Unlearning Normal: How Crohn’s Disease Helped Me Find the Deeper Meaning of Health

4 min read

My whole life changed on January 12, 2012.

I went from a healthy, 21-year-old female to a chronic illness patient with Crohn’s Disease in the blink of an eye. My focus went from what to wear daily to keeping track of my pain and the daily medications it took to manage it. My life was definitely over.

Or so I thought. 

It has been seven years of living with Crohn’s Disease and my life definitely didn’t end that day. Instead, that day marked the start of a new journey for me. This new journey guided me to break free of the normal way of managing disease and to do to it on my own terms. It also helped me dive into the deeper meaning of health and share it with other patients. 

Confused? Let me explain. 

When I first got diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, I only used conventional medicine in my treatment. But it didn’t take long for that way of managing my disease to feel unaligned in my body, mind and soul. I knew that I wanted to manage my disease in a different way. 

So I dug deeper. 

I changed my eating style, reduced my stress, exercised and got plenty of sleep. For a while, I felt like I was on top of the world. I had tons of energy, my weight stabilized, my inflammation levels were low and I felt great.

Until the day came where I didn’t and I wasn’t sure why. 

My holistic lifestyle to treat my Crohn’s Disease was “perfect” on paper. My eating style promoted healing. My workouts were consistent. My supplements were high quality and I sat in meditation twice per day. From the outside looking in, I was doing everything “right.” So why did I still not feel 100 percent?

When Eating Healthy + Exercising Isn’t Enough

This gap between how I was feeling and how I wanted to feel encouraged me to dig deeper into my health for a second time. So that is exactly what I did.

I got introduced to Reiki, [a healing technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch, to activate the natural healing processes of the patient’s body and restore physical and emotional well-being] and other energy medicine and applied them to my own healing. I used the power of mindset to let go of limiting beliefs that were holding me back from thriving with illness. And I began on a journey of “Unlearning Normal” when it came to chronic illness treatment, health and life. 

If I had never gotten diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, I would have never started on this journey. I would have never realized that health is more than what we eat and drink or how much we sweat.

True and lasting health is so much deeper than that. 

It’s how you think, speak and feel about yourself. It’s addressing stagnant energy within your body to relieve pain and dis-ease. It’s shifting your current perspective on illness and health to one of empowerment. It’s finding a way to love yourself, even in a hard situations. It’s doing what is best for your own body, mind, soul and illness, even if it doesn’t make sense to anyone else around you. 

This is the layer of health that we are missing within the worlds of wellness and autoimmune disease. Addressing physical aspects of health and illness is necessary for a solid foundation. But we also need to dive deeper. 

Adding in this unique layer to managing our health and illnesses helps us get to know our bodies on new levels. It strengthens our intuition. It allows us to cultivate a deep, loving and conscious relationship with ourselves. Doing this will not only help us feel great on the outside, but also help us feel healed and healthy on the inside.

We cannot forget the importance of good physical health. But it’s also time to create space in our minds, our treatment protocols, and our lives for the deeper, “un-normal” parts of health, too.

Interested in more health journeys? Read how one woman beat cancer—twice—and how holistic health helped her do it.

About The Author

Courtney Maiorino

Courtney Maiorino

Courtney Maiorino is an Autoimmune Intuitive Guide, Reiki Master and UNLEARNING NORMAL Advocate. As a Crohn's Disease patient herself, Courtney loves to help autoimmune disease patients unblock stagnant energy within their bodies that can lead to pain and disease. She also loves helping them work through limiting beliefs, shift their mindset and perspective on living with illness and tap into their own body’s intuition to guide them on a journey towards true, holistic health.



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