I'm not big on the diets du jour. One year they're telling you that fat is bad, Bad, BAD! The next year they're saying that well.....maybe not all fats are bad.....Maybe the problem is really sugar. And then the next year they're touting alkaline water. And vegetarian diets. And then Vegan. And then raw foods. And then they're saying that gluten is the culprit in all health problems. It's enough to make you want to say "Screw it!" and order a burger, fries and a beer!
I still pretty much feel that way, but I've had a first hand encounter with the inflammatory properties of wheat that made me sit up and take notice. For reasons which remain unknown to me, I developed bursitis in my hip. It became so painful that I found driving to work - a 4 mile journey - to be almost unbearable. And to make matters worse, I had a wedding to attend in Santa Barbara - a 5 hour drive.
I tried everything - acupuncture, herbs, chiropractic care, laser treatments, structural "massage" (OW!), yoga and physical therapy exercises. Nothing worked. I finally knuckled under and got a shot, knowing that all I could expect from it was perhaps 3 months of relief. And sure enough, 3 months later I began feeling it creeping back. I knew, though, that I wasn't interested in getting another shot - I wanted to get to the bottom of what was causing this.
I knew that there were those who espoused the elimination of all wheat from the diet saying that it caused inflammation. And one day, right about the time that I began feeling the pain return, I had a patient come to me with pain, who mentioned that she didn't eat wheat due to it's inflammatory properties. And then that night I happened to watch a special on TV with Dr. William Davis, author of "Wheat Belly", who advocates the elimination of all "seeds of grasses" - or grains, in everyday language. It seemed that everything was trying to tell me to stop eating wheat. Why not? I figured it wouldn't hurt, so I gave it a try.
Well, I started by eliminating all grains beginning in the middle of August. It's now almost 6 weeks later, and I haven't had any pain. I've added some quinoa and a little corn, (organic only) and I seem to tolerate those - at least in the small amounts that I've consumed. There may be reasons for some people to eliminate other types of non-wheat grains as well, and perhaps someday I'll decide to join those ranks. But in the meantime, I'm just overjoyed at being able to sit and relax and not be focused on my hip.
If you or someone you love has some kind of inflammation, you might want to try this approach and see if it works. You should notice a difference in 2-4 weeks.
Of course we believe our thoughts. After all, we think, I wouldn't lie to myself.
Really? Is that true? How about all those times you've told yourself something like "I can't do that. I'm too old", or "I'm too fat - no one would want me", or "If I don't do this perfectly, everyone will look at me as a failure." Are those statements true, or do they represent the way you see the world -- not necessarily the way the world is?
I think we're all masters of beating ourselves up, though we each have our own style of doing it. And yet, at the same time, we can all be wonderful friends. A friend calls and tells you how she's screwed up something awful and how she's a failure and she feels so ashamed --- and what do you do? You comfort her. You tell her that it's not that bad. Millions of people have screwed up just that way and yet life seems to go on. You give her warm words of encouragement.
Consider this possibility: Can you be as good a friend to yourself as you are to others? Can you be the holder as well as the held? The answer is, of course, yes. You can. Now....will you?
Two things I know of that can help us through difficult times are acupuncture and sound healing. If you want more information on sound healing, head on over to Tune In Tune Up.
Let's face it: stress is something we deal with on a daily basis - from the kids feeling sick to the boss demanding that we do the impossible, to an upset with a friend/lover/spouse.... We've been through all of them. Yes, money issues, relationship problems, grief, and even the driver who cuts you off because they were too busy on their cell phone to notice -- all of these are obvious stressors - the outer ones.
Then there are the inner stressors that might not be so obvious: We eat crappy food because we don't have time and we're hungry. And then on top of that, we eat that junk food in 4 bites - washed down with an ice cold soda. We stay up late watching TV and don't get adequate rest. And there's our "inner roommate" -- you know the one. (S)he is the one who never ever, ever shuts up - and the subject matter is always the same: You're not good enough. Or smart enough. Or skinny enough. Or young/rich/handsome/pretty enough....etc. All of these are our inner stressors - the ones that aren't obvious from the outside, but wreak havoc with our over all health and wellbeing.
So what to do about it? Well, the first step is often the hardest: you need to become aware of whether your thoughts and/or behaviors are contributing to or detracting from your health and happiness. This is hardest because we often do things on autopilot. So paying attention to our thoughts and behaviors takes us out of our usual patterns and asks us to do something different. At first we may want to beat ourselves up when we realize we've been on autopilot for the last few hours. However, I've never known anyone who has made positive changes in their lives because they've been beaten up - by themselves or by others. So when you notice that you haven't really been present, stop. Take a deep breath, and start to pay attention. Whether you think that what's happening is "good" or "bad", it is what's happening. And time is passing. Pay attention.
I've been practicing acupuncture and Chinese medicine for over 25 years, and this ancient wisdom never gets old. I love helping people feel better without the need for drugs or surgery.