Health Update

I’ve been avoiding this blog for a while because I’m trying my hardest to focus on good health. This means that I’ve been avoiding thinking of myself as someone who suffers from chronic health problems–even though I do. I was just trying to enjoy the good part of my month, basically.

Random updates: I’ve avoided meat so far this month. I’m not a vegetarian, but I’ve noticed that when I eat more vegetarian, I have less PMDD. It’s day 25 of my cycle and so far, no PMDD yet… I hate even typing that because you know how it goes with these things. Still, I used to get BAD PMDD from day 14 onward. For a long time, I knew to expect an absolutely terrible day on day 14. Then one day I realized I was well beyond day 14 and not suffering from massive hormonal flares.I didn’t find myself dripping with sweat or dealing with rages. The only thing I was doing differently was not eating meat.

I wasn’t even doing it on purpose. It’s just that because I’m so busy, I don’t always get to the grocery store when I need to. I also got really depressed last year. The entire second half of last year kind of sucked. So I ended up living off stuff like rice, beans, frozen veggies, etc. That was when I noticed my PMDD getting better. I had one month where I didn’t have any bad symptoms at all, pain or emotional. My period even surprised me that month, which NEVER happens due to extreme cramps for at least a week if not TWO weeks before. So, for these reasons, I have a little hope that eating more plant-based foods might help with my endometriosis and cysts.

Currently dealing with some painful cysts on my skin … That is definitely troubling. I’m hoping they clear up.

I think I’m going to make a Youtube channel to talk about skincare, hair, health and beauty/lifestyle type stuff. But I’m still keeping this blog anonymous as it’s easier for me to vent about everything.

All right, I think that’s all I have to update for now. I am trying so hard to keep the focus on health and not sickness. Doing my best, it’s all I can do.

I’ll leave you guys with another one of these relaxing ASMR thingies I love so much. This one really helps me calm down for whatever reason:

 

 

 

Yoga for Depression and Chronic Pain: Choose to Change Your Life

Natural remedies for depression and anxiety are a hot topic and for good reason: Anxiety disorders affect more than 40 million adults in the United States. If you’re suffering, you are not alone. Maybe you have clinical depression, or, like many, you’re just pissed about always being sick and in pain.

Despite being diagnosed with depression and anxiety as a preteen, which I discuss here, I’m actually happy most of the time. Sometimes, I’m really happy. I have a strange and special life with many unique experiences. But since I’m trying to keep my identity anonymous here, I won’t get too into all of that. I’ll just say that in some ways, life has been brutal on me, but I am extra blessed in others.

Still, I’ve suffered from bouts of PMDD, which can be horrifying, and I’ve been known to occasionally spiral downward when it all becomes too much. Along with an awareness of the law of attraction and my relationship with God, the biggest factors I can credit for helping me pull through the hard times are exercise and yoga.

Yoga and Chronic Pain: Soothing a Stressed Brain

Studies have shown that chronic pain causes changes to your brain structure. It messes with your grey matter and makes it hard for parts of your brain to communicate. When I learned this, I felt kind of hardcore. Pain has been a huge part of my life. I’ll choose to believe that means my brain is strong.

In a 2008 study from the University of Utah, researchers discovered that people who have trouble handling stress might also be extra sensitive to pain. The study compared the pain responses of fibromyalgia patients, yoga practitioners, and healthy people who did not practice yoga. The fibromyalgia group demonstrated the greatest pain response, which is no surprise, since an increased sensitivity to pain is a characteristic of the disease. The yoga instructors had the easiest time handling the pain. This could be because yoga modulates stress response by helping you stay in a more relaxed state of mind. This helps your body respond to stressful indicators, including physical pain, with more efficiency.

This is exciting stuff, and it shows us why yoga is so important for those of us suffering from ovarian problems, endometriosis, fibromyalgia, or any other chronic-pain conditions as well as depression, anxiety, and PTSD. It’s impossible to say that one treatment is perfect for everyone, but yoga comes close.

Yoga and PTSD: Improving Symptoms

I’m thankful to say my condition has been improving thanks to all the emotional work I’ve done with EFT therapy. 2016 was hard, but I went through a lot of growth. I hope this will be the year my PTSD will diminish entirely. Taking a break from the world of romance and staying single is giving me the energy I need to heal. I want to grow strong in yoga and build other aspects of my life before I share myself with someone again. And there’s good reason to believe that doing so can help me.

