You Don't Need a Lot of Money to Impact Your Thyroid
A lot, and I mean a lot of thyroid patients get frustrated with their treatment.
It's not uncommon for me to read multiple emails each and every day about thyroid patients who are at their wit's end.
If you don't believe me, just take a look at the comment section on any blog post.
This happens for a couple of reasons:
The first is that they know that they don't feel very good but they feel helpless because they can't get the right treatment.
They feel that their treatment is "gated" behind their doctor.
This is obviously very frustrating for anyone, but especially so for thyroid patients because so much is on the line.
The second is a little bit different.
It's not always necessary for you to get your doctor on board because there are other options available to you that don't require a doctor.
These options are very effective BUT they cost money.
I can tell you from experience that getting healthy can be expensive.
When I was practicing medicine, I had a very good track record at helping thyroid patients feel better.
But the cost of supplements, hormones, medications, off-label medications, compounded medications, supplement injections, and more, could run into the hundreds if not thousands of dollars per month.
What does this have to do with our topic today?
Well, the good news is that even if you feel frustrated with your current thyroid regimen doesn't mean that you have to give up hope!
Today I'm going to go over 5 highly effective therapies that ANY thyroid patient can do.
Not only are these therapies FREE, but they can also be used for ANY thyroid condition.
Hashimoto's thyroiditis? Double check.
Hyperthyroidism from any cause? Check.
Thyroid cancer? Check.
Now that that's out of the way, let's jump in:
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Foods to Avoid if you have Thyroid Problems:
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5 Free Thyroid Therapies
Here's what's really interesting about this type of information.
I'm going to be discussing these highly effective and free therapies but I know that the MAJORITY of you reading this will nod your head and agree that these things work but you don't do anything about it!
It's human nature and behavior that, if they don't put their money where their mouth is, they will most likely end up failing to make any changes.
So I am going to challenge you today to do SOMETHING.
If you are someone who is having trouble affording the more expensive therapies that I talk about on my blog or youtube channel, take the time to look over this list and see what changes you can make.
After all, this information is made just for you.
I also know that some of you may object to these therapies on the basis that they aren't proven or won't work for you.
I would challenge that kind of thinking with this response:
These are some of the most effective therapies that I've used in the past, that I use personally, and that I recommend to my own family members.
It would be one thing if I was speaking from a purely hypothetical or theoretical framework, but I'm not.
These therapies are tried and true and have been used by thousands of people with great success.
With that in mind, let's get to free therapy #1...
Everyone knows that the food you put into your mouth has some impact on your health.
I don't think I need to convince you that eating processed foods every single day is bad for you just like I shouldn't have to convince you that eating fruits and veggies is much better.
Even though your diet plays a huge role in your health it's also the source of a lot of confusion and anxiety for many people.
Thyroid patients, in particular, tend to suffer from information overload when it comes to what they should be putting into their diet.
What if you could simplify this problem by... a lot?
It turns out that not eating, using specific time intervals, is probably just as important as WHAT you eat.
The primary difference, though, is that it's a heck of a lot cheaper to avoid food than it is to buy expensive organic foods.
I'm not saying that fasting takes the place of a healthy whole food diet, not by a long shot.
But what I am saying is that fasting is an amazing and cheap therapy that can benefit thyroid patients.
It doesn't cost any money to get started and it's incredibly easy to follow.
It doesn't require any fancy meal plans nor does it require creating recipes with exotic foods that may not even taste good.
Fasting simply refers to the act of going without food (or water) for a set period of time.
Not eating food has tremendous positive benefits on the body.
Some of these benefits include (1): managing your appetite by resetting appetite hormones, enhancing weight loss, balancing fat storing hormones such as leptin and insulin, lowering blood sugar, improving cholesterol, reducing inflammation, and the list goes on and on.
As a thyroid patient, some of these benefits should pique your interest.
Especially those that have to do with weight loss and inflammation.
Weight gain is something that many thyroid patients struggle with and here is a free and effective therapy that can help with that very problem!
On the other hand, reducing inflammation can help improve thyroid function directly and is also beneficial for those with Hashimoto's thyroiditis.
There are several types of fasting that you can do:
- Water fasting - Going without food but consuming water while you are fasting.
- Dry fasting - Going for a period of time without both food and water.
- Intermittent fasting - Fasting for a short period of time, usually within the range of 12-16 hours.
- Prolonged fasting - Fasting for an extended period of time usually ranging from 2-10 days.
Figuring out which type of fasting schedule works best for your body will require some trial and error.
More recently I have seen thyroid patients accidentally damage their metabolism and worsen thyroid function by over fasting.
The last thing you want to do is damage your thyroid or make it worse by fasting TOO much.
Because of this, it's safer to start out with intermittent fasting or with smaller fasting windows before you jump into dry fasting and prolonged fasting.
