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UPDATE Sept. 2018 – I stopped writing the Let’s Get Personal series in 2016. If you would like to get the most recent update on my health and healing journey, please read this post, 3 Reasons Why I No Longer Share About My Healing Journey Online. You are always more than welcome to email me with any questions as well! Cheers! ~Jessica
Last week, I wrote a post about how HTMA has been changing my life. If you didn’t read that post, I hope you will check it out here. I went into a lot of detail about my health struggles over the last year or two, as well as why I chose HTMA and how it has been benefiting me.
In that article, I mentioned that I was going to write a separate post about how HTMA is helping me manage stress, so that is what I am doing today.
A Little About Me and Stress
For those of you who know me well, you know that I am, by nature, a Type-A overachiever who is constantly stressed out.
Most of my stress has been self-imposed over the last decade and I know for a fact that it has contributed to the decline in my health.
Stress is a killer, people.
But, I knew that. I’ve known stress is detrimental to my health for years. Yet, I was consistently stressed out. It didn’t matter how much I told myself to stop stressing, I still stressed.
I really felt like something was wrong with me, or maybe this was just how I was genetically wired.
Well, there is some truth in both of those theories.
Yes, genetically, I am wired to be more of a Type-A personality. That is just who I am. We can’t really change genetics, but we CAN recognize areas that we need to work on and then start improving on them.
And, yes, there was something wrong with me.
I was totally depleted in minerals.
Minerals are the spark plugs of our vitality. They are critical to our health, both mentally and physically.
And little did I know, my mineral imbalance / deficiency was playing a drastic role in my physical health, as well as my mental health (namely the constant stress, anxiety, and OCD I had experienced for years).
I am not going to go into detail about how important minerals are. You can read this post, Are Missing Minerals Impairing Your Health? to get a better understanding of just how critical minerals are to our health. It’s a good read. I hope you’ll take a moment to check it out.
How HTMA is Helping Me Manage Stress
As with all healing journeys, you sometimes don’t realize how much progress you’ve made until you look in the rear-view mirror.
I knew that HTMA was helping me, but it didn’t sink in just how much until we recently did some remodeling on our house.
An event that would normally leave me frazzled and anxious had very minimal impact on my stress levels. Had we tackled this remodel project a year ago, my reactions to the stress would have been very different.
About a month ago, we started installing new flooring in our upstairs. In preparation for the construction the house was essentially thrown into chaos.
The contents of my office and our bedroom were residing in the living and dining rooms.
The halls were filled with furniture, boxes, and construction materials. Check out some of the photos on my Instagram here.
Finding anything important was nearly impossible. It was very difficult for me to get any work done because my computer was in boxes and things were strewn across the house.
In other words, things were a little crazy around here. 😉
One morning, about a week into the project, I woke up and it immediately occurred to me that I was not feeling stressed out. I wasn’t anxious, I wasn’t worried, I wasn’t overwhelmed, nothing.
If this same project had happened a year ago, I would have been so stressed out and anxious about having my house in total chaos and disarray. I would have been fretting about not being able to work, not being able to find a pair of socks, etc.
But, that morning I woke up feeling calm and happy.
No stress. No anxiety. No worry.
Nothing but excitement for FINALLY getting rid of our nasty old carpet! 🙂
For me, this is indication of a MAJOR improvement in both my mental and physical health.
How Does HTMA Help Stress?
I know that my ability to better handle stress is a direct result of the focused mineral balancing that I have been doing.
Like I mentioned above, minerals are the spark plugs of our body. They are so vital in keeping EVERY system functioning properly.
When our minerals become unbalanced, our whole body (including our brain) becomes unbalanced. This leads to a host of health problems, which can also include brain function problems like the inability to cope with stressful situations, irritability, anxiety, OCD, etc.
I’m 5 months into my balancing and detox protocols and I am seeing some amazing results. We have a TON of articles on the site about minerals and my experience:
- Read all of our mineral articles here.
- Read how HTMA has eliminate the severe pain I was experiencing with my monthly cycle here.
- Read how HTMA has been improving my health in other ways here.
In this video, I discuss my experience so far with HTMA. I will be doing more video updates as I continue along my journey.
Make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel so you don’t miss out on my latest videos!
I cannot say enough positive things about my experience with mineral balancing. Like I mention in my video above, for the first time in A LONG time I feel optimistic and hopeful that I will regain my health.
