Did you know that every woman has a story?
I’m honored to share my INSPIRE story with you that I wrote for the Women of Dartmouth community 😊
My story is a journey to ease. It’s a radical path to healing. ❤️
Connecting Mind and Body: A perfectionist over-achiever shares her journey to ease
Dr. Cindy Tsai, MED’14, shares her radical path to healing.
Growing up as a perfectionist and high-achiever, I was excellent at following the rules and doing what I was told. I loved making to-do lists and checking things off. I loved being “busy” because it made me feel like I was being productive and successful.
I followed in my dad’s footsteps to become a physician because I thought that was the best way to help people. I worked super hard. I did all the “right” things so my family would be proud of me. Completed training at top schools like Hopkins and Dartmouth.
While there were days and moments I wanted to quit, my perseverance and grit kept me going. Because that’s what I learned to do… that you “keep going”.
You keep going even when things are tough, when you don’t feel good, when you are unhappy, and especially when you are lost and stuck. Because if you suddenly stop, that would mean something was terribly wrong and you actually have to look at your feelings and see what’s going on. No way. We keep going.
At least that’s what I told myself… until my body forced me to stop.
I remember waking up one morning, not being able to see. It was like a veil or mist came over me. I kept rubbing my eyes and wiping my glasses. Nothing changed. What was wrong?
The days that followed were some of the most confusing times of my life. Why did my prescription suddenly worsen three-fold overnight? Why were the lab results all normal? Something was wrong. You don’t just suddenly stop seeing for no reason. Why couldn’t anyone tell me?
I hated being “interesting” to physicians. That was essentially code for “we don’t know what’s going on with you… good luck with that.” Ugh.
When my eyes started hurting, I got my answer. I was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disorder impacting my eyes that caused inflammation and fluid leakage, hence the change in vision.
We started prescription medications like steroids and immunosuppressants to control the symptoms and pain. It worked. But it was a bandaid. I didn’t want to be on these meds for the rest of my life.
I knew I had to find the answer and help myself heal. I had to trust that it was happening for a reason and that it was possible to get better.
While I completed Western medical training in the evidenced-based world, I grew up in Taiwan and was always very interested in holistic health and wellness. I believe that there are so many ways to heal and get better and that we need to support the body through the process.
I assembled a team of wonderful practitioners who took an integrative approach and were committed to finding and treating the root cause of illness. I tried different alternative and complementary therapies, some of which I continue to use regularly today.
I came across the field of coaching and learned the importance of mindset and perspective to decrease fear, doubt, and worry to feel so much better.
If I didn’t believe I was going to get better, who would? I had to be my own best friend and offer myself compassion throughout the whole process.
Fast forward years later, my eyes have healed and I am tremendously grateful. I am committed to sharing the field of integrative medicine and mindful living with others so that they can feel well too.
Our mind and body are not separate. Learn to make the connection to truly be at ease. It’s 100% possible.
Dr. Cindy Tsai is an award-winning, board-certified, internal medicine physician, bestselling author, mindfulness teacher, TEDx speaker and life coach who is committed to helping high-achievers live their best life with ease. She earned BA and MS degrees from Johns Hopkins University and MD degree from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. As a physician, and patient, Dr. Tsai saw and experienced the impact of chronic stress on the body and was compelled to do more than prescribe medications as a bandaid. Through her own healing journey, she explored and trained in a wide range of solution-oriented therapeutic modalities and now emphasizes taking an integrative approach to wellness. As author of the bestselling book, So Much Better: Life-Changing Strategies to Develop Calm, Confidence, and Curiosity to Become an Inspiring Success Story, she introduces a radical path to well-being, through creating the Inspiring Success Story MethodTM. This method offers clients a diverse range of mind-body-spirit techniques to expand the possibilities of achieving their dreams. Dr. Tsai has been nationally recognized, featured, and published in a range of media including mindbodygreen, US News, Doximity, KevinMD, Medium, and more. She is grateful to share her expertise and passion to guide as many as possible in the journey of self-discovery to recognize the importance of self-care as a wellness practice to lead and enjoy a life of ease. Learn more at https://cindytsaimd.com and follow her on social media @cindytsaimd (LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube).
This article originally appeared on Women of Dartmouth INSPIRE (here) in September 2022.
#mystory #healing #integrative medicine