When I met Celine one lovely morning in Los Angeles, she struck me as a go getting, vivacious, intelligent woman in her early thirties. But I could also see that she looked a little pale and was a little too thin to be healthy.
Just a casual observation of Celine told me that her problem might be related to how her body was absorbing food.
As I got to know her better, I realised that she was slightly high strung and wanted to achieve many things in a short period of time. As a result - she led a stressful life, had an erratic schedule, ate mostly an unhealthy diet and had few questionable lifestyle habits.
It came as no surprise to me then - when she told me that she had been diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks parts of the body i.e. the colon in her case leading to symptoms of diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, rectal bleeding, and more.
From an Ayurvedic* perspective - I knew that her problems stemmed from her Stressful Mind as much as from her body.
As usual, I started asking her questions related to her diet, lifestyle, and the way she manages her sharp emotions. We know of course that the hormones released during stress can lead to serious health issues .
I told her that she needs to calm down and take all steps necessary to destress her mind. I also suggested many changes in her diet and asked her to consider making positive changes to her lifestyle step by step.
I was delighted to hear from her after two weeks that her symptoms were starting to reduce and that she was feeling much better.
Celine heads the sales division of a large corporation and she needed to travel long distances in her car every few weeks or so. She shared that she was scheduled to spend a lot of time on the road in the coming week and she promised that she would adhere to whatever I had suggested during her trip which might help her stay on the path to healing.
Three days later, Celine called me in the evening complaining that her Ulcerative colitis related symptoms had flared up despite her taking utmost care with her food (even though she had to eat out, she chose the best and the healthiest food possible ).
She also said that not only she was having trouble sleeping, but she was also waking up early in the morning between 3 and 4 am, and then going back to sleep at around 6 am which was taking a toll on her with additional symptoms of lower energy levels, alertness, and increased irritability.
Upon investigation, she revealed that since she was in a rush to do everything to ensure optimal utilization of her time during the trip, she would eat all her breakfasts and lunches WHILE DRIVING.
In an ExxonMobil survey conducted with a thousand drivers, it was found that 70% of them ate and 83 % of them drank beverages while driving. Many people tend to have their bites when the car stops at signal lights or when the traffic slows down leading to eating in an erratic fashion. Eating while driving may also make us eat under stress and lead to the tightening of the stomach muscles impairing digestion.
Ayurveda* in its wisdom says that it is not advisable to eat while the body is in motion as it aggravates Vata, the dosha (humor) which is comprised of the elements of Air and Ether. When Vata gets aggravated or imbalanced, it can lead to or even aggravate sleep-related disorders, anxiety, restlessness, increased inflammation, digestive disorders as well as many other diseases.
I suggested to Celine that it's best that one parks the car and peacefully eat one's meal in a pleasant environment without any distractions such as cell phones etc. Not only is this considered to be a great lifestyle habit, but little changes such as this will go a long way to help her with her overall well-being. Habits such as this will also help her not only to keep her current symptoms in check but will also help her heal.
A few days later, I was happy to receive a mail from Celine, Saying that she had a successful trip and she diligently followed and will continue to follow my advice not to eat in a moving vehicle.
She was absolutely amazed to discover that not only did the symptoms and flares not come back, but she had also started to heal again. She said that it was fascinating to her that small lifestyle changes made such a big difference in one’s health and well-being.
*Ayurveda is one of the oldest systems of traditional natural healing in the world. Also known as the sister of Yoga, it stresses deeply on the mind-body connection.
@Autoimmune @ Natural Health