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Everything is Medicine: What Experiencing COVID Taught Me

Author: Genya Klaiman

On January 1st I woke up with a headache and discomfort in my body. At first I thought that it was because of a late evening on New Years Eve but by the afternoon it was clear that something was up. I tested myself and came up positive for COVID. 

Initially it felt shocking, and frankly, like a hit to my ego, “How could I get COVID? I do cold immersions, eat healthy, am very active and spend a lot of time outdoors.” Over the last two years I’ve stayed open to connecting with others. I still hugged people, went to festivals, and continued to see family and friends. I’ve had every chance to be exposed to COVID, but  felt confident about my health and safety.

Once I accepted that I had it, part of me was thankful that we were in the period of the Omicron variant. I was opening to the fact that I would just have to ride it out. Yet, I was still perplexed and resistant until it came to me that this experience with COVID and my egoic reaction to it could be used as medicine.

I was first exposed to the idea of medicine within all things from my Qi-Gong Master. He shared a story of when his Master asked the students to go outside and find anything that could be used as medicine. Everyone brought something back except for one student, who came back empty handed. The Master said, “this person is the only one who truly understands Chinese Medicine because everything is medicine.”

When I shifted my mindset to look at my experience with COVID from the soul’s perspective that even this challenging experience could be interpreted as a form of wholebeing healing, I was able to approach it differently.

The last time that I was impacted severely by a cold or flu was 2007. At the time I was so sick that I had to take  a week off work. Since then I have many more tools and I was able to use them to navigate my experience with COVID.

I looked at it from the perspective of Minimal Effective Dose (Medicine Energy Devotion), in that, even though I felt weak and had a fever I could still incorporate minimised versions of my practices to the level that I was able to. This principle I learned from teacher, who guided us to seek out the minimal effective dose of any technique he taught. 

The effects of Omicron were unlike anything I’ve experienced before. I had severe back, hip and leg pain. My nerves were on fire and I couldn’t stretch at all. I hardly slept for 7 days. I just couldn’t get comfortable and relax enough to fall asleep.

Still, I did my practices, meditation, breathwork and movement to the degree that I was able to.  I found ways to be creative and move in ways that I was able. While I was not able to work, I was able to study and learn. When my fever finally broke I was able to incorporate hot and cold immersion in the shower which furthered my recovery.

My practices helped to ground and centre me through this experience. My connection with my body deepened. Stepping into trust and communicating with gratitude and understanding “I know that you are in pain, I know that you are doing your best, I’m sorry for doubting you.”

Here are my key takeaways from this experience:

  • Self-care rituals are powerful even when they’re minimal. It’s the intention that counts.
  • Whatever I do consistently, I begin to feel more masterful in time. 
  • I always have a choice to practice the things I value. 
  • My body is stronger and more resilient than my mind has been conditioned to believe.
  • Communicating with my body increases trust.

Be Well, Be Blessed 

With Love,

Genya 

Genya Klaiman

Co-Founder, Breath Coach, Soul Coach, MovNat Instructor
I feel deeply that we each bring unique and important gifts to this world. I would love to share my gifts with you and inspire you to share yours with humanity.
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