Lost, Sad, Fearful, Flat, Negative? Two-Step Programme for Happiness.

I’ve felt all of those at some point or another and certainly when I was feeling really poorly most of the time. You can’t help but feel sad, fearful and negative when every day seems to be a struggle, can you? We’re only human.

What I learned was the the brain can easily get stuck in a negative-thinking loop; you think negative things and it becomes a deep neuroplasticity groove and you just become more and more sad, upset and fearful. It’s a fact of life that our brains can do that; we are primed to look for danger, but when it goes too far, you need to know you can stop that subconscious habitual loop and break the circuit. When I learned that – which, trust me, took a while! – it gave me such hope. I had something to focus on and do practically to help myself. I immediately became less of a victim.

Sure, it’s not as easy as taking a pill and it takes time and commitment but ultimately you end up as a much happier, more joyful, positive, strong and grounded person able to withstand life’s wobbles much more than you ever could before. I know because the latest ‘life wobble’ for me has only served to show me how strong at my core I really am now. That sounds so trite, I know, so forgive me, but ’tis true, so there😉

Anyway, today I have updated the Stress, Anxiety and Depression Factsheet in the A-Z for you. I’ve been meaning to do it for ages. I’ve essentially recommended a two-step programme for you to follow to turn yourself around, much like I did.

The reason I’ve been spurred on to do it now is that I see the programme is on a really good offer until 5th December so save some money whilst you can! 

Here’s a bit of what I’ve written on that – now pretty long! – Factsheet:

Two Steps To Happiness

My recommendation for you is two-fold. I found this kind of combination therapy is the best approach as they work in different ways. 

First, seek out therapists who will help you, such as ‘our Julie’ on the Support Team, who helped me enormously. Preferably find someone who will do a mix of CBT and clinical hypnotherapy so you are really getting to the nub of what’s going on and can release any underlying subconscious and therefore hidden keys.

Have a free session with Julie and/or go the DIY route to start with at least until you feel ready for more. Download one of her self-hypnosis audios and do it every day for a month, then see where you go from there. 

Next, I also recommend this Foundations of Wellbeing Programme. It’s written by Dr Rick Hanson, who actually wrote Hardwiring Happiness and the Buddha Brain. I don’t actually like his written stuff that much, but this programme is fantastic. Click on the image for more about it.

 

 

It’s essentially a year-long programme that you work through to help un-do habitual ways of thinking and, most importantly, develop strength, joy and resilience instead of the negative bias our brains are primed for.

I know you think you’re not doing that: that’s what I thought! But, trust me, the subconscious has you by the short and curlies and part of the process is that you don’t know it – it’s subconscious, not at the conscious level, so why would you?! Took me ages to admit it.

Anyway, it is a brain science-based programme with talks and lectures from some of the best in the field, exercises for you to do and loads of stuff. I did it and found it excellent. I recall actually being astounded and crying at some of the content even in the first talk. I thought: blimey, these people have just described me. It made me feel less alone with it. 

In essence, if you feel sad, anxious, flat, wobbly, lost or out of control in any area of your life, do this. It works.

Read all about it here. Rick is definitely NOT in this for the money; he actually refunded mine as a gift for the work I do to help others, which he really didn’t need to do. That is a kind person.

OK, so this is for people who feel sad, negative, fearful, lost or basically unhappy mainly. Don’t continue feeling like that, please.

Do one or preferably both of these steps and think how much better you could be feeling in a few weeks but certainly by the start of 2018! You simply couldn’t give yourself a better start to 2017, so sort it out, treat yourself and feel better step by step.

Good luck x

Who’s A Lucky Girl Then?

I am🙂

After a week of feeling upset, sad and, frankly, ready to quit Purehealth for good, I have discovered how really, truly lucky I am.

One: I have a strong core that is not easily shaken by life now. This is very much in contrast to how I used to be. When I was in my early twenties, I was as strong and confident as an Ox – until I had a bullying boss who ground me down and staff problems in the shops and offices I was running for Holland & Barrett. My resilience took a bad hit but it eventually came back up, although never to full strength again.

This last week, I had another work knock-back and I found the way I thought about it was entirely different. Suffice to say, my resilience is back to my early twenties’ levels and probably even stronger. The work I’ve done with meditation, neuroplasticity and, not least, the treatments with Julie, have clearly not only put me in a really good healing state, it has made me much stronger at my ‘core’. If you have a strong core, (a bit like Pilates!), not much is going to make you fall down!

