After four enjoyable years of writing this column, it’s time for a break. This goes together with a hiatus for the Carp Ridge EcoWellness Centre. Both of us are due for a tune-up.
More specifically, I need to apply the principles of German New Medicine (GNM) to myself.
GNM describes symptoms as belonging to one of two phases: shock or resolution. The shock phase is the result of an unexpected event that startles us into survival mode. This may become chronic and is experienced as ongoing stress and tension.
If and when there is a resolution to the stressful event, we graduate into the second phase of GNM, the resolution or healing phase. In this phase we experience fatigue (as in letdown after a burst of activity), inflammation (which acts to repair damage from the stress) and many other symptoms that are misinterpreted as disease.
In my case, I have had several of these healing phase symptoms for years because I have not taken the time to finish recovery. GNM describes this all too common pattern as “hanging healing”.
My hanging symptoms include: a cataract in one eye that renders it virtually blind—except when I am relaxed and rested; Hashimoto’s disease, the most common type of low thyroid, considered “autoimmune” in mainstream medicine but not in GNM; joint pain, labelled as arthritis in our culture; chronic digestive upset; low iron; and an inconvenient tendency to dissociate when overwhelmed.
Each of these symptoms is related to a specific shock and mental belief which locks it in place. Over the years I have made many efforts at fixing them, all short of the most important requirement: rest.
It has been through practicing mindfulness meditation and experiencing the depth of my exhaustion and undergoing EMDR trauma therapy to neutralize some of my anxiety that I became willing to stop and rest without wanting to jump out of my skin or feel utterly worthless.
I closed the naturopathic practice of thirty years that was my emotional lifeline—my patients were actually keeping ME alive—and subsequently shut down the rest of the clinic at the centre as it was not financially feasible to keep it open. The only activities left here are the nature school and spaces to rent.
Since then an interesting thing happened: a close family member went through a health crisis requiring immediate support, information and frequent travel to the States. And there I was with both and available. Also, my younger daughter and her partner moved onto the Carp Ridge property with me, setting in motion a new level of relating with each other and the six year old boy we co-parent.
These events have brought up and magnified issues I’ve been avoiding for decades through excess work. Thankfully I now have the understanding, tools and support that allow me to stop and gain insight instead of complaining, although I admit it’s still hard to slow down, a constant learning process. And even though this inner work is intense, it has a different flavour than the chronic tension of avoidance: moments of sheer bliss and inner connection.
As for the future of the centre, I’m aiming to work from a position of clarity instead of unmet needs and eventually create a better clinic. And I assume that if Tone is still doing its important work (gratitude to Lemmy and company), I will write more articles.
A warm thank you to those who have given me feedback over the years!