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How To Survive The Hell Of Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms On The Road

Do you ever get sick of hearing that it’s “all in your mind”?

I know I do.

Especially since the disabling psoriatic arthritis symptoms I suffer definitely exist in my body.

I’ve got the lab results to prove it.

Not only that, but even if looking at those results influences me to negatively perceive my problems and make them worse …

I Still Don’t Want To Hear It!

Why?

Because if it’s all in THIS mind, then I believe even less in the power of the mind.

Look, maybe I’m getting on my high horse here, but them’s the facts:

I’ve got a good mind.

A strong mind.

A mind that has scoured both science and pseudo-science in self-improvement to the point that it can slice through both sides of the genre with laser precision.

It’s just one of those areas of study where I’m not too modest, I guess! 😉

Not only that, but we might just have to put on our grown up pants and accept that feel good statements like, “The mind is everything. What you think you become,” from the Buddha himself might not always pan out the way we’d like.

 

Belief: The Ultimate Poison Of the 21st Century

 

I don’t buy for a second that my “beliefs” are somehow out of line with what I want for my health.

There’s no way this mind is secretly sabotaging its tremendous desire for the body it emerges from to feel well.

And I definitely don’t think that William S. Burroughs in all his wisdom must be correct when he wrote:

‘Every man has inside himself a parasitic being who is acting not at all to his advantage.’

No, no and a thousand times, no! My thoughts couldn’t be closer to what I want for my health. And yes, yes and a thousand times yes, I’ve read James Clear on belief and self-sabotage (recommended).

But even there, looseness around this term “belief” could be more helpful – more on that from me coming soon.

In the meantime, I’ve won a lot of health back by stepping up and acknowledging biological reality. And …

 

 

If Thought Could Heal My Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms …

 

… I would have thought these symptoms out of my body a long time ago!

Look:

There’s no doubt that our thoughts and beliefs influence our physical reality. I happily explore the expectation effect, placebo and all manner of woo-woo to see what’s possible (see pins and needles pic below for the proof).

But it doesn’t mean I get to think or believe my way out of the biological cards I’ve been dealt.

If that were true … well, I can only repeat with the Achilles’ heel of my hamartia way out in the open:

If it were true, I could outthink the best of them.

If it were true, I could fly around the globe without a plane.

If it were true, I could eat sunlight for breakfast.

But I can’t do those things. No one can. And there are all too understandable reasons why.

 

A Downward Spiral That Can Only be
Managed, Never Improved?

 

Take my situation with multiple food sensitivities, for example.

You may have read about autoimmune disorders like psoriatic arthritis.

It’s the kind of disease where certain foods can cripple up your joints. (The psoriatic arthritis symptoms hip pain brings me … totally insane!)

Worse, it can your skin into a tornado of snowflakes against a flame red backdrop.

And then there’s the granddaddy of suffering, the painful, open sores.

Oh, and let’s not forget the intestinal discomfort from having a so-called “leaky gut.”

Yeah. I’ve got it all.

And it sometimes seems to be getting worse too.

Almost to the point that a fecal transplant looks more desirable than my favorite Italian ice cream stand. (Dark chocolate, please!)

And some people have said that merely by writing about my psoriatic arthritis symptoms with a skeptical pen, I’ll only make it worse. That I should “focus on the positive” and essentially using this blog to write incantations and spells of healing.

 

Okay, Okay …
So Why Not Give The Fairy Dust A Try?

 

Kind of boring to post about here, but to humor these people – and heck, even as a diversion from the pain – I’ve written many journal entries asking the universe and angels and all kinds of B.S.-mongers to help me out.

I’m a scientist, after all. I’m most comfortable in the lab and when it comes to Project Wolverine … in for a penny, in for a pound. Just so long as the experiments are removing blinders, not bolting them down tighter.

But …

… despite my best attempts to shoo the symptoms away with belief through Project Wolverine, nothing seems to change a base level of my biological reality:

Some foods put me in a LOT of pain.

And my psoriatic arthritis LOVES beaming red and yellow ooze through the surface of my skin when I eat those foods.

And yes, the war zone is as painful as it looks.

But sorry, no more pictures of psoriatic arthritis below the neck on this blog …

Oh, what’s that?

