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September 5 2023 Vennessa McConkey

5 Ways to Flourish with Autoimmune Disease

It’s hard to believe it, but even when you feel like crap or are in the middle of a flare, you can still flourish with autoimmune disease. Are you sick and tired of feeling sick and tired? (My hand is raised high!) Now, I know it may not be easy to change your mindset, (especially if trauma has been involved), but perhaps incorporating these 5 things that relate to the DRESS protocol I have every client go through, can help you to thrive more and more! 

1. Incorporate Healing Foods to Flourish

But only ones YOUR body does well with! The goal is to help minimize the stress on our immune systems, so our bodies can have the opportunity to heal. All autoimmune disease has some link to the gut (and stress). Why? Because that’s where majority of our immune defenses are. Gut healing foods will strengthen your immunity which equals flourishing!

None of us enjoy those fad diets or completely overhauling our pantry and refrigerators - I get that. I'm never one for dieting anyways! This should be a lifestyle change. As always, please TEST to see what foods you are sensitive to first, or you may be irritating your gut MORE!

If you want some inspiration for nourishing foods, I have gut-healing smoothies you can download HERE.

2. Take a Break and REST

This is probably mentioned in every, single blog post or article about trying to heal. But, it is SO important when trying to thrive. When you’re emptying your tank everyday from your disease, you need to refuel or you won’t thrive. You simply cannot pour from an empty cup, nor can you borrow spoons from the next day. That doesn’t equal thriving!

I still struggle with this one. I think I can run-run-run all day and then wonder why I'm completely toast and don't sleep well! Taking breaks and slowing down is a GOOD thing. It's the stress and not resting that amplifies inflammation, and inflammation is a no-go for any autoimmune condition. Make it a point to slow down everyday. Ask for help (I know it's hard!) Find people who support you in wanted to achieve healing and will help take the load off everyday.

3. Embrace Low Impact Exercise (at the beginning)

There are people out there that say to only do low-impact exercise with autoimmune conditions. I beg to differ. I recommend, as a practitioner, that when you have unwanted bacteria, parasites, mineral imbalances and hormones are really whacky, that you DO slow down. Once you start to heal, (please if you have any kind of trauma, go slow and steady for a longer time than you think). Even when you feel your worst, low impact exercise can help lower stress and inflammation levels. The simplest of all things we can do is go for a walk. And if you can do it outside, that heightens the positive effects for flourishing!

Another low impact exercise to embrace is yoga which also brings in the mindfulness part. Again, if you have trauma, there are lots of trauma-informed yoga teachers that can help release the pain "stuck" in your body. And what I've found in my practice, is that releasing the trauma-pain, plus the mental aspect doing yoga practice, has brought so much healing that I'm now able to do a bit more, like weight lifting and some cardio. 

4. Stress Reduction

No one likes negativity. Some of us are more prone to negativity because of experiences we have been through - such as trauma and being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. But in order to thrive each day (and some days will be better than others - so give yourself grace!), we need to practice handing over our guilt, stress, and anger. Those things make it difficult to live a great life, autoimmune disease or not. Remember, having an autoimmune disease usually isn't your fault - it goes deeper. I have learned to remind myself about the guilt, stress, and anger in this way:

  1. My autoimmune disease is not my fault (guilt).
  2. It’s amazing all the things I am still able to get done with my autoimmune disease (stress).
  3. My body is super strong and amazing to be fighting and healing from this autoimmune disease (anger).

5. Find Someone Who Has Walked the Walk

Living with ANY dis-ease in your body is difficult. But in order to either eradicate that di-ease or chaos in your body, or thrive with the autoimmune disease, you need to know you are not alone and learn from someone who has overcome. 

Like what the root cause may be, how to get through flares as you are healing, and to help you adjust your plan as you do heal! These can have great impacts on your day - when you have the tools and support to succeed! Sacrifices may need to be made too, BUT if it means you will feel great, it won’t feel like your making a sacrifice after a while, but rather a really great, positivity-boosting choice to a better flourishing YOU with autoimmune disease!

If you want someone who has walked the walk and works hard to heal and help others, get on a call  with me and lets get started!


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