These days it seems like there is a pill for everything. A quick fix for this and a quick fix for that. But I’ve noticed is that these quick fix solutions and pills are rarely the solution and are actually part of the problem.
I was sitting watching TV recently and I started yelling at the box in front of me. I don’t normally do that, but I was beyond fed up seeing commercials about weight loss or “ask your doctor if you qualify” campaigns that have a list of risky side effects longer than the symptoms they claim to help!
Perfect example: this particular commercial was for opiate induced IBS. And that’s exactly why I started screaming at the talking tube. A pill for IBS caused by pain pills?. Seriously you all? That’s apparently a thing now, a disease doctors are diagnosing, and that companies are selling pills for. It’s a pill for your pill. I can’t even…
This is why I get huffy about this stuff. If you are taking opiates for pain, usually you are only supposed to be on them for a short period of time. Anything longer than about a week is going to adjust your body’s cellular chemistry to think you need the pain relief all the time, when in fact it’s only for short term purposes.
And yes, of course, opiates slow down your gut, your digestion, and the muscles working to move food through your body. This unconscious process is called peristalsis, and it slows down to a bumpy lurch when you take heavy pain medication for too long. Say like, more than a week to years on end.
You may be rolling your eyes or shaking your head at me, thinking “You just don’t understand, I need these.” Well, I once believed that load of garbage, too. But the reason you are in pain is usually one of three things. 1) Your body is completely inflamed and trying to tell you “Hey, I’m dying over here. Can you please pay more attention and take care of me?” 2) You are improperly nourishing yourself. 3) You are so disconnected from what is happening in your body that everything just aches. That’s you trying to tell yourself to wake up.
I was reminded of that last point this weekend when I realized I had been going going going non stop for about two weeks. I got that subtle feeling of becoming sick before you actually get sick. Sure enough, I woke up at 6 AM the next morning and spent the day puking my guts out. But I was almost happy this happened! It forced me to stay in bed and rest when I would have been running around working or doing yoga or hanging out with friends. I chose to rest the whole next day, because my body told me to listen, and I did. I stayed completely disconnected from work, my iphone, my email, life drama, everything but my dog. I took time to re-connect to my body by allowing it to rest, completely shut down, and recharge.
If I don’t pay attention to this I get a stern reminder from my gut to do so.
Like most people I tell myself to keep pushing through, work harder, do more. I’d been going overboard and it’s why I ended up on my ass in bed. But it was a great reminder to bring it back in, assess where I am putting my energy, and see what I needed to let go of.
In case you are wondering, I did not take any pain meds for my pounding headache. I did take essential oils to calm my gut–but my belly wasn’t even happy with that. Herbs and oils are the only meds I have in the house. It can be a little more convenient in the short term to push through, pop a pill, toss down some caffeine to keep going. But the next time you reach for the quick fix (don’t get me wrong, I’m not throwing coffee under the bus here) remember you are just prolonging the problem and making it worse. Getting in the habit of looking for that quick fix puts you in the cycle of looking for the next quick fix and things start to get out of control.
If you try to find quick fixes for your relationship with food, to your body that works so hard, or the environment you are living in, sit down and chew on this. Is this truly going to help or do I need to do some assessment and figure out what I really need? To really see, listen, and feel what you need to do takes time, patience, and honesty. But the answers are always simple if you are willing to listen.
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