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Have you tried what seems like all-the-treatments and there seems to be a missing piece? Check out the 12-week program, Empowered Healing, and learn how to reclaim wellness! Click to read more!

Empowered Healing: Reclaiming Your Health & A GIVEAWAY

This giveaway is sponsored by Innovative Medicine and is open through May 31, 2017 at 11:59 pm PST. Scroll to the bottom and follow the directions to enter!

Over the last few years I’ve done anything but lie in wait for healing. I have made a lot of sacrifices, faced incredibly difficult treatment protocols, and put a huge daily effort into supporting my body’s healing.

My diet has shifted dramatically, and multiple times at that. I relied on an expensive supplement plan just to keep functioning. And up until 3 months ago I spent the majority of my days at home. Not out of choice, but because my unimaginable fatigue and symptoms demanded so much rest.

But in the last three months I’ve seen tremendous healing come from adding in an entirely new treatment program called DNRS. And because of that I’m truly starting to get my life back. DNRS is based on the foundation that we have the ability to heal ourselves by rewiring our brain. You can read more about that here.

Because of this new addition to my healing protocol, I’ve become absolutely fascinated by reading up on neuroplasticity. I’m always intrigued to hear about other treatment programs with similar, yet unique perspectives on healing.

So when Monica from Innovative Medicine reached out to share more about their Empowered Healing program launching on June 1, I was all ears!

Psssst…spoiler alert: they are giving away FIVE of their 12-week programs here on the blog! You can scroll down to the bottom for more info on how to enter.

What is Empowered Healing?

Empowered Healing is a 12 week program designed to put you in the driver’s seat of your health. EH is founded on the idea that we all have the ability to reclaim our natural state of health and functioning. And their program gives you the tools you’ll need to do just that: to activate your journey back to health.

What you’ll learn…

(taken from their website):

  • A holistic understanding of the underlying causes of illness and the critical (yet often overlooked) mechanisms that determine how people truly heal.
  • How to start feeling better instantly and optimize your recovery response by learning and applying the scientific evidence that the body can heal itself.
  • The 7 key fundamentals of health and how to address each of them in a personalized way that starts with your current individual-based priority.
  • The ‘Healing Blueprint’ framework: A five step process for charting your own unique course back to health, starting from right where you are.
  • How to solidify your newfound vitality, step fully into your healthiest self and sustain your new ‘set-point’ for the rest of your life.

The program consists of a 12-week guide, video lessons, interactive exercises, personal accountability calls, email coaching, research, and an online community to foster your healing journey.

I also found it super compelling that the program has been 12 years in the making…12 years! The creators of the program spent that time interviewing doctors from around the globe and learning from them. And now have used what they’ve gathered to create a comprehensive system that offers tangible steps for healing.

One of the creators, Ben Ahrens, suffered years with Lyme disease and has seen tremendous healing through implementing some of the practices presented in the program. You can listen in on his fascinating story he shared on a TED talk here.

“Could the program help me?”

As I was reading some of the info on the website, their description of who the program is for tugged at my heart. Simply put, it’s because I feel like it resonates with so many of us that have been working hard at healing:

“Whether you’re chronically ill and looking for ways to optimize your success outside the doctor’s office, wondering why various treatments don’t always lead to long-term health, or simply curious about what you can do in your personal life to compliment your medical treatment, this 12-week program will show you how to implement all of the discoveries and principles that Innovative Medicine is based on to empower yourself and reclaim health outside the medical office.”

How many of us have tried yet-another-treatment that helped someone else, but our body couldn’t tolerate it? Or it made us worse? And how many doctors have we seen that left us wondering if there was possibly a missing link? Perhaps something they hadn’t thought of that could help.

I know I, for one, could answer so many of those questions with a head nod. Or a blank look while trying to add up the number of times I’d been there.

Empowered Healing is a program designed to help you reclaim your body's natural state of health. And if you're tired of a one-size-fits all healing plan, this program may be just the thing you need! Click to read more!

So what do I think?

I have to say that I’m excited about this program! I’ve seen firsthand how powerful neuroplasticity based healing can be. And with that being just one component to Empowered Healing, I’m embracing it with open arms.

I’ve had a chance to look over their beta program and will be diving into the full program in June. And I’m impressed just from my first exposure to the program!  The science behind it, their teaching style, and holistic approach really resonates with me.