Dry fasting seems to be more effective compared to water fasting even with shorter lengths but also provides more stress to the body so keep that in mind as you figure out what type of fast works best for your body.
#2. Cold Therapy or Cold Showers
This one will require a shower and some tap water so it's technically not "free" but chances are high that you are already paying for this anyway so it shouldn't cost anything extra!
Cold exposure and cold therapy have been around for a long time but were really brought into prominence by a guy named Wim Hoff.
He not only showed that cold therapy can be an effective tool for chronic diseases such as autoimmune disease, he also showed that these benefits could be replicated in many different types of people.
Cold therapy is pretty simple and easy to understand.
The goal is to get your body in water that is under 60 degrees (F) for around 2 minutes each and every day.
You can do this by jumping into any body of water that is around this temperature (or colder) but, often, the easiest way is to just use your shower.
Water is typically stored underground where it is often much colder than the ambient temperature.
By hoping in your shower and cranking down the temperature to the lowest setting you should be able to hit your body with water that is around 60 degrees or colder.
This isn't true where I live in Arizona, though, because the outside temperature is over 110 degrees. So if you live in a place like me then you may need to get into an ice bath.
What does cold therapy do for your thyroid?
Rapidly cooling your body down has benefits on immune function (2), it can stimulate brown fat (3) to help with metabolism, reduces inflammation (4), improves your ability to regulate body temperature, and improves local control of hormones.
There are tons of reports of patients using cold therapy in chronic conditions such as Lyme disease, arthritis, autoimmune diseases, arthritis, and more, with great success.
The reason I frequently recommend this therapy to thyroid patients is because the number 1 cause of thyroid dysfunction is the autoimmune disease Hashimoto's thyroiditis.
And if you have Hashimoto's then you know that cooling down the immune system is a top priority if you want to prevent thyroid damage!
If you can reduce the damage that your own body does to your thyroid gland then you will be improving thyroid function in the process.
A lot of thyroid patients will probably be skeptical of this therapy because they already suffer from cold intolerance.
"How can getting colder actually help my thyroid when that's the very problem that I suffer from?!"
It's a great question but one with a counterintuitive answer.
It probably is the case that jumping into cold water has an impact on the blood vessels in your extremities.
These blood vessels tend to be very small and react to the temperature that they are exposed to.
When they are exposed to cold temperatures they shrink up and REDUCE blood flow to the targeted area.
When they are exposed to hot temperatures they open up and IMPROVE blood flow to the targeted area.
Think about what happens to your hands and feet when they get really hot. You'll notice that they are warm and flushed because of the increased blood flow.
Now think about what happens when you are freezing. They become pale and blue because of the REDUCED blood flow.
Going from hot to cold helps to re-educate your blood vessels on what size they should be to allow for proper blood flow.
If they are only exposed to one constant temperature then they may stay constricted within that range.
But shocking them open and closed with cold and hot water will cause them to open wide and improve blood flow in the long term.
If I read you the list of benefits from meditating it would read like an informercial (5).
In fact, let's go over them just to give you an idea:
- Reduced stress
- Decreased anxiety
- Better emotional health
- Better focus
- Improved sleep
- Improved libido
- Pain control
- Decreased blood pressure
- Weight loss (6)
- Better immune function
- Reduce inflammation
It honestly sounds almost too unbelievable to be true and yet, here we are.
Meditation is so effective because it directly impacts the mind.
And your mind has at least some control over every single system in your body!
Harnessing meditation is like taking control of this power and directing it at the things that actually matter.
Meditation can help improve thyroid function, the thyroid-adrenal connection,
The crazy thing about meditation is not that it's so effective. What's crazy is that despite how effective it is most people simply do not do it!
In fact, I'm guilty of that very thing.
I know just how effective meditation is because I've used it personally to improve my own health.
And even though I know this I STILL don't do it every day like I should!
I've found this to be true of so many thyroid patients as well.
I have given patients long lists of therapies including changing their diet, taking medications at certain times of the day, using a long list of supplements, exercising regularly at certain intensity levels, and they will do all of these things but they will not meditate.
I don't know why but it's just the human condition to avoid meditation.
When it comes to the "how" of meditation, there are many different ways that you can do it.
I have two preferred techniques that I like and these techniques are both available for free on YouTube.
These are guided meditations, they are completely free, and all you need to do is just follow along.
The two that I recommend include:
- The release meditation technique by Brendan Burchard - This method focuses on repeating the word "release" in your head over a 20 minute period while simultaneously focusing on releasing tension and stress from your body. This one is great because it can be used pretty much anywhere since the words are vocalized in your mind.
- The Kirtan Kriya - This is an incredibly powerful meditation technique that combines vocal sounds with hand movements. I recommend the short version (about 12 minutes) one time per day. I've done this meditation with my entire family including young children ages 4 and 6. They still remember to use the technique during stressful periods!
Meditation is best used as a treatment when you do it every single day.
Doing it every single day will help your body build resilience and be more prepared for stressful days when they happen.
