Archives: heal ibd

Sunflowers of summer

Sunflowers of summer

This past weekend I took part in the education symposium for the Crohns and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA). Along with my friend and colleague Barbara Harrison Klaynan we ran the pediatric portion of the event. Typically at this event there are loads of kids, but this year there were only 2. They happened to be the same age of 15 and it was really awesome. Even though only 2 kids showed up – I believe that we managed to make an impact. Barbara had some great drama therapy activities to play with the kids and I did a few yoga stretches and breathing exercises with them. One of the kids was just recently diagnosed with crohns and he seemed to not be in the greatest place when he first came into the room. By the end, he was talking and laughing with the other kid and I’d like to think that we created a safe space where both children knew that A) they weren’t alone with this disease and B) they could open up to us since we knew exactly what they were going through.

There really is something about ‘being in this together’ and not feeling like you’re completely alone. If you haven’t been to a CCFA event yet, get yourself to one. There are walks and races all around the country and it’s a fantastic place to meet people that are just like us. Colitis and crohns are ‘silent’ diseases since you can’t see them from the outside, and that’s why it’s even more important to stick together. Spread the word to those that you know and love that there are other people out there and we need to connect and stay together.

Knowledge and friendship is power.

IBD Meetup Group

IBD Meetup Group

Last week was my monthly IBD Meetup group. 5 of us came together to tell our stories, stretch, laugh, breathe, meditate and most importantly share knowledge together. I feel blessed that this group of people can come together each month and feel comfortable enough to talk about their bowels… that’s something that takes most people quite some time to open up about but not IBD folks! We’re ready, willing and able to talk about it any time of the day – in fact, we want you to ask us about our bowels, especially if it’s been a good day! We’re proud when it’s good – however when it’s a bad, flare up kind of day that’s not the time to be asking. A note to IBD significant others – make sure to be really excited for us when it’s a good bathroom day because they might not be so often and we need you to be happy for us! My next Meetup group is on March 26th will I see you there? Class is limited to 6 students so please make sure to RSVP HERE if you’d like to join us.

Be well!

Love Over Fear

Love over fear bumper sticker

Through the seven years that I’ve been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, I’ve learned some pretty valuable information. One thing that I’ve learned is: in order to feel my very best I’ve got to break the pattern.  When you’re struggling with any particular disease, it’s because your body has gotten into a certain pattern that’s not working – yep, you heard me – it’s time to change it up. Sometimes I’ll start taking a certain supplement that I feel is helping me for a while, but then all of a sudden it’s not working anymore and I’m standing there scratching my head wondering what I’m doing wrong. You have to take a stand back and look at everything that you’re doing to see if something can be changed.

If you’re in a flare up that’s your body’s way of telling you that something’s got to change.  If you’ve been practicing a certain set of breathing exercises, stop and try something different. If you’re drinking raw green juice everyday, stop and try something else. Some of the efforts that you’re doing, even though they are healthy for some, might just be toxic for you. Every body is different so make sure to listen loud and clear to hear what yours has to say – eventually, you’ll break the pattern.


colitis crohns flare up exercise

Start with your feet on the ground and stable

colitis crohns flare up exercise

Stretch over the ball to release pressure and tension in the whole body

It’s important to move your body especially when you’re having a colitis or crohns flare up. Here’s a photo of an exercise that’s fantastic to get you moving. Use one of those large bouncy balls either at home or at the gym to stretch your entire body. Make sure you have something to hold onto behind you so that you don’t fall! The more you roll back, the more of an inversion you will get, the better it is for your belly and the more you will move your body. I mention another exercise in a previous post here that is also helpful when combating a flare up. The more tools in your toolbox, the better. It’s all about trial and error – see what works and stick to it. Enjoy!


Click me to watch a video on how to practice nauli

Throughout my process of learning how to heal ulcerative colitis, I learned a wonderful yogic cleansing technique that I use when my belly doesn’t feel right. I highly recommend it as I find it massages my organs and helps pass anything that’s “stuck” in my system. It also helps with anxiety and I tend to feel pretty calm afterwards. The practice is called nauli and I’ll demonstrate it for you in the video that’s attached to this post. Let me know if you have any questions regarding this – otherwise give it a try and see how you feel. Click here to watch.

Good luck!