A randomized controlled study found that doing yoga can have a healing effect on PTSD. The study featured 64 women between the ages of 18 and 58 years old, all of whom suffered from PTSD that wasn’t responding to other treatments. The women were asked to complete either 10 weeks of yoga or 10 weeks of a health education class. When these classes were completed, the yoga group demonstrated a major decrease in their troubling PTSD symptoms, including dissociation. 52 percent of that group no longer met the criteria for PTSD at all, compared to only 21 percent of the women from the health education group.

Yoga headstand in beautiful blue light

Yoga and Self-esteem: The Power of Feeling Beautiful

When you suffer from a health condition that has a negative effect on your weight, skin, hair, sex drive, energy levels, mental capacity, or anything else that might factor into the way you feel about yourself, maintaining strong self-esteem is a challenge.

If something triggers inflammation in my system, one of the first symptoms I get are huge, painful cysts on my face. These cysts often take weeks or months to fully heal and leave bad scars if I don’t care for them properly. They make it difficult to smile or look people in the eye. It’s gross, and it sucks. Thankfully, this doesn’t happen often, and when it does, it’s almost always related to gluten exposure. Once that’s done, it’s done, and there’s nothing I can do but wait it out.

I’ve already talked about how yoga helps with the pain response as well as the depression and anxiety that can accompany health situations like this. But there’s another important aspect to it: Yoga makes you feel beautiful. It sculpts and stretches your body. It builds muscle. And maybe most powerful of all, it gives you grace. One of the most exciting things about my practice is seeing the way my balance has improved.

Yoga Instead of Medications: A Legitimate Option

There are probably many people in your life who  rely on pharmaceutical medications for depression and anxiety. Maybe you do as well. While I’m personally against medication for myself, and my experiences with it were unpleasant, I say do whatever works for you. Whether you take medication or not, yoga will still be amazing for your life!

A study from the International Journal of Yoga found that yoga could “reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain, improve sleep patterns, and enhance overall well-being and quality of life.”

Also from the study:

“Yoga leads to an inhibition of the posterior or sympathetic area of the hypothalamus. This inhibition optimizes the body’s sympathetic responses to stressful stimuli and restores autonomic regulatory reflex mechanisms associated with stress”

I love that word: optimize. It just feels good. I am optimizing more and more with every practice.

Yoga for Fatigue: Choose a Slow and Soothing Style

If you deal with fatigue or the dreaded brain fog, you already know that there are some days when it’s hard to move, let alone stretch your body into a bunch of weird positions. You also know how depressing it can be to suffer from a chronic condition, especially one that’s not very well understood or easily diagnosed by doctors, such as endometriosis. When you’re angry and suffering, the last thing you want to hear is that you should go do yoga—even if you know that it can help your pain response.

However, this is one of those times when pushing yourself can be rewarding. If you can manage getting out of bed, you can do a little yoga in most cases. It doesn’t necessarily have to be challenging to be beneficial. If you suffer from a condition that makes physical exertion difficult, look into yin yoga, a super-relaxing style that involves holding each position for minutes at a time while focusing on deep breathing. Yin yoga has helped me a lot, both with my PTSD and with my neck problems.

My Yoga Life: Where I’m at With My Practice

I’ve done yoga on and off for over a decade, but I’ve never been super serious about it. I would like this to be the year I take my practice to the next level. I’ve already been working on flexibility and learning new poses over the last six months. This year, I want it all. Handstands. Splits. All the fancy poses.

Yoga isn’t about being the best–but I’m motivated by the quest for greatness, and I’m down with whatever gets me practicing. Find what motivates you and let it guide you through your practice. You put in the time and effort, and you will get benefits. It’s that simple. It could be something as low key as committing to spending a few minutes in child’s pose before bed every night.

If you liked this blog, please subscribe for more! I’m a new blogger who is just getting started. I appreciate the support, and I wish everyone reading this a happy journey with thriving health.

💖Iah

Attracting Healing with Switchwords and Tones

The law of attraction isn’t the only law in the universe, but it’s a powerful one. We give energy to what we think about, which means those with health challenges need to start thinking like vibrant, healthy souls.We need to live in a constant state of bright-eyed gratitude, ignoring the many times in the past when we got our hopes up about something health-related and had to feel the crushing disappointment yet again. Blah. If all that made you frustrated enough to yell, you’re not alone.

Attracting Happiness Through the Pain: All About Balance

I sit here in pain and understand the frustration with people who say you can just think yourself better.What we think and feel is huge, but there are physical limits that can be difficult to overcome.I’ve watched people with epic spirit and eternal hope crumble to cancer. It’s not that positive thinking failed. Life is just hard as hell.

