The Evolution Of My Healing. Eczema.
I never had eczema until I was fully in my adulthood. Pretty confidently in my mid 20s, actually. It was the first time I realized that things you hadn’t previously experienced could introduce themselves into your system, like a small annoying parasite. I was mad when it happened, feeling amply annoyed by my own body’s chaos.
When the patch first appeared, I was thoroughly confused not knowing what it could be. I didn’t want to believe that this tiny stretch of chicken skin, like a dried over hedge that felt like a cat’s tongue, could suddenly be transported onto my body like a war wound. Weirdly, it was just on the top arch of my left foot. I had seen my friends suffer with eczema throughout my life—the elbow patches, the fingers, the pillowy spaces on the cheeks. I had known how hard and debilitating it could be, how often folks that suffered from/with eczema felt embarrassed and afraid of going out. I wanted to resist that end, I wanted to feel healthy.
It’s unfair that we’ve learnt such language about our bodies. We see something like eczema as a sign of weakness, and ugliness, of being wrong—when in a lot of ways it’s just a signal from your body that there is a larger digestive imbalance. It felt kind of crazy to learn that it wasn’t my body’s natural function to feel uncomfortable, or agitated, which is how my eczema would appear. It was mostly a flare up, rather than a constant scratchy reminder.
I like the idea of a bodily red flag, and so, I began to listen.
This was easier in theory, but in fact I had to slowly begin listening to every cue my body would give me, which felt like an impossible feat. You don’t like dairy, dearest intestine? Well, fuck you! I mean, really? I forgot that when I listened to my body, I actually *had* to listen… as in take everything (about my body) into account, which meant acknowledging what it did and didn’t like. This was paramount, and a whole other complex requirement that I didn’t know if I could as readily fulfill. I wanted my mind, my will, to intuit for me—but those, I learnt, are two different things. There isn’t a way to strong-arm your body. It tells you something—you either listen, or you don’t. No judgment.
No Body Is The Same. What works for me, might not be the dream combo for yours. I hate beans and fart when I eat them, but maybe that’s your primary source of protein. I’m only here to talk it through with you.
When I last mentioned to Lisa that I was getting that sweet, unsatisfying itch on my left foot again she mentioned that it made sense as it was on the stomach meridian. I have a spleen chi deficiency, which refers to the entire digestive system and even some aspects of the circulatory system that aren’t working as well as they could, creating stagnation and therefore pain and unease in my body. She asks me what I’ve been eating again, and we break it down. Often, actually without fail, my eczema flairs up because I’ve done, or had one of two things: too much dairy, too much sugar. In fact, the latter is more dangerous to my system, and aggravates it with a bigger punch. Staying away from the foods your body fundamentally hates is a hard rule to follow, but one that I’ve found particularly healing. Again—listening, tuning in, being honest in what you find.
Acupuncture has become such a salve in moments like these. Points that Lisa uses are ones that are especially linked to easing dampness in my system, for example: stimulating Large Intestine (LI) 11 reduces itching on my foot, and the Shen Men (Spirit Gate) points helps ease the heart and any undue pressure or stress that your body has been experiencing.
A few years ago, my mother got a weird patch of eczema on her left forearm. I started helping her heal, but a few months later, I also had the same patch that would come and go, flaring up when my mother was stressed. Even across oceans, I could sense it. This is all to say, that learning the body’s language is endless. Take curiosity in it, and don’t let it overwhelm you. It’s a very long road to full recovery.
About The Author
This guest post was authored by Fariha Róisín, a talented writer based here in Brooklyn. We are indebted to Fariha for sharing this experience. We are humbled to be in service to such a brave, strong & beautiful human and it is with great gratitude we are able to share Fariha’s writings with our community.
Fariha Róisín has written for Al Jazeera, The Guardian, Vice, Fusion, Village Voice and many others and additionally has previously written a self-care column on The Hairpin. Fariha will also soon have two books published and currently has an astrology column for them. We encourage you to discover more:
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