Lyme disease, Chronic fatigue, Fibromyalgia, ME. There is a lot of it about. It seems to me that all these chronic illnesses are more and more prevalent. We have to ask ourselves, why? and how can we heal ourselves?
I contracted Lyme disease about a year and a half ago. I was really ill. The symptoms are debilitating. Headaches that went on for days and days, brain fog, heart palpitations, insomnia – I had weeks where I barely slept at all. Pain in my joints, strange rashes and, of course, chronic fatigue. Some days my Lyme disease symptoms were so bad, I could barely sit up.
I went to my GP. It was after my fourth visit that I finally got a blood test. It was positive. It is important to note that in the UK, we do not have a sophisticated test for Lyme disease. It is often missed. The Germans know how to test – but they know how to charge too. I was told that we could treat the symptoms but probably not the cause. I was desperate. I wanted to be well. Lyme disease mucks with your brain. I felt bewildered and unsure. I was scared too… Lyme disease doesn’t do much for your nervous system either.
And so began my long and often overwhelming Lyme disease journey. An exploration into holistic well-being. I had help along the way, some wonderfully generous people who shared their time, knowledge and love. But certainly, to begin with the road to heal myself was very very daunting….
I wanted to share what I found to be helpful and in what order I would do things if I had to start again….
GUT – your gut houses most of your immune system. If your tummy isn’t happy, you will not get well. This is the place to start. There are lots of different things that could be going on. You will need professional advice to properly address your specific gut issues but just as a starter, in my experience…..
- No sugar or alcohol (feeds the bad guys)
- No gluten
- Fermented food (feeds the good guys) Kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso – get those good babies down you. Every day!
- Herbs, herbs and more herbs.
- Garlic (crush 20mins before cooking, this allows the enzymes to get to work.) If you have Lyme disease or just want an immune boost, you can buy allicin, the active ingredient in garlic, as tablet form. Allicin has proved very successful in the treatment of Lyme.
- Onions. Ginger. Turmeric. More herbs! A wide variety of veg…. Oily fish. Omega 3s, magnesium.
- Collagen – is the body’s mending fibre. Collagen is especially important to heal the lining of your gut wall. Many people with Lyme disease, Fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, ME etc have leaky gut. Where the gut wall is compromised. You need collagen to mend this. The best source, 24hour boiled beef bone. Now, I am a vegetarian. A vegetarian who wanted to be well. So, I found a farm where the cows roam free and take years to mature. Organic and happy. https://pipersfarm.com/. I then made a vegetable soup and popped the stock in. I did this for a month x3 a week. After that I started to take a collagen powder made from fish skin which can go in smoothies and coffee and is tasteless…. https://www.barebiology.com/
Dr. Mary Pardee – a fantastic gut course. You will know what to do by the end of it. https://ww2.onecommune.com/courses/
REST – You will not heal if you do not rest. Your body is telling you that. Its why you are so tired. We are not supposed to be as busy as we are. This modern world is too much.
Meditate and then meditate again. Meditation is free. Experiment with different types of meditation. For those of you with a chattering mind, yoga nidra might be the thing. Meditation brings calm. It is in a calm state that our bodies can heal. Rest helps your immune system find the Lyme and kick arse. http://www.wildyogis.co.uk/yoga-nidra/
Sleep – as much as you can. Learn about good sleep habits and routine. If you can’t sleep, do yoga nidra
Stay off your phone as much as possible, without fail between 11pm and 4am. Huberman has much to say on this. Leave it downstairs at night!
TRAUMA – turns out, trauma is a bit pants. Physical or mental, it can have long term effects on your health. I have not yet met someone who has had Lyme disease that does not have a history of trauma. There are lots of amazing people offering different techniques. Find where you feel comfortable and do the work. There have been huge advances in the ways we can treat trauma. Read the incredible, THE BODY KEEPS THE SCORE. This will give you insight into the different methods and what might work for you.
MINDFUL MOVEMENT – Your body wants you to move. Internally and externally. Your lymphatic system depends on it. The lymphatic system is your sewage system. It gets rids of all the shit. Believe me if you have Lyme disease you want to get rid of the shit. A super, super gentle movement practice, if you feel up to it. If not, maybe lymphatic massage or dry brushing. See my face massage techniques… https://youtu.be/ZM_V3_KelpQ
Walking, in nature, ticks a lot of boxes…. http://www.wildyogis.co.uk/mindful-movement/
DETOX – Studies show that in the vast majority of cases, toxicity is a massive issue. It’s a modern world thing again. We have introduced so many toxins into our environment. The first thing about a detox is to get rid of the toxins in your environment as best you can.
