One of my teachers, Dr. Claudia Welch, talks about “couch medicine” and how so many women run on stress hormones. We mistake this wired state for true energy. The more adrenaline and cortisol we have coursing through our system, the less it takes to trigger us into a stressed-out state. Our nervous systems live in vigilante mode, on high alert waiting for the next impending threat. Since stress hormones are depleting, they wear our body down over time. When we come down from the stress hormone peak, we crash from a depleted system.
Stress hormones are also the ones responsible for keeping us awake in order to deal with a threat. So chronically high stress hormones can have a catastrophic effect on sleep. The Catch 22? The best medicine for depletion caused by stress hormones is sleep and rest. But high stress hormones can make sleep hard to come by.
So how do we get into this state? In a culture obsessed with productivity and busyness, we train ourselves to override the signals our body sends us. And collectively we carry negative beliefs around sleep, rest and how it relates to our value as human beings.
In addition to this, modern medicine was founded upon the white male body and “expertise” as the norm. Women and other marginalized communities have been gaslit by the white, patriarchal overculture for centuries. We’ve been conditioned to discredit the wisdom of our own body and the intelligence of nature.
Couch medicine is the practice of listening to your body when you’re tired and need rest. In a culture obsessed with busyness, outward focus and perfection, resting – in whatever small way you can – takes courage and wisdom.
How have you trained yourself to override the signals your body sends you?
What does listening to the wisdom of your body mean to you?
If you’d like to unwind these patterns and feel rested and energetic again, I’m offering a free workshop on October 6th. Sign up for here for Wired + Tired No More: Healing Sleep Issues + Fatigue Naturally.