And if you’re one of the lucky winners, maybe we can swap our experiences as we go through the program together! 😉

The GIVEAWAY:

Innovative Medicine was kind enough to offer not one, but FIVE lucky readers their brand new 12-week program!

Here are the deets:

  • Giveaway winner must be 18 years or older.
  • You may earn up to EIGHT entries.
  • Submit all entries by 11:59 PM, May 31, 2017
  • Winners will be contacted by email and must respond within 24 hours to claim their prize.

To enter click this link or enter using the Rafflecopter form below!

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Why would you like to win the Empowered Healing program?

Enter to win an Empowered Healing program from Integrative Medicine: the 12-week program that's designed to help you reclaim health and wellness through a holistic approach to healing.

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Want a chance to win one of 11 health prize packs for the chronically ill? Enter from now through December 3, 2016!

HUGE Holiday Giveaway!

 

Today I have something I have been DYING to share with you guys since September. The blogging network I belong to, Chronic Illness Bloggers Network, has organized a HUGE holiday giveaway! And guys, I’m not kidding when I say it’s FULL of fabulous prizes. From gift cards to coaching sessions, pain management products and health/vitamin gift packs – there’s something for everyone of us in the chronically ill community!

Items have been donated by bloggers within the network and a variety of companies we have partnered with over the last year. I’ve personally donated a $20 gift card to my brand new Etsy shop, Eight Fourteen Designs where I offer beautiful wall art printables as well as blog & Etsy shop design!

Win a $20 gift card to Eight Fourteen Designs!

I’m especially excited to see gift certificates to Theraspecs, which I’ve had my eye on for migraine relief! I also remember reading a fellow blogger’s review on the Nimble and how helpful it is for aching hands that struggle opening packages and mail. On the wish list!

The details…

The giveaway will run from Nov. 21 – Dec 3, 2016. There are 11 Prize Packs, each with a value between $400 and $600!! Still letting that sink in…wow.

Here’s a preview of a couple of the prize packs available to win…

Prize Pack 1:Enter to win one of 11 health prize packs! Each pack is worth $400+!!

Prize Pack 6:Enter the Chronic Illness Bloggers holiday health giveaway for your chance to win one of 11 prize packs!

2 of the 11 Prize Packs are available only to US-based winners. As winners are chosen at random, if a non-US-based winner is chosen for one of the US-only prize packs the winner will have the option to either have the prizes shipped to a US address of their choosing or to forfeit the prize.

To see all of the prize packs and enter for your chance to win one of the 11 prize packs, click below and follow the instructions! Good luck to you, friends!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**This giveaway is sponsored by Chronic Illness Bloggers. Prizes have been donated by the following: Alisha Nurse; Aromafloria; BackPainBlogUK; Bridgwater Crafts; BeingFibroMomBroken Teepee; Chronically Content; Chronic Mom Life; ColitisNinja; The Fay Farm; Fed Up with Fatigue; FibroCane ; Fresh Assist Spray; Gupta Programme; HFactorWater; Kirsten Schulz; Living Well Today; Living Grace Blog; Lupus Chick; Megan SchartnerMelissa Swanson; Mini2z; Organic Aromas; Oska Wellness; The Pain Free Life; Patient Playbook; Perfectly Ambitious Blog; Posture Pump; ProHealth ; Rebuilding Wellness ; Strength Flexibility Health EDS; Sylk USA ; Theraspecs ; Vital Plan **

 

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To the Doctors Who Brushed Me Off

This post was sponsored by the Self Care Movement. While I received compensation through the Chronic Illness Blogging Network, these words are my own. The thoughts and opinions expressed here are a combination of my own experiences throughout the years, as well as what I have heard from others in the chronically ill community. 

Hi there. You may not remember me, but we’ve met before. Allow me to jog your memory.

I was the patient whose symptoms were all in her head. The child clearly looking for attention, the teenage-girl-hypochondriac, and the newly married woman who was looking to blame all her symptoms on new medication instead of owning the fact she’s “just stressed.”

Yeah. I’m sure you’re as happy to see me as I am to see you.

Our appointments never went quite how I was hoping they would go. Maybe you feel the same.

I am not so naive to think that I am owed special treatment from you or any other physician. I do not believe I am better, or that my case is more important than any other of your patients.

But I believe I am deserving of being heard and taken seriously.

