, typing this- I want one right now! Sometimes I have great moments of discipline and then others I have ZERO will power.  I can eat an entire bag in one setting.  Oh and let's not leave out chocolate chip cookie dough.... even in all it's gluten-free gloriousness, 7 clean ingredients delightfulness - LOVE! I easily turn into a cookie monster when it comes to chocolate chip cookies.  One cookie nor one spoonful of dough does the trick.... No joke! Its like the sugar craving takes control of my mind.

At the current moment, I am not exercising at all and running like I know I need to. Simply put, I don't feel like it.  Laziness has won.  My couch and netflix marathons after a long, busy day in the office win over an invigorating visit to the gym now 100% of the time. I even will take my dogs to the dog park for exercise versus walk them around the neighborhood.  I'm avoiding the muscular pain and cardio my body needs. 

I don't always handle stress well.  Actually, I don't do well with stress.  And I can say I have had some CRAZY stress over my life.  Some acute (death, breakups) and some long term (family, finances, health).

This year, I've come to terms with the fact that I am a stress induced anorexic.  Actually this was quite a shocking realization - for myself and my therapist.  Seriously!  She was floored as I told her one day as I had spent some time digging into the root cause of my current health situation. I had that AHA moment, you know where you suddenly see everything clearly.  I guess I have been in major denial about this and had done a great job in concealing this from not only myself but others.

Sadly, I cannot remember a time when stressed that I didn't refuse food, didn't refuse nourishment and didn't stop eating "normally" - and when I say this, I mean - age 6,  age 9, age 12, age 16, age 24, age 29, age 33..... And my childhood was extremely stressful.  When I have any increased degree of stress, my appetite ceases to exist.  I have lost 5-8lbs in a weeks time of intense stress.  It's probably what has helped me stay thin and trim. I have lived in a chronically mild/moderately stressed state for over 3 decades.

At 5'8", my lowest recorded weight was 108 and that was during my first health crisis (2003)- the pivotal one that launched me into seeking my masters and doctorate and eventually what propelled me to start my own business in the summer of 2007.

Ironically, I eat super clean and sometimes only juice during stressful times, I don't take in a ton of calories and end up starving myself.  My warped thinking has revolved around that fact, as a nutritionist, I recognize I need core micronutrients, and juicing is the most powerful way for me to get some degree of nutrient content to combat the stress induced anorexia.

Instead of an emotional eater, I'm an emotional starver.

 [ typing this - I really cannot believe it sounds as bad as it does typing it - I STARVE myself... I DEPRIVE myself of necessary nourishment....YIKES!]   

It's really a horrible habit and I'm working on this.  It helps I've actively been decreasing the levels of unhealthy and stress inducing relationships, work activities and lifestyle choices that trigger this behavior.  

I'm sure many reading this would love to have that happen - drop 5-8bs in a week or just lose your appetite- but I am living proof it's so unhealthy and detrimental to the status of my metabolic state.  I'm paying the price for poor stress management and coping skills and a serious lack of self love. My body and integral metabolic systems to maintain my health have paid the price. 

I'm a serious right brainer.... I'm messy and organization is something I have trouble with daily.  I suffer from a major case of perfectionism and procrastination.  I don't get things done and won't even start them because of a fear it won't be perfect.  It's crazy sounding, but it's sometimes debilitating and definitely impacts my work. 

A-N-D....... drum roll.....I'm a mess.  Really, I feel like I am broken on the inside - in so many ways.

I feel broken emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually.  And this is really sad to me.  I have so many blessings and have been blessed by so much, but I often feel something is missing and lacking.  I feel stuck.  Like I know what I need to do to get better, to feel better, to heal  - but I just can't get the energy to do it.  And while I see a therapist/life coach weekly, I'm still stuck. 

Ugh.  I know that an element of my own healing requires me to live and be my truth and through that I'll then be able to grow and change and my reality will be what I dream.

While that sounds all zen, philosophical and all woo-woo - I truly believe the principle that we all have the power to manifest our reality. I know it because I have seen this work almost magically in my life.

It's been easy for me to hide behind my business, my work and the "education" I provide to my clients.  A year ago I made a BIG step and re-branded, downsized my business and refocused and the yield was to brand myself with my business.  I am my brand and I am my business.  But - to be honest, it didn't feel authentic.   I didn't feel authentic - up until this weekend......

So, I have to tell you about my weekend!!  This weekend I engaged in the most intense detoxification plan I've ever created for myself.  And boy am I detoxing - physically, mentally and emotionally.  I have had some cries, some major anxiety and the most amazing, restful sleep I've had in a long while.

I decided as I was doing one of many coffee enemas (I'll leave that for another post!) it dawned on me that I am not living an authentic life.  I am not being ALL of me - and as a 7 year blogger/business owner/healer I've yet to really step into the role that has been intended for me to BE.

So here I am... Melissa G. - just me. Kimono open.  Real.  Broken.  Healing.  But Authentic.

Here's to wellness!
~xoxo Mel

P.S. in all authenticity, as I edit this piece and as my uber healthy couscous veggie stuffed zucchini heats in the over for lunch, I am ENJOYING a little sweet treat wrapped in red that beings with K!  Lovely... Melissa 0, Sugar 1.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Natural Ways to Cure PCOS, Ovarian Cysts, Endometrial Cysts and Cystic Rupture of the Ovaries by Tampa Bay Naturopathic Physician, Melissa Gallagher

Ovarian Cysts and multiple cysts on the ovaries, as we call it PolyCystic Ovarian Disease.  These single or multiple cysts can be a major problem for the cycling woman.

