Take a deep breath and let's start with an example. Enter CureJoy's Migraine Reliever Lemon Salt Drink.
I love lemons. When I was a kid, I used to slice them and eat them with salt. Honestly, my mouth waters just thinking about it. So for me, this was a low risk endeavor.
I've wanted to try it ever since I discovered it on Pinterest months ago. So I did.
I started with this:
And ended with this:
Not the most beautiful sight to behold, I realize. But it was delicious. There was one teeny drawback...the acid was murder on my stomach. (And stomach murder is one of the most serious crimes an acid can commit.)
So I adjusted the recipe. On days where I start to experience the aura of a migraine, before I take prescription medicine, I...
- juice half a lemon
- half an apple
- a few stalks of celery
- mix it with water and a pinch of himalayan salt
Once when I did this, I didn't need to medicate. The other time, even though I had the drink, I still needed to medicate.
So...what does the science say about this drink?
I looked around for the science behind why lemon and salt helps migraines and found two very different stories...
1. Migraine.com had a very straightforward article that explained why this probably worked once for me, but not the other time.
2. But here's another article that claims this drink won't help you at all. Sorting through so much conflicting information can force a lot of people to give up on trying to becoming healthier in the face of a chronic illness. Not me.
So...what the heck? I'll tell you what the heck.
Find a happy consensus. Take what you do know and use it to make an informed decision about whether the advertised help will help you, harm you or make no difference. Here are the points I listed that helped me come to my own conclusion about the Lemon Salt Drink.
1. Apples, celery and lemons are known anti-inflammatories, ergo consuming them in any form can generally be accepted as a good idea. (Assuming you're not allergic to any of them, of course.)
2. No chewing! Consuming them in juice form is even better if you've been put on a soft diet by your doctor. So that's two points in the positive category.
3. It even gave me an instant energy rush. So even if this juice has no actual effect on whether or not I get a migraine, it certainly doesn't hurt.
The biggest clincher? If I sat back and waited for a consensus to know whether or not every new tip on how to treat migraines and facial pain was legit, I'd never try anything.
After several years of living with TMD, I'm convinced being proactive using holistic methods is, worst case scenario, an occasionally effective placebo. Why? It keeps you involved in treating your own symptoms. Staying invested in your health versus resigning yourself to prescription medications and continuing your routine as though life hasn't changed just causes further (potentially permanent) damage to your body.
But what about that Himalayan salt? Am I a sucker to a trend that will just embarrass me a few years down the road?
There are also larger concerns. I recently learned how increased farming of palm oil has had sad and devastating effects on the orangutan population. Which lead me to wonder, is mining for Himalayan salt harmful to another culture or to the environment like other trends? (Spoiler Alert: Also yes. *sigh*)
Here's the thing, you guys. Once you start traveling down the path of becoming health conscious, you'll find the key to understanding is information. For a while, you'll suffer from information overload. But you can't just suddenly become aware of what is and isn't healthy for you, what works for your chronic illness and how the choices you make in trying to better yourself affect the environment and economy. So you have to commit to the learning process.
So first of all...take a deep breath. Yes. Right now. I'll wait...
If you're still reading this, you may be like me, juggling all these balls at once and feeling determined but overwhelmed. There's a breaking point in there somewhere. A place where you'll decide to quit or press forward. When you reach it, I hope you make the decision not to give up. Start taking it one step at a time according to your priorities.
BONUS TIP: Create a little space in your mind called the No Whining Zone. Some days are for venting and feeling your feelings. But if you dedicate most days to working out your new lifestyle, eventually, you'll get there!
Say it with me now: It's. A. Process. It won't last forever. You are learning new routines. This takes time. Eventually, you'll have a new normal where you don't have to Jessica Fletcher your way through every trip to Publix or Whole Foods or wherever else you shop.
Eat healthy. Enjoy the placebo effect if you're experiencing it. Learn as you go how to help yourself without hurting others.
And yeah, I say, go ahead and make lemonade out of lemons.
*article originally published here