Okay. If you insist:

The photograph above doesn’t quite show just how swollen my left hand really was, but let’s just say the fire burned.

And when one – or both of my hands – erupts with napalm from the inside, let’s just say I ain’t rippin’ out Bach on my bass like it ain’t no thing:

 

Why The Ego Is Such A Hard Beast To Ride
When You Suffer From Food Sensitivities

 

Then there’s the suffering that comes from embarrassment.

And not just the shame I feel when I look like a red beat with leprosy. Except for this one video, I sometimes stay off camera for weeks at a time and stick to slideshows:

And the uglier truth is this:

I’m often embarrassed by the effects food has on my personality.

I don’t talk about it much, but they can be extreme.

 

Lifestyles Of The Dazed And Delirious

 

For example, I’m prone to intense moodiness.

Irrational anger. Suicidal impulses. Wreckless decisions.

For years, I “believed” these symptoms came from Bipolar Disorder.

Turns out that belief was wrong.

Dead wrong.

Since correcting my diet and discontinuing all medications, I don’t need to “believe” in diddley-squat.

 

The New Rules For A Quiet Mind
On A Diet Based Around Testing

 

Don’t eat fruits like apples …

Remove all wheat …

Eliminate all kinds of things you’d never identify without an MRT – though you also need more than just food intolerance testing, as this excellent Autoimmune Wellness guest post points out (click that link).

But their caveat aside, when I stopped eating these foods based on my results …

Bang Presto!

Problem solved!

Crazy impulses to jump into traffic gone!

Who knew?

Best part:

No belief necessary!

Just don’t eat that stuff (if you’re me) and the problem disappears. (Just imagine what might be at the core of what’s bothering you?)

So then, if all these discoveries with my diet have been so powerful …

What on earth am I yammering about now?

Well, buckle in.

As I’m sure you know, life throws you some strange and mysterious twists from time to time. And in this case, I brought myself to a place where it’s next to impossible to find “safe” food.

Oh boy …

 

Enter My Dojo Of Battling Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms

 

Beijing is a great place in many ways, but it’s sometimes hard to pay attention to all the good streaming around.

Like when every joint in your body feels like it’s being hit with a flamethrower.

Worse:

In addition to its constant noise, Beijing brings you post-apocalyptic darkness most hours of the day.

Worse, the food quality rates a minus in the triple digits.

Frankly, even if I didn’t have psoriatic arthritis, I’d probably still say that the food in China is mostly …

 

Minus 999% Awesome

 

Crazy thing is …

I knew it would be this way when I went.

And yet I chose to go.

Mostly for my wife.

Smart little cookie she is, winning that Ph.D. scholarship in Australia and all.

But it’s a win that required sacrifice on my part.

Like leaving Berlin.

And let’s face it. If you’ve ever visited, you’ll agree that Berlin truly is a slice of heaven. I miss it sorely.

 

Change Is The Ultimate Constant:
The Only Brand You Can Really Trust

 

Not only was it hard giving up all that I’d established in the city …

Going to Australia via Beijing felt like throwing my entire life upside down.

But here’s the thing:

When the opportunity landed, I knew I had to pursue it for another reason besides supporting my wife.

More than just the Nietzschean “Yes!” to life, I’ve had Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken chilling my soul for decades.

Plus I’ve got The Monty Hall Problem bouncing around my ethics.

Seriously.

These bits of philosophy matter. If you want to live an interesting life, you’ve got to change your mind. You’ve got to walk the other road. Pick the other door.

No matter how counterintuitive and contentious, the math really does make sense.

 

Life Is Not Using Reverse Psychology On You

 

And what you realize when you’re on the road less traveled is that thinking inside the box works better than chasing after randomness.

But given all my current pain, suffering and how my goals with the Self-Improvement Supercharger blog have been thrown into chaos …

I’ve been pondering one simple question:

How do I use my mind and the limits of belief to deal with physical discomfort and enjoy the world? Especially when my suffering is so legendary, even in hell?

All The Answers Are Always In The Belief-Free Lab Of Your Life

 

The answer to suffering?

Experiments.

And for the first line of experimentation, I asked one simple question:

How can I stop myself from dwelling on the negative?

