I get asked about adrenal imbalance more often than any other question. And my answer is YES!! You CAN balance your adrenals naturally. Through the lens that I see the world, adrenal imbalance goes hand in hand with nearly every chronic condition that exists. And in our high stress, high achievement culture, nearly everyone suffers from this imbalance at one time or another, and many people chronically.
The obvious, and sometimes not so obvious, symptoms of adrenal imbalance include:
Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
Anxiety and Panic attacks
Blood Sugar Imbalance
Restless Leg Syndrome
Post Partum depression
Most chronic health conditions
Adrenal imbalance responds best to a multi-level healing plan. You need to address the Energetic/Spiritual level, the emotional level, and the physical level. I recommend addressing all three areas simultaneously, which is a departure from most situations. In my training, you must first heal the energetic and emotional imbalances before physical healing will occur. However, with adrenal imbalance it is incredibly difficult to stay present enough to process those first two areas if you don’t also simultaneously support the physical body. Here’s one thing to keep in mind as you read through this post—-natural healing modalities are not a one size fits all proposition. Everyone will need a “treatment” plan that is a little different depending on your particular history and physical symptoms. I will try to give you a full range of ideas and tools with which to work as you travel this journey, but ultimately you will have to determine what resonates best with you and discard the rest.
If you break everything in the world down to its base components, it is all energy. Pain and physical imbalance in the body represent stagnant or blocked energy. In order to physically heal, you must first get the energy moving in a balanced manner.
Reasons that energy may become stagnant or blocked can range from everything from high stress to physical injury to karmic situations to dysfunctional relationships. This level is closely related to the emotional level because any form of fear will disrupt the smooth flow of energy. More on that in a bit.
Healing the spiritual/energetic level can be done individually through the use of meditation. However, many people who have adrenal imbalance find it incredibly difficult to concentrate deeply enough to meditate. Guided meditations are a good individual solution. There are many options on youtube or throughout the internet. You can also find a natural practitioner who works with the energy field. Choices here range from someone like me who practices shamanic energy work, to an acupuncturist, reiki master, massage therapist who does cranial sacral work, etc.
Energy workers come in all shapes and sizes and skill level.
The guidelines I use when choosing someone to work with include:
1. Does the healer's energy resonate with you?
When doing healing work, the person you are trusting to hold the space for you needs to be someone you trust. This work is deep and can leave you feeling exposed. If you have doubts about the person you have chosen to work with, it’s important to get clear about WHY you have doubts. I have experienced one of two scenarios. The first scenario happens when your own personal doubts and ego come to the surface and make you feel afraid. his is NOT a reason to walk away from the person. The fact that their vibrational resonance is high enough to trigger your fears to come to the surface is a good thing—-you want those to come up so they can be cleared. The second scenario is when your gut instinct tells you the person you’ve chosen is simply not trustworthy or the right person for you to work with. How do you know the difference between the two scenarios? The first is a decision made from fear, the second is a decision made from love/knowingness/intuition/gut. A good general rule of thumb is “If you don’t know, don’t go.” Also, any "healer" that claims they can "fix" you doesn't fully understand how healing happens. The only person who can help you is yourself---a healer's job is to hold the space for your intention to manifest.
2. Does the healer have wisdom?
Wisdom is not about training. It is both about innate wisdom (think of a child you consider to be an “old soul”) as well as life experience. Most light workers come to this journey because they have experienced hardship as well, and have learned to overcome it.
3. Does the healer have knowledge?
What kind of training does the person have? A weekend seminar in reiki healing is very different than years of training to become a certified massage therapist, or an acupuncturist, or a shaman.
4. Can the healer maintain eye contact?
The eyes are the window to the soul. Someone who cannot maintain eye contact is hiding themselves. A good energy worker has done enough individual healing work that they no longer feel a need to hide from others—-because they are no longer hiding from themselves. If a healer cannot maintain eye contact that is a sign that their healing abilities are compromised by their own lack of healing.
Spiritual/Energetic Healing is like the layers of an onion--each layer must be cleared in order to get to the higher truth of the soul. Don't feel discouraged if a similar issue comes up multiple times in a healing session. Each time you re-visit that issue, you will experience a deeper understanding of it's role in your life.
In my training, the emotional body is the root of ALL illness. The emotional body is represented by the sacral chakra in Vedic teachings (just under the belly button), and the major gland associated with it is the adrenal gland. When the emotions are disrupted, so too will the adrenal glands be disrupted.
The body does not differentiate between fear caused by physical situations (A lion is chasing me!!) and fear caused by deep emotions (I just lost my job!). In both situations, the adrenal glands will release adrenaline and push you into a fight or flight response. Because we live in such a high stress society, the fight or flight response gets triggered on a regular basis. Over time, that will lead to adrenal fatigue. When an unprocessed emotion tries to come to the surface of your consciousness, the ego will often respond with a fight or flight response in order to protect you from the emotion. The result is anxiety. Anxiety is simply the ego’s way of avoiding feeling. The more anxiety you have in your life, the more emotional processing that needs to take place.
The best tool I have found for processing emotions by yourself is called “automatic writing”. You sit down with a piece of paper and write something across the top of it like, “Why am I so anxious? What am I afraid of? What emotion do I need to process?” You then begin to write everything that comes into your mind, stream-of-consciousness style. Eventually you will see that your ramblings begin to make sense and your emotions will begin to process before you on the page. If that doesn’t happen, it means your resistance is very high.
