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.

430 thoughts on “Beautiful Bowels and Beyond

  1. This is a beautiful confirmation that life is Medicine, what we eat, how we look after ourselves, how we sleep, if we can live life in an harmonious flow, then is it possible that this is felt by the planet we live on and so it wouldn’t have to take such correcting actions such as earthquakes and hurricanes to restore the balance of a society that is totally out of balance.

  2. It makes sense to me that the body thrives with a very detailed level of care, stemming from its own feedback. The body is such an incredible and amazing organism, yet we live so unaware of this and as a result we don’t really value or care for ourselves. Each body is filled with different cells doing amazing jobs to help keep the whole body operating, how wonderful it would be for us all to know more about this and hold our bodies more preciously.

  3. Every part of our body is needed to be a part of the whole. If one part is not working or flowing efficiently, then the other parts become affected. To me this is saying everything is needed and nothing is discounted.
    Take care of the all and the all will take care of you.

    1. Shushila I like what you have written
      ‘Take care of the all and the all will take care of you’
      This reminds me of my biology lessons years ago where we discovered that some plants have a symbiotic relationship with each other so that they live harmoniously. They say that plants and animals reflect back to humanity and this is a great reflection for us to all consider.

  4. I read this blog as I am currently working and focusing a bit more on my colon, digestion and what I eat and have definitely started to do this more ‘I had started to master choosing what to eat from my body’s perspective and not my mouth’s’, reviewing what I eat, which feels good. While reading your blog what came to me is just how hard it is to get a doctors appointment in the UK. In the past people used to be able to call and someone would answer and they would book you an appointment for either that day or a few days time. Now from experience and talking to other people who have the same experience, you call for ages and get told to either call back in a weeks time as that is when the new appointments will be made/booked or be given an appointment for 2 weeks time. Also what I got told by the surgery’s receptionist is that I can only book 1 appointment for 1 thing, so for example if I had several things I wanted to discuss or get checked I needed to book several appointments!!!!! This alone just shows how much pressure we are putting on the health service. Your blog is a great reminder that the way we live can be medicine and in fact it is this that only needs changing and I feel this is something as a whole we definitely need to understand and live more.

  5. Love this Adrienne what a fantastic blog, you have certainly inspired me to take more loving care of food choices and how I live my day.

  6. it’s so true that the way we choose to live is our medicine so not just what we put into our body but also the way we move through life as well as appreciating the choices we make on a daily basis and reviewing them where necessary.

    1. The whole blog is food for thought! I found the latter part more confirming, life is medicine and medicine is life, they go together hand in hand. When one is affected, then look at the cause of the effect and address it. Life would be simple if we could do this more often.

  7. “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.” A beautiful prescription for true health.

  8. There’s much power in claiming that the way we are living is a medicine in itself. It is the amalgamation of love and commitment to ourselves that no one else can give. What more could be nurturing than that?

  9. Our bowels are able to tell us a lot about our general health and what we are eating too is often a reflection of how we feel, it is amazing how everything is related especially to the way that we live, I have found in the past when I lived in anxiousness it had a direct correlation to what I ate in terms of comfort food which in turn had an affect on my bowels too.

    1. I have been looking into this more … the importance of our gut health and how this affects our whole wellbeing is quite huge and I can really feel this in my body (which is why I have been looking into it more) but agree that instead of just focusing on one thing or part of the anatomy how we LIVE can be our medicine ✨ This is an old wisdom that seems to, on a grand scale within the world, currently be a bit lost (or ignored). It would be great to come back to this truth.

  10. “how I enjoyed not having the mental tennis match of will I or won’t I have a corn chip now?” Oh my, I know this one well. A loving work in progress for me to end that game.

  11. The effects of food on the way we feel is absolutely massive – I have been experimenting recently with different kinds of food and after eating some food my clarity has gone, my focus has gone, the skip in my step has gone and I feel heavy for hours. Could certain foods not just be an innocent indulgence but have an actual harmful effect?

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. ‘… 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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