After all, with exhaustion and poor nutrition, it was all too easy to jump on the downward spiral of thoughts. Like a cat on a bird.

And as the poisonous food wormed its way through my system, I thought endlessly about how going to Beijing to apply for our Australia visas had shot all my health gains from 2015 and 2026 in the foot.

 

Is Nonsense Better Than No Sense At All?

 

And I knew as the thoughts were happening that it made no sense to whine and cry about how I placed my entire working operations with developing this blog and maintaining Magnetic Memory Method at risk.

Then there were all the “could haves” …

I could have stayed in Berlin.

I could’ve continued the diet I’d established that eliminated nearly all my pain.

I could’ve carried on the regular fitness routine with Lars that helped me achieve the kind of physique I’d previously never imagined would be possible.

I could’ve saved oodles of money and spared myself tons of exactly the kinds of stress that lead to skin outbreaks and depressive episodes.

I could’ve continued thinking inside the box as I work on solving memory and depression problems.

Tempting little bastards, those could haves.

 

Newsflash: They Aren’t Listening!

 

And here’s the thing:

Those could haves? All they do is fill our childish ego needs to shake our fists at heaven with frustration when things go worse than expected.

But fruitful?

No way, Jose.

Not by a long shot.

 

In The Dojo Of Your Own Problems

 

What to do instead?

Be aware.

Self-awareness is one of the finest weapons you’ll ever develop.

But it isn’t easy.

Self-awareness is a heavily partitioned toolbox with multiple layers of skill.

And it can take a lifetime to develop.

It requires constantly steering yourself clear of self-deception.

And there’s an awkward problem built into it:

Some of the other tools in the self-awareness toolbox create the very same problems that need solving.

 

Pharmakon, A.K.A. The Cure Is The Poison
And The Poison Is The Cure

 

I’ve always loved Ancient Greece. The philosophy. The tragedy. The brutal truth of ideas like pharmakon, the likely source of our word for pharmacy.

It literally means that whatever we do to heal ourselves also comes packed with some form of poison. And like fertilizer for plants, a substance that burns leaves, can just as easily help nourish its roots.

For that reason, you need to know the math and your capacity for bending the numbers.

I’ve become quite good at this using the food grid discussed in the Self-Improvement Supercharger video program (scroll up to register for the free video course now or grab it here).

But when it comes to being on the road in a country with zilcho food quality and almost none of the daily predictability I need to thrive …

I had to “eyeball” three things at once:

1. The side-effects of what I’m eating.

2. My propensity to justify poor decisions as experiments when abundant evidence exists for predicting a result.

3. How tightly I’ve obeyed my morning ritual habit chains.

 

How To Replace Belief With Focused Action

 

Instead of “believing” that the words flowing through my mind about food are part of the problem, I FOCUSED on chewing. On really being with the food, even though everything in Beijing was toxic to me with my condition.

Pharmakon … Pharmakon … Pharmakon …

But I had to eat something. No two ways about it.

So for that reason, it was all the more important to be actively present with the poison, rather than passively letting it do its damage.

 

How To Develop Your Belly Fullness Zen

 

Then there’s stopping when full.

This is ultra-important if you’re eating in a foreign land with multiple food sensitivites.

Because if you fast for hours on end, something curious happens when you finally do eat:

You can’t stop eating. Your body wants to make up for all those missing calories.

But as an intermediate faster, I’ve learned to read my “gut instinct” for when I’ve had enough.

At least, until I got to Beijing.

When food lacks so completely in nutrition, I found I needed to re-read the signals of having had my fill. But it’s unfortunately all too easy to eat beyond need when your body knows it’s being undernourished.

That didn’t stop me from picking away that weird pink stuff. Reminds me of the lines from the movie version of Orwell’s 1984:

“You know, I don’t think there’s a single piece of meat in this stew. Looks like meat. Tastes like meat. It isn’t meat at all.”

But no matter what I did or where I went, I had to eat something, including deadly rice.

And that meant stacking on the toxins.

Oh yes.

Ouch and very ouch. There were some days I could hardly walk.

 

But At Least You Always Have Your Mind

 

No matter how hard Beijing’s cuisine pummeled my body, I was grateful for one thing:

The memory techniques I teach are awesome. No matter how sick I’ve gotten, they still make it possible to learn.

