For an audio version of this blog post, please click below. Happy listening!
This last week I had a brilliant session with my microbiome specialist and coach. The type where you go in quite wishy-washy, questionable, and disconnected from the ‘why’ and come out re-inspired, confident, and centered. The three major shifts I was able to make were these:
- Certainty around my arrival to a new phase of gut healing and rebuilding. Membership accepted!
- Confidence and assurance in my practical knowledge around my functional medicine protocol and values
- The courage and strength to stand in my truth and take this blog post (and more to follow) in the direction of sharing what I am learning and putting into practice to build amazing life-changing health!
By far one of the reasons I’ve not felt worthy of sharing this information in the past is that I’ve told myself I don’t have the qualifications to justify it. Now please let me clearly state that this hasn’t changed.
Everything I share in this space is with the intent of creating a trigger or connection for others to investigate further; essentially creating awareness around information I wish I’d crossed paths with far earlier in my journey.
The second major reason for holding back has been on account of my delightful brain fog that comes complimentary and willingly with a severely compromised microbiome such as that housed by yours truly. It makes processing new concepts and information extremely hard work at times, but the good days are starting to rock and roll!
Back to my ‘unworthy and unqualified’ belief – when I think hard about this one I have no choice but to flip it on it’s head. I have to let it go completely, and here’s why:
Every single practitioner on my healthcare team has personally experienced the health shortfalls that I am day by day dissolving, and I value that as instrumental.
Beyond returning to full health they have gone on to study and practice as amazing professionals however this was not before enduring a version of my very own battle. I truly believe there is such depth in the wisdom and strategies from practitioners who have ‘been there, done that’ so to speak. Further to this, the practitioners who have been unable to progress my health or even make a diagnosis to build from, have lacked this background of first hand experience. They have also been educated and treated outside of the functional medicine realm – but that’s for another time.
So, in addition to re-inspiring my passion for the practice of my recovery (which is essential but also highly educational), the above three shifts have also ignited a movement in some of the content I plan to share going forward.
I have found education to be everything in my survival with chronic health as the pain is only relative to what you believe or know you are experiencing.
Enter example number one! Just three weeks ago I was feeling extremely confident and really quite stoked with the momentum of my recovery. My energy was up, symptoms were down, and I was even starting to think about taking on some new commitments. Without any major warning signs I fell into a deep hole of severe symptom flares – complete body fatigue, muscle pain and aches, extreme nausea, tedious cognitive fog, and fast cycling mood swings. Hello pity party! Only the invites didn’t quite make the post, because the support network of practitioners on my team with were able to educate me on the inner workings of my seemingly-horrible-but-maybe-not-so-much body. What I learnt was that my body had actually reached a stage of such great strength and resilience (for someone with chronic illness) that it was finally able to get the wheels moving and begin eradicating my Candida bacteria overgrowth. All the hard work I’ve been doing with restrictive diets, coffee enemas, moxibustion, acupuncture, and a multitude of other lifestyle changes is again yielding a result! Without this education factor, I couldn’t have possibly known this. In the past I would have labeled and spoken about this process as a ‘setback’ and I guess if I was looking at my exterior abilities and functions in isolation, then that is in fact correct. I was struggling to get out of bed, barely managing to cook meals, and would walk into rooms all day without any memory as to why I was there. However if I widen the scope and consider the abilities and functions taking place internally with my gut microbiome, liver, genetic pathways, and broader lymphatic and nervous systems, well then it’s far from what I would label a setback – maybe just one big confusing game.
The same can be said for my ability to stick with my extreme diet requirements throughout this gut healing and rebuilding process. Without the education around the functions or triggers of the foods I am including and avoiding I’m pretty sure it would be near impossible to have the unwavering discipline I’ve seen. Whether it’s because they are foods that would feed and nourish the survival of the pathogens I’m working hard to kill, or have properties that stimulate my nervous system or slow down either stage of detoxification in my liver, it all links to the outcome I’m shooting to achieve.
When educated around the process the focus shifts from a matter of willpower to the placement of priorities.
Whilst I’ve established that self-education is a game changer in my recovery, I’ve frustratingly also found it incredibly difficult to source. I’ve quite literally felt like I’ve had to dig, uncover, and unearth each step (at times) as if I’ve been on some nightmare treasure hunt for 10 years. Whilst in these circumstances it can be extremely easy to pile up the negatives, there is a gorgeous and positive association too; the delightful irony of how my most significant progress is sourced from nutrients grown in the earth and blissful time spent barefoot upon it! Perhaps highly appropriate book ends to my wellness story!
I am really excited about sharing my personal recovery gems going forward as I unearth them in ‘real time’ and discover higher levels of wellness – a qualification you cannot study to obtain.
Golden resources I found to kick start my gut healing journey:
- Gut and Psychology Syndrome, Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride MD, MMedSci (neurology) MMedSci (nutrition) – Purchase Here
- A Quirky Journey Podcast – Listen Here
- Bioscreen Faecal Analysis Test – Read Here