A few years ago, I decided to visit my home country of Greece. My family was very excited, and I was more excited than any of them because I wanted to try an experiment. I had stopped my blood pressure medication 5 months ago, and I wanted to find out how I would feel after a trans-Atlantic flight and a 12 hour bus ride without it. I also wanted to know how my body would react to the change in diet that comes from traveling abroad.
Whether it is for only a couple of days, or for several weeks, traveling can be hard on the body’s rhythms and health. Even though we were in the heart of the Mediterranean diet area, my diet was not so Mediterranean due to our busy schedule. It was difficult for me to follow my diet plan and practices during this time and I was sure that I was going to feel it.
The first evening out in Thessaloniki, Greece, my family and I were walking along the famous street in the business district that hosts 2 million people every day. A small group of purse snatchers targeted my daughter, and tried to steal her purse. I joined in the struggle for her pocketbook, and luckily, we saved it. This was a traumatic event, and with the changes in my diet, I was having a very restless night as I struggled to relax. I tried the breathing techniques that I learned to help with anxiety, but I was not able to do the full treatment as I did not want to disrupt my family’s sleep in the process.
Instead, I remembered the techniques I’ve learned on water therapy. Most of you know how a nice, warm shower can help you to relax and get to sleep easier. I took two aspirins to help calm my heartbeat and was able to go to sleep and rest after a nice, hot shower.
My experience helps me to remember, and to share with you, that when we nurture our bodies and give it what it needs, we can better handle the extra pressures that we are faced with in life.