New Focus Series, Part 1: New Year: New Us!

Welcome to 2014! Hope you had a fab festive holiday time and, like me, are rested and raring to go again. I must say I had a lovely break and realised how nice it is to just ‘be’ if you know what I mean.

So, as per my usual habit, I have been thinking about the new year and what to do with all that lovely blank time waiting to be filled. I LOVE new year: such promise and excitement. I am annoying P (who can’t get excited about new year at all???!) and am bouncing about full of resolutions and enthusiasm. Currently he has shut himself in his voiceover booth to hide from me. Oops ;). His loss.

Anyway, here are my musings. First, let’s see what we did last year and then, importantly, read about what happened to me recently and why I am shifting the TGF focus…

This is quite a long post but do read it. If you want a quick gist, here’s a summary:

The upshot is that most people are getting better with the TGF, Barrier and other healing approaches whilst some people need a step or two before they can do that. The focus this year will be less on giving you TGF info and talking about it, not least because the Gluten Summit, resources and plans have everything most of you need now, and more on finding out what those pre-steps might be.

Last Year: TGF

Last year in TGF, over 130,000 of you read the new 133 posts I added to the blog chatting about everything from the safety of silicone bakeware to new diagnostic guidelines for coeliac children, I continually updated the resources like the Barrier Plan, the TGF Supplements Master List and the Pinterest recipe boards, pointed you towards other useful stuff like the SCD stuff on the Resources page, closed the 1-1 consultations to allow more time and set up and chatted away on the Facebook groups, organised across-the-board 10% discount codes for you, set up the new US supplement store and YHB for more awkward supplies and spent a HUGE amount of time listening to and analysing every interview on the fabulous Gluten Summit. Currently, I am adding all the Cyrex lab tests onto the shop for you as well as actually building a new cloud shop with better download facilities. Phew!

My Health: Up, Down, Up…

Health-wise, I was up and down. The migraines halved in frequency and severity which was VERY welcome! I realised the impact the continual mouth infection was having on my ability to heal and, half way through the year, I resolved to focus on that. The infection didn’t seem to want to respond to any natural treatment at all and I felt I had to go conventional with dental tests and several courses of really strong antibiotics. Sadly, they never touched the infection and just upset my gut still further and I lost a lot more foods as we came towards Christmas. I am living proof that the gut flora is absolutely key to barrier integrity, as we all know, however I am one of those people who cannot even tolerate the probiotics to correct it.

Even the normally annoyingly-optimistic  person that I am became severely despairing at the end of last year as I became concerned about the ever-decreasing number of foods I had left and my nutrient levels were dipping making me very tired and just not functioning well at all. Happily, my natural bloody-mindedness kicked in and I resolved not to be beaten. I picked myself up, started a new approach and actually had a fabulously happy Christmas instead! More about this later …

Quick Review: Where Are We With TGF?

The original reason for setting up the TGF site was to raise awareness and basically log what I was finding out about gluten and grain illness. I am more than happy that awareness and acceptance seems to have mushroomed in the past year especially. The Gluten Summit, I think, will prove to be a defining moment in the shift in understanding about it. I feel I can stand down a bit now and point people to the wonderful resources – including mine, of course! – that just didn’t exist three years ago. In terms of treatment, I have explored, identified and even written the protocols needed to heal.

During the work on gluten illness, I realised that many people had multiple sensitivities to foods and chemicals and, for some people at least, this was probably caused by the zonulin upregulation from gluten in genetically-susceptible people. So, not only did the gluten have to be removed but the barriers had to be healed more effectively, thus the Barrier Plan was born. Happily, that has worked for a lot of people. I don’t think true gluten sensitives can ever go back onto the grains myself because of the zonulin increase that will happen again and cause the same barrier permeability issues, starting the whole cycle off again, but they can and do stop losing more and more foods. But that, of course, is dependent on being able to keep nutrient levels high enough to trigger healing, to lower inflammation and stop the auto-immune processes. What if you can’t do that, like me and, I know, some of you reading this? It needs a different approach.

