HPV: Healing from the Inside Out
A holistic health journey with water fasting, juicing and plant based diet
by Ramya V., Feb 26, 2020
Listen to the Stories
A Devastating Diagnosis
Imagine yourself seated at the doctor’s office with a sense of foreboding, anxiously awaiting your test results. The look on your doctor’s face that tells you things aren’t looking all that good. The feeling of your whole life turned topsy-turvy in a matter of minutes with a scary diagnosis.
This scenario was all too real for our storyteller from the Bay Area who had an abnormal pap smear, testing positive for HPV with precancerous cells in her early 20s. It was a devastating diagnosis, that left her scared and confused. The doctor’s ominous words that she’d probably live with the virus for the rest of her life, and potentially be at high risk for cancer, left her with a feeling of dread. The virus could remain dormant for years, but a weak immune system could trigger a recurrence of the virus that could lead to severe health problems, including cancer, if untreated.
She knew maintaining a healthy, strong immune system was the key, but she had little information on how to work towards developing one. Random suggestions from doctors and the people around her simply added on to her feelings of frustration.
HPV, or human papillomavirus, is a common sexually transmitted virus that can, over a period of time, lead to adverse health effects including cancers, if left untreated1.1 There are nearly 80 million people currently infected with HPV in the United States, according to the CDC, and nearly 14 million people, including teenagers, become infected with HPV each year. In most cases, HPV goes away on its own and does not cause any major health problems. But it is also a known fact that people testing positive for HPV, with weakened immune systems, are more susceptible to health problems brought on by the virus than others.
Fast, Cleanse, Juice, Repeat!
The emotional trauma caused by the diagnosis made our storyteller ask herself the question, “Do I want to live?” The answer was a resounding “Yes.” She took matters into her own hands by being proactive about her health. A lot of research on the internet and suggestions from a good friend led her to juicing, cleansing, and Intermittent fasting. She started off with three days of water fasting, three days of a master cleanse, and two weeks of juicing. The newfound regimen put an end to her recurrent episodes of strep throat and winter flu—a heartening result that empowered her journey.
Healing from the Inside Out
Yoga and creative expression were other paths she chose while working towards building a stronger immune system. Sessions on the yoga mat energized and empowered her, offering the much needed hope on her march towards recovery.
At the behest of a friend, she also read up on vegan diets that seemed to be working wonders for many. A lot of research online led her to a raw vegan couple, who seemed to be bubbling over with health, cheer, and positive energy on account of their diet. Impressed and intrigued by what she saw, she made the switch to a plant-based, raw food diet for two weeks and went on to extend it to a 30-day, and further to a 100-day, diet. The outcomes were fantastic. She lost a lot of weight and felt much healthier and energized.
A Test of Faith
As it is with every other healing journey, our storyteller faced a minor setback when after months of following a vegan diet, her pap smear came back positive for HPV. But what she didn't realize then was that it was a probable case of a healing crisis, a result of her body fighting to clear out existing toxins for future recovery. Disheartened, she gave into her old ways of eating, put on quite a bit of weight resulting in water retention, inflammation, and a further worsening of her condition.
On the Healing Path
The tides turned in her favor yet again when she signed up for a 21-day spiritual retreat that took her back to fasting, juicing, and a plant-based diet. This time around, she was consistent with the diet, not giving up, intuitively doing what felt right for her body and mind. And the next time around when she went in for the pap test, she was all clear.
It's been years since then and our storyteller’s been HPV free since. Today, she is a yoga enthusiast and a faithful proponent of a low-fat, plant-based, whole food diet with a firm belief that such a diet nourishes not just the body but also the mind and the heart, allowing them to thrive and flourish, just as they were always meant to.