For those who know me, you know I have had irritable bowel since I was in college, possibly before, as I was prone to stomach flu since I was young. I know now that it was actually caused by the stress inherent in a dysfunctional family unit and how that stresses the large intestine meridian as well as the related imbalances in the stomach and small intestine meridian.
When I first began having sharp cramps and nausea, I thought I was having appendix problems and went to the doctor several times to find that sometimes my white cells were elevated, but usually there was nothing to be detected.
My doctor then decided I had an ulcer and prescribed drinking a lot of milk. When that didn’t work, he thought I had a milk allergy and said no dairy.
I started tracking my “episodes” and found they were linked several things: my monthly cycle, stress, excessive caffeine, alcohol, or sugar intake, too little sleep, or excessive exercise. In other words , if several factors happened that stressed my system when I was going to have my period, than my intestines would start cramping up, gas and bloating from caffeine or excessive alcohol or sugar would occur and then the pain would build until I was in pain all night. Before I got a handle on why this was happening, the “Episodes” built until I was not only in pain that night, all night, but the next day as well.
One time when I was in Israel on a business trip, I missed my daughter’s first day of kindergarden. was so stressed out and had cramps so severe I had to miss a business dinner and I was completely freaked out and calling home to get comfort. Talk about making the wrong choices!
So here is what I do now. At night in bed before I go to sleep, I breath deeply into my abdomen. I think about breathing all the way into my hips. I feel my breath in my large intestine.
I feel my small intestine, giving it a mini massage: feeling where it is sore, holding it there and breathing into that spot until the tension releases.
I repeat this in the morning when I need to.
I think of releasing the tension or holding in my hips and stomach (holding your stomach in is a common issue for women). You need to be able to relax your stomach and surround pelvic area.
It is my belief that irritable bowel is caused by excessive and long term tension in the abdomen and pelvic area. It is further tightened and irritated by monthly cycles and digestive issues. The way to relive this is by concentrating on relaxation techniques through breath and exercise.
I have found that drinking Zrii, an Ayurvedic drink of herbs and fruit juices alleviates many of the symptoms as well. Between those two, I can drink coffee again, and while I still have soreness, I rarely have any dehabilitating attacks. Thank goodness.