But if you can't do it every single day, for whatever reason, they at least make sure to meditate during your stressful days.
Some meditation is better than no meditation.
#4. Getting out in Nature
Another simple thing that you can do is to get out in nature!
This is sometimes referred to as nature walks, the key here is to just get your body out into nature and enjoy the earth.
The whole goal here is to unplug your body from technology, from social media, from being "connected" to everyone and everything, to get away from the stress of the world, and to enjoy what nature has to offer.
The world that we live in is a very stressful environment.
There are certainly benefits to being plugged into the system that connects everyone and to be available for anyone to get a hold of you at any time but if this is left unchecked it often leads to problems in the form of stress.
Constantly looking at your phone for your newest email or newest text message creates behavioral patterns that trigger the dopamine loop in your brain.
Satisfying the dopamine loop doesn't provide happiness and just creates dependence on that very trigger in the future.
We are now learning that technology, social media in particular, never really satisfies the brain even though the brain wants to keep coming back.
It's sort of like playing with your dog using a laser pointer.
You will hype your dog up and it will look like your dog is having fun but they are never able to "catch" the thing they are chasing which leaves them feeling unsatisfied.
This same thing, more or less, is happening in your brain with technology.
Your brain is looking for something that will satisfy you or trigger happiness but all that ends up happening is endless scrolling and looking for the next "hit".
This ultimately causes more harm than good for some people.
Unplugging yourself and getting into nature allows you to break the cycle.
And it's really simple.
All you need to do is get out into nature for 20 minutes every day.
Something as simple as walking in nature is all you need to do. This could be on a hike, a trail, by the beach, whatever.
Where you go doesn't matter so long as you leave your phone behind and get out.
Bonus points if you take off your shoes and ground with the earth in the process!
Grounding with the earth allows you to exchange electrons (9) and is very simple to do.
There's virtually no risk to it and potentially a lot of benefits.
#5. Stretching and/or Yoga
Lastly, I want to talk about using stretching and/or yoga to improve thyroid function.
If you are a true yogi then you will probably get upset at me for including these together because they are NOT the same thing but I put them together for a reason.
And that reason is that I want you to move your body.
This type of movement is completely separate from exercise, by the way.
Blood flow brings vital nutrients to your thyroid gland which are required for proper function.
It's not hard to imagine that even small increases in blood flow may reduce the flow of these nutrients into your thyroid gland which may have an impact on thyroid function.
And we aren't talking about a lot of blood flow here, either.
Think about the case of diabetics and conditions such as peripheral neuropathy and decreased wound healing.
One reason these problems occur is that diabetics are not able to get enough blood flow to their extremities.
They still get SOME blood flow but not enough to facilitate healing.
Here we are applying the same thing to the thyroid gland but in a different setting.
The issue that prevents blood flow to the thyroid gland is often related to very tight muscles in the neck area.
There are layers and layers of muscles in your neck (11) which all perform various functions.
But in between these layers, you can find blood vessels as well as lymphatic channels that can become entrapped if your muscles don't have full range of motion.
Want to know if you are having issues with these muscles?
Just start moving your head around.
Can you touch your chin to your chest?
Can you touch your left ear to your left shoulder?
Can you touch your right ear to your right shoulder?
When you lay your head back do you feel tightness in your throat or neck?
If you notice pain and tightness when you make these motions then there's a good chance you have this problem.
And it's no wonder.
We spend most of our day looking in straight ahead at a computer screen or down at our phones.
Using certain stretches, as well as yoga sequences, allows you to open up these muscles which will naturally improve both blood flow and lymphatic flow.
Blood flow will bring vital nutrients to your thyroid gland while your lymphatic drainage will take away byproducts and waste that you don't want to be there.
Both are very important for optimal health.
Pretty much any yoga sequence that opens up the front or anterior portion of your body will also help open up your head and neck.
Movement such as exercise, walking, and lifting weights will facilitate improved lymphatic drainage through the thoracic duct in your neck.
It's that easy!
Wrapping it Up
This information is for you!
It will only help you if you take action and do something about it.
I can talk until I'm blue in the face about what things are helpful for patients with thyroid patients but they will have absolutely zero effect unless they are implemented.
If money is an issue for you then take advantage of these therapies right away!
There's no reason to wait, in fact, not acting on your thyroid problem is a recipe for increased problems down the road.
And, by the way, these therapies can also be safely added to just about any other therapy that you are already doing.
Already taking thyroid supplements? Great, you can do these too.
Already taking T3 thyroid medications? Great, these will be even more helpful.
Already eating organic foods and grass-fed meats? Great, try these out as well!
There's pretty much no reason not to add these free therapies to your existing regimen.
Now I want to hear from you:
Did any of these free therapies surprise you?
Were you already using some of them?
If so, which ones?
Are you planning on implementing any of them? If so, which ones?
Let me know in the comments below!
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