For Lyme sufferers, it seems to be mold and aluminium that you need to really keep an eye out for. Aluminium is in most deodorants, check them. Ditch the foil. Check your pots and pans. Mold – that black stuff on the wooden windows and round your bath. You want to get rid of it. Avoid bleach. Go for cleaning grade vinegar. I would say that for all cleaning. Either bicarbonate of soda or vinegar. You don’t need anything else. Most cleaning products have shit in them that you want to avoid. Wear a good quality mask when cleaning and wash everything.
How do you get rid of the bad stuff already in your body? You need to love your LYMPHATIC SYSTEM. Movement, dry brushing and massage. Infrared saunas are brilliant. Activated charcoal can help detox as can chlorella vulgaris.
OTHER STUFF THAT HELPED IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER….
- Lyme disease hates Japanese knotweed. You can get that in liquid form but you must sort your gut out first or you won’t absorb it…
- Bio-magnetic pairing therapy – I found Faye Coulson. She was lovely…. https://www.fayecoulson.com/
- Patches – when you are not absorbing the things you need through your gut. The patches made a big difference to me quite quickly when I was really poorly. I went for a multi vitamin and glutathione. Glutathione helps with energy. www.patchworksuk.com
- Acupuncture, reflexology, reiki, breathing techniques.
- Mantras – I am healing. I used to say this to myself all the time.
- Visualizations – In my head. My body is a night club. The Lymes are a bit pissed and bolshy; a stag party. My Whites (white blood cells) are keeping an eye. The Lymes have been lost a little bit in the crowd but the Whites have them in sight now. Watching. Having had their fun, the Lymes decide to leave and my Whites – my bouncers, strong yet calm move to one side to let them pass. Thank you for coming, they say, smiling as the Lymes slink off into the darkness…. Then my bouncers, the Whites, return to stand firm and strong at the entrance, blocking it against another visit. They know what they look like now and won’t be caught out again. Now, that might seem a bit mad but the head is an amazing thing. If you can turn your imagination to help you stay positive, it can be really helpful…. I think that’s why the mantras help too.
I do not have any medical qualifications but I have done thousands of hours of research. I am an expert on my journey. I documented what I did and how I responded. I went down some dead ends and I spent all of my savings. You don’t need to do this. It is why I have shared this information. There are somethings that are worth the investment but there are loads of things that are free. Start with the free stuff and go from there.
You do need a level of ownership if you are to get well. This isn’t a trip to the doctors and a hand full of pills. This is ultimately a holistic approach to the rest of your life. We are all different. What we need to do in order to get well will be different. I suggest pausing and paying attention to your body. What is it trying to tell you. If you eat something and get stomach ache, probably best to avoid it. Listen to your body. If you document what is going on it makes this process much clearer.
Mostly, I think our bodies are overloaded; stress, diet, lack of rest, technology, toxins in our environment etc. No wonder our immune systems can’t cope. Everything is connected. All systems in the body, one informs the next in an intricate, magical web of communication. We become frustrated with our bodies and yet what we should be doing is nurturing them. They work so hard for us. Your body is just trying to let you know it needs you to change some patterns. Be kind to it, it deserves that.
“Listen to your body when it whispers and you won’t have to hear it scream.”
I do offer a consultation service. We can discuss what is going on for you and I can support you on your journey. We can put together an individual wellness program that works and is sustainable. You can feel well again…. You can heal yourself and it doesn’t have to cost the earth.
Neil Nathan – if anyone knows about Lyme disease, chronic fatigue, Fibromyalgia and ME, it’s this man. Toxic – heal your body
Bessel Van Der Kolk – The body keeps the score
Tara Brach – Radical Acceptance
Gabor Mate – When the body says no
Dr. James Gordon – Transforming Trauma
Podcasts – and people to follow on Instagram
Andrew Huberman @hubermanlab – the brain guy – neuroscientist
Dr. Perry – @stop chasing pain – the lymphatic guy
Dr. James Gordon – @drjamesgordon – the trauma man
Free Meditations and Movement Practice
WILDYOGIS YouTube channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpjoYdlFCScS7fw24ys0GFA/playlists
Tara Brach – Free meditations on her website https://www.tarabrach.com/guided-meditations/
Online Mindful Movement and Yoganidra
Booking via my bookwhen site