The mind and body are one. Healing requires work on both.

Are you focusing on healing your mind and body? Or do you only focus on your body?

Hormonal and autoimmune diseases are accompanied by a host of physical symptoms. As a sufferer, you might experience weight problems. Muscular and joint pains. Maybe your illness is accompanied by hair loss or excess hair. You may have skin problems suffering from acne or eczema. Or maybe digestion is your issue.

A lot of the symptoms I’ve complained about can either be seen or felt by my body

It’s hard to not dodge physical symptoms. But that’s what they are.

They’re physical!!

And for most of us these are the things we hate about our illnesses. So we’re constantly looking for ways to treat these physical or external symptoms.

I get it! When I was diagnosed with PCOS in 1997 (many many moons ago!!) my main goal was to stop my physical and external symptoms. I wanted to lose weight to have a ‘normal’ looking physique. A regular menstrual cycle was important. And I longed to have clearer skin, healthy hair and normal sleep patterns.

I must say, that the majority of my goals were achieved using diet, nutrients and yoga. But this was all I focused on.

I only focused on my body.

Don’t get me wrong. These strategies definitely helped me to deal with these external issues. I had a lot of success with exercise, watching my diet and addressing nutritional deficiencies.

But this wasn’t enough.

To heal the body. We must remember the mind as well as the body

Strategies to heal are not the same for every disease.

For instance, whilst pregnant with my children. I suffered with hyperemesis which is violent non-stop pregnancy-related vomiting. During this time I had to eat what I could, my usual diet went out the window. Being in starvation mode for nine months resulted in having zero energy and I wasn’t able to practice yoga. I couldn’t bare taking supplements as they wouldn’t stay down. The only way I could get nutrients were via a drip. So my normal regime was firmly out the window.

After having my first daughter in 2006, autoimmunity reared its ugly head. This in the form of Graves Disease. I turned to my trusted friends’ exercise, diet and nutrients. But they didn’t work.

It didn’t work because my yoga practice was too strong for my frail body. I had new issues related to the types of foods that nourished my body. With PCOS I worked hard to keep my weight down, with Graves Disease I was underweight and struggled to put weight on. And the supplements beneficial for PCOS were no longer beneficial for Graves Disease.

The issue was a lot deeper than exercise and the nutrients I was putting into my body.

 Hello, I’m Cheryl.  I’m a Yoga Teacher and Nutritional Therapist and I provide advice and programs to help people who suffer from digestive, hormonal, thyroid and joint-related conditions.

My mind as well as my body requires nourishment

My biggest realisation was the link to PCOS and Graves Disease. And that link is. Stress.

At the time, the stress was exciting, but my mind and body recognised it as danger.

As a chronic illness sufferer, I have to make sure my mind as well as my body is nourished as stress can't always be avoided. Stress feeds people to get things done, it can be exciting, but my mind and body recognises it as danger. And I have to slow down.

Examples of stress induced relapses

For instance, my biggest relapse with PCOS happened when I was moving home. Did I feel stressed? Hell no. I couldn’t wait to move into my new home. But it did drive me crazy waiting months to move in. After moving in, my symptoms were the worst ever. I didn’t feel stressed but looking back, it surely was a stressful time.

My last relapses with Graves Disease were connected to running a yoga studio. I also experienced a relapse whilst arranging my parents anniversary party. Did I feel stressed? No. Again I was excited by all of this. But my mind was constantly consumed by these events.

I couldn’t physically feel the stress. But my relapses were most definitely telling me I was stressed.

I have to heal my mind as well as my body

So I’ve learnt that I must not stress my body and mind and I have to slow down, especially with exercise. Exercise can be a stressor to your body!!

I have to mindfully monitor the foods I put into my body in order to not stress my mind and body.

I have to be careful of nutritional supplements and monitor reactions they have to my body and mind.

Coming to terms with the fact that I can’t do everything has been difficult. I’ve learnt that I can’t do everything myself. It’s OK to ask for help.

In the past, I’ve been very strict on myself to meet deadlines. I now slow down and don’t get annoyed if I’ve not met a task on time.

I’m also an introverted person and tend to keep my thoughts firmly planted in my mind. This isn’t good for me. I work hard to express my thoughts more freely to my loved ones, this definitely helps balance my mind.

We must remember to heal the mind as well as the body


So in your quest to achieve wellness, remember your mind. Nourishing your body with good foods and movement is great!!. But don’t forget to nurture your mind as well as your body. The mind and body are one.

For me, walking and practising breathing techniques using meditation and yoga are hugely beneficial. But most importantly talking is the biggest mind changer. I talk when I have doubts about things. I ask for help from my loved ones and express my thoughts more freely.

It’s important we look at the internal, mental obstacles. The internal aspects may subtly appear as anxiety, depression or obsessional behaviour. I say subtly because it’s not always apparent that you are stressed. Once addressed, this may help heal your physical ailments.


 Hello, I’m Cheryl.  I’m a Yoga Teacher and Nutritional Therapist and I provide advice and programs to help people who suffer from digestive, hormonal, thyroid and joint-related conditions.


The mind is important. Nourish it by doing activities to reduce stress.