Fact: Most gluten sensitives get well when they remove the grains and dairy, increase their nutrients, bring down inflammation and heal the broken body barriers: the TGF plan and wellbeing protocol plus add-ons in the Master list. Options 1 or 2.

Fact: Most multiple-sensitives get well when they remove the key allergens, lectins, saponins, cross-reactive foods etc and follow the Barrier Plan protocols to heal the barriers. It takes time, but they get there and most can put foods back in successfully. Option 3.

Fact: A small minority of hyper-sensitives can’t tolerate any of the what I term “ingestion therapies,” the supplements, broths, healing foods, meds etc, and are stuck in a downward spiral of sensitivity. This is a very scary place to be. I know because I am one.

My question for this year is: Is there a way we can use non-ingestion therapies to stop this spiral and move away from the avoidance approach? 

New Focus …

So, my new focus this year – not least because I need one! – is to think outside the box once again and explore non-ingestive approaches. I am a biochemically and naturopathically-trained medical nutritionist and, to date, we have focused more on the biochemistry side of things. Now, I am going to turn back to the naturopathic roots and look at more ancient healing methods that might help. The two approaches are not mutually exclusive actually and, as far as I see it, the ‘trendy’ functional medicine approach is based on exactly the blend between the two.

What Does That Mean In Practice?

Well, I don’t really know yet in truth! I have already started trying some approaches which bore definite fruit over the Christmas period for me. Up to about the 20th December, I felt very low. I realised the damage the antibiotics had done – and the mouth flared up 2 days after I finished them again anyway, thanks! – and I lost many of my staple foods. I had no idea what I was going to eat, nor how I was going to cope over Christmas with visitors, parties, people staying etc. I was dreading it. So, I resolved to change my attitude and just accept what was happening. To be honest, I was sick of worrying. I didn’t do anything formalised and I know how trite this sounds but every time I noticed a worry about eating something or felt a symptom like the mouth or muscle pain, infections, migraine, skin stuff etc, I just acknowledged it, told myself it was temporary, distracted my mind away from it and replaced the worry by thinking about cuddling my cat!

I must have done this about a hundred times a day. It was exhausting but I could feel something changing so I carried on. I grinned at myself in the mirror when I felt really bad. Did you know your brain can’t tell the difference between a real or fake smile? I remembered that from somewhere and used it. I felt a right prize Charlie but I did it. What had I got to lose?

I put all the recent lost foods back in. I just refused to lose them. I’m not saying the reactions didn’t happen. I’m not saying they weren’t horrid, although most were much milder than expected as I paid them less attention.  But somehow I coped with them better and that seemed to help. I didn’t feel so upset when I saw others eating all the Christmassy stuff I couldn’t have. I told myself the food I was eating was really good for me, was nourishing etc every time I ate. I still had reactions but I didn’t let them get to me as much as usual and generally I have felt much happier and less of a victim. I even managed to ‘think’ my pain down several times, which was very exciting!

I told you this sounds trite!

But I don’t care. Something has to change and I have learned just how much stress and our minds can have an impact on how we feel physically. I’m not saying that the symptoms are all in our minds – which I know many of our doctors would like us to believe! – but that I am starting to wonder if we can use our minds to change or somehow stop the reactions and encourage healing. It’s obvious we can use our attitudes etc to cope better but I wonder if we can actually use our minds in some way to trigger healing. P, as some of you know, was a very successful clinical hypnotherapist, and we saw many supposedly intractable cases change dramatically and I have been wondering for a while now if there is something in that for allergy and intolerance. True, we need to do the biochemical healing, increase nutrients etc but what do some people need to do before that to open a window into the body for healing, if you see what I mean? How do we get in there to get the work done? Do some people just simply need a radically different approach anyway? Have their bodies forgotten how to heal and how do we turn that switch back on again?

Anyway, I am waffling on and I think you get the point by now. In effect, I am changing the focus this year. I have done the ‘ingestion’ therapies for you – the TGF and Barrier Plans – and now am moving onto non-ingestion exploration. The first change will be to continue this positivity approach because it has really helped. Personally, I will be spending the next few months exploring and trying things to see how they might help and I will hopefully be able to report back to you with a formalised non-ingestion approach of a sort. I might not, but it has got to be worth looking at, hasn’t it?