I suppose if this latest ‘challenge’ hadn’t happened, I would not have known my own strength, so I accept the issue as a Universal message I was meant to get and am thankful for it. Now. It did take a few days😉

This actually ties in with a post that popped into my Inbox this morning from Rick Hanson. I’m sure he won’t mind me copying it here for you – it’s on his newsletters which you can subscribe to here. In fact, I will be talking again about him funnily enough in a day or so because I’m adding his programme onto the Stress Factsheet, so more of that anon..

What can you do when you’re shaken?

I’ve been to New Zealand, and really respect and like it. There’s a Maori term – turangawaewae, “a place to stand” – that I’ve come back to many times. 
I’m sure I don’t know the full meaning of the word in its cultural context. But at a basic level, it’s clear that we all need a place to stand. A physical place to be sure – hearth and home, land and sea, a bed to curl up in – but also psychological or spiritual places, such as feeling loved, a calm clear center inside, knowledge of the facts, compassion and ethics, and realistic plans.  
This is our ground, the place we rest in and move out from . . . even under the best of circumstances. And when you’re shaken by events at any scale – from changes in your health to changes in your country or world (here’s a recent post you may find relevant: Take Heart) – then it’s especially important to find and hold your ground.

How?
Start with the body, and the feeling of being here. The sensations of breathing . . . heart beating . . . going on living . . . feet on the floor, back against a chair. Whatever is true now can never be taken from you.  
Then, silly as it may seem, it can help to reassure yourself about the immediate survival and welfare of yourself and those you care about. Check in with your kids, your friends. Separate thoughts and fears about the future from the reality of the present. Remind yourself that at least in this moment you and they are still basically OK (of course, only if this is genuinely true).
Know that you stand in a web of relationships even if it’s tattered in some ways. Others do care about you. There is camaraderie with people who are also shaken. 
Establish as best you can the relevant facts. What is currently true? What caused it – particularly the causes that will continue? What is likely to happen in the future? But watch out for obsessing, blaming, or catastrophizing. When things are shaky, it’s easy to get revved up in thoughts and analyses, let alone imagined arguments with people on Facebook or TV (speaking from personal experience).  
Sort out the impacts of events on you, and on others. Be concrete and realistic about consequences for yourself; don’t under- or over-estimate them. Also recognize any sense of injustice, moral outrage, compassion, or concern about how others will or could be harmed. This is often the most upsetting aspect of a situation, and naming it to yourself is clarifying and grounding, and sets you up to do something about it. 
Not an easy thing, but in a way the art is opening your heart to the likely suffering of others while closing your head to those who are trying to get into it to rattle, frighten, infuriate, or confuse you.  
Start figuring out what you are going to do in three areas: 
* Personal practice – Stand in what feeds you. Like petting your cat, making soup, meditating, loving others, or giving thanks. Guard your attention; disengage from news, websites, or interactions that add little value and mainly just upset you. 
* Protecting your own interests – Focus on what’s in your control. If these apply: take a fresh look at your health, insurance, finances, loose ends, and plans for an emergency. Make a list and work through it. Personally, I find that action eases anxiety.  
* For the sake of others – Without falling into righteousness, I think it’s important to be confident about what you know is true and about your values. Why is it that the people who are most ignorant of the facts and most casual about how they’re harming others are often the ones who look most assured, whether it’s across a dining table or on TV? Claim and stand your ground with moral confidence. Not wasting time in dead-end arguments or “feeding the trolls,” but identifying actions that will make a difference – at whatever scale is accessible to you – and then doing them. 
Last, know you are not alone. Whatever you are dealing with, from a personal health problem to a worry about a child to a deep concern about global events, other people right now are also dealing with it or something similar. We stand together on common ground.

And that brings me onto number two of how  lucky I am:

Two: I have a community of friends and ‘family’ in Purehealth who bring me even more strength and have my back. This week, they have demonstrated it wonderfully to me.

Christine (Facebook & TGF Supplement woman) and I have been noticing that the groups were quieter than normal for the past few months. So, I asked if people wanted us to keep the groups going or were they getting their support and answers from elsewhere -which I truly don’t mind, but I didn’t want to keep the groups going if they weren’t needed or being used anymore.

Had we had our day, I wondered, should I start shutting up the groups and think about winding Purehealth up after more than 25 years if I am no longer needed? Had I done my stint? Had others surpassed what I could give maybe?

