“The mental/emotional piece is so huge…I felt like I was doing all the right things physically but because of childhood trauma and the like, I have really had to dig deep emotionally to work with this health challenge in a much deeper way for any kind of lasting relief.”
– Melanie Lynn

For Melanie Lynn, the birth of her sweet son was one of the highlights of her life. But it also seemed to be the catalyst for a series of ailments.

When Melanie was a new mom, headaches, fatigue and sleeplessness eventually led to a diagnosis of Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune thyroid condition where the immune system attacks the thyroid.

At the same time, motherhood reopened some of the wounds of Melanie’s own childhood trauma — intensifying her anxiety.

Compounding her physical distress, she was rear-ended in a car accident that left her with frequent pain and stiffness in her upper body.

Her late-30s body just didn’t seem to recover as it did in earlier years. Her job as a massage therapist became increasingly more arduous, as did parenting.

“I definitely started to feel my body changing and being less able to be resilient and bounce back from things,” she says.

A Treatment Plan for Hashimoto’s, Anxiety and More

For relief, Melanie tried a variety of alternative approaches, including chiropractic and acupuncture, with no real relief.

“It all just kind of made me feel worse,” she says.

She also felt she was doing all the right things to take care of her body, including eating a clean diet and topping off her nutrients with needed supplements. But she still felt off.

Over time, she found a combination of practitioners and approaches – both conventional and holistic — that have helped melt the pain and anxiety and let her get a restful night’s sleep:

Internal Family Systems Therapy

Surprisingly, Melanie credits what’s called Internal Family Systems therapy with helping ease her anxiety, and in turn, clearing the way for better health. Created by Dr. Richard Schwartz, the form of therapy seeks to address the multiple sub-personalities within each person, particularly the wounded parts.

For Melanie, it was critical to healing.

“It has completely, 100 percent changed my life because, for a long time, the pain of in my body or the autoimmune issues weren’t getting that better with holistic therapy or traditional therapy,” she says. “It didn’t matter until I really looked closer at the root causes. I’ve noticed a lot of reduced anxiety and just general feelings of wellness from that.”

Meditation

Melanie depends on meditation — especially since the pandemic hit — to help her manage stress and anxiety that can, in turn, impact her health.

CBD Oil

Melanie had always been skeptical of the claims of CBD oil. But on a friend’s urging, she decided to try it.  She didn’t expect it to work for her. And at a low dose, it didn’t.

However, a much higher dose, unexpectedly, lived up to the marketing claims. She noticed lower anxiety, better sleep and less pain, especially for menstrual headaches.

“Oh wait, this really works. People weren’t fooling me. It’s a matter of finding your correct dose,” she says. “It takes the edge off and I just feel a little more fluid in my body now.”

Yet, CBD oil at the dose she needed soon became prohibitively expensive. She switched to a brand that allows her to get the feel-good effects she needs at a lower cost, Lazarus Naturals.

She sees CBD oil as a way to soften the edges as she does some of the tough groundwork, such as therapy, to heal her body at a deeper level.

And it’s helpful when sleep is elusive. “I woke up in the middle of the night a couple of nights ago and I took a dose,” she says. “I went right back to bed and had glorious dreams and woke up feeling refreshed.”

Connective Tissue Therapies

She found that massage helped ease some of the post-accident pain, along with the MELT Method (Myofascial Energetic Length Technique). It’s designed as a self-care practice to mimic osteopathic therapies and keep the body healthy and active.

“A friend of mine turned me on to it and I couldn’t be happier,” she says. “So that’s really helpful, especially with neck tension and hip stuff. Again, it’s one of those things where I was like, ‘Oh, this isn’t going to do anything.’ I’ve been very surprised and pleased with that as well.”

Thyroid Medication

For hormones and adrenals, Melanie saw a holistic M.D. There, testing uncovered her Hashimoto’s disease, leading her to start a low dose of the thyroid medication, levothyroxine.

“I’m taking a pretty negligible dose, but it seems to help,” she says.

She also met with an endocrinologist who found that Melanie had really low ferritin levels, which probably contributed to her fatigue.

An Organic Diet

Melanie eats an organic, whole foods diet. With a sensitive stomach, she cooks at home almost exclusively.

For a time, Melanie tried cutting out gluten and dairy, but after noticing no differences in her health, she brought them back.

Less Pain, More Sleep

With these tactics, Melanie reduced her pain and anxiety, and improved her sleep – for an overall greater sense of wellness. Cyclical headaches are better, but she’s still looking for the last piece of the puzzle to stop them entirely.

For her, the emotional work has been the biggest needle-mover.

“The mental/emotional piece is so huge…” she says. “I felt like I was doing all the right things physically but because of childhood trauma and the like, I have really had to dig deep emotionally to work with this health challenge in a much deeper way for any kind of lasting relief.”

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