Healing Series: EFT And Tapping

Brain iconAs many of you know if you’ve been reading this healing series, I vowed to keep an open mind in my healing and I started tapping using EFT about 18 months ago.

I progressed to WHEE, a hybrid form of EFT and EMDR, a classic trauma release technique that P used to use in the clinic very successfully actually. Always felt a bit ‘woo-woo’ to me, if you know what I mean, but it definitely helped many, including me for a phobia I had of driving past big structures – odd, I know!

Also, I just love saying: “I am WHEEing” when P tries to talk to me or “I WHEEd on that”. Little things.

You can read an awful lot about tapping, watch many videos on You Tube etc and the nicest thing about it is that you can do it yourself. I do it all the time and there is no doubt – placebo or not, and why not?! – that it definitely helps to allay a starting-symptom or dampen one down. You can read more about how I use it here in my 4 Steps to Healing So Far post.

Anyway, I always listen to stuff like this now – again, part of the healing is to listen to success stories – and I see Eileen over at Phoenix Helix has interviewed a nutritionist who discovered EFT helped her to heal and who now uses it with patients.

I will be incorporating teaching people to WHEE in my own clinic appointments soon, I hope so watch this space. Meantime, listen to this to learn more about someone else used it to heal:

EFT with Dr. Anne Merkel

Hope it helps, thanks Eileen.

It Takes Dedication, But You Too Can Do It!

Brain iconAs you know, I’ve always got my eyes open for stories where people have successfully turned around chronic food-related ill health to share with you for inspiration.

Many of you follow Low Histamine Chef Yasmina who has uses a similar approach to the one I am now following myself and advocating as a healing strategy for us – less emphasis on avoidance, more on calming the amygdala, changing conditioned Pavlovian-like physical and mental responses, and nourishing the body in lots of different ways.

However, her recent post detailing her daily schedule was quite humbling. It shows just how much she does and how little I do in comparison; it’s a real eye-opener! But, it worked for her so it made me think: maybe I – we – have to get off our bums and apply ourselves a little more?

Yasmina does about 4 sessions of meditation/visualisation/self-hypnosis a day and an hour or so of yoga, plus ‘present moment’ meditation as she does normal day to day stuff like washing up etc. Phew. That is a lot. Not all of us have the type of day that can be structured into that kind of schedule – many of us have kids, full-time 9-5 (or 8-7!) jobs and many more demands on our time. But, maybe we can take a leaf out of her book and at least step up what we are doing to help ourselves?

Before I moved recently to Cornwall – for me, a crucial part of my healing path has been moving to a healing environment – I actually did have quite a similar structure in place; it was like a full-time job. My mind was on it all the time; it was quite exhausting but I was feeling better and started to get lesser reactions, so I know this works. But, there’s no getting around it; it takes a lot of time and dedication to get well, to turn down that inflammatory and reactivity dial, to stop the mental food-fear chatter, to end the eternal focus on ‘will I, won’t I react?’. But do it we must if we want to stop the ever- expanding avoidance of food groups I see every single day in my work with you all.

Have a read of Yasmina’s schedule below, then, and see if there’s anything more you could be doing. I have had a good kick up the proverbial and will be stepping up the meditation myself from today. Thanks, Yasmina, for the kick and the inspiration!

A DAY IN THE LIFE: MY FOOD AND EXERCISE SCHEDULE

Read the rest of my healing series here and you can see a bit of my schedule here. It does evolve all the time as I refine it and find what works for me specifically, but you get the gist. Are you doing some of that at least??

Healing Series: Are We Putting Too Much Pressure On Ourselves?

Brain icon  A bit of musing for you today..

Sometimes I think we have to take a step back and look at how much we are trying to achieve with all our healing strategies. I wonder sometimes if we put too much pressure on ourselves and I am forever being asked: ‘When will I be better?’, ‘How long before I’m cured?’.

