As it turns out, working 60 hours a week for 9 months is not good for the body. I developed some startling symptoms recently, right about the same time I resigned from my day job, and decided to go back to running my business full time. To cure my symptoms, I used the natural healing remedies that have worked best for me:

  • Qi Gong
  • Nutrition
  • Baths and Sweat
  • Positive Thinking
  • Laughter Therapy
  • Gratitude Practices
  • The Naturopathic Principles

The Healing Art of Qi Gong

Qi Gong is an ancient Chinese moving meditation, and it has been used to treat ailments for thousands of years. It relies on the same understanding of the body as Acupuncture, which is recognized by Western medicine as a system with indisputable therapeutic benefits, even if the pharmacology of the West cannot adequately explain why it works.

Chinese medicine relies on the concept of meridians, energy pathways throughout the body. Using acupuncture needles, herbs, or flowing movements of the body, you can modify the energy along these meridians, and remove blockages that can be contributing to your illness.

I’ve been using Lee Holden’s 30 Day Challenge for more months than not over the past couple of years. I like to get up in the morning, take a shower, and watch a 7-minute video routine that is easy to follow along. The gentle stretches activate my energy for the day, and help me to arrive in my body.

For more information about Qi Gong, read my profile of Lee Holden and the practice of Qi Gong here:

Nutrition – Food Is Medicine

My wife is an amateur naturopath. She loves to study the biology of the body, and investigate causes and find natural cures. When my body started falling apart, she researched what Western medicine said were the possibilities, and then listed out all the natural cures to balance someone with my symptoms. 

The answer: cabbage juice.

We purchased a Masticating juicer, the kind that slowly juices vegetables to get the most out of them, and every day I’ve been drinking a few ounces of fresh cabbage juice. This helped to rebuild my gut flora, and improved my symptoms immensely.

I’ve also changed my diet significantly. Many of the symptoms I was haveing aligned with an out of balance dosha in the Ayurveda form of medicine – Vata, which is cold and dry, goes out of balance when you don’t eat specific foods. Many of the foods I NEVER EAT:

  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Cinnamon
  • Wheat

In fact, I’d spent most of this year breaking my fast at Lunchtime with a big green salad. (One of my New Years Resolutions this year.) It turns out, eating raw greens isn’t good for Vata. So, while I thought I was cultivating healthy eating habits, I was actually throwing my body out of balance. Since food is medicine, I started eating Vata balancing foods exclusively, and avoiding foods that may have contributed to my current condition.

Epsom Salt Baths and Saunas

When we moved into our new house, one of the most significant upgrades was a big, deep bathtub. The kind you can immerse yourself in up to the chin, and let your entire body relax.

During the move, I started to have worrisome symptoms. The kinds of symptoms that are too biological for me to share specific details. After the move was complete, and I put in my 30 days notice to my job, they got worse. Every night, I came home from my 1.5 hour 1-way commute, and soaked myself in a deep, salty bath.

Water heals. And so does sweat.

For the first time in years, I joined a gym. I’ve let my body lose it’s trim, while I was focused on working so hard and getting residency in New Zealand. To remedy this, I joined a gym nearby that has one glorious feature: a sauna.

Sweating in a sauna is one of the best ways for my body to rev its engines, and clear out the gunk. I’ve known this about my body for years and years; its one of the reasons I was so fanatic about exercise in my youth, is the endorphins made me feel great, and the regular sweating made me feel healthy and balanced.

Although I do not currently have the energy for intense workouts, I can sit in a sauna and sweat, and by sweating 3+ times per week, I was able to encourage my body to reset itself, expel toxins, and realign its own internal energies as it needed.

Positive Thinking

I am a firm believer in the power of positive thinking, because I have witnessed firsthand how my mental chatter can affect my physical state, both positively and negatively.

To maintain my background mental thought patterns, I listened to my favourite affirmations track of all time, 101 Power Thoughts by Louise Hay. (Pro tip: Subscribe to Hay House’s newsletter to get this as a free download.)

Her gentle voice reads some of the most powerful affirmations she collected throughout her life, and the first person she uses makes my subconscious mind take ownership of the thoughts as if they were its own.

This happens to be one of my 10 Daily Tools for Positive Thinking, published here:

Laughter Therapy

When I was facing symptoms that caused me great discomfort and disturbed my daily work, I knew that laughter was in order.

Step 1: Cut out the news. I love you, Stephen Colbert, but you’re not good for me with all those Trump jokes.

Step 2: Watch Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee. This is one of the tightest shows being made right now, and I don’t even like cars. Jerry Seinfeld interviews a whip-smart guest while they wander around on an adventure together improvising jokes. It always makes me laugh, and that boosts my T-cells, which improves my immunity.

Step 3: Watch Merci! This is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen in my life, and I watch it over and over again. Do yourself a favour, close the door and put on headphones, and give the next 8 minutes of total focus to watching this short video. Your life will be better for it.

Gratitude Practices

I’ve been journaling my gratitudes more consistently this month, and it’s been very helpful to maintain a positive mindset. In the morning I start the 5 Minute Journal by listing my gratitudes, and anytime I take out my Desire Map Planner I look to yesterday, and if there is open space, I look back on that day and write down my favourite gratitudes from that day.

I also found this remarkably useful gratitude dance routine from Dr Deb Kern, who likes to say that ‘Joy Is Medicine.

The Naturopathic Principles

If you look back to the 6 Naturopathic Principles in Latin, you’ll see that they rely on treating the human body as a healing system.

  1. First, do no harm.
  2. Use The Healing Power Of Nature
  3. Identify And Treat The Cause
  4. Treat the Whole Person
  5. Doctor as Teacher
  6. Prevent Future Disease

Now, I know plenty of people really like Western medicine, and some people think naturopathic medicine is a sham. I happen to think those people have been successfully brainwashed by for-profit pharmacological corporations, but laying aside our differences for a moment, it’s important to note:

Alternative medicine is natural medicine.

Humans have been healing themselves with natural remedies for thousands of years. I’m glad that Western medicine has been developed, because there are many serious illnesses that cannot be treated or cured without it. But generally, these conditions are rare, or come from major accidents; turning to Western medicine first, for every ailment, is a disservice to the generations of healers that have successfully used nature to heal for generations.

I’ve worked so much with these principles, for a time I rebranded my web design agency as Wellness Website Design, because of my experience in providing web design for naturopathic clinics. I’ve had great success in working with naturopaths (google ‘Bozeman Naturopath‘ and you’ll see my client first) but realized that I needed a broader playground in which to ply my services.

Still, I like working with alternative healers (like the Bend naturopath clinic I’m giving some SEO juice to right now) because I understand their methods and actively use them in my own life.

So, if you happen to think my alternative healing therapies are bunk, then you’ll be confused to hear that I’ve successfully turned around my symptoms, and I’m no longer shitting blood ten times a day. 

The treatments I’ve outlined above are what I used to heal myself; maybe one of them was more responsible than the others, or maybe some arcane combination did the trick. Either way, when Western medicine recommended me to lifelong prescription medication, I decided to take my healing into my own hands, and now, I feel better.