I wasn’t prepared for the answers, and they actually made me cry. I’ll share a few here for you; again I’m sure they won’t mind:

“Please don’t close Purehealth. You offer us all so much and it would be devastating if Purehealth didn’t exist any more. Whoever or whatever upset you is getting a virtual punch in the face lol!! 
“You gave my daughter her life back Micki. She’s gone from not able to get out of bed to 4 A levels and a little job as a waitress!!! I tell everyone about you. If you ever feel like that again – send me a message!!!! You are an incredible person who changes lives xxxxx
“Ooh no, please don’t close this group!! You all feel like family and the info, help and support it provides is invaluable.

“Noooooooooo – we need you!

“I’m sorry your thinking about closing Purehealth and I hope it doesn’t become a reality as you have considerably helped me in getting my life back on track and turning a major corner and I am sure I am not the only one who would be deeply affected by it’s departure.
 
“Your work on PureHealth is such a great resource for so many people – it has so much helpful information, all on one website. It’s brilliant… I hope you know how much appreciation there is out there for you and your work – maybe we haven’t shouted it loud enough – so . . .
THANK YOU!!! 😊
 

“Oh, Micki, it would be such a loss if you were to close Purehealth completely. Practitioners like you (open-minded, caring, knowledgable, willing to take a risk and explore new avenues of healing) are so rare and hard time to find these days. And this group is such an important meeting place for those of us struggling with chronic and autoimmune disease. I have several groups that i belong too and learn from, but this is my most important one. .

“This is a lovely community and tremendously helpful to each other. Which is all thanks to Micki and her knowledge, publications and caring, compassionate practice.

“..please keep the group open. So fantastic info that I would struggle to find anywhere else and lots of great support

“No way baby! This is my secret group of Truly smart people! (TSP) That’s why you keep it small, there are so few of us, right Micki?

Gulp. That was just a few of them. That told me!!

I think I had better carry on then. Onward – and with renewed vigour, strength and determination to make it better than ever.

Thank you all so much. I am truly a lucky girl🙂

Clinic Update: Team Change

Just a quick message to let you know that Victoria is no longer working with us at Purehealth with immediate effect. I will be taking everything back over from today – bear with me as I’ve now got her emails and my own to do and in the next few days, I’ll gradually put it all back together under me again.

Thanks for bearing with me🙂

High-Dose Heartburn Meds Linked To Stroke

HEARTBURN MEDICATION LINKED TO STROKE

Proton pump inhibitors treat heartburn, but according to a study these drugs increase people’s overall stroke risk by more than 20%.   A popular category of heartburn medications – including Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec & Protonix – may increase your risk of stroke, a new study suggests.  The study lead author is Dr Thomas Sehested.   But the risk appears to be driven by people who take high doses, added Sehested, research director at Danish Heart Foundation in Copenhagen.

You can see more about this study here.

This is not good news, is it, considering how many people are on antacids and PPIs (proton pump inhibitors)? I keep coming across more and more people on them and I do wonder what is going on with this rise.

My own view, for what its worth, is that our stressful lifestyle and relatively poor, low nutrient diets are at the heart of it, if you pardon the pun.

Not having the right nutrients means less stomach acid production, especially as we get older – which I know sounds mad when you’ve got high acid symptoms, but trust me, the vast majority of people having gastric issues have LOW stomach acid and not actually an over production. It’s mad, but true. See here on my Low Stomach Acid page.

And, if that is the case, taking antacids and PPIs are SO not the right answer – they will in fact just push your nutrient absorption down even further (hence things like stroke risk, osteoporosis etc) and leave you vulnerable to infections like candida and bacterial overgrowth.

Your stomach acid is there for a reason!

image of inflamed stomach in man   However, in some cases, albeit much less common than you would think, it genuinely is over-production. In those cases my first port of call is to check for Helicobacter pylori (the most common cause of high acid/GERD) with a stool or breath test. In fact, I am getting asked about it such a lot, I have just listed the DD CSAP3 gut stool test we know and love with H pylori included for you to make life easier. That way, we get all the usual gut info and that.

Interestingly, you have to be off antacid meds for two weeks for a breath test but only two days for a stool test – I had to look that up for someone just yesterday which is why it’s on my mind. The poor person was suffering terribly off their meds waiting for the two weeks; I recommended they stop and do the stool test instead.

The other way you can do it is see if you are having an immune reaction to Helicobacter – or some other pathogen. You do that using Cyrex 12.

Next, I would consider emotional stress as a trigger. My own acid reflux (feeling of an elephant on my chest, tight, acid-in-my-mouth feeling) and oesophagitis (closed throat, a feeling of being strangled, yuk), turned out to have anxiety as a trigger – even though I didn’t actually feel anxious consciously! I was convinced it was an allergy reaction, but as it turns out that certainly didn’t help, but it was only when I used anti-anxiety techniques on it that it went.