I watch people, as I used to do myself, constantly investigating routes, going down paths on a never-ending search for answers and what to do next. I certainly don’t blame people; as I said, I did it myself for years. I suppose I have got to the stage where I am fed up with doing that, weary of the constant thinking and searching, if you see what I mean? Part of my current strategy is to stop doing that and relax off a bit. Goodness knows if I will keep that up or go back to the constant enquiry, but I have to say, for now, it’s a bit of a relief to have stopped!

Is there such a thing as a ‘cure’ anyway?

As any practitioner worth their salt knows: firstly, we do not use the word ‘cure’ for legal reasons, but also because there is really no such end point, at least with chronic illness. There is only ‘getting better’ and achieving the level of life you and your own body can get to, if you see what I mean? Indeed, that might be fabulously healthy compared to how you used to be, and often is thankfully, but it may not be a total ‘cure’ or disappearance of symptoms, scans showing stuff fully gone etc etc. And maybe if that’s what you’re waiting for before you can say you are ‘better’ then you may be setting yourself up for a disappointment or, more likely, a never-ending quest.

Does that really mean your strategy’s not working? Of course not. I think many people put too much pressure on themselves to solve every little thing and trick themselves into believing they’ve somehow failed if they haven’t done so.

In my own case, for example, I am way better than I was a few years ago. Sure, I still suffer with ongoing symptoms and the dreaded diet restrictions to control them, but I do now have a life that is on an upward trajectory rather than a downward, scary spiral. I believe I am getting well, even if I am not there yet. In fact, I have come to realise that the sheer belief that I am getting well is actually helping me to get there. The mind is a powerful ally, used correctly.

Will I ever get to a total disappearance of those symptoms? Who the heck knows? I hope so, of course, but if I can take the pressure off myself of constantly striving and craving to be ‘better’ maybe I can heal that much faster anyway: the ‘acceptance’ we’ve talked about in previous posts. If I can accept how far I have come and just trust that what I’m doing to help myself will pay dividends in a better quality life in the future, or even accept that this is my life as it is now, then perhaps that should be enough?

Anyway, I am musing, of course! As usual, I am being influenced by my current reading. This time, the famous The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, admittedly a tough read, but the main thrust is to encourage us to concentrate on what is happening right now in the present, let go of the past and stop worrying about the future. I haven’t learned how to do it yet, but wouldn’t it be a relief if that’s all we had to think about? Just accept what is happening now and that it is happening for some reason we may not have a clue about, but stop worrying so much about it. A nice thought!

How do others see it?

On this subject, I see that Petra8Paleo has put together a fabulous post directing us to various bloggers’ who share their ups and downs on their healing journeys for us. I find it interesting to read some of the comments the bloggers make on why they do or don’t share their bad times. I have always done so. I have been criticised for it myself, in fact. However, my take on it is that I am always honest about the trials and tribulations of chronic illness. I hope that people will trust me that much more for being honest, even if it puts some people off. I do try to keep it positive but therapists and practitioners are all too human themselves and it would be very misleading to say that all in the garden was rosy all the time. That’s just not life, is it? Anyway, I think we gain strength and knowledge from the bad times as much as the good as long as we can see them for what they are – which is tough sometimes, I admit! In fact, most good practitioners have had to deal with the stuff they’re helping you with themselves; they’ve been there and worn, or are still wearing, the T-shirt. It doesn’t mean they don’t know their stuff; it means they can empathise more with you and make suggestions you may not have thought of yet.

Anyway, back to the bloggers..In the posts I’ve read so far, the over-riding theme is that maybe no ‘cure’ exists at all, but that doesn’t mean because you can’t get right to the nth degree, you’ve failed. You need to take the positives as they come, recognise them and keep on keeping on if that’s what you decide to do, or maybe just stop where you are and let go of the fight.

I always find other people’s stories useful and inspiring to read and I will normally direct you to positive ones to help you ‘re-set’ your brains’ neural pathways. However, sometimes a dose of reality from other people going through the same things as us somehow helps us feel less alone with it all and can show us that others accept the place they have managed to get to and help us to ‘let go’ of the fight a bit ourselves.