This will probably mean I am quite quiet on the TGF front for a good while so bear with me. Most of you already have what you need on the site and I will help direct you of course. Thank you to those lovely people well-versed in TGF world and helpful on the FB groups – I am indebted to you for helping others and taking some of the heat off me and hope you will continue! Those of you who need the different approaches, just trust that I am working on it for us.

To start with, I need two things from you if poss.

First, if any of you have been using any non-ingestion approaches (ie. where you don’t take anything by mouth or skin) that has helped you, please do let me know. I am a natural cynic but I am suspending all disbelief for now and making myself open to different approaches. But ONLY tell me about them if they have genuinely helped lower your sensitivity levels, not just made you feel better, if you know what I mean.

Second: please be positive on the Facebook groups and comments etc. There are loads of places you can lament and despair but can we try an experiment and only be very supportive, helpful and positive on our TGF, Purehealth and Barrier groups, blogs etc? The vast majority of comments are anyway and I am proud of all the help and solutions you give to each other, but it’s worth making the point I think. I am and have always been eminently suggestible, and I do wonder how much talking about health problems all day every day has affected me over the years; we were actually warned about this possibility in training. And, if it can affect therapists like me, what effect could chat groups have?  It may be total hogwash but I quite like this new positive feeling and want to share it with you. (Blimey: it’s like an alien has taken over my head!)

Anyway, I hope that waffling helps you in some way. The upshot is that most people are getting better with the TGF, Barrier and other healing approaches whilst some people need a step or two before they can do that. The focus this year will be less on giving you TGF info and talking about it, not least because the Gluten Summit, resources and plans have everything most of you need now, and more on finding out what those pre-steps might be.

For those of you already getting better: fabulous and keep it up! For those of you who still need to get there: we WILL get better in 2014; I’m flippin determined!

Onward to a brand new year, let’s see what we can come up with 🙂

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23 thoughts on “New Focus Series, Part 1: New Year: New Us!

  1. Happy New Year – I’m curious to know how taking probiotics affects you – does that mean you cannot take any kind of probiotic – what do you suffer – how do they affect you. I find I am better on some probiotics than others so interested to see how they affect other people.
    Great article and it does seem the approach of mind over matter can work and basically well just sod it!

    • I can’t tolerate any supplements Janet not just probiotics. Get my usual reactions: migraine mostly. Like the sod it idea but I think it is a bit more complicated than that! I think it is more about acceptance than resistance but that is a gut feeling so far, excuse the pun!

    • Hi Micki – Have you ever tried Field Control Therapy (FCT)? Can’t say we are all out of the woods yet but really does seem to get out all those nasty heavy metals and toxins – but does take time. The more I read about the far reaching effects of toxins the more I am amazed that our bodies can function at all when they are so compromised. You do have to take homeopathic type drops but think they are just in water.

      I totally understand what you are saying – I stopped keeping a log of how I felt – just try and focus on the positives now – but far easier said than done when you are having a really bad day.

      Hope 2014 is a better year for you.
      Sharon

      • Thanks Sharon, no I shall look FCT up then. My list is growing nicely! Know what you mean about doing it on a bad day. Even I couldn’t do it with a migraine but I just accepted it would pass and worried about it less, then carried on a day or so later. The trick I think is not to get disheartened so much for me anyway so I don’t go into that despair spiral! It is helping me to tell myself it is temporary and will pass, which it does, of course. It’s just when they run together is the toughest isn’t it?!

        Update: just checked out FCT – is another of those bioresonance then drops therapies, of which there are many. I tried a version recently, with supposed water homeopathics, and reacted. Still ingestion although I do believe you can ‘send’ the remedies to someone without ingestion with some of the therapy types. Will look it up.

