Tag Archives: Alopecia alternative treatment

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My little yogini and I outside of Stanford Children’s Hospital after teaching a little yoga session for the Children’s Alopecia Group of Northern California. “Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.” B.K.S. Iyengar

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Alopecia areata and anxiety. One small spot or handfuls of hair falling out in the shower… so very traumatic and an instant source of stress and anxiety. Since it is inflammation of the skin, there’s also that soreness of the scalp that occurs before shedding, yet another source of stress and anxiety with the anticipation of a new spot appearing where it’s achy. I see my daughter scratching the back of her head now and then… and I can’t help but to feel sadness and guilt for passing this autoimmune disorder to her. However, I’m reminded that as difficult as this experience has been, it’s been a beautiful, transformative one as well. I know deep in my heart that my daughter and I will inspire others as we continue to choose to not suffer from this disease, but embrace it as our life’s journey.

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“…a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.”

It has been a little over a year and a half since I began wearing a wig. At first it was really fun… I had a bald/shaved head for almost a year and suddenly I had a bob. I started to feel like my old self. Then one day I received a lovely handwritten letter from a guest at work. She had taken the time to reach out as she noticed I was wearing a wig. She shared that two of her girlfriends were currently suffering from cancer and that she was praying for me and my babies. She ended the letter with a polite, ‘excuse me if I am wrong, but I had to let you know that you have been in my thoughts and prayers since I met you.’ I was very touched by this, but also didn’t know if and how I should respond. I decided to ask for my manager’s opinion…

I explained that I have alopecia areata and currently shave my head. I handed her the letter to read and sat awkwardly awaiting her response. After finishing, she looked up and said: “You know, if I were you, I’d think about getting a better wig.” I was stunned, like I had been punched in the gut. I was in shock and disbelief. I somehow composed myself and kept the tears from flowing and asked what made it look unnatural? I thought that would give her the chance to realize that her comment was rude and inappropriate. I gave her the opportunity to redeem herself. Instead, she looked up examining my wig and said: “Well, it’s the part… and it doesn’t move right… and there’s a shininess to it.” I could feel my face getting red, my heart racing, but took a breath and replied: “This is a new wig. It was $800 and human hair wigs are thousands of dollars. With two babies, this is what we can afford right now.” She could tell I was upset, but still no apology.

As you alopecians can imagine, this comment hurt deeply. It angered me and I lost all respect for her. I shrugged her off as unkind and miserable, oblivious to others’ feelings as I witnessed many other situations where she put people down. I wasn’t going to let it get to me. In the end, they were just words from an ignorant person. Fortunately, shortly after I was able to move on to a better place and had the opportunity to address her comments. I accepted her apology. I recommitted to being very open about this disease for not only myself, but for my daughter. In a way I am thankful for this incident because it truly made me stronger. If my daughter experiences anything like this, I will share my experience with her. Otherwise, moving forward and focusing on all of the wonderful, compassionate people that have only provided love and support.

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I truly believe in the power of moving meditation – yoga! If you are struggling with anxiety and alopecia, I highly recommend the two videos by Dina Amsterdam: InnerYoga for Stress and Anxiety AM and PM found on Gaiam:

http://www.gaiamtv.com

Take good care. XO

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Week six of Yoga Tree Teacher Training. I missed Friday night’s lecture because I was feeling sick along with my two sick babies;( Or in yogi speak, one isn’t ‘sick’ they’re ‘cleansing’ their bodies.

I’d heard of this before and finally tried it: Oil Pulling. Highly recommend. My sore throat was gone by the next morning! Coconut oil seems to be the miracle product of nature for healthy hair and skin. Ingesting it, pulling it and applying it are all recommended. There may not be a cure for alopecia, but there are a ton of remedies.  Topical treatments and injections. Acupuncture and hypnosis. Vitamins and Minerals: folic acid, biotin, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, iron, copper and zinc. Plant extracts: tea tree oil, he shou wu, nettle extract, saw palmetto and gotu kola. Essential Oils: Rosemary, Lavender, Cedarwood and Sandalwood – mixed in a base of either vitamin E, jojoba, or olive oil. Apple Cider Vinegar, Coconut Oil, Onion Juice? Finding the right combination is the hard part since each case is so unique; what works for some does not work for others. Trying it all and staying positive… fortunately, I’ve had about 90% regrowth.

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These questions have been on my mind about yoga – who, what, where, when, why yogis practice? Especially – what does yoga look like? I was thinking about this a lot last night while studying for my alignment test this weekend. There’s the general form of an asana and the ideal form of an asana. I procrastinated and spent time looking at photos of beautiful yoga poses on Pinterest. Yoga models doing crazy arm balances on rocks with breaking waves beyond, beautiful warriors and wheels against mountains or picture perfect sunset backdrops, strong trees and handstands in a forrest and peaceful lotuses by a waterfall or another sunset…

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For the most part, they were all in the ideal form of the poses, but they are of a split second captured by film. The general form is 99.9% of the time; it is the presence of working toward the proper alignment of a posture. It is a practice of aligning the mind, body and spirit that doesn’t need to take place on a 2’x7′ overpriced rubber mat, or in a yoga studio. Or in lululemon. I believe yoga can be practiced throughout the day because it is any moment that is experienced with mindfulness. I was drawn to photos of elderly yogis and moms with their babies, (or model moms with their model babies), in general yoga poses because this is what I find truly inspiring.

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After pinning some inspirational images late last night of what yoga means to me, I serendipitously came across this great article today: The Coolest Yoga Pose Ever ❤

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