So, that brings us onto allergy or sensitivity to something. I always look for a gluten related disorder or some other form of intolerance triggering an over-production, and it is surprising how many times this comes up – most cases I would say have this involved somewhere. See the Allergy tests overview here and download my free Allergy 101 booklet.

Finally, autoimmunity can be the problem. I would test if there is an issue with the parietal cells for a start. You can do that in the Cyrex 5 here, bit pricey but could answer a lot of questions. It’s useful, in fact, to test more than one autoimmunity marker because they never come singly – autoimmune disorders usually come in twos and threes in my experience. Your doctor might be able to just do parietal cells.

Obviously, it can easily be something else, but those usually are the main factors. I’ve written loads more about this here on my Acid Reflux, GERD, Indigestion, Heartburn and Low Stomach Acid factsheets in the A-Z for you.

I hope that helps.

 

 

Music Heals

Music notes on white background  I’ve just written a piece in the forthcoming Healing Plan (yes, I am still writing it!) about music and its importance in your healing, er, plan.

At various stages, music of different types became very important to me. I knew when I was really depressed and ill because I couldn’t bear to listen to music. I still find that works today as an indicator when stress is getting to me. I realise I’ve not had the radio on for a few days or something – that’s normally the first sign.

Then, at other stages, I needed extremely calming music, inspirational music, dance music to lose myself to, the sound of a piano to soothe me, nostalgic music from various stages of my life when I was either traumatised or happy. In short, I used music a lot to help me along the path to healing.

One of my favourite things when I was teaching my Sparkle Programme (for people who’d lost theirs!) was to make students sit or lie down and listen to a multi-layered piece of music and try to follow one strand/layer all the way through and ignore the rest. This is like a kind of meditation when you can’t meditate, if you like. I find it incredibly powerful and, thankfully, so did they. It takes practice but the practice is actually the meditation, if you see what I mean.

And it doesn’t have to be classical music either, unless that floats your boat.

Most often, in class and personally, I used one of my favourite bands: Leftfield! In fact, the Leftism album has followed me around in life: from lying on the floor with my partner at the time in complete darkness just experiencing it for the first time, to using a track from it to set scrolling images in a presentation to motivate staff when I had a ‘proper’ job at British Gas as a PR for a couple of years, to it creating a joyous feeling whenever I listen to it in the sun, to today writing to it often! It simply makes me dance in my head. Try it – its dance music but give it a go.

 

A softer piece of music – which I may in fact get married to next year! – is the soundtrack from The Piano by Michael Nuyman. I’m sure it is based on something by a different composer but I don’t know who – if you do, please let me know! Whatever, it gets me in my heart every time. I use it often to bring stuck emotions to the surface and it invariably leaves me feeling better and smiling – even if through tears.

Ok, so how did I get onto this subject?!

I saw this interesting piece from Yasmina on Music Therapy and it set me off. And, as I say, I had just written a bit about music in my own ‘journey’ in the Healing Plan. It’s a tough write this time but ultimately very satisfying as I pull together the strands of what helped and what didn’t. Though I say it myself, I am quite proud of myself for both doing it and being objective enough to analyse it for you to get something from, I hope!

Anyway, go and read Yasmina’s piece here too:

Music Therapy Helps Lower Histamine

Enjoy x

 

Email Spam Warning!

Sorry peeps but someone seems to have hacked one of my accounts somewhere and are sending spammy emails from me/Purehealth Clinic.

PLEASE do not click on anything you think looks suspicious! If in any doubt, please check with me. Apologies. Done everything I can, but…

Grr…

New Painless Daily Testing For Diabetic Sugars On The Way

I went through a stage of having to test my blood sugars daily with that infernal fingerprick stab test – not nice; I had very sore fingertips!

So, I was pleased to see today that scientists are working on a new ‘tear’ test – where you use a tear drop instead of blood. Although, does that mean we will have to smack ourselves in the eye to produce a tear. or watch a sad film or something? The idea amuses me🙂.

Here’s the story for you

“TEAR TEST THAT TAKES AWAY PAIN”

Millions of diabetics could soon monitor their glucose levels from a tear drop instead of having to endure painful daily blood tests.  A new technique measures sugar levels in a tiny sample of fluid from the eye, to give a quick accurate reading.  A soft foam tip is touched to the corner of the eye.  It was invented by Dr Jeffrey La Belle at Arizona State Uni In Phoenix, US. 

http://www.livescience.com/16974-diabetes-device-checks-tears-glucose.html