It’s like a wonderful depressant: Simply remembering information cuts through brain fog like a sword.

Even better, the sense of amazement and accomplishment never fails to lift my spirits.

But it was more challenging than ever in Beijing. So to help combat complacency, I decided to rush into the arms of my favorite enemy:

Memory improvement software.

I’ll spare you the speech regarding why I’m so leery about memory improvement software (for now), but the point is this:

There’s no better time to overcome misery than doing what you love to do from an underexplored angle.

And being just sick enough to struggle with maintaining rituals that work, I decided to maintain my rituals by making friends with an old enemy.

Turns out, the memory improvement software I tried is not only fun, but I enjoyed it far more than I supposed.

And know this:

No Matter How Bad Things Get, You’re The Envy Of Billions

 

There’s an Ursula K. Le Guin story called The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas.

It describes a perfect city where the only cost is the suffering a single child who must live in filth and misery.

Sorry if that ruins the punchline for you, but it’s one of those tales where even when you know the ending, it still makes a mark.

Now that I’ve killed the plot, here’s the takeaway:

We all have the ugly tendency to think that we’re the child in paradise who suffers more than others.

If you don’t think so … think again. Especially when those tough moments land. That’s usually when we slip the most.

And in reality, most of us stand far from having it the worst. And thinking that we do only brings more suffering than necessary.

 

Escape From Beijing

 

April and I were pleasantly surprised when our visas came in. We’d heard rumors it could take five months or more.

That would have meant an unknown period spent with ill health on every corner: coughing, spitting, strange beliefs about poking yourself with needles that I wound up trying just to take my mind off the pain.

 

Does Maintaining Rituals That Work Really Work?

 

Ultimately, I hate to admit it but I fell off the wagon while in Beijing.

Not too much, but enough.

Daily meditation sagged. I was so beat down I couldn’t concentrate on the simple art of not trying to concentrate on anything.

I wish I could say I managed to keep up with fasting, but when you’re doing it to avoid food, fasting has the opposite effect:

You get weak, not strong. You develop impulsivity around food, not greater depths of discipline.

And as a result, I went through a lot of Drama Queen stuff during my food reactions.

I ate things I shouldn’t have and paid the price:

Mood swings …

Dead skin snow storms …

Looking like a doppelgänger for Beijing itself.

 

Why It’s Easier To Get Back On The Horse
You Already Know How To Ride

 

But I am proud of one thing:

My months of unbroken meditation won me more self-awareness than I would have felt otherwise.

It helped me treat each new day as another test.

And what I lost in consistency, I gained in consistency. Now that we’re mostly settled in Oz, my long history of keeping it together made it much easier to get back on the horse than it would have otherwise.

And you know, sometimes you have to lose what you hold precious in order to appreciate it.

Decent food, the ability to observe daily rituals and civilized access to the Internet …

Well, what can I say?

My “First World Problems” have never felt so good! Even the ones that might be only in the mind …

How you been keeping? 😉

Sincerely,

Anthony

P.S. Come back next time. I’ll tell you all about why I and how I let myself get roped into this:

P.P.S. I really appreciate the comments people have left, especially the challenges to my thinking. Here’s a personal video response:

I look forward to further discussion on these topics and more related to Supercharging the collective health of humanity, physical and mental. 🙂

Comments

  1. Hi Anthony – You know Laura and I wrote a book a while back called the Great Success Swindle and one of the main tenets is that you can’t ‘believe’ your way to success, health or anything else. To misquote ‘Positive thinking can let you do anything better than negative thinking can, but I’m damned if it can cure your headache’.

    Positive thinking or beliefs only work if you use them as a starting point. I could believe that I can cure my headache by going and finding out what causes it and what natural – or unnatural- remedies might exist but belief alone never made a headache disappear, or found a cure for disease.

    So in one way if you believe something strongly enough and you Act positively enough, many things that seem impossible..are STILL IMPOSSIBLE.

    What happens is you realize that the thing you thought was impossible or out side of your control, wasn’t and isn’t. But that doesn’t mean belief/positive thinking solved/cured the impossible. You just had ‘impossible’ pegged wrong.

    And illness is real, death is real and cliff-climbing fairy penguins are real – if only believing could make them go away!

