Grief Therapy

Natural Grief Therapy with Natalia Volz

In this episode of The Functional Medicine Radio Show, Dr. Carri’s special guest Natalia Volz explains how you can use natural grief therapy to heal and move forward.

She is a grief guide. She speaks on loss, grief and, most importantly, recovery from the pain of grief. Natalia uses natural grief therapy to guide people by facilitating workshops, teleseminars, and individual sessions. She also educates and supports those who want to help children, friends, neighbors and colleagues after a loss.

Natalia’s expertise is based on her firsthand experience with loss and grief. In 2010, after a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer, her husband died at the age of 49. She eventually found her way through her devastating pain while raising her three young children alone.

Natalia hopes that you will walk away today with a deeper understanding of a subject we normally avoid but will all have to confront firsthand at some point in our lives. She aims to give you tools to help yourself, and others in need, to heal more quickly after a loss.

Main Questions Asked:

  • How does grief and loss affect our body and our health?
  • Are there any other signs or symptoms that a person might have?
  • How do you know if you are still grieving or not?
  • How long does it take to recover from grief and loss?
  • How can we use natural grief therapy to heal from a loss?
  • Can you tell us about the Relief process?
  • Do some people just not grieve or are they doing it in a different way?
  • For those currently suffering a loss, what can they do now to help get through this process?

Key Points made by Natalia:

  • Grief is the normal and natural response to a significant loss such as death, divorce, and job loss.
  • Grief is also the conflicting feelings after a change in a familiar pattern of behavior.
  • We like to say “Time heals all wounds” but honestly, if we don’t grieve properly or naturally, we don’t heal from that.  I work with many people who are still grieving 10, 20, 30 years later.
  • Doctors often mistreat it and we say that it looks like depression and we’re very quick to put people on anti-depressants.
  • Grief can come out in heart problems.  Do we know how many heart attacks and heart problems are really related to losses?
  • Cancer.  When my husband died, after 2 years of grieving, I started to panic. I was not feeling better. I didn’t know how to actually heal from my grief.  The scarier part is that I started meeting people where one young spouse died and within 2 years, the other spouse was diagnosed with cancer and died.  It scared me because I had 3 young children and I didn’t want to leave them orphaned.  I thought that this is not a coincidence that I keep hearing about these cases.
  • Accidents are greatly increased.  Looking at when people had accidents, it is often within 2 years of a loss.  If we don’t heal the grief, our brain is not functioning strongly.  We’re absent-minded, our memory is weak.  We’re just not as alert.
  • As part of their grief therapy, I have people make a graph of their life and note difficult times and what was happening.
  • You’re still grieving if you just have lower energy and a loss of aliveness that was not something you had your whole life but after a big loss or a big change in your life, you noticed a real difference.
  • Other ways you know you’re still grieving is if you feel sad or angry when you think of the person who is now gone.  Some people tell the same story of a loss again and again and again.  They just keep trying to process it.  They have not properly grieved that loss so they keep playing it over and over and over again in their head trying to come to terms with it.
  • If fond memories turn to sadness.  You can’t enjoy the good parts of the relationship because they always turn to crying.  That’s a sign you have not recovered from your grief.
  • If you’re getting sick a lot more since the loss or death is another sign.
  • Our loss and relationship is unique and so is our grief.
  • Time Magazine did research and said that the average person grieves from 4 to 8 years.  That’s not what our culture gives us.
  • It doesn’t have to take that time. There are specific behaviors that can help us move our grief through us.
  • Our body has everything it needs for us to live healthy.  We’re supposed to live well.  Loss is also a natural part of life.
  • Let’s listen to our body and respect what it’s telling us.  In the beginning, you may feel numb or exhausted.  Then what would be the natural thing to do when you’re exhausted?  Get more sleep!
  • I always tell people at the beginning to drink water, rest more, be kind to yourself.
  • Later on you may feel anxious or panicky.  If you feel really anxious, get moving.  One idea is to put on music you can’t help but move to and get that energy flowing through you.
  • We are social beings and we need each other to heal.
  • We cannot heal from our grief when we focus on one half of the relationship.
  • During grief therapy, I lead people through a number of steps that help them complete the pain around the relationship.
  • In the Relief process, I help people to recognize their current thoughts and feelings associated with those thoughts.  What are the beliefs you’ve had your whole life that are affecting it?
  • Recognize the thoughts and beliefs we are playing in our head over and over again and how those are coming out in those feelings.
  • Express those emotions and our pain and tell our story to someone who can listen and validate it.
  • Leave our old thought patterns behind and reframe our thoughts for the life we are moving toward.  You have to Identify your new self and redefine your life after a loss.
  • We need to Empower ourselves through these new thoughts and realize our inner strength.
  • Find Freedom through our feelings and focus on desires and take continuous small steps toward this new sense of self.
  • It’s rare but for some people, they really are at peace.
  • Usually grief will show itself more when we did not say the things we needed to say.
  • This is my #1 tip:  Just say “I’m so sorry. I don’t know what to say.  How could I help you today?”

Resources Mentioned:

Natalia’s website

Natalia’s facebook page

Book – Reclaim Your Energy and Feel Normal Again

Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe and leave a 5-star rating and review on iTunes!

Please Share Your Thoughts Here