  2. Happy New Year! Sorry to hear about your problems before Christmas. I didn’t know that you had a problem tolerating probiotics – as I myself did. However, that’s changed now. I’m happily taking the bacillus coagulans (suited to histamine-intolerants) – at last! – and am nicely building up my daily dose. So what’s enabled this change? First, I was diagnosed with a heavy toxic metal burden; second, I was diagnosed with severe gut damage caused by antibiotics; third, I finally found a homoeopathic remedy to remove the toxic metals and repair the damage caused by the antibiotics. It’s taken a long time to find the correct remedy and the right dosage for my needs. (My homoeopath has been trying to help me with this for a long time – and we finally got it right.) I know you like the multiple homoeopathics made by Heels, but the right single remedy is far more potent; though it can be difficult to find it. A very short time (only a day or two) after I found the remedy suited to me, I found I could tolerate the probiotic; and since then more foods – and a great many more supplements – have entered my repertoire. So it’s onwards and upwards!

    Maybe in your case it would help to find a homoeopathic remedy to deal with the dental infections, though if they’re in the bone itself that isn’t going to help and the bone will have to be removed. It takes a very specialised dentist to do that. It sounds as if you also need a remedy to help detox the antibiotics. I’m sceptical about the success rate of being positive and wishing yourself well – positive affirmations never did much for me – and think you need to have somewhat stronger help.

    Whatever you decide to do, good luck with your proposals for the New Year.

    • Good points, thanks Anthony. Homeopathy is still an ingested therapy but a very valid one. And, just to clarify, I think it is much more about neuroplasticity, actually changing the brain’s neuron patterns than positive affirmations which, I agree, are of limited value, even if a good place to start! Thanks for your advice. I have noted it for myself at least and I am really glad you are moving forward at last. 🙂

      • Just re-reading this Anthony. Which remedy was it in the end out of interest then? I do agree that single remedies can be very powerful; as you say, it’s finding that right one that’s hard!

  3. Happy New Year! I just came over a book by Bruce Lipton (cell biologist): Biology of Belief. I think you will find it interesting!

  4. From Michelle at Foodsmatter.com:
    Just been reading this and wanted to wish you the very best of good luck with the new approach – which I think is an excellent one!! I am delighted that it is apparently already paying some dividends.

    Who am I to say who has never suffered from an allergic/intolerant reaction in my life but I do believe that there is something to be said for the ‘actually, mate, I am not going to let you control my life so just …….. off!’ approach. Not that it is going to instantly solve all problems but it just shifts the balance enough to allow in a few more solutions.

    In electrosensitivity terms, if I know that if I am going to be heavily ‘electrosmogged’ and there is nothing I can do about it, I now just resign myself to it instead of stressing about it on the basis that, so what, I might feel crap for a day or two but once I am back to my own nice electrically clean environment, I will recover – so stressing about it will get me nowhere – except more stressed.

    And yes – I had certainly heard that about the brain not recognising a phony grin from a real one – and logging into up-beat chemical mode in response to either. Go for the cheesy cat look!!!

    Mind you…… I still believe that mercury could be your underlying problem – but that is another story! Onward and upward for 2014!!

    • May well be, Michelle, but I can’t help thinking lots of people have mercury in their gob; the question could rather be why am I reacting to it so sensitively…?! What has gone belly-up to make me hyper-reactive to what should be copable substances in life? True: mercury is toxic as hell and will no doubt do damage but what is the difference between people who can cope with it and people who can’t? Is it all biochemical or has something else gone awry in the brain maybe? No flippin idea but interesting thought anyway. And I promise it’s not just cos I am scared of the dentist ;). I am planning to see Anthony’s dentist when I have saved up, promise. Meantime, thanks for your support; means a lot x

  5. Hello Micki
    You asked which homoeopathic remedy worked for me. Most recently I tried tetracycline 12C, which had some benefit – it enabled me to start taking the probiotic for one thing. But then I became intolerant of it, so I was put on calcarea fluorica 6X and it’s that which is now working wonders. I’m very sensitive to homoeopathic remedies, so although the standard dose would be three pillules in one go daily, I take only one. I’m told that, as this seems to be the best remedy for me, I’ll be on it for a long time…. But of course we’re all different so what works for me probably will do nothing for somebody else. That’s just how things are with homoeopathic medicine. Incidentally, I generally buy homoeopathics from Helios or Boiron. It’s weird but initially I tried the tetracycline from Ainsworth and reacted; then I tried one from Helios and was O.K. with it. It looks as if not all providers of homoeopathic medicines are equal.

