Beautiful Bowels and Beyond

By Adrienne Ryan, Brisbane, Australia

A few months ago I was feeling not so great in my body. I was overweight, tired, my period had been going haywire and I had been experiencing discomfort in what I thought was my left ovary area. It had been some time since I had gone to my GP. Usually I visited him when I was too sick to work. This time was different. I was still working and going about my day-to-day life, but I realised that I wasn’t feeling good and I wanted to know why. I decided to book in for a thorough check-up to see what was happening with my 46 year old body.

I enjoyed being there with my doctor, taking the time to say, “Hey, I’m not sick sick, but I don’t feel well either.”

We did some hormone tests and these were all normal. It turned out the area I thought was ovary discomfort was actually my bowel and we scheduled a colonoscopy. My GP also recommended a bone scan.

I went back home and realised something had changed. I started to pay closer attention to my day-to-day habits and how they felt. I became more aware of the part of my diet that was based on instant food gratifications that tasted great but left me feeling buzzy, heavy, fuzzy, tired, bloated, itchy, congested, dull or depressed afterwards – signs that my body wasn’t enjoying what my mouth was. I started to realise that there were many foods that didn’t truly agree with me. As the weeks passed I began to let these foods go and noticed how much easier my food choices were and how I enjoyed not having the mental tennis match of will I or won’t I have a corn chip now? I had started to master choosing what to eat from my body’s perspective and not my mouth’s. I also began to see how the quantities of foods, or times and ways I ate also had an effect on me: too much and I would feel tired, too late and I’d wake up feeling whacked, too fast and I’d over eat.

A month came and went and I noticed how I didn’t have the same heaviness in my being that I did before. My weight changed a little, but I noticed a greater sense of lightness, ease and evenness. The other amazing thing is that my periods returned to what I considered normal for me.

I felt more alive and it was great that my period had normalised, but there was more to go. I still felt a bit sluggish and my digestion, even with the changes I’d made, was still not flowing smoothly.

I booked in for a visit with a naturopath and spent time beforehand filling in a detailed questionnaire he gave me about my health history. It was like writing an autobiography of my body and was a great confirmation of how much my health had changed from a severely asthmatic, allergy, eczema and bronchitis sufferer to a woman who, after making changes over time in my lifestyle  ‘suffered’ these things no more.  It was also inspiring because it made me aware of things that were not as severe as these past conditions, but none-the-less left me feeling less than well and vital in my body. I had begun to measure wellness not on the absence of illness but on the presence of a body that felt lovely, alive and beautiful to wake up with and be in every day.

The naturopath performed some tests and we came to see that for my body there was too much of some things (meat, some nuts and too many egg yolks) and too little of other things (mineral salts, cod liver oil, hydration). He suggested cutting back on the too much and increasing the too little. I have done this for three weeks now and, we’re becoming intimate here, my bowels have returned to a beautiful, regular, healthy consistency. I would never have said my bowels were terrible but how I feel now is so clearly different that I have a new level of ‘normal’ for my bowels.

Today I went into hospital for my scheduled colonoscopy. There were lots of questions to answer about diet and the consumption of drugs and alcohol, and information needed on current medications I was taking. When the nurse checked my answers with me I realised from her comments that it is not so ‘normal’ to not drink alcohol at all or to not be on any type of medication.

The procedure was done and I was aware of what was going on and really appreciated the gentleness and skill of my surgeon and his team. I was told I had a beautiful bowel and that there was nothing there to worry about. It was great to have the confirmation by the medical system that my bowel was healthy.

It was only later that I discovered I had perhaps answered incorrectly on the questionnaire when I said no to being on any medicine.  I realised that although I am not on specific medication, my daily life is actually full of medicine – what I choose to eat, drink, how I rest, exercise, prepare for the day to not be rushed or stressed, conduct myself gently through the day, the way I end my day and how I go to bed…is all medicine.

The more I use this medicine the better I feel in my body. It has been an ongoing experiment but the results clearly show how well prescribed this form of medicine has been. I am looking forward to discovering more of what it is to truly feel well and lovely in my body all the time.

413 thoughts on “Beautiful Bowels and Beyond

  1. It’s great to have the awareness that our every choice has an impact on the body. Our choices can can be supportive and in harmony with the body resulting in vitality and lightness, or not supportive with all the accompanying uncomfortable symptoms. It’s actually a really beautiful partnership.

  2. I wish I had thought of that repost when asked the other day by a surgeon if I was on any medication – my life is my medicine, would have been a much more accurate answer than merely no.

  3. ‘… too much and I would feel tired, too late and I’d wake up feeling whacked, too fast and I’d over eat.’ It’s really interesting the understanding you had when observed closely the way you ate. I take note of it, because even though I take care of my diet and generally know the effect of food on my body, what you share here helps me to reflect even deeper in how I approach it. Thanks Adrienne.

  4. Medicine – so much more than just a pill box, the way I lie here, the way I move, every food and exercise choice, the way I put myself to sleep, the way I wake up in the morning – basically every choice we make is either contributing to or hindering our health and well-being.

  5. It is great to open up and explore our choices and empower ourselves as we shift our awareness and feel what truly supports and nurtures our whole body and what does not so that our body is able to move by its true and natural rhythm and flow.

  6. Our bowels are like other parts of the body we ignore until something goes wrong with them. Building a relationship with them and getting to understand the language of the bowels is so beneficial to our overall well being, along with not blaming them when things slow down, stop or move too quickly.

    1. Julie I love what you’ve shared here about “the language of the bowels” and building a relationship with them. I’ve also been focusing on feeling my bowels through the day, the ascending, transverse and descending sections and understanding what they symbolise in esoteric medicine, as well as generally listening to them and feeling what may be impacting this part of the body. I’m also aware of other parts of my body, including my neck and the language it has for why things do or don’t feel great, and other parts of the body. It’s fascinating to build this relationship and be so aware of what the body symbolises and communicates and how my daily choices impact on it.

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