Meditate Don’t Medicate - How To Reduce Cholesterol Naturally
At the beginning of last year I went for my annual physical and was surprised to discover that my cholesterol was high, and then shocked to be told by my doctor that I should begin taking medication for it. “This can’t be right!” I exclaimed, I was in-training for my third LA Marathon and I felt as ‘fit as a fiddle’. I acknowledged to my doctor that perhaps my eating could be a little better, but I insisted that I carry on "as is" and test again in another 3 months after I’d made said dietary changes.
So fast forward now to early summer. I was so sure that the previous results were some kind of anomaly that I hadn’t changed my diet at all. I had though completed the LA Marathon in less then 4 hours and I felt at the height of my powers physically. You can imagine therefore my dismay upon receiving the latest results: my cholesterol level was even higher. My doctor recommended that I start taking statins immediately!
Maybe it’s the strength I’ve gained from running marathons or the optimism from playing with my nine year old son, or maybe I’m just too stubborn for my own good, but in my 50th year I simply wasn’t ready to begin taking medication. “Prescriptions are for older people” I thought. Feeling (correctly as it turned out) that nothing catastrophic was about to happen to me health wise, I convinced my doctor that I really would make some healthy lifestyle changes this time, and to give me a little more time. She frowned, and reluctantly gave me the summer…
I’ve been practicing hypnosis and mindfulness meditation for over 15 years and I saw this “cholesterol challenge” as an opportunity. Years previously, hypnosis had helped me to quit smoking and of course guided visualizations had always been an anchor and a resource for me - for the daily sense of calm it brings. Using these tools now to lower cholesterol naturally was a challenge I could really get stuck into.
Focusing on all the powerful language and imagery I had used in both my online recordings and face-to-face with my clients, I began visualizing every morning. After my son left the house for school I would lay on my bed, breathe deeply, and allow myself to go into a deep trance and just allow pictures, words and ideas of wellness, positive health and lower cholesterol to float around in my head. I did this for about 15 minutes every morning, 5 days a week, for 3 months. I made a recording of one of the later sessions which you can listen to here – it brings together all the best images that resonated well with me.
I also did some energy work with Stefan Fabry. Stefan is one of the most exquisite healers I’ve ever encountered here in LA and I can’t thank him enough for his input and efforts in helping me reduce cholesterol.
Diet was a little more complicated for me. I’ve always eaten lots of good healthy foods. However, I’ve also always eaten lots of trashy foods as well. Chips, candy, fast food, red meats, etc etc I knew full well behaviors needed to be changed and improvements had to be made to get back to a healthy cholesterol level. What really scared me though was the thought of - if not giving up- then certainly cutting down on dairy products. I was a real cheese junkie! Cheddar cheese was my weakness. I ate it all the time. Similarly, cereal and lattes were part of my daily routine and once in a while even milk shakes, mac ‘n’ cheese and cauliflower cheese would raise their ugly (but tasty!) heads! It was time to change.
So at the same time as I began cutting out these unhealthy foods, every morning during my cholesterol treatment meditation I was visualizing strong healthy wide-open arteries with clean oxygen rich blood running through them… I pictured …signals being sent to the subconscious instructing the arteries to open, ordering the little cholesterol factory inside of me to just shut down, to turn off… to cease production… as the oxygen rich blood continued to flow effortlessly and easily…
And the more I did this, the less I missed all the harmful foods I’d been eating. As dramatic as it sounds, the idea of eating a steak or drinking a latte just seemed like pollution to my body. I didn’t miss my latte, I simply didn’t want it. I craved for everything within me to be clean, and my morning meditation felt like a real cleanse – a mind clean.
And of course I continued to run. At first I was most deflated at having completed a marathon in less than 4 hours to then be told I was “unhealthy”. In fact for a day or two after receiving my cholesterol results I even thought about quitting running altogether. “What’s the point?” I thought. But I knew I was experiencing so many other benefits from running on both a physical and a mental level. And I knew I needed to run now more than ever for a strong heart – a heart that was now having to deal with high cholesterol. I decided to mix it up and begin trail running. I entered the Griffith Park Trail Half Marathon. (It’s a tough run BTW!) I had never run trails before, but I needed to be outside, fresh, pure, at one with mother earth and nature, back to the source. I took this experience into my morning visualizations. Everything clean, everything flowing effortlessly and easily…
And then in a blink of the eye the summer was over and my cholesterol appointment was waiting. I wasn’t nervous or wary at all. I felt good, I knew that I had pretty much done everything I could to naturally get my cholesterol level back down. I decided that I would be accepting of whatever the result was - and whatever the doctor recommended. But deep down I knew, I knew everything would be ok…
…A few days after the test I happily read my results online (see pics below). My cholesterol was significantly lower in all six of the categories tested! In fact it was back to normal in 4 of the categories and only marginally high in the other two. Overall the cholesterol total had fallen from 226 to 187 (>200 is considered high in the recommended reference range). A couple of days later I received a short note from my doctor: “Your cholesterol numbers have improved immensely. Congratulations! Keep up with your diet and exercise plan. BK”
And now here I am 4 months later writing this blog. Do I still run, meditate, avoid meat and dairy? Yes, yes, no, no. There’s nothing I like more than making spaghetti Bolognese for my son, or occasionally having a dash of butter on my baked potato or a drop of milk in my English tea. But I’ve pretty much given up cheese, and the milkshakes are completely gone. Instead I’ve discovered the delights of almond milk (which I must say I much prefer to oat milk) and organic bean chips. The main thing now is that I’m completely aware of everything I’m putting into my body... And I’m happy and okay with that. Those early morning visualizations instilled in me a sense of inner cleanliness and a greater desire to care and nurture my body. In fact, I’m actually looking forward to my next physical later this year because I know (I just know) I can get my cholesterol even lower. High cholesterol: challenge accepted!
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