Have a read anyway if that helps you. Thanks to Petra for putting it together for us:

Healing Autoimmune

Paleo & AIP Specialists

I saw this list today of MDs in the US who wouldn’t laugh you out of the surgery if you said you were following an AIP (AutoImmune Protocol) type of diet:

Do Paleo-Friendly Autoimmune Specialist MDs Exist?

It made we wonder if we have many UK or even European-based doctors we could list? Perhaps we should start one. Or at least start a list of doctors who are knowledgeable about gluten related disorders?

I will start us off with Dr Rostami, of course, a Midlands NHS and private gastroenterologist who understands that gluten illness is not all about coeliac disease.

Who else can you name?

Ah, I Wish It Was As ‘Simple’ As That!

food iconAs a multiple food sensitive, I was pleased to read Dr Janice Joneja’s recent Q&A on identifying and managing food intolerance, written for foodsmatter.com. I have read and done Janice’s food elimination and challenge process myself and I agree wholeheartedly with her approach.

There’s just one problem: what happens when you remove the foods, except a few, for the elimination stage but then can’t get any of the ones you cut out back in?

Ah, Janice would say you then need to go on an elemental formula.

And therein lies the second problem: what if you can’t tolerate the formula either?

I know this sounds far-fetched, and of course I am aware this won’t happen for the vast majority of sensitive people, but it has happened to me and to at least 10 others I know. Bummer.

Elimination & challenge is by far the most effective, if achingly-tedious, way to find substances you are sensitive to. As I say in the title, though, I do wish it was as simple as that to find a diet that suits you, and it is for most, but for some removing the foods actually ends up restricting the diet even more. I snorted at the advice to replace the lost foods with nutritionally-equivalent ones. Of course, that is superb advice for most. For me: chance would be a fine thing.

In my case, I cut myself down to 20 foods I knew I was pretty much OK on – I thank goodness I didn’t go the whole hog and do the traditional lamb and pears approach! I stayed off them for about 6 weeks, from memory, because this was how long it took my symptoms to calm down. I felt fab and such relief.

I then took almost 6 months trying to incrementally add foods back in. I felt rubbish and reactive the whole time. I did persevere but then took the decision that it might be a good idea to stop  causing inflammation with the trials and maybe just let my body heal without all that extra stuff to deal with.

I tried to take supplements to support myself nutritionally but couldn’t get those in either, despite using my own grain and dairy free supplement master list. Neither could I tolerate any of the pre-digested formulas – most of them have corn in, a key allergen for me. It was the same for others I know too who took it as a lesser evil because they had even fewer foods than I did. It made them feel ill.

I have now been on this 20 foods diet of wild fish and some fruit and veg for almost 2 years. Oh dear.

A big part of me wishes I had never done the elimination in the first place. But then another part of me thinks: what choice did I have? Continue to suffer or cut the culprits out? You simply can’t carry on eating stuff that gives you pain all the time. But, equally, you can’t maintain such a restricted diet for so long either without there being consequences  eg. anaemia, nutrient deficiencies causing low glandular output such as hypoadrenals, hypothyroid etc, effect on bone, major fat loss – I now have to sit on a pillow whilst I’m typing (nice image, I thank you ;))

After about 6 months of the diet, I started becoming sensitive to my RO water. And that’s where the lightbulb went off (is that right?!). Sensitive to RO water? I don’t think so, matey; there has to be something else going on here, doesn’t there? It just ain’t normal to be this super-sensitive, is it? And off I went with exploring the new healing approach.

As I sit here today, I am still very much on that restricted diet but I am slowly becoming less fearful of food. Just today, I have introduced a new coffee, eaten an apricot and sprayed myself with magnesium spray. That may not sound much to you, but for me that is huge.

Anyway, have a read of the healing series if you are one of these people who seem to react to everything. Perhaps you need a different – or additional – approach?