If you suffer from chronic pain or serious health problems, you’re going to be sad sometimes. You’re going to need to vent. That’s okay. Positive thinking should be an ongoing goal. A project. Not something you feel guilty about when you have setbacks. The key is turning setbacks around as efficiently as possible.

Self-care is not negotiable. You have to make time for it somehow, and an easy way to do that is by listening to relaxation sounds and music while working or doing other activities. Here are some videos for reducing stress, attracting positive energy, and getting to a better state of mind.

Switchwords: Together, Divine, Count, Find

Switchwords are supposed to have all sorts of cool effects. I’ve been playing around with them for a while. Not that there’s really anything to it. Words create feelings, and experiencing them is somewhat different for everyone—I’ve known that my entire life as a writer. However, certain words do seem to affect larger numbers of us. I wouldn’t exactly say they’ve brought “miracles,” but I do think they can help change your mindset when you need it.

Schumann Resonance: Earth Frequencies

This one has frequencies that are supposed to be tuned to those of the planet. AKA the “Schumann Resonance.” There’s some science to back up the use of isochronic tones. A 2007 study found a strong synchronization response with frequencies in the delta range, a phasic response for frequencies in the theta range, and an augmented phase synchronization for the beta and gamma ranges. That’s a little hard to understand, but basically: It affects the brain. This video always makes me feel cleansed, relaxed, and renewed. Enjoy!

Manifesting Your Dreams: Law of Attraction Video

This is the video that got me interested in all this stuff. It contains both binaural beats and subliminal positive affirmations. Binaural beats are similar to isochronic tones, but you need headphones to fully utilize them. I rarely listen to this with headphones, and it still always works for me, so I assume that it’s the subliminal affirmations that do the trick. I find I am much more productive and usually make quite a bit more money when I listen to this as I work. However, you wouldn’t necessarily have to use it to manifest money. The affirmations are things like “all good things are coming to me” so you can use this one to focus on health, love, or anything you want. It’s powerful. Probably why it has over two million views!

Whatever Makes You Feel Good: Cultivating Positive Vibes

Maybe you can’t think yourself better, at least not overnight. But just because the law of attraction isn’t some magic thing that can instantly cure all your problems doesn’t mean it isn’t worthwhile to ensure its working for you and not against you. The more you feel good, the more you are good, and the more cool things will come to you. And sometimes, cool things will come to you even when you don’t try. Others, bad things will happen even when you try your hardest. Music and sound are excellent tools to help us get through it all.

I hope you guys enjoy this blog and have a relaxing night!

❤ Iah

The Ugly Backstory: What is Vibrant Orange?

This blog is something I’ve had in the back of my mind for a long time now. I kept getting waves of inspiration that would then fizzle out. It was like throwing paint at a canvas once every few weeks and slowly seeing a picture take form. I chose the name “Vibrant Orange” because it was the first thing that came to mind when I tried to envision the exact opposite of depression, pain, and heartache. Vibrant orange, like sweet citrus and sunshine.

I’ve decided that remaining anonymous will make it easier to talk about this stuff. Maybe that will change one day, but for now, you guys can call me Iah. It stands for “I am Health.”

An Important Factor

I chose that pen name for a reason. This blog won’t be about sickness. I’m a big believer in the law of attraction. If you’ve been ill most of your life or suffer from a chronic disorder, you know how easy it is for your health problems to become a big part of your identity, and that goes against everything I’m trying to do here. I refuse to think of myself as a sick person. I’m a healthy person who has some sick challenges on her plate.

However, sometimes, hard truths must be told. I’m writing this post so you guys can have some backstory and an idea of what’s driving this mission for health, but beyond this, I don’t want to focus too much about any of the negatives of my health challenges. Instead, I’ll be talking about the practices, products, or ideas that can help people feel better no matter what mental or physical health challenges they’re facing.

My Story: The Early Days

Note: Keep in mind that I’m skimming over some parts and telling things out of order to some degree.