    • Thanks for this, Mark, and please do tell me where I can find this … oh … the Internet … got it with one-click ordering on Amazon. Can’t wait to read The Great Success Swindle! 🙂

      I like how you put this in terms of belief as a starting point for action. I wouldn’t want to delve into semantics, but is that really belief? Or is it the power of evidence inducing curiosity to try something out in the world? We might use the words, “I believe x will work so I will try it.” But what we’re really saying is more akin to, “something in the world has created evidence compelling enough for me to try and reproduce the results I’ve either seen directly or heard about.”

      If we can accept that the latter is what’s usually going on, then perhaps people can learn to “believe” that some things linked to better evidence deserve their time and energy more than others.

      By the same token, I’ve become open to the idea that my skepticism (or disbelief) talks me out of trying things that I shouldn’t knock until I’ve tried them. I wouldn’t want to ruin the story, but that episode with the pins and needles … not particularly useful.

      But I’m still glad I gave it a go because dismissing it due to outright lack of evidence that it works had become deeply dissatisfying and also somewhat ignorant to a certain extent. I mean, who knows … there are some placebos that are downright deranged, but I’m still glad they do their work. And in that case, it’s not that I “believe” they’re working – something really is happening and I can’t seem to peg it on delusion or self-deception as much as I try.

      Really appreciate your insights here and am looking forward to cracking open your book on my Kindle anon.

      But for now, it’s my birthday and we’re about to watch the second half of Old Yeller. Ever see it?

      If not, it’s interesting in the context of this discussion, so I don’t raise it for a point of trivia. When Old Yeller gets rabies, his owner acts based on evidence, not belief. But he sure wishes he could believe his dog’s illness away. A very interesting and well-acted portrayal. Highly recommended! 🙂

      • Hi Anthony

        I was actually referring to belief as ‘an irrational idea that something is so because you want it o be’. So armed with this ‘belief’ you go out to look for something that logic – and the rest of humanity – tell you doesn’t exist. And often you find it. But being half Irish/Half Basque, I’m very sloppy with semantics.
        I think I’ll give Old Yeller a miss – having been chased by rabid dogs in the Dasht e Lut and nearly ending up dinner, I think I’ll settle for Lassie
        And as I said in my email we published that book a few years ago when we were feeling a little ‘reactionary:) We’ve actually got the first book we’ve written since starting blogging and joining SBO coming out next month – it’s quite a difference!

        Happy Birthday by the way – enjoy!

        • That is indeed a related and interesting issue. I think the defining factor there is to realize that some of rationality is constructed – both for and against the biases we hold. Much of what is called “self-improvement” is finding the gaps, understanding why we don’t see them and then milking them for all they’re worth. 🙂

  2. Some great lessons here – we all tend to think it’s us who are the ones that aren’t as good, haven’t done as well, haven’t made as much money. Belief in the positive side of what you have done can spur you on, but, as you so rightly say, not to do the impossible. Anthony, I hope you might think about how lesser mortals can set out about thinking about their own abilities and what may or may not be impossible for them, and share your thoughts. Meantime, I hope you are feeling better in Australia and very happy birthday

    • Thank you for this, Rosemary.

      As a lesser mortal myself, I think the key is pretty simple:

      * Have daily rituals

      * Make sure reading is involved with healthy skepticism on everything and an ethical understanding of science on hand (not a convenient one)

      * Write every day

      * Have a life project that you’ve tied to authentic desire

      It’s the last point that I think people struggle with the most. We tend to go after things we don’t really want because we’re essentially lying to ourselves.

      But when you can be radically honest to what you really desire, then the path you need to take will emerge and all the instruction manuals you will ever need start to pour from the sky.

      I talk all about how to set up a system of honest revelation in the video series that comes with the Mental Toughness and Daily Discipline guide when people subscribe. I wish they taught something like that process in school when I was young. With a headstart, I think we’d all get what we really want out of life a lot sooner.

      Thanks again for your comment. I look forward to your next contribution! 🙂

  3. Interesting, Anthony. I’m sure mindset is important but of course at some point we come up against biology. Glad to know you’re feeling better in Australia!

    • Thanks for stopping by and reading this, Daniel.