What an amazing feeling!
I get a lot of questions about mineral balancing and the specific test I took, so here’s the link to that (aff. link).
I have taken two HTMA tests and will be taking my 3rd at the end of May. I decided back in November 2014 that I would commit to a year of this and see where I was at.
Considering the positive results I am seeing, and our goal to start a family sooner rather than later, I think I will continue to do the focused testing and subsequent protocols for much longer. I even convinced the DH to do it with me. We recently got his results back and he started on his supplement protocol this last week.
What I love about HTMA and the practitioner I am working with is that the reports and protocols I am getting are specifically tailored to MY results and MY needs.
When it comes to mineral balancing, there is no one-size-fits-all. Our unique biochemistry needs a focused plan that will suit our specific needs.
I have said it before and I will say it again — One of the most important parts of your health journey is finding a practitioner that you really bond with. Someone who brings you comfort and strength when the healing journey gets a little rough.
I’ve dealt with a lot of practitioners over the years, but there have only been a couple that have given me that kind of feeling. The support and expertise of having my current NTP, Lydia (aff. link), walk me through each step of this protocol has been immensely helpful for my own healing journey.
Now, For The #1 Complaint I Get
Any time I post about HTMA and how it’s helping me, I get a lot of complaints about the price. I want to address that here, so I hope you’ll read on.
Complaint: The test is so expensive!!!!
Well, folks, that depends on what you view as expensive.
Price is very much subjective. It really depends on what your health goals and priorities are.
We really need to get out of the mindset in this country that (a) our health is not worth spending money on and (b) that paying out of pocket for testing is a bad thing (aka “if it’s not covered by insurance, I can’t do it”).
If you want to get real results with your health, then you’re most likely going to have to look outside what your insurance covers.
I am far from being wealthy, but for me personally the price of this test and supplements is tiny compared to what I have spent on other testing that has come back inconclusive. I have spent hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars over the years for tests and supplements that have not helped me at all — a total waste of money.
Western medicine has completely failed me when it comes to treating my chronic health problems.
These hair tests are the FIRST time that I am actually seeing some amazing results. I am really excited about finally regaining my health and for the first time in years, I actually have HOPE. I have not felt hopeful about my health is several years.
Also, there is A LOT of value in the support and customized protocols that you get from the practitioner you work with on this. You don’t just take a test and get sent on your way (like a lot of other testing sites). You get a lot of information, including customized plans, direction, coaching, etc. to ensure that you are achieving the health goals that you want.
All in all, it really comes down to what your priorities are and what your goals are for healing.
I have to budget for these types of tests. They are not something that I can just afford to do on a whim. That goes for all the testing I get right now because I pay for it all out of pocket.
That said, for me these costs are so small in relation to the amount of information I am getting — and the positive results I am seeing from the customized protocols.
Also, to put things into perspective, I have a friend who recently had to pay over $1,000 (yes, you read that right) out of pocket for one single medical test (which didn’t even end up giving her that much info). Now THAT is expensive!
It would be so awesome if this kind of testing was covered by insurance, but sadly, we live in a system where alternative methods (that are SO much more effective than Western medicine) are not covered under our traditional insurance plans.
In all honesty, HTMA and the supplements I take are what I consider my health insurance. These are the things that are going to keep me well as I age — not going to my MD’s office.
I hope that this most recent edition of my Let’s Get Personal series has been helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below, or email me here. You can read all of my Let’s Get Personal posts here.
Support Your Stress Response, Adrenals, Thyroid, and Whole Body Through Herbs
When it comes to supporting overall wellness, herbs are a great tool to have in your toolkit, especially those who may be dealing with chronic illness of some type. Since 2009, when I started this site, I have met thousands upon thousands of people through my work and by far, the #1 health complaints are:
- adrenal fatigue (or adrenal dysfunction of some sort) (click here to read all of my adrenal health articles)
- thyroid disorders (hypo-, hyper-, or autoimmune) (click here to read all of my thyroid health articles)
Because of this, I wanted to add in a section into this post about the benefit of using herbs with chronic illness. Adaptogens are by far one of the most used herbs when it comes to working with people who have low energy, fatigue, and overall imbalance in the endocrine system (thyroid, adrenals, and blood sugar).
