Medicine for the Highly Sensitive Person


One of the reasons I studied naturopathic and Chinese medicine is that I had many side effects to medications.  I was premed in undergrad and overly prescribed antibiotics for cough variant asthma that was getting misdiagnosed as bronchitis.  My body was spiraling out of balance and I thought, “there has to be a better way.”  One thing led to another and here I am, encouraging a holistic approach to treatment and emphasizing proper diagnosis.

What I have learned from myself and many patients is that people with highly sensitive nervous systems do very well with proper nutrition, sleep, and modalities that relax the nervous system.  Often, they may be especially sensitive to medications and can benefit from “alternative” (I prefer the word holistic) approaches that encompass the mind/body connection.

In the field of psychoneuroimmunology, our nervous system is intricately connected with our immune system and psychological services.

How do you know if you have a sensitive nervous system?

  • Are you sensitive to stimulation, sounds, smells, energy, crowds?
  • Do you get headaches, anxiety, drained easily from various situations?
  • Are you sensitive to toxic people?
  • Does your environment affect you?
  • Is less more when it comes to therapeutic interventions?
  • Are you prone to migraine headaches?
  • Are you highly empathetic to other people’s feelings?

So what can you do as a highly sensitive person to ensure that you have optimal health?

  • Have basic screening blood tests to make sure your nutritional status and basic health needs are met.  Supplement accordingly.
  • Eat a whole foods unprocessed foods diet that suits you and your individual needs.
  • Rest enough.
  • Move in a way that is sustainable for you.
  • Treat underlying blockages and imbalances from a Chinese medicine/acupuncture perspective.
  • Listen to your body.  This may sound trite but knowing what you need at different times is very important.

There is an ancient Chinese saying about the qi or energy of the body that says, “you never step into the same river twice.”  Our needs and vitality are always changing and it is best to respond our needs in the moment.

If you are a highly sensitive person and feel like you need help navigating your health, I would be happy to work with you.

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