You can also find a person to help you process. Again, many “lightworkers” like me are trained in helping you process, or you can hire a psychotherapist, go to a trusted friend or religious advisor, a person who does NET (neuro-emotional technique), EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique—which can also be done alone), biofeedback, etc. There are lots of options. Use the previously mentioned list to decide the best person to work with. Oftentimes it takes another person holding the space for you in order for you to get deep enough to resolve the emotions that are throwing you out of balance. They can simply see the forest for the trees, and can help guide you safely out into the open.
Adrenal imbalance is a bit of a chicken or the egg scenario. Sometimes adrenal imbalance is caused by chronic stress and that throws your body into chronic conditions, and sometimes it is chronic conditions like digestive problems (think food allergies and sensitivities, or difficulty digesting) or other chronic illness that throw the adrenals out of balance as they release adrenaline to help your body deal with the stressors upon it. In either case, supporting the adrenals physically is key to healing.
Natural healing is very dependent on the underlying causes of imbalances, but I can say that diet changes are nearly always necessary. Processed, chemical, man made foods always puts stress on our body, which will result in adrenal involvement. Eating organic, pesticide free, GMO free, chemical free foods is key in healing. Removing any food allergies and treating environmental allergies will also be key to healing, as the body releases adrenaline every time it is exposed to an allergen. The top food allergens are dairy, gluten, soy, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, shell fish, and corn. For more on clean eating and clean living, please see my blog post Why Purity Matters.
The adrenal glands use a lot of vitamin C, Vitamin B-complex, and trace minerals—-particularly magnesium. Sometimes magnesium supplementation is the key to getting back in balance. If that’s the case, consider yourself lucky! If you are craving a lot of salt, that’s an indication that your minerals are out of balance. Make sure you salt your food with Unrefined sea salt, as that has all the trace minerals in it. You can also look into a mineral supplement. If you’re craving chocolate, that's a sure sign that you are low on magnesium. I use Purium's Ionic Mineral Blend, which is high in magnesium as well as offering your other trace minerals.
Adrenal balance also depends on getting regular exercise, which lowers cortisol levels, and plenty of sunshine for optimal Vitamin D levels. Consider taking a D3 supplement if you’re not getting enough sun, or if you also have thyroid imbalance. Not all supplements are made the same--I use Physica's Solray D Liposome Spray. If you are interested in getting that product, please contact me for price and ordering information.
Herbs that will support the adrenals glands include Holy Basil (also known as Tulsi), skullcap, valerian, catnip, fennel, White American Ginseng, and adaptogens like astaxanthin, and maca root. There are lots more, but that’s a good place to start. Purium Health Products makes a couple of supplements for adrenals: White American Ginseng and Bee Energetic. You can also find astaxanthin in the Super Xanthin.
If you are experiencing insomnia, particularly where you wake up and can’t fall back asleep, that means your cortisol levels are too high and are peaking too early. Going to bed by 9 o’clock will help, as in Chinese medicine the time for the adrenals to heal is from 9pm to 11pm. I love a supplement called PS (phosphatidyl serine)—-it helps support the brain, but it has the added side effect of lowering cortisol levels. This was the one that finally helped me start sleeping in my own healing journey. If you are having difficulty falling asleep, melatonin may assist you. If you are taking it as a supplement you do not want to take it for longer than two weeks at a time, as it will disrupts your body's natural ability to make it. However, you can also get melatonin from foods. The best source of food based melatonin on the planet comes from tart cherry juice concentrate. I use Purium's Apothe Cherry Concentrate. GABA supplementation can also assist in sleep and stress management. I recommend Purium's sublingual spray called Chill.
There are a few companies out there that make desiccated adrenal supplements—basically ground up cow or pig adrenal glands. In cases of severe adrenal stress these supplements help the body balance out in a way nothing else can. I used a supplement by Nutriwest called “DSF” (de-stress formula)—-it made a huge difference for me!! Standard Process, Designs for Health, and Physica also make good adrenal supplements that include desiccated adrenals. You can find them online, through natural practitioners, or through compounding pharmacies. Our wholistic health center carries some of these brands and you can contact me for ordering information.
I am a big fan of homeopathics to help with the emotional side of adrenal healing. Homeopathics are considered "energy medicine," and are perfect for those who need emotional and energetic support. I love the lozenges made by Historical Remedies —I use calm drops a lot. They also make stress mints, pick up drops, and moon drops. I also like two other homeopathic companies that make adrenal support formulas—Physica and Energetix. Even now, years after finally getting my adrenal glands balanced, I regularly use their adrenal tone homeopathic to help me stay in balance. Physica also makes both a flower remedy for stress (Ultimate Rescue) and a flower remedy for emotional-balancing (Ultimate Fields). Because you can only get those through a practitioner, please contact me for ordering information. And finally, Rescue Remedy made by Bach Flower Remedies is excellent for stressful situations to help you calm down.
Many people use aromatherapy and essential oils to assist in adrenal balance. The most popular oil used is lavender, but it's not the only one that might help. I personally never found essential oils to be helpful for my adrenal balance, so unfortunately this is an area I can't offer very much guidance in. What I can say is essential oils are very concentrated and need to be used knowledgeably in order to maintain safety and for the best results. Just because someone sells essential oils doesn't mean they are the best person to guide you on essential oil use. Please be sure to do your research before using this modality.
Adrenal imbalance can be difficult to get under control, but in the long run it completely changes your life. It is often associated with imbalances in other organs and systems of the body, but supporting your adrenal glands will always assist healing in those other areas. This guide is in no way a comprehensive guide, but it should serve to get you started on the journey. As always, I welcome questions. If you are interested in working with me in a professional capacity, please use the contact me tab at the top of the page. I can assist you in all three areas of healing.
Here’s to your Higher Living Journey!