      That “of course” is a an obvious one to use, but not so obvious in some circles. I haven’t wanted to point any fingers, but those who read this and would insist that my reality is entirely of my own making know themselves and are free to rebut any time. They’re probably “resonating” at 3579. 😉

    • Thanks, Alexander. I appreciate you stopping by to give it a read. It’s all too cliche, yet all too true that life is stranger that fiction, but I’m so glad we’re finally settled now in Brisbane so I can better enjoy the oddity of it all. And how wonderfully odd it is indeed. 😉

  4. Hi Anthony,
    i am sorry to hear about your illnesses and pains and i do hope you get well soon. As a sufferer of 37 food sensitivities, which i recently discovered, i feel your pain, at least part of it.

    It seems like you are in a huge transition point in your life and i bet things settle real soon for you once you are in Australia.

    I like to look at positive thinking as just one component of changing your life in the direction you want it to and i think it is a key component. If, for example you didn’t believe that your health could improve then why would you have gone through the trouble of seeking therapies like food sensitivity testing and changes in your diet?

    As a man of self-improvement i know that you know the value of positive though. Of course it needs to be tied to positive action. And then there is the component of everyone’s unique circumstances in life.

    Are you familiar with the writings of Bill Bodri? You can find them at meditationexpert.com. He is my favorite author, he is full of wisdom on matters of meditation and all sorts of other things, have a look i think you would appreciate his writings as much as i do. Especially his book ‘white fat cow’, because it deals with self-improvement.

    Feel better!

    • Thanks for this, Clemens, and great to have you in the discussion.

      37 food sensitivities is a lot. Did you do an elimination diet as part of figuring things out?

      I totally agree with you about positive thinking and I’m also a huge fan of the expectation effect. But, at the risk of getting into semantics, I’m quite convinced that there is gold to be mined from sorting out what we really mean when we talk about “belief.”

      Because it would be easy (and mentally lazy) for me to say, “I believe that my health can be improved.” But the problem …

      “Belief” is irrelevant.

      And I didn’t take action because I “believed” it could be improved. It’s because I was motivated by pain + an overwhelming amount of evidence demonstrating the validity of claims made by scientific studies and anecdotal reports.

      I didn’t “believe” any of these at all, but rather went with a number of factors that all boil down to persuasion from external factors and a commitment to testing. And not all things I’ve tried amount to “positive action.” But the test in and of itself was positive and I did my best to go into certain things with a positive expectation.

      It’s all very interesting and one book I can recommend in turn is Free Will by Sam Harris. Have you ever read it?

      In the meantime, thanks for mentioning Bill Bodri and his books. I’m going to check them out.

      And thanks for your discussion here. I really appreciate hearing your perspective on these matters. Keep me posted on how things go with your own food journey. 🙂

  5. Hi Anthony!
    Wow, what a journey you took, and it sounds like you got a pretty good handle on how to well, handle your autoimmune conditions.

    (I just got to an episode of the “I Love Marketing” podcast interviewing the author of “No Grain, No Pain” Peter Osborne-think you’d like it)

    I did want to comment on the acupuncture… most of Chinese acupuncture as I understand is in the hospitals and done very quick on the intake, and as you know your case is a very long and chronic one (as all autoimmune diseases are by the time they manifest) and complicated. I hope you seriously didn’t expect one treatment to reverse all that (which many people actually do).

    I’m currently in acupuncture school, but am one of the few who came into the school with no exposure to acupuncture before starting the school! Pretty crazy… but I went in with skepticism, and a bit of an open mind to see how effective it is. I have to say, it depends on the skill of the practitioner, the belief of the patient, and what modality they use, and many other factors. I am sure directing thoughts and “energy” makes a difference, as being more focused and doing that in a performance, or an athletic event can make a difference, though I couldn’t say how much-definitely can give an edge though.

    In my understanding of the medicine now, I compare medicine to a map. Western (allopathic) medicine is like a street level map where you can see all the streets, and find the street address like those old Thomas Guides that were spiral bound (I could flip to the pages and find a place with that thing on my lap and driving 🙂 haha.

    Eastern/Oriental medicine is like a map of the entire United States (or Australia for you) that shows the entire area, and all the major freeways or roads that cross it or go from one major city to another. If you need to find an address the map of the entire country won’t help out too much, and if you need to find out how to cross the country or get a big picture of where specific freeways go then the street level map isn’t much use.