Gluten E-Summit 2014 Review Freebie

As proGluten Summit Review 2014 3Dmised, I have now put the Gluten Summit 2014 article series into one document for easy peasy download. You can get your free 40 page review instantly by just clicking on the cover in the right hand column on the site, or here. I will also load it into Resources. I’m just too good to you.

In making this available, my hope is that newbies to TGF world can read it and understand they are not going mad, and that people with any form of gluten related disorder will use it to show their health professionals, friends and family they’re not going mad!

In practical terms, it gives tons of explanation, testing and treatment tips from the leading experts in the GRD field, and that, frankly, is invaluable.

 

Finally, a thank you to CoeliacsMatter.com for commissioning it and making me sit down and do it!

I hope it helps.

 

 

Gluten Summit: The Round-Up!

At last, I have come to the final part of the Gluten Summit series: the summary! What are the main conclusions? What can help us most practically in our day-to-day gluten lives? Have a read of the round-up piece here:

Gluten summit Gluten Summit Summary: What Have We Learned?

In this report, I have picked out the best nuggets from the four key areas: Overview, Causes, Diagnostics and Treatment.

To read the introduction to the Gluten Summit, see here. Catch up with the mini-series 1,234 and 5.

I really hope you found this series useful and that it will open some eyes to the real problem of gluten-related disorders and overturn some of the pervading – and frustrating – myths about gluten illness. It most definitely is NOT all about coeliac disease or gliadin, and the traditional gluten free diet approach falls woefully short for many gluten-sensitives. If we only get that key message across to more people, then I’ve done my job!

I will shortly be putting the whole series as a free download on the site and I hope people will use it as a sort-of gluten-related disorders ‘primer’ and will give it to dissenting or simply gluten-uneducated friends, family and health professionals when they need to.

Finally, thank you to CoeliacsMatter, who commissioned the series and made me do it!

Gluten Summit Series 5: Lipski and Shoenfeld

Gluten summitNumber five in the Gluten Summit series of reports today for you and the summary should follow sometime next week, then we’re all done!

Gluten Summit Speakers Series: What Did They Say?

In this report, Micki Rose focused on advice from a leading clinical nutritionist, Dr Liz Lipski and a world authority on autoimmune disease, Dr Yehuda Shoenfeld.

To read the introduction to the Gluten Summit, see here. Catch up with the mini-series 1, 23 and 4.

Enjoy.

Gluten Summit Series 4: Ford, Perlmutter & Amen

Gluten summit Number four in the Gluten Summit series of reports for you today, which is where we start to get the real practical advice – what do the expert clinicians do with their patients, I wondered…?

 

Gluten Summit Speakers Series: What Did They Say?

Up to now in her series reports, Micki Rose has focused on the generalists: the people with the overall view of gluten related disorders. Now, she starts to look at the field specialists: the neurologists, paediatricians, immunologists and gastroenterologists at the clinical sharp end who, hearteningly, agreed in approach much of the time.

First up: Dr Rodney Ford, gastroenterologist, paediatrician, gluten specialist; Dr David Perlmutter, neurologist, research scientist and Dr Daniel Amen, psychiatrist, brain imaging scientist.

To read the introduction to the Gluten Summit, see here. Catch up with the mini-series 1, 2 and 3.

Gluten Summit Series 3: Hadjivassiliou and Volta

Gluten summit Blimey, I just published number four in the Gluten Summit series this weekend and it reminded me I forgot to post number three for you! Here it is, and apologies for the delay:

 

Gluten Summit Speakers Series: What Did They Say?

For her third report (see here for the first, and here for the second) Micki Rose focuses on Professor Marios Hadjivassiliou (neurologist, gluten ataxia and Gluten Related Disorders specialist) and Dr Umberto Volta (Cardiology, internal medicine, immunology, focus on gluten illness and malabsorption syndromes)

Number four in a day or so to give you chance to read this one. Hope it helps!