It was the end of June in 2021 and my skin was red from my face down to my chest area. I had just come from enjoying Universal’s Volcano Bay waterpark with my family. I didn’t think anything of it because my partner and our daughter had also suffered skin irritation from being in the sun. Weeks passed, my partner and daughter’s skin had healed but my skin seemed to be getting worse with small bumps spreading throughout my body. Being that I am a nurse and my own self-healer, I rarely seek professional medical assistance unless I feel that I really need it. In this case, I decided to finally go seek a medical opinion on July 14, 2021. The doctor completed her assessment and diagnosed me with tinea corporis, a fancy medical term for ringworm.
My intuition told me this was inaccurate and I knew then that I wouldn’t be going back to her.
Deep down inside, I felt it was something deeper happening that consciously I was not aware of but my body was trying to communicate this to me. I’m very keen to my body when it comes to the foods that I eat, the energy that I am around, my emotional state and etc. I had a feeling that my mental health was probably a partial contribution to my skin outbreak being that I had not only experienced multiple traumatic losses from a young age but I had recently experienced the tragic loss of my son’s father that happened in November 2019 and I was still grieving. Grief comes in waves. Some days you are good. Then, all of a sudden your emotions hit like a hurricane.
It is said that what you seek, will find you.
I was in Atlanta on a travel nursing assignment. My skin had still not healed and I also noticed that my bowel habits had changed. One day, while sitting in my hotel room, I discovered on google, a local naturopathic practitioner. Her website stated that she provided virtual online care, so I booked my initial appointment without hesitation. She asked the usual questions about my health and then, she asked me details about the losses that I had experienced, confirming what I’d felt about my mental health contributory to my skin outbreak. Her recommendations were to complete an Oat & IgG Food Allergy Testing and a urine test. My test results came back and I learned something new in regards to diet, which was that all sugars overtime can contribute to an overgrowth of candida in the gut. Candida overgrowth can also cause skin outbreaks. My urine test resulted that my serotonin and dopamine levels were low which are both responsible for regulation of your mood. When these are off balanced, it can cause symptoms such as: anxiety, depression, constipation, etc.
When you have gut health issues, spiritually it symbolizes imbalanced emotions. We’ve all said this before, “I just have this gut feeling?”…. this is where we hold our emotions. What I was feeling emotionally manifested onto my skin because well, it had no other place to go. It showed up in a place where I had no other choice but to acknowledge it and really DEAL WITH IT. Society has taught us to give, give and give to others which causes us to neglect our own well being. We are mothers, wives, business owners, counselors, corporate workers, etc. and yet we forget that we can’t operate in any of these things at our full capacity if we don’t fully pay attention to ourselves, first. You can’t pour from an empty cup.
Paying attention to yourself is just a start. You have to be willing to change your habits, form new habits/ways of living which requires a new way of thinking. Be open to utilizing the tools provided to you. After my second visit with the naturopathic practitioner, I instantly made changes to my diet by eliminating all fruits, sugar, and sweetners for six months. To help with increasing my serotonin and dopamine levels, I increased my time in the sun. I released often by journaling, listening to music, lighting candles. I cried A LOT and it felt good. I started reading this book, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel Van Der Kolk. Although, I didn’t finish the book it really put into perspective how unknowingly our body harbors all of our life’s experiences and/or traumas and they are reflected outwardly through our day to day encounters and responses with people, situations and things.
Have you experienced a similar situation like mine or know of anyone that has? If so, share this information with them. Let them know they are not alone. And if that person is you, you are not alone. I will leave you with a few self care rituals that help me.
- Meditation – Water is always my go to. Bath time is my favorite meditation time.
- Affirmations – Writing affirming words to yourself. Ex: I am loved, I am powerful, I can do anything, I am here for a reason, I lack nothing, I am of abundance, Everything I touch prospers…
- Music – The soul of instruments is uplifting and lifts your vibration.
- Journaling – Writing is cathartic form of release.
- Nature Walks – Planting your feet in soil, Laying in the grass, Hugging a tree
- Sun bathing – Increases dopamine and serotonin levels and is rejuvenating
- Change your eating habits – Eat the things that make your body feel good internally.
- Talk with a friend – Be sure that this person is an active listener. Sometimes you just need someone to listen. Express yourself, don’t suppress yourself.
- Therapy/Counseling – I have not utilized this resource but I always encourage it because again talking helps. Some people are not capable of handling their emotions on their own and they may need that extra help from someone else. Therapy also helps you to gain a different perspective.
Wherever the mind goes, the body follows…