Mental health conditions are still taboo today. No matter how far we’ve come, it is still scary and risky to disclose that you are struggling for fear of losing your job or promotion, being ostracized or discriminated against, or at the least looked down on and dismissed as crazy. There are very few places you can turn to for real help. Often your doctor gives you a 10 minute appointment and puts you on drugs to numb you. Therapy is not for everyone. Hospitals make you feel worse. Many turn to self-medicating to get through the week. Modern society is extremely isolating, despite the busy cities, there is no longer true connection and community. Many are alone and struggling to just make it alive through another day.
Our opioid crisis and rise in homelessness have their roots in mental health. Our rise in cancer has more and more people facing their mortality in their 30s and 40s, facing intense internal challenges. More and more people are suffering deeply every single day.
Trauma is a terrible thing. It changes the way your brain is actually wired. Your entire nervous system reacts differently. Triggers come and the memories in your body can creep up on you and sabotage your life just when you think everything is going well. It can make you lose sleep, energy, logical thinking, and cause you a type of excruciating deep seated fear which no one around you can relate to.
I have struggled with PTSD for over a decade. I had some significant trauma in my young adult years which brought it on. My journey took me to deep and dark places within, and thankfully with courage, resilience, and loads and loads and loads of patience, I finally healed. Today, I’d like to share with you a couple of the methods which helped me get better.
Often when faced with trauma, our minds create parts that war against us, as a type of twisted survival mechanism. Like if I attack myself, no one can surprise me. This subtle self-hatred can be in the background, barely noticeable, but present all the time impacting our health. True healing involves radical self- acceptance and self-compassion. To become friendly within, to never divide yourself again.
Mental and emotional digestion is a topic little known in the west. In Ayurveda, it has always been known, that suppression of feelings, memories, and thoughts leads to disease. Many of the modern techniques for helping and coping with mental health involve suppression, unfortunately. In Ayurveda, there are many ancient methods to help one complete and optimize their emotional digestion: treatments of the body and energy system, herbs, meditation, breathing, and yoga.
One such treatment which I’d like to share about today is Shirodhara, an ancient miracle treatment. It is a neuro-hormonal-mental-emotional therapy which involves head massage with activation of energy points (marma therapy) and the continuous pouring of specifically chosen personalized herbalized oil on the forehead center for a period of time. It is a meditative and deeply relaxing treatment that helps to digest trauma and deep seated emotions, as well as rebalance the neuroendocrine system which can be at the root of many mental health conditions. It is amazing for stress, insomnia, anxiety, trauma, depression, and even psychosis. It is also effective in strengthening the nervous system in neurological conditions. I received 5 treatments of Shirodhara in a row, and I was deeply grateful for the journey which resulted in a true and lasting transformation.
The journey of healing is wrought with much darkness and uncertainty, but when you finally heal the deep wounds, the growth, perspective and wisdom you gain, allows you to live such a fulfilling and blissful life. We must let go of all the societal and internal expectations we harbor about ourselves and our life, to allow our true life to shine through. Only in being ourselves, is happiness possible.
It takes a lot to walk this path, but none of us have to walk it alone.