While the benefits of adaptogenic herbs extend far beyond just supporting that one system, this tends to be one of the main reasons people turn to adaptogenic herbs in the first place. That said there are a lot of other herbs out there that offer amazing support for the body, especially those dealing with chronic illness which is why I wanted to share this section today.
If you are dealing with any type of chronic illness, I’m sorry to break it to you, but caffeine may not be your best friend. 🙁 While you can find lots of info online in both the pro- and the anti-coffee camps, the fact of the matter comes down to the fact that are a lot of people dealing with chronic illness, especially thyroid and adrenal problems, that simply cannot tolerate coffee and caffeine.
While those with sluggish adrenal glands tend to feel run down and in need of a regular pick-me-up (like coffee and other caffeinated beverages), in the long run, caffeine can do more harm than good while you are healing. I go into the “whys” around caffeine and your adrenals in this detailed post here. In addition to the caffeine, there are other constituents, molds, and mycotoxins that can show up in coffee that some people find they react to and can further exacerbate the toxic load on the body.
When I was diagnosed with autoimmune disease and adrenal fatigue, one of the first things that had to go was coffee. In addition to dealing with these issues, we suspected that I was having some detox pathway sluggishness so we wanted to also focus on supporting the liver and lymph systems. Most people who are dealing with chronic illness are also going to have issues with detoxification of the body, which is why herbs can play such an important role.
To be honest, I never drank coffee because of the caffeine. I drank coffee for the taste and aroma, as well as the emotional experience I felt to my morning cup of joe. For me, it was a ritual that I looked forward to every day (and sometimes multiple times a day). Whether I was brewing it at home or going to my local coffee shops, the experience was one that I clung to tightly.
But, when I was faced with new health struggles, I knew I had to do whatever I could to support my body and give it the tools it needed to heal. Giving up coffee and caffeine was one step in this direction.
And it sucked.
I turned to the coffee substitutes on the market in a desperate attempt to recreate the ritual I had grown so fond of, but nothing ever tasted the way I wanted it to. Nothing ever gave me that same experience that my cup of “real” coffee did. I knew there had to be something better, but I simply could not find it on my health food store’s shelves.
Necessity is the mother of invention so that is why I created my own coffee substitutes. They were made with organic, sustainably harvested herbs with zero grains, zero gluten, and zero caffeine. Just herbs.
Herbs that not only tasted delicious but supported my body’s function, like liver detox, bile production, digestion, etc. All of the herbs used in my “coffee” blends have been used for thousands of years to support the body’s normal functions and help everything work a little better — something we all need in today’s toxic world! (psst, dandelion is one of the herbs!)
When it came to creating these blends, if I could get something to not only tasted amazing (and helped me recreate my dearly loved ritual), but also did amazingly supportive things for my body, then it’s a no brainer!
I sold these pre-made blends on Etsy for awhile and the demand was more than I could keep up with. People literally LOVED these blends and were stunned at how much like coffee they actually tasted. Customers who had been dealing with a variety of chronic illnesses had given up coffee to heal their bodies, but like me were deeply missing their morning cup of joe ritual.
After careful consideration and work with some highly experienced advisors, I decided to stop selling the pre-made blends and instead share my proprietary recipes in the form of an eBook. That way I could arm people with the knowledge and recipes they needed to make their own caffeine-free, gluten-free, grain-free blends in the comfort of their own home.
That is why I created the best-selling DIY Herbal Coffees eBook: A Complete Guide To Making Delicious Herbal Coffees to Support Healing & Stress Relief.
Now in its second edition, this ebook features:
- All of my proprietary herbal blend recipes to you can craft a homemade herbal cup of “coffee” at home.
- A ton of researched information about coffee’s impact on the health of those dealing with issues like adrenal fatigue, blood sugar dysregulation, autoimmune disease, thyroid disease, and any other chronic illness.
- Information about all of the herbs used, why I selected them, how to source them, how to prepare and store you “coffees”, and much more.
- Access to your own personal coffee shop where I show you how to recreate your favorite coffee shop drinks and pastries with wholesome, nourishing real food ingredients. No junk here. Only real food.
This book truly is a comprehensive guide to supporting your health, reducing your stress, and bringing a little something special back into your healing journey. You can learn more and download your own copy of this revolutionary wellness guide here, or simply click on the image below.