    • Good tips, thanks Anthony. I tend to favour Helios myself but others swear by Ainsworth’s. Not tried Boiron but I know some of our Euorepan readers use those OK. Fascinating re tetracycline since that was the cause (meds wise not homeopathic) of my first ever allergy reaction when I was given it as a teenager! Fingers crossed for your continued Calc Flor then. I too react very strongly to homoepathics so with you there!

  6. Happy new year! This is great news Micki and totally agree with what you’re saying.

    I think it’s really important that the body is in a ‘healing state’ – only then can it totally relax and apply more energy to healing. As you say, other tools are readily available (huge thank you to you too!)

    I’m jumping up and down about this approach as I’ve dipped my toe in to some of these type of therapies and would love to learn more – hope you enjoy it along the way and grab some real benefits for yourself. These are my thoughts/ideas…

    I think diversion is key – diverting the mind or resting the mind and to just ‘be’. It’s the nature of the beast that we spend a lot of time and energy on our diet and health, we need to do this and learn but yes, it can take over a bit – at times it can be really exciting but it’s good to divert the focus as well. I guess, it’s all about balance, everything in moderation.

    These ideas are more about diverting the focus and relaxation so can help in the way they help relax the mind and in turn, the body (I hope I’m sharing the right sort of info and apologise for the length of this – can you tell how excited I am!!!)

    Love mindfulness, meditation and imagery/visualisations. An example of the mindfulness might be where you were thinking of how good the food was for you and then expanding on that, the colour, how it looks, when you cut into it, either during dinner or after, you might imagine it reaching the parts it needs to get to, you mention nourishing so feeding the organs, one by one etc… It takes a while to get into it but it takes the focus away from the negative, and keeps you in the present moment. It may be too much to do in one dinner (be cold before you finish LOL!) but you could always relax after dinner and visualise all the good things the food is doing as it travels through your body. Chocolate is a good one to do this with as it melts in your mouth and really hoping you can do that soon when you try it…good luck!

    Breathing exercises are very helpful and can be done alone or in conjunction with meditation. Eg. Breathing in for count of 4/5 and breathing out for 7/8, you can visualise and breathe in ‘relax’ and breathe out ‘pain’ imagining it flooding out of the body.

    Tai Chi Qi Kong – a gentle method of relaxation helps body systems flow/relaxation.
    Last year I checked out the Yoga DVD you mentioned on your site and it’s on my list for this year, it looks a good and gentle way you can dip in and out of too.

    Posture being really important for the digestive system means, in turn, this could all benefit us, how about Pilates exercises specific to us?

    I find booking time in for these is important and I keep an appointments diary – ‘achieving’ things/ticking off is positive, no matter how little or big that might be, then rewarding yourself too, although have to work on that! A bit like checking our progress eg. your symptom checker chart/scores, its great when you see progress!

    Music is a great diversion and dancing round the kitchen can do nothing but lift your spirits! I’ve actually been toying with the idea of buying a tambourine just to make it more fun! I’ve made up a ‘Feelgood’ playlist!

    Voluntary work is good depending on energy levels and time commitments, but helping others is a great thing to do (I actually think a lot of us on your TGF blog/FB groups naturally have this will and do this already – definitely with yourself and our FB friends  )

    Positive thinking is hugely important I agree and those affirmations are good and yes, I love smiling or laughing in the mirror too, if nothing else it makes me laugh at myself cos I look such an eejit!

    On my first and consequent visits years ago to America, I used to bring home ornaments with meaningful sayings (long before it took off over here – but you can buy a lot here now) and they will always hold special memories for me. One is ‘Find the wonderful in today’, I always try to do that. Another favourite is from the Amish country, a plate which reads ‘ Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain’ – I’ve seen that on something over here recently too. It’s all about surrounding yourself with things that make you feel good.

