Got Hypothyroid? SLOW DOWN!!

GIrl in hammock resting relaxationOne of the most amazing things about the human body is its capacity to self-protect and self-heal.

Whenever something is out of balance the body always tries to rebalance itself.

Everyone that made it through Junior High School might remember the terminology “homeostasis” from biology 101.

Homeostasis is “the tendency of an organism or a cell to regulate its internal conditions, usually by a system of feedback controls, to stabilize health and functioning, regardless of the outside changing conditions.”[1]

With hypothyroid, we need to start asking why would the body reduce or limit production of thyroid hormone and intentionally try to slow it’s own functioning down?

Is the body and mind overworked, stressed out, taking on too much at once (multitasking) or not getting proper nutritional support?

What is causing the thyroid to slow the body down?

The human body is an amazing creation, and it is perfectly designed. I believe we need to honor it, instead of forcing it to do something it is desperately trying NOT to do. And, that is… speed up.

According to modern medical science, the treatment for hypothyroid is to add more thyroid hormone into the body to speed up bodily processes. I believe this treatment is highly detrimental to the body, and can eventually lead to adrenal fatigue and chronic fatigue.

I’ve witnessed this breakdown in many hypothyroid clients that have taken medication to unnaturally speed up their thyroid.

The body may be literally telling us that it needs a break. If we don’t listen to it, we will certainly get that break… in one of our bones. Over-treating hypothyroidism with medication can lead to osteoporosis.[2]

To alleviate many of the common symptoms associated with hypothyroid (fatigue, depression, weight gain, lack of focus, muscle cramps, increased cholesterol levels, etc.), it’s time to make a shift toward slowing down, instead of speeding up.

If you are suffering with hypothyroidism, here are some “slow” ideas to think:

Meditate and Breathe –The simple act of breathing (full belly breaths) helps calm the nervous system and brings oxygen into the body and cells. Breathing helps the entire body and mind function better. We need to breathe a little more, relax our mind, and stop over-thinking. I’m sure many of you know we can think ourselves into a panic attack! Meditation and breathwork can bring us back into the present moment and help us de-stress. There are many great books that can help. One of my favorites is Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh.

Take a Yoga Class – Gentle hatha yoga can relax the nervous system and balances the body as a whole. Get your stressed out butt into some relaxing, stretching and opening poses and breathe for goshsakes! More breathing… can you believe it? For those of you that are “over-exercising,” yoga can be highly rejuvenating. I had a client that was running hard; 4x a week, 7-10 miles per run. The doctor kept “upping” her thyroid medication. For her body and specific condition she was over-exercising and not balancing her routine with gentle rejuvenation practices like yoga, breathing and meditation. There is only so much the physical body exert before it becomes depleted; the body also needs to receive. Balance is the key to healing any condition.

Chew Your Food – Digestion begins in the mouth. We need to slow down and chew food thoroughly to combine it with that magical substance called saliva. Our body secretes saliva for a reason. It contains essential enzymes that begin the process of digesting dietary starches and fats. If you are eating food, chew! Give yourself at least 25 – 30 chews per mouthful. Many of my clients notice that by simply slowing down and chewing they begin feeling slimmer. If you want to know the type of food to chew on to alleviate thyroid conditions, watch my Nourishing Thyroid Health DVD or read this: Radiate My Thyroid? No Freakin’ Way!

Healing Takes Time – Many people want healing to happen instantaneously. That expectation itself can lead to high levels of stress. We live in a sitcom mentality where we want illness to be resolved in a half hour or less. That’s not reality. Be patient and loving with your condition. Connect with your body and hear what it is saying to you, and then give it the space and time it needs to heal.

Here’s a great quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson that I love, “Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience.”

There are many ways to heal hypothyroidism, and slowing down is a great place to start.

Instead of taking medication to speed up your thyroid, take a “chill-pill” and learn how to relax. Stop rushing around, it may be time to lie in a hammock and swing between the trees for a while.

Want more insight about healing the thyroid naturally? Join me in NYC on Tuesday 3/3 for a live cooking demo and lecture. It’s a delicious way to start the healing process: Nourishing Thyroid Health