The author Karen Blixen, aka Isak Dinesen, said, “The cure for anything is salt water--sweat, tears, or the sea.” I concur. In fact I have followed her words like a prescription for much of this year.
I’ve been here on Anna Maria Island (AMI) for 5 months recovering from mold poisoning. AMI is a barrier island off the West coast of Florida. Think Sarasota/Bradenton and then a bit further and in the middle of the water. The far side of Tampa Bay.
One of the most important practices in my mold detox protocol has been a vigorous daily walk. There are many wonderful things about walking here on AMI. It’s beautiful, it’s hot (hot yoga hot but no studio required), and there’s an ocean to fling myself in when I’m done walking.
After a walk I am sweaty beyond belief, and slightly less moldy; it’s at this point that I walk into the ocean. Literally. I walk right in, keep walking until the water is deep enough to dive and then I dive and swim. Thus two critical elements of Blixen’s remedy are handled in one fell swoop: sweat and the sea!
The third, tears, is also a profound detoxifier. When I first got here and started my detox protocol (daily doses of activated coconut charcoal to bind with and remove mold mycotoxins, supplements to support me, gallons of high PH water every day) I was in a great deal of pain. My joints hurt, my eyes hurt, the headaches were stunning in intensity. My cognitive function was at a solid zero for the most part. I was, for all practical purposes, completely disabled. I was afraid, I couldn’t think, I was in pain, and I was incredibly frustrated with my situation and terrified about the loss of my health. I frequently found myself chest deep in the ocean, sweating and crying--Blixen’s salt water trifecta.
Science has shown us that crying holds unique physiological benefits, among them stress relief and pain reduction. Crying also fights bacteria, improves vision, releases toxins and aids sleep.
So I walked and sweated and cried and swam. And then I’d do it again. And over the months, slowly but surely, I’ve gotten better.
Along with my hot healing walks, I also walked morning and evening to soothe my soul, take in the natural beauty, and to welcome and bid farewell to each day. Being present with each day was a way to be as focused as I could be, stave off despair, and to accomplish what needed to be accomplished. Baby steps to be sure but steps nonetheless. Ever the lover of beauty, I took pictures on my AM and PM walks to share every day with the members of the One Million Women Walking movement.
As I prepare to leave AMI and return to Tennessee for a round of doctor’s appointments and health assessments, I was inspired to share some of my photos here. I self-assigned the daunting task of selecting my favorite photo from each month I’ve been here. So here they are, seen on my walks, an homage to this lovely island, the healing power of walking, and visual proof that the cure for anything is salt water.
The alchemy of walking and sweating, swimming and crying, has been life-changing and life-saving for me. I am grateful beyond words and hopeful once again. To learn more about my recovery from mold poisoning, and to activate walking’s Rx in your own life, join me and the members of the One Million Women Walking movement as we walk our way to the happy, healthy, long lives we all desire and deserve. I can’t wait to walk with you.