    I agree, acceptance is important – it really helps to calm the mind and body. If I get glutened I accept that this is going to take about 2 weeks to get through but I know what happens and I just have to go with it and do things like the above which all help, in conjunction with the things you suggest too.

    Reflexology is something I have a lot of faith in for healing and can target areas that need work on. Its amazing what you can learn or be amazed about in a treatment!

    Has anyone found reiki helpful?
    How about EFT may be worth a look?

    So a big YAY! from me and with dedicated info from you and sharing experiences – WOW, this is really exciting!
    A big THANK YOU for all you do and bring it on, look forward to hearing more and good luck for a healthy and happy 2014 with lots of progress, let’s all dance in the rain…there’s enough of it at the moment LOL !!

    • Wow Karen, what a wonderful list for me to go at, thank you. Funnily enough I made a Happy playlist CD two days ago and am now happily playing it when in the bath, making the beds, cooking etc. I linked each song to a really positive memory of when I was well – I have identified a 10 year period when I was well between 14 and 24 (apart from PCOS but no food issues or IBS up til then) and the songs take me back and I spend time remembering how I was and telling myself I will be like that again.

      Don’t think I can quite bring myself to have worded ornaments – I am a real minimalist decor-wise and P hates words on anything, lol! However, I have put a board up in my office with pictures of things that I can’t help feeling good at when I see them – one is of me watching cheetahs in Africa, another is of P standing on the deck of the ecocabin right in the wilds I took him to for his birthday and another is of B, my pusscat, hiding in my food cupboard and looking naughty.

      EFT is def on my list. P used to teach it and I used it in the past to get over a phobia. WHY have I not tried that before for food?!

      Thank you for taking time to write all that down – my list is growing even more!

  7. Hello yet again
    I’ve been following this post with great interest and thought it was time to chip in again.
    Firstly, maybe I’ve misunderstood the correspondent who seems to suggest that it would be a good thing to eat what you like whilst visualising how good it is for you and your pleasure in eating it. I don’t agree with this at all – and I’m sure that all the contributors to the Gluten Summit wouldn’t either. Eating what your body doesn’t tolerate would just increase inflammation and perpetuate your problems. Genny Masterman (“What HIT me?”) describes how she was able to subdue her histamine intolerance by going on a restricted diet and gradually introduced histamine-rich foods as and when she could tolerate them. I think that’s the way to go.
    Secondly, I don’t know if Micki has amalgam fillings or root fillings but either will be poisoning the body. For a concise description of the harm modern dentistry can do see Graeme and Lillian Munro-Hall’s “Toxic dentistry exposed” (available on Amazon). Nobody can heal if there are toxins constantly being released into the body.
    Thirdly, I totally agree with having a positive attitude and exposing yourself as much as possible to whatever gives genuine pleasure and lifts the spirits. That probably means avoiding newspapers and the T.V. news. In fact I recommend avoiding T.V. altogether and for entertainment just watch whatever dvds make you feel light-hearted or make you laugh. (Who said that laughter is the best medicine?) Or just go for a walk in the country whenever you can. It’s well-proven that being among trees and plants benefits the immune system.
    I’ve tried Thought Field Therapy without success: and was told that it doesn’t work for everyone. I supposedly had a “blockage”, but who knows what. As TFT is basically a sort of needleless acupunture, the lack of success shouldn’t have surprised me. I have it on good authority that acupuncture has too limited a view of the human energetic system. My experience bears that out. For several years I had acupuncture, believing it was doing me good because it made me very tired and relaxed – but then so do some pharmaceuticals. The last time I tried it was for a certain physical problem: the symptoms were aggravated for a week or so before I reverted to the status quo. It could have been what some therapists like to call “a healing crisis”, but which I call a bad reaction. A word of warning. NEVER have acupuncture for a digestive or stomach problem. I did that several years ago and subsequently was unable to eat at all for a few days, then subsisted on lettuce leaves for the next couple of weeks until the diet I’d had before the acupuncture gradually returned.
    Finally, I thoroughly recommend yoga. Especially if you can find a teacher to give you private lessons which are suited to your needs. (For example there are certain postures which tone the digestive system.) Yoga classes always include a meditation which, together with certain postures, helps to boost the immune system. (Of course anything that reduces stress helps the immune system.) T’ai chi definitely needs lessons – cheaper in a group – but I found it a bit stressful because it was so difficult to remember all the subtle movements in the right sequence. Qi gong was better: a bit like attending a keep fit class. But best of all I prefer yoga. That’s horses for courses naturally. What works for me may not be to everyone’s taste.
    That’s my pennyworth. And I’d like to add my thanks for all the great work Micki is doing on our behalf.