I know you have studied and researched and experienced more than I ever will in the medical field. You have devoted countless hours to learning about the body, understanding various treatments, listening to the top doctors and all with the greater calling of making the sick well.

There is no doubt in my mind you have worked hard to get to the point at which you are at today. I am amazed at the commitment it has taken to get you this far.

Yet I can’t help but feel sadness when I think of how I slipped through so many of your fingers when all along my illness could have been treated. Years of suffering could have been avoided had you taken me seriously years ago.

I was conditioned by society to take anything spoken by the man in a white coat as the final word. The greatest truth and wisdom. Because of this I retreated each time you gave one of your countless responses that things were “all in my head” or normal to experience. I began to accept that my symptoms had no place or answer in any doctor’s office.

The place you go in hopes of feeling better became my least favorite place to visit. Because inevitably I often felt worse upon leaving.

Self Care Movement

Now I am here today facing a disease that has gone untreated for far too long. The damage has been widespread, the emotional toll so deep. All because it was never addressed in its beginning stages.

The symptoms you didn’t believe or failed to understand? The bizarre activity going on under my skin that you couldn’t see? I never had the option of dismissing them as easily as you dismissed me.

They have kept me up through the night, on edge throughout the day. The ant crawling, ears ringing, severe fatigue, the sudden muscle weakness and spasms. I could not escape them, yet you brushed them aside. Told me I was anxious or stressed.

You told me the heart palpitations were all in my head, though I knew they were not. And somehow I landed in the ICU last year with a heart that stopped. And again in the hospital several months later with chest pains that took me in and out of consciousness.

Still all in my head?

Do I blame you for the madness I have been forced to live through? No, I do not. However, I’m going to call a spade a spade: you played a part by not listening. By giving the impression you had the answers even when you had no clue.

The things that go unseen are not any less real than the results that show up on your trusty tests. The fatigue that has zapped all my energy, the weakness in my limbs that keeps me from functioning, the dizziness that often keeps me glued to the couch.

Just because you cannot see the myriad of symptoms I battle, doesn’t mean they aren’t there. And it surely can’t be instantly diagnosed as a psychological issue without delving more into the wide range of other possibilities.

Instead of admitting you did not know the answer, you ignored or belittled my pain and suffering. You even made me feel it was my fault I wasn’t getting better, even though I was working harder than ever.

You told me a little more exercise would cure my fatigue. Or that I just needed to eat more to combat my declining weight (good thing, because I hadn’t even thought of that). You said that a bit of meditation would relieve my excruciating 9/10 pain that kept me writhing for weeks on end.

I do not expect you to have all the answers and I don’t believe you will instantly be able to take away my struggle. But I do believe you have connections and the ability to acknowledge that there are limits to your expertise.

Chronic Illness and Finding a Diagnosis

And so I write this in the hope of you hearing my story. OUR story. The story of patients who are genuinely searching for answers, desperate to find relief as they claw their way through the mess of chronic illness.

I write with the purpose of you hearing my heart and in turn your kindness sparing another patient the added pain, guilt and frustration that our interactions have caused me over the years.

I am sharing this openly for the solidarity of patients across the globe. To remind them their health matters. That their gut instinct of something being wrong or “off” in their body may be right on the money. And it’s worth it to search for answers, for healing, for someone to help.

And if you, as their doctor, doesn’t know the answer? I beg of you to humbly say so. We will hear and respect your answer, knowing it’s getting us one step closer to another physician or specialist who just might have some insight.

Someone to see beneath our “you don’t look sick” exterior, and help us fight for health.

While these experiences have happened in real life to myself and others I know, there are also the doctors who have gone above and beyond for us. Some even risking their licenses by treating a disease that isn’t recognized by the medical community. To these, I extend my deepest gratitude. We need you in this world.

Want to know more about the Self Care Movement? Click here to read more stories!

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Dining out with a special diet

DineSafe: An App for Dining Out with Food Allergies

This post was sponsored by DineSafe, but the following are my own opinions on the app.

Dining out when you have food allergies – or even sensitivities – can range from impossible to headache-worthy. And sometimes both.

Maybe you’ve been here before…

After waiting for 45 minutes you are finally seated, only to be handed a menu that you now must carefully scan for options that fit your very specific dietary needs.  Much of it is a guessing game as you sort through each category, mentally crossing off anything that might contain your food enemy.

