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I have been combating anxiety on and off for a couple of years now.

And 2016 brought me to a breaking point…

My stress level that I have repressed for the many years now has manifested itself into a new physical ailment..TMD. TMD, also known as temporomandibular joint dysfunction, is an umbrella term covering pain and dysfunction of the temporomandibular joints as well as the muscles of mastication or the muscles responsible for the movement of the jaw.

It all began with immense pain in my left jaw by my ear, that often lasted for severals hours and led to bouts of crying. With this pain came swelling and inflammation that I swore that I could feel come up the side of my neck. After a week of the on and off pain, I finally caved in and saw a naturopath. While seeing a naturopath does come at a cost, it allowed me to have avery detailed & intimate 90 minute appointment.

Even with following the naturopath’s homeopathic regimen for over 3 weeks, I still found myself having issues with the pain & inflammation.  My go-to treatments for the TMD episodes are white willow bark & valerian root tinctures. Although these helped when I had an “attack”, I needed something else to help combat the stress and anxiety that I inevitably woke up into every morning.

My boyfriend had purchased me a Gaiam yoga mat from our Kimpton stay at the Epic Hotel in Miami late last year after my first ever yoga class. I was hooked initially but, like other things, I ended up pushing my new beloved treasure to the side.. because of anxiety and a feeling of guilt that I took time away from my responsibilities.

So on a cold Sunday morning I put on some a workout tank, my favorite Prana Cassidy Capris, grabbed my faithful mat and set out on a new yoga adventure. I loved to move, bend and twist. I was in awe at how my body responded to this new journey with increased flexibility and a new sense of calm. I truly was able to quiet my anxiety and start the day with on a more positive path.

That is until I fell off the bandwagon..again..after only 2.5 weeks. I was so proud of myself for finally putting myself first for once in my life. Unfortunately the stress of traveling as well as being away from our new home and family in Ohio, I had lost my positive outlook and slipped back into my unhappy state. At the moment my new norm is having one “episode” a day or every other day.

I’m finding it hard to start back into my yoga practice. My stress is back to its relatively moderate level and my anxiety tends to make an appearance somewhat daily, which brings on a “TMD episode”. Since it is the end of a month, I am looking into having a fresh start with the new month. So farewell April….

…….Bring on May 🙂