GRIEF, THE REAL STORY BY NATUROPATH JUSTINE EVANS
Guest Blogger- Justine Evans ND, BSc Nut.Med.
Justine offers the kind of multi-dimensional approach to health and wellbeing that I love. After losing my dad she got me back on my feet but over the past decade she has helped all of my family with very different health issues in all kinds of ways. She is the best!
The seven emotional stages of grief are usually understood to be shock or disbelief, denial, bargaining, guilt, anger, depression, and acceptance/hope. Symptoms of grief can be emotional, physical, social, or religious in nature.
Working as a naturopath (or hormone alchemist as I refer to myself) I consider grief not only from the grievers physical symptoms but organ health and emotion as well.
Let me explain this a bit better – I appreciate it’s hard to get your head around. Put simply we believe that mind and body are inseparable and that emotions are crucial in health and disease. Naturopathy considers the works of Hippocrates who said, “Health is the expression of a harmonious balance between various components of man’s nature, the environment and ways of life – nature is the physician of disease.”
Spirituality considers the works of Gill Edwards; Louise Hay, Caroline Myss and many more. Traditional Chinese Medicine connects emotions and health with meridians; yogic philosophy considers chakras- all consider metaphysical emotion.
Here is a simple chart to give you an idea! As you can see the seven emotional stages of grief are associated with every meridian…
As you can see from Kim’s story her grieving process embraced most meridians and their associated organs: Lungs – shock, grief and breath taken out of her (I see so many clients who have developed asthma or bronchitis after losing a loved one) Triple warmer – can’t express her grief, covering up (Pollyanna smiler/I am OK), depression, loneliness, feeling hopeless Heart – lack of acceptance and deep sadness/grief/lacking joy Liver and gallbladder – anger and high stress – needing to be “in charge” Spleen – anxiety/fatigue Kidneys - adrenal fatigue, PTSD, feeling overwhelmed, can’t let go, over busy mind Digestive including stomach, large and small colon and bowel – can’t let go, guilt (could she have done more), emptiness, sorrow, Bladder – impatience to recover from grieving and frustration Pericardium – regret, lack of creativity and commitment to it etc It is said that grief recovery takes a month for every year you knew that person. In truth, I am not sure whether we truly ever “recover” from losing a loved one but if you take time to work and release the grief you can adapt to a life without them and release the emotion from the body encouraging a new, vibrant and healthy life.
JUSTINES’S TOP 3 ESSENTIALS FOR PROCESSING GRIEF
Homeotoxicology – wonderful form of treatment to support both the emotional and physical aspects for shock and grief. Traumeel is one of my go to remedies for any form of trauma including shock and to help with whole body adaptation
Grief counselling- embracing time for grieving
Nutritional programme and lifestyle to suit
As you can see from Kim’s story she emotionally and physically took a pounding. This is time to learn to breathe properly – buteyko method if you are struggling with asthmatic grief reactions, yoga including both asana and pranayama, pilates to support your core and walking to rebalance the central nervous system.
Plenty of fresh nutrient rich foods – a nutritional programme to suit including consideration towards supplementation to support personal symptoms and nutrient deficiencies and plenty of healing to re-balance the central nervous system and release *Mindfulness – this can be writing thoughts and emotions down in a journal to support sleep, a mindful evening bedtime regime such as Epsom salt baths, aromatherapy and meditation.
You can visit Justine's website here