If you are like me then you have a habit of pushing yourself til you can’t go anymore. Self care seems frivolous and if you aren’t in pain and sore all the time then you must not be working hard enough, right? Well that’s me. Always on the go and if I’m not I feel pretty guilty about it.
Over the past couple years I’ve been operating at a high stress level. Working in a high volume restaurant, juggling life, relationships, career, money, the physical demands of climbing and the active lifestyle I live. All the stress being put on my body daily both physically and mentally, is finally starting to take a toll on me.
As life got increasingly busier this year I started to notice a slow decline in my health. I just kept pushing on and my body began to rebel. For the past 6-8 months or so I’ve been dealing with what is most likely Adrenal Fatigue.
Adrenal fatigue is a term applied to a collection of nonspecific symptoms, such as body aches, fatigue, nervousness, hair loss, sleep disturbances and digestive problems. Your adrenal glands produce a variety of hormones that are essential to life. Adrenal fatigue is believed to be caused by chronic stress and happens when your adrenal glands are unable to keep pace with the demands of perpetual fight-or-flight arousal. As a result, they can’t produce quite enough of the hormones you need to feel good. Existing blood tests, according to this theory, aren’t sensitive enough to detect such a small decline in adrenal function — but your body is.
After talking to a couple lady friends of mine about my symptoms they referred me to Juliana King. By that point I was so desperate. I had done everything I could on my end including taking at home blood tests for hormones and food allergy blood tests to see if it was something I was eating. I researched like crazy. I tried different diets like gluten free, sugar free, dairy free, lectin free. Nothing was giving me very much and some made me feel worse than before. It’s a slow frustrating process trying to figure out what’s wrong with your body on your own. I decided it was time to see a professional.
On my first visit with Juliana I immediately felt like I was in the right place. She talked to me for at least an hour to get to know me and my symptoms. I felt really comfortable talking to her. She did an acupuncture treatment on me and prescribed some herbs for the adrenal fatigue. Yesterday, a week later, I went back and she did a cupping treatment followed by acupuncture which felt amazing!
“Acupuncture and cupping, more than half of the ills cured,” is a famous Chinese saying, supporting traditional Chinese medicine.
Cupping is a lesser-known treatment that is also part of Oriental medicine which dates all the way back to 300 AD. Cupping is the term applied to a technique that uses small glass cups or bamboo jars as suction devices that are placed on the skin to disperse and break up stagnation and congestion by drawing congested blood, energy or other humors to the surface.
“Where there’s stagnation, there will be pain. Remove the stagnation, and you remove the pain.”
“The old Chinese medical maxim holds that pain results from the congestion, stagnation, and blockage of Qi, or vital energy, vital fluids, lymph, phlegm, and blood. If pain is the essence of disease, then suffering is a result of obstructed or irregular flow in the body. Chinese cupping is therefore a method of breaking up the blockage to restore the body’s natural flow of energy.”
Cupping can be used to help with pain, inflammation, and increasing blood flow, improve immune function by moving blood and lymphatic fluid throughout the body, as well as promoting relaxation and a sense of well-being. Plus it feels really good!
After the cupping session she did an acupuncture treatment on me. “Acupuncture releases endorphins, activates the parasympathetic system (rest & digest), decreases inflammation, relieves pain, balances hormones, and nudges the brain waves into theta state, the same state you get in states of deep rest and meditation.” I highly recommend it!
After she carefully placed the needles she turned on the infrared light and left me to relax.
The marks left by the cupping is mild and should fade within a week. Even though it looks painful I assure you it is not. It feels pretty amazing especially someone like me who climbs and works out a lot and tend to feel pretty sore and tight in the back muscles. This treatment is exactly what my body needs. Nothing happens overnight but I’m already feeling better and relieved to know I’m on the right track. Along with self care treatments like this I’m also continuing a gluten free diet, working on stress management and taking more “me time”.
I realize now that taking care of your body is not selfish it’s mandatory. If you run yourself into the ground your body will start to break down and you will put yourself in a state of dis-ease. The best thing you can do for yourself is to listen to your body and give it what it needs. Don’t feel bad for asking or needing help. I recommend checking out Juliana if you live in the LA area. She is absolutely wonderful. You can find her here at https://www.juliana-king.com/ and also on Instagram @julianakinglac.
Other references https://www.pacificcollege.edu/news/blog/2014/09/20/many-benefits-chinese-cupping
All photos by Eric Fallecker @eric_fallecker