Joni Madere

mindbody | lifestyle | travelwell









Filtering by Tag: parasympathetic nervous system

Listen to Your Body


Listen to Your Body

I’ve had a few instances where my body was trying to tell me something. 

I didn't listen. 

I kept going.

Because I wanted to… 

BecauseI had to…

Upbringing. Circumstances. Conditioning. Bills.

We all have ‘em, yes?

The left side of my body (connected to the right brain) screeched at me in 2011. A severe scenario that has changed, ebbed and flowed over time, still awaiting complete positive transmutation today. 

Got a handle on it, but it still lets out a little yell every once in a while.

Severe pain seemingly rooted in the psoas (superb explanation, read the article), moving throughout the left side from lower belly, hip flexor, and lower back, extending down to my left foot and up through my left back, shoulder and neck. Extensive to the point of waking up every morning, unable to get out of bed, curled up in fetal position.

I would pry myself open, hot tub or hot shower to better unfurl, drag myself to yoga because even though the practice was uncomfortable, it opened me up further to better get through the workday every day.

To this, I lost prime years of my life despite favorable external appearances. 

No one could pinpoint what was going on.

I narrowed it down to Adrenal Fatigue. Later my M.D. / Functional Medicine Doctor determined I was correct.

To reconcile, I scaled my entire life back. I left the wine business I had begrudgingly gone back to after the Recession in favor of more supportive and positive environments.

But then also had to step far outside the realm of Western medicine to fully mend. Another story.

In this particular instance of my body desperately speaking to me, my face broke out in an insane rash.

I had been soaking up sunshine trail running in Marin County, California during a big year for poison oak growth. Had never before contracted poison ivy or poison oak despite growing up around it, but it was extensive that year according to the locals. So when I felt the tingle on my chest and two nurse friends labeled it poison oak, I grabbed all of the recommended remedies. 

When I realized it had subsided, but wasn't fully leaving me, a doctor friend said it could be any number of ailments that often go undiagnosed.

It began on my chest spreading up my neck, face, and forehead, up to my hairline. Blistery and itchy and hot.

It went on for weeks, then months. According to doctors, no longer poison oak even if that was what inspired it.

I was traveling north, arriving in Oregon, where the temps shot up to over 100 degrees outside adding to the irritation. I took to icing it constantly seeking relief.

In total, I saw three doctors, who put me on different medications despite not having a true diagnosis and NOTHING made me well.

One of the meds were steroids and those things, like the doc warned, made me feel crazy.

The dermatologist I consulted once back home said, 

“Well, we think this is related to rosacea, and in this mountain town we see this a lot, most often in women your age.” 

But he didn’t seem too concerned about WHY it is so common here. Nor WHY he saw it primarily in women.


Turns out, this common skin agitation is directly related to STRESS.

My entire system was TRIGGERED like crazy from past events.

Trauma. Trauma reactivated by a situation that I knew, logically, could not be reoccurring, but my body was trying to tell me otherwise.

Good old Fight or Flight Syndrome being reactivated because our bodies naturally want to protect us.

Exactly why we should listen.

I was actually having the best time of my life, but underneath it all I was severely stressed, worried and unsure. If I get honest with myself, I knew this, but was ignoring myself, as we do.

Once back home, I took to my yoga mat. I took to meditation. I cleaned up my diet to be sure nothing there was the cause. I took to copious amounts of self-care. 

I put a microscope on what was going on. I rested. 

I spent time laying horizontal and breathing as deeply as I could every day resetting my parasympathetic nervous system.

Same exact thing I did to begin to rectify my fatigued adrenal glands.

Simple. No pranayama. No fancy breathing practice touted by who’s who. I back many of these breathing techniques and initially used the 4-7-8 breath offered by Dr. Andrew Weil. But eventually, I employed deep breathing all the way to the base of the belly expanding in all directions, slow and sure, for as long as I could make time for, every morning and every night.

Simple. Simple. Simple.

This placing attention on the issue, placing attention on the breath, copious amounts of self-care, is what it took to resolve the rash. And that, unlike the expensive medications, did not cost a dime.

During stressful times since, I’ve felt a definitive twitch under the skin - and LISTENED. 

Every time, using the same simple technique, the tingle has disappeared instead of rearing its ugly head.

When we have not fully resolved past trauma and past stressors, the body holds on to them.

I promise, whatever is going on, no matter how much kale you eat, no matter how much you exercise, just might eventually manifest in the body. It may also manifest in your current relationships, in your current habits that you cannot kick, in your work and in your financial realm - even if you do currently make a ton of money.

The amount of unidentified "dis-ease" out there is rising exponentially. But it is exactly that. Dis-Ease.

Stress. Everyone these days is simply trying to either get by or be the best. 

After my experiences, I've UNSUBSCRIBED.

My prescription is to breathe, relax, reset, find gratitude in the smallest of life's pleasures, move from leading with the head to leading with the heart.

I can also 100% relate to this feeling out of reach.  Ask me.

Excited to have now found a much better and beautiful way.

Working and living smart.

Living a lifestyle I love. 

One that loves me right back.

Much more time and energy for myself, my family, my friends, and my clients.

Everything is BETTER.

Everything is AMAZING.

Listen to your body, friends.

The body doesn’t lie.

If this hits home, message me today.

Interested in similar stories? The documentary, HEAL, released a few years ago is a great place to start.

I’m always a sucker to geek out and compare notes and shift this thing. 

We all have beautiful lives awaiting us. Our birthright, yes?

Share a similar story with me, if you have one, today.