 
I can speak from experience as I have personally dealt with and deal with large cysts, ruptured cysts and a diagnosis of polycystic ovarian disease.  As this is so close to my heart, I have used my own journey to help other woman like myself who feel frustrated, disconnected from their bodies and seeking a permanent fix. 
Ovarian cysts are a multifaceted condition.  Sometimes it is as simple as a short hormone balancing of the estrogen and progesterone levels within the body or it can be as complicated and managing and reversing insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.

Reasons Ovarian Cysts Develop:

  • Hormone Imbalance
  • Endocrine System Miscommunication
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Polycystic Ovarian Disease
  • Metabolic Disorder
  • Poor Diet/Lifestyle
  • Obesity
  • Reproductive System Inflammation
  • Premature Ovarian Failure
  • Sluggish Lymphatic System
  • Toxicity from over burdened liver
  • Poor Lower Extremity Circulation 
Often for women, it can be one or many of these reasons and so tackling the entire body and the entire system that revolves around keeping 

In my practice I treat ovarian cysts by addressing:

Relief of cystic conditions can be seen for women,once on my program, within a month. Once we get nutrition and lifestyle right - the changes are literally life changing.  Hormone imbalance is just one potential issue at play and I have found that it is usually more than putting a woman on a birth control pill or metformin to shrink the cyst(s).

Speaking from personal experience, resolving a cyst or multiple cysts as I have within my own body has taken dedication, a plan and a willingness to nourish and re-balance my body.  Each day is a day to nourish and balance and it's also a way to heal and to repair the ovary.  This is absolutely essential for women still considering fertility.

Eating well, reducing stress and detoxifying the body is really at the core of any of my customized plans.  Incorporating Lymphatic Drainage Therapy, Moxa, Liver Detox, Castor Oil Packs and Juicing is also part of my plan.

Ovarian Health and Fertility

To enhance our fertility, women need to have their ovaries working and functioning at their optimum.  There needs to be a proper signalling of the ovaries to the pituitary gland and then adrenals and the heart.  Those four work in tandem and as a Natuopath - I am evaluating labs, adrenal hormones and indicators that there may be dysfunction within this system.
If you are experiencing ovarian cysts, please know there are many options to safely, naturally reduce the cysts. I would be glad to help you by creating an individualized, customized tailored plan just for YOU!  Call me.  Let's set up our first appointment - either in my office or over the phone.

727-502-3464

 

Monday, September 22, 2014

St Petersburg Lymphatic Drainage Therapy Clinic Offers Post Surgery Recovery for Cosmetic Surgery, Face LIfts, Liopsuction, Knee and Hip Surgery and Cancer Surgeries.

Clients come to Healthy Being by Melissa within days of their face lifts, liposuction, breast augmentations, breast reconstruction, tummy tucks, chin lift, and other cosmetic surgeries. 

They may have large and swollen glands that are now more prominent due to the surgery areas being tighter - just an consequence of individual anatomy. Clients may also have seroma (fluid collection) formation in these areas. If a seroma develops, it is essential and necessary to assist the body with a fluid drain or lymphatic drainage therapy.  

In most cases, individuals will continued swelling for a period of weeks and even months, which will resolve over time. The body heals at its own pace, but there is a therapy and treatment that will help aid and speed the healing process as well as enhance the fluid reduction and swelling reduction, Lymphatic Drainage Therapy.

Lymphatic Drainage Massage (also called lymphatic massage and lymph massage) is a very light stimulation to our body that encourages lymph flow. It is good for detoxification, edema, pre- and post-plastic surgery and post-liposuction. It can also help with cellulite treatments, fibrosis, scar tissue, spider veins, and reduce swelling after face lift or blepharoplasty.

Lymph nodes are important parts of our natural anatomy that helps rid our bodies of excessive fluid and swelling which definitely occurs after any type of cosmetic surgery or any surgery for that matter. 

Benefits of Lymphatic Drainage Post Cosmetic Surgery in St. Petersburg FL
  •  Applicable on first week of post surgical procedure (Post lipo massage Tampa Bay)
  •  Breaks up fluids, scar tissue, fibrosis, hardened tissue
  • Reduces numbness, swelling, sensitivity and bruising
  • Accelerates tissue regeneration after cosmetic surgery
  • Promotes the release of toxins
  • Improvement in microcirculation-lymphatic system
  • Diminishes lumps and pain on post plastic surgery recovery
  • Decreases edema, water retention post operative lipo St Petersburg & Tampa
  • Speeds healing of injuries post Lipo
  • Improves Blood Circulation
If you suffer from two or more your body needs lymph drainage therapy.
  • Do you have tender breasts or breast lumps?
  • Do you suffer from fluid retention or edema?
  • Do you suffer from lymphedema?
  • Do you have post-surgery swelling?
  • Do you feel tired, run down, sluggish or stressed?
  • Do you get lactic acid build up in your muscles after exercise?
  • Do you get recurrent colds and infections?
  • Do you suffer from irritable bowel or constipation?
  • Do you suffer from poor circulation?
  • Do you gain weight easily or find it hard to lose?
  • Do you have strong body odor?
  • Do you have cellulite?
Treatment needs vary and depend on an assortment of things- type of surgery, diet of individual, healing process of the individual, immune health and an assortment of other factors.  The needs of each client is carefully assessed and explained during the first consultation and treatment.  We monitor progress of healing and swelling reduction and make adjustments to the treatment program.