How living according to my temperament is changing my life
An update – How living according to my temperament is changing my life
My journey to healing began in late 2016 when I started to feel really really ill. I wanted to understand why I was so anxious and jittery all the time. I wanted to understand where this sudden eczema on my arms was coming from? How about the brain fog and exhaustion? Joint pain? Dizzy Spells?
At the time, simple tasks left me feeling exhausted. It may sound odd, but even sitting and having a conversation felt tiresome because I just couldn’t concentrate long enough.
My Symptoms were the following:
- Brain Fog
- A couple of patches of dry skin
- Really Bad Head aches
- Bad Ear Aches
- Back and Hip Pain
- Hyper pigmentation in a couple of areas
- Blurred Vision and Eye Pain
- Recurring Abcesses leading to recurring infections
- Light Headedness
- Increased Thirst
- Liver Cirrhosis and Diabetes (I never went to the Doctors to get tested but this was a Naturopathic diagnosis)
- Anxiety and low mood
I so desperately wanted to help others, yet I wasn’t able to help myself. I remember being at the house of someone elderly who needed my help. I helped as much as I could but then I couldn’t really function anymore. My entire body ached and I felt like I needed a nap. Worse still, I couldn’t even explain why I had to lie down after doing some very basic housework.
Not only was I physically exhausted, I was emotionally and spiritually drained. I have always believed that physical symptoms, however small and insignificant they may seem are a manifestation of the health of the body on the inside.
From a young age, I had had an interest in the human body and healing. I had also had an interest in nutrition but now after years of reading several hundred theories, I was so confused. I just wanted to feel better but I was getting so many mixed messages.
Initially I had looked into studying Nutrition and I then began to look into Prophetic Medicine and Naturopathy. Having read a few books on the subject in my younger years, I was interested to learn more. It was then that I came across Hakim Salim Khan and Unani Tibb. After a little research, I knew that this was the path for me. I became a student of Hakim Salim soon after.
What is Tibb Medicine?
‘Early in Islamic history, the sayings and actions of the Prophet (Peach be Upon Him) concerning medicine were assembled into authentic collections and remained distinct. This legacy is known as the discipline of Tibb an Nabawi ﷺ – the medicine of the Prophet, which illuminated and guided earlier Muslims in their search for optimal health. Later when Muslims came into contact with other traditions of medicine, such as Greek, Persian, Indian and Chinese tradition, there were synthesised into Traditional Medicine – Tibb.’
An Introduction to Islamic Medicine, Hakim M. Salim Khan M.D. (M.A.) M.H. F.G.N.I. D.O.
Whole Person Healing
Tibb uses a whole person approach to healing and considers the following lifestyle factors as essential to overall wellness and balance:
Physical activity and rest
Sleep and wakefulness
Interaction with the environment
Elimination and retention
Each person also has a temperament or mizen.
A person’s temperament is the combination of their physical characteristics and their mental, emotional and spiritual attributes. There are four temperaments in total. The temperaments are made up of qualities (Heat, Cold, Moisture and Dryness) and a pair of these qualities combined create the elements and temperaments.
The temperaments are:
Bilious or Choleric (Yellow Bile) – This is a hot and dry temperament like Summer.
Sanguine (Air) – This is a hot and moist temperament like Spring.
Melancholic (Black Bile) – This is a cold and dry temperament like Autumn.
Phlegmatic (Phlegm) – This is a cold and dry temperament like Winter.
Each temperament has different needs with regards to the lifestyle factors mentioned above. The key is to maintain the individuals health and restore balance when it is lost.
The road to healing
Empowerment of the individual and assisting nature to harmonise the body is emphasised. Initially this takes the form of making simple lifestyle changes, then natural and herbal remedies are introduced if needed. Unani-Tibb also employs therapies such as massage and cupping.
This is the long and not so scenic route to healing. Some illnesses have been with an individual for several months/years and as such they take time to heal. There is no suppressing of symptoms or any quick fixes here, but the end result is complete healing of the body, mind and soul.
For me the road to recovery has been a really really long one. Initially I began working on my emotional healing. Making small changes in the lifestyle factors and working with my temperament and current health made a huge difference to my overall mental health.
The biggest change to my health so far has been that my brain fog has finally lifted and for the most part, my anxiety is a distant memory. I no longer feel so exhausted that I can’t function. There has been a huge improvement in my productivity, and happiness and that last one is the one that is worth all the diet changing, early morning walks, sleeping early etc etc. I have a really long road ahead but I feel so much better then I did 2 years ago. These are the changes I made:
Daily Walks early in the day
Journaling and Reflection
Starting my day with reading and listening to positive/uplifting books/podcasts
Keeping Company with positive people
Following Positivity pages on Social Media and deleting any negative influences
Working on Sleeping Patterns
Intermittent Fasting and Eating within a window of time per day.
More recently I have began to focus on food and eating right for my temperament. This time last year, my joints were in agony. So far this year, I have experienced no joint pain and I hope it continues that way!
In the next post, I will be talking about how you can identify your temperament and how you can work with it to achieve good health.