  8. Great idea about the CD Micki. I like that one too! Be good for the car as well.
    Pics sound good and you don’t need words, the pics speak for themsleves eh! 🙂

    Not sure Anthony, were you referring to my comments on visualisation whilst eating? If so, my apologies if they weren’t that clear and if not, then this may help to explain what I meant anyway or it may just confuse things further..LOL!

    On no account was I suggesting anyone should eat anything they like (I’m cringing at the thought…:-/ ) and would NEVER suggest they do it with any gluten foods – arghhh!! So, sorry if that was a bit misleading! What I was trying to get across was how much we can enjoy the food we do eat (sometimes it may be a chore to eat when limited a lot or suffering?) and by visualising like this it can keep our minds in the present (ie. what mindfulness is all about) especially if we need to stop focussing on our body/any symptoms that may be going on for whatever reason. Sometimes it’s good to take yourself away from it all for a bit yet I know we have to listen to our bodies too, so like anything, you’re the boss of your bod and will know what works for you!
    I’m not a specialist in it and it is probably something for individual tastes (pardon the pun), just an idea bouncing around. I suggested the chocolate as I wondered if it may be interesting if you were thinking of reintroducing a food to do this when actually eating it to help relaxation – rather than be thinking about if it’s affecting you at that moment in time (which can be a worry, in turn causing the digestive system to stress a little) – and you will notice any effect after the actual eating anyway? Again, down to the individual…hope that clarifies things a bit. There are loads of websites for anyone not familiar with mindfulness and lots of free meditations/clips etc – I could never explain it all here (and I don’t know it all!) but hope I have introduced it…
    Agree with you Anthony, Tai Chi itself can be a bit taxing, I have a couple of intro DVDs to Qi Gong though, which I find quite gentle but they are short and more about relaxing, moving the body and very gently stretching. So much out there.
    Great post Micki and good to hear everyones views.

  9. Some great and really useful comments on this post from you, thank you! I definitely fancy trying the Qi Gong then (recommended DVDs then???) and some yoga and I am trying to walk by the water near us every day as time allows as I agree, Anthony, it is really helpful and I do some music listening or visualising as I am doing it. There is something about movement with visualisation I believe that makes it ‘go in’ more.

    Michelle from Foodsmatter.com, is at this very moment sending me her favourite yoga nidra meditation designed for ME sufferers which I am looking forward to trying. She has written about it here: http://www.michellesblog.co.uk/yoga-nidra-the-way-to-meditate/. I’ll let you know how I get on. Keep the suggestions coming in 🙂

  10. Oooh, just looked at the link, that sounds interesting Micki, look forward to hearing how you get on. May even give it a go too! Unfortunately, my Qi Gong DVDs are not available to buy :-(, one being done by a local tutor a while back (that he made up for his class) but I will look into it to see if there’s something similar available! Interesting to hear your comments about the visualisation with movement – will try that again, I only did it a few times ages ago and had forgotten about it so will def give it another go! Thank you.

  11. […] the start of January, you will recall I wrote a long post about our new non-ingestive healing focus in TGF World. It’s now almost the end of March so […]

  12. […] so here we are with the next part of the non-ingestive healing methods series. You can read Parts 1 and 2 here if you need to catch […]

  13. […] to Part 4 of this new focus series. If you need to catch up, you can read parts 1, 2 and 3 […]

  14. […] So, a useful exercise and I started to look at the effects of trauma, and specifically childhood trauma, on sensitivity syndromes. You can read more about that in the original New Focus series starting here. […]

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