Are we ready? Here’s as quick a summary as possible:

  • I’ve been dealing with autoimmune problems since I was a toddler. Outbreaks of hives and rashes on every inch of my body was a common thing.
  • At age 10, I suffered a major blow to my head and jaw during a car accident, which fractured my skull and left me with TMJ and some neck problems.
  • A couple years later, I went into a severe depression and was diagnosed with a chemical imbalance. I was put on pharmaceutical medications at age 12 and remained on them until I turned 18. These medications had horrible side effects and painful withdrawals when I chose to free myself from them.
  • I developed painful cystic acne and experienced psoriasis outbreaks on every inch of my body.
  • I tried to run from the pain by abusing hard drugs and alcohol, which left my health in an even worse state.
  • Around my mid-twenties I started having debilitating problems with my menstrual cycle. I was later diagnosed with ovarian cysts and likely endometriosis, although I never had the surgery to get it officially diagnosed.
  • When I was 23, I developed a major gum infection that spread into my blood and nearly killed me. I had a high fever for a week straight and was on hardcore antibiotics for a long time. This experience led to my passion for oral hygiene.
  • On top of everything, my unhealthy lifestyle, depression and low self-esteem led me into many unhealthy relationships, and I experienced abuse that left me scarred.

That’s the short version. All of that took place during my teens and twenties. By the time I reached my late twenties, my health issues were bad enough that I couldn’t commit to working a normal job and began looking into ways to work from home. I’m now in my mid-thirties and quite frankly, amazed to still be alive.

The Big Changes

Eventually, my desire to feel better and not die led to making some big changes in my life. I found out that I was gluten intolerant, which made a lot of my previous suffering make sense. Gluten had been poisoning my body since I was on solid foods. Thank god I found out when I did. After giving it up, many of my skin, mood, and immunity issues improved. I experienced what it was like to think with a functional brain for the first time in my life.

There were changes in my behavior too. I stopped abusing alcohol or any hard drugs. I stopped having casual sex or accepting abuse in relationships.

My Obsessive Path to Healing

Despite a great improvement after going gluten free, some of my health problems continued. What I didn’t realize at the time is that life is about balance, and things like stress levels, satisfaction, and self-respect matter just as much as food allergens or vitamins. There were many things in my life that were making me sick throughout my twenties, especially a long-term toxic relationship that carved away at my self-esteem and kept me in a state of fear and stress for years. During that time, I became desperate and obsessed with curing my physical condition.

I ended up exploring many things, including:

  • Vegetarian/vegan diets
  • Allergy diets (beyond just gluten free)
  • Specific Carbohydrate Diet
  • All sorts of gut-healing and healthy bacteria protocols
  • Parasite cleansing/liver flushing/all sorts of other controversial alternative health procedures
  • EFT and other forms of emotional work
  • Meditation/prayer
  • Spending time outside/connecting to the moon, sun, and stars
  • A huge variety of vitamin and mineral supplements
  • Castor oil packs
  • Herbs and essential oils
  • Spells and crystal healing
  • Iodine therapy
  • Oil pulling
  • Dry skin brushing and other skin detox treatments

All this intense focus on health and trying so many different things combined with a building frustration that nothing was working led to the development of an eating disorder, orthorexia. I could make many, many blog posts about my battle, but I’ll save those for another day. Just know it was a struggle for years.

I’m going to do everything I can to present real facts on this blog. If something is purely anecdotal, I’ll say so. I believe that false/bias information on the internet is a huge contributor to orthorexia. It was in my case, anyway. Through doing “research” on health blogs, I ended up convinced that 99% of all food was toxic. This is something I’ll be discussing more on future blogs. In my opinion, it’s a big problem.

My Actual Path to Healing

I went into recovery from orthorexia in 2013, which I’ll look back on as one of the biggest turning points in my life. I now eat a gluten-free diet that’s based mostly on nutrient-dense whole foods but avoids strict limitations beyond what’s required for my safety. It’s all about balance. My body still doesn’t react well to certain things, and sometimes, my autoimmune system seems to break down for indeterminable reasons.

Lately, I’ve been dealing with depression again. On top of my chronic pain conditions, there’s also been some major disappointments in my personal and professional life over the past couple of years that have left me feeling lost and questioning my purpose.

That’s why I started this blog. I hope I can look back on this moment as a turning point. I hope expressing myself and my story here will change something. I hope I can frame things in a way that manifests a good vibration and brings true healing back to me. Because that’s what I want to provide to others: true healing. I can’t give specific health or medical advice, but I can tell you what’s worked or not worked for me. I also hope to give you guys fun ideas for pampering and caring for yourselves, because self-care is a huge part of recovery.

Where I’m at Now

While I’d love to experience a fulfilling relationship one day, I’m currently happy to be single, celibate, and focused on improving my life. I’m convinced that a lot of the things I’m doing are helping, but I still have a long way to go, and I accept I may never achieve my ideal state of health. I’ll instead hope for progress and many positive steps forward along the way. I hope you guys will join me on that journey.

Love and happy healing,

Iah

PS. Be sure to follow my blog so you can get updates!