Today I want to talk about mental transformation. One of my clients suffered from a mild form of Tourettes syndrome for years. Her symptoms included involuntary tics, anxiety and ADHD. It became increasingly difficult for her to complete a task or even have the motivation to start one.
She worked with a therapist to learn exercises that would help her manage her symptoms. Unfortunately, there was very little improvement. She also saw several neurologists that kept prescribing her different medications.
There is no one medication that is helpful to all people with TS, nor is there any medication that completely eliminates symptoms. And of course, all medications have side effects. The most common are sleepiness, weight gain and “fuzzy” thinking. She experienced all of these. She felt like she was dragging all the time and had to take 2 hour naps every day. She gained 10 pounds. She couldn’t get her mind clear. And the medications weren’t helping.
Several months ago I suggested she take up yoga. She was resistant at first (she had never done yoga) and already had her own workout routine in place. She started taking several classes a week in addition to doing cardio and weights. She had always been a healthy eater and stepped up her nutrition to even cleaner eating once she started yoga.
In the midst of her transformation, she adopted a kitten. We most often only think of therapy dogs but cats can be therapeutic, too. Cats provide distraction that can alleviate anxious symptoms of excessive worry. They require a routine and responsibility. Studies have shown that petting an animal can reduce blood pressure. Physical touch is healing for everyone. And how can you not laugh when you see a cat chasing a laser light or batting a toy mouse around? Laughter is the best medicine!
My client was thrilled to tell me that she weaned herself off all of her medications and lost and kept off the 10 pounds. She didn’t want to keep taking pills that weren’t helping her and were actually making her feel worse. She credits the yoga, the new kitty and her sheer will and determination to her success.
There is certainly a time when prescription medications are needed, however, doctors are all too fast to prescribe a pill because people want a quick, easy fix. I’m a steadfast believer that proper nutrition and exercise can prevent and/or cure almost anything. It takes effort and patience and you’ll never know until you try. But if you can have the highest quality of life without depending on a prescription, wouldn’t that be worth it?