20 minutes later and somewhat (if not entirely) defeated, you make the decision to play it safe with a salad. Without the dressing, cheese, croutons, or seeds. You’ll dress it yourself with a side of olive oil and the salt and pepper from the table. Your stomach will thank you later.

You’ve created an item that works for you. And you know what? That makes you happy indeed. You’re pretty used to this. And you conquered that menu like a champ!

This menu adaptation game has been my story countless times. In my years of battling illness, I’ve seen my bestie food friends drop like flies as I’ve taken on some necessary diet changes to protect and support my health: gluten, dairy, soy, and lastly: most grains. (I KNOW. Cue the weeping).

For a foodie it can be a mournful loss that becomes even harder to cope with when the search to find restaurants YOU CAN ACTUALLY EAT AT leaves a girl spinning in circles.

Wouldn’t it be great if someone could cut out the work for us in searching a menu for safe foods? To remove that headache I mentioned a bit ago?

Guys. There’s a new app that does just that.

Enter: the DineSafe App.

DineSafe helps make dining out safer and easier. Check out more of the features over on the blog!

DineSafe’s goal is to improve the dining experience for those of us with specific dietary needs, as well as help restaurants connect with diners who need safe options.

After reading up on all the app offers, I downloaded the app to explore it myself.

This app makes it so-super-easy to create your very own personalized menu. You simply tap once on any allergen or special diets you follow and it’s automatically saved in your profile.

One of my favorite parts?

There is NO LIMIT on how many allergens you can add to your list!

This is a revelation for those of us with multiple allergies or sensitivities: no more hunting through menus and product lists when the work has already been done for you!

So just how many allergens are available?

There’s a total of 24 including various meats, vegetables, gluten and ingredients like Sulphates or MSG.

Even better is the ability to select from 8 different diets ON TOP OF whatever food allergies you may have. Paleo and Vegan users, rejoice!

Here’s a sample of some of the allergens and diets you can choose from. I spy with my little eye a little something called Organic…(!!!)

How to Find Safe Dining Options Near You with the DineSafe App

For restaurants, this app is a great way to connect with individuals and families who look for menus that will cater to their restrictive diets and clearly list allergens.

Restaurants can easily enter in their own menu on the app, detailing current offerings, ingredients and allergen information.

I love that this leaves any guessing out for me as the user as to whether the menu showing is up-to-date and/or accurate. I am much more likely to trust the menu they release over anyone else.

With the United States estimate of 15 million people affected by food allergies, this is a great time for restaurants to get ahead of any upcoming laws regulating allergen disclosure. Europe and the UK already have their own regulations in place, requiring mandatory allergen information for all of their menu items.

I can’t ignore that it’s also a great way to play a part in changing the landscape of the dining world for those with sensitivities. We will all thank you!

You can easily locate restaurants near you using the built-in GPS feature. Once you have chosen a restaurant you can then scroll through the menu using the “filter menu” option which will apply your current diet settings.

The app then allows you to find menu items that are safe, ones to avoid and even a list of items that can be modified to fit your specific diet.

DineSafe App for Safe Dining Out

Because this app is on the newer side they are still growing their restaurant list.

One way we can help is by endorsing and submitting petitions for restaurants in our area. If we find a restaurant that offers items catered to our specific diet requirements, endorsing their menu helps other diners with the same restrictions know it is a safe place to eat.

We can also look up restaurants in our area and start (or sign an existing) petition, requesting that they upload their menu to DineSafe (which is free!) detailing any allergens to be aware of.

It’s really a win-win for both restaurant and user – the user locates a restaurant with food items they can have and the restaurant increases its reach!

I’ve already started some petitions for some restaurants in my new home town and have signed a couple of existing ones. It’s such a great, tangible way to encourage restaurants to get on board!

If you’d like to check out DineSafe, you can download the app for free on both iPhone or Android. It only takes a few seconds to install and a couple minutes to set up your personalized menu and you’re done!

Super easy and you’re on your way to fewer menu-searching-induced-headaches and more restaurants to enjoy.

If you have food allergies, a sensitivity or if you follow a special diet – do you have a favorite restaurant in your area that goes out of their way to cater to your needs? Try finding them on DineSafe to give them a shout out!

{You can follow DineSafe on Facebook and Twitter.}

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