ROAD TO RECOVERY
Posted 25 October 2010 - 07:32 PM
Road to recovery
Stressful events created an IBS condition of loose stools, rectal pressure, nausea, dizziness, severe bloating, huge weight loss and food intolerance in August 2008. My food intolerance was mild initially, but worrying about “losing” even more foods seemed to make it worse until by Feb 2009, I could only tolerate boiled rice, boiled chicken, and boiled green vegetables.
My personal analysis established that I had developed sensitivities to PRESERVATIVES (I could eat nothing from a can or packet), WHEAT, LACTOSE, FRUCTOSE (the sugar in fruit and vegies would go straight through me), AMINES (found in aged cheese, dark chocolate, overcooked meat etc) and SALICYLATES (found in almonds, peppermint tea). Of all these, wheat was easily the most toxic to my body.I felt certain that my own anxiety was contributing to this, but I couldn’t see how to fix it.
Then in March 2009, I became aware of a condition called TMS (Tension Myositis Syndrome) and borrowed a book called “Healing back pain – the mind body connection” written by John Sarno. I didn’t have any back pain, but the principles in the book were evidently extremely relevant for IBS. TMS occurs primarily when the subconscious mind tricks you into thinking you have an injury and consequently creatng physical pain (eg IBS) as a distraction from repressed anger or emotional/psychological pain.
I gave my subconscious mind a name - Esther and I will refer to everybody else’s subconscious mind as Esther from hereon.Before I could access the book, I began to read stories on the net about how people’s minds could be instrumental in causing pain. I read a story about how somebody had been suffering a disabling back injury for 19 years. He saw a doctor who told him that he was honouring the "Volcano God of Pain" and the more he succumbed to it, the more the God of Pain would want. Its about how pain, and fear of pain, produces MORE pain and how our body has memories.
So, by the time I got the book I was very hopeful..I read the book and adopted the following principles for myself:
1. I tell myself that my gut is normal and that there’s nothing physically wrong..
2. Whenever I feel gut pain (shortly after eating), I shift my focus to something psychological like a current concern or problem. In other words, attribute the pain to something in the head (Esther) rather than something wrong in my tummy. That sends my brain a message that it is head related, not body related, and that I am not deceived by the pain.
3. Instead of feeling a helpless victim, take charge. Get mad at Esther and tell it I’m not putting up with this pain deception. (Sometimes I would feel pain come on suddenly, so I would yell angrily ‘Stop it Esther, I know what you doing! I know this isn’t real!”).
4. When I feel pain coming on, I’ll laugh. I’ll laugh my head off if I have to. This will send the opposite message to Esther particularly when it thinks it has succeeded in creating pain (ie pain and laughter don't mix).
5. Discontinue medication. By dismissing supplements as a cure, I renounce the fact that something is structurally wrong.
6. Remember that TMS is a trick that my mind is playing on me, don’t fall for it. By laughing at or ignoring the pain, I am teaching the brain to send new messages to my gut.
I remind myself daily that TMS is a harmless distraction from emotions/anger; that there's nothing to fear, so eating is safe; that I will not be concerned or intimidated by the pain; that I will shift my attention from the pain to the emotional issues; that control will become mine (ie my conscious mind), NOT Esther’s; and that I must think psychological at all times, not physical.
Probably the most effective technique was laughing. Laughing at the moment I felt symptoms when introducing new foods (that I was previously intolerant to) was critical to my recovery. The symptoms would disappear within a couple of minutes. It gave me so much power and control.
When I was reintroducing new foods, it was a very careful process. I would introduce foods that I was slightly sensitive to first, and then worked my way up.By about the 3rd or 4th day I was feeling worse. I had been warned that it might happen as Esther puts up a resistance to change. The resistance was only brief and the following day I felt fine. Within a week of adopting the principles in this book and of another book called ‘The Power of your subconscious mind” by Joseph Murphy, I was on the road to recovery. And life has been completely normal ever since.
The only food I have refused to reintroduce is wheat. Wheat is poisonous to my body.
I am sure that there are people here that would benefit, but few seem to want to give it a try. Everybody seems to want to do tests and more tests on their gut or find a magic pill. Everybody is convinced that the fault is in the gut. Well, maybe in some cases the gut is malfunctioning, but nobody should underestimate Esther. Esther is extremely powerful. It is Esther that allows me to walk. I don’t use my conscious mind to think left leg forward, then right leg forward, etc, Esther does it all automatically. Esther controls my breathing so that I don’t have to use my conscious mind to think “breathe in , breathe out’ - its all done automatically by Esther. When I stop at a red traffic light, again its Esther – there is no conscious thought.
But, as powerful as Esther is, it is a slave to your conscious mind. Whatever you tell it to do, it will try an implement. This is the magic of placebo, that when you consciously believe something; it can happen (thanks to Esther).Though most of us know the wonders of PLACEBO, I think that NOCEBO (negative thoughts making us sick) could be responsible for some IBS illnesses on this forum.I think many of us already have the power of recovery – and its in our heads.
MY RECOVERY STORY ...... http://www.ibsgroup....535#entry810535
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