    These all are tools, and ways of looking at how the body functions, and falls into dysfunction. Picking up one tool, for the first time, and not being able to build a house with it doesn’t mean it’s not effective or useful.

    Working out once and not losing weight doesn’t mean working out doesn’t work…

    Trying a diet one day won’t lose weight either or create big changes…

    Trying a memory method once won’t magically give you a photographic memory or even seem to work, but doesn’t mean it won’t work with some time and effort.

    Like you pointed out in your writing, western drugs can be very toxic, and is why they can give big results fast. They pound your system.

    Oriental medicine (specifically acupunture) can give fast results in cases-especially pain management, but your case I would say would need someone who specializes in those types of cases working with a good functional medicine practitioner and a knowledgeable nutritionist, and a few weeks to months and then changes would probably start coming.

    Just like you did to get healthy before China and when you lost the weight.

    Just wanted to remind you that it’s not a magic pill that instantly cures. It’s a tool honed over several thousands of years of trial and error and experimentation. And it’s just a tool and way of viewing the body as a whole. For some things it might not be the most effective thing. Maybe for you herbs would have been better.

    And maybe what you were doing before was having such great results that that was all you need to do.

    Props for being adventurous though! (I wouldn’t want all you went through!)

    2 books for anyone interested in Oriental medicine that explains it to someone without any knowledge of it are:

    The Spark in the Machine

    The Web That Has No Weaver (look them up on amazon)

    I also never thanked you for the postcard you sent me awhile back of the doggy holding onto the balloon on the ceiling 🙂

    Thanks, Anthony!

    • Thanks for these thoughts, Devin. I appreciate them – and yes, that is a great interview of the I Love Marketing podcast.

      I really appreciate the books you mention too. I’ll look into them and have added links to your suggestion so that people can check them out as well.

      I can readily see how that certain aspects of TCM are a tool and one shouldn’t expect an instant result. I have also tried the herbal approach and given it a good go. Also, some of what has given me results, such as gut cleansing using oil of oregano has certainly been influenced by TCM.

      That said, I didn’t bring any belief to the table in order to get those results. It as a decision based on compelling evidence and weighing contradictory outcomes described by a wide variety of opinions.

      I can also recognize that some of acupuncture might come down to the individual practitioner. I’m very familiar with theories related to the “therapeutic frame,” for example, and this particular person I saw did not handle it particularly well. He took great care to explain that the outcome was my responsibility and I needed to believe it would work in order for it to work.

      This requirement on his part was already a bad start because my requirement is that I shouldn’t have to believe in it to experience a result. When I first drank coffee and alcohol, I had no particular beliefs in what was going to happen. The outcomes happen because belief in the outcome is irrelevant.

      LSD, on the other hand, can, to a certain extent be framed by expectation. But that again really doesn’t come down to belief. I have tales to tell about that substance in future posts, but rest assured that I don’t think it comes down to belief whatsoever, though time investment and certain ideas about what is possible after extended exposure certainly create “beliefs” that reinforce the experiences one expects over time.

      In any case, there’s no doubt that one’s thoughts set the stage for experiences and outcomes. If I were to continue with acupuncture, I would need a practitioner who took greater responsibility for the outcomes and didn’t lay it out on my belief. That’s just very unlikely to work, because if it comes down to matters of faith, I want to know why people have come to these conclusions and for them to demonstrate the validity of their claims with better evidence than I’ve seen so far.

      Without that, it all feels like Kreskin’s definition of hypnosis: “Hypnosis is nothing more than the acceptance of a suggestion.”

      Well, I’m not accepting the suggestion that coffee requires me to believe that it will pick up my heart rate. It doesn’t require that belief, never has and never will. That’s just not in the nature of things, and when it comes to medicine, I think we walk a dangerous line and create false hopes in people who will later incorrectly rationalize why certain things don’t work for them. They were never bound to work in the first place – and what did work is far too often falsely attributed.

      Look forward to checking out these books and really appreciate your contribution to the discussion. Look forward to your next post and so glad that the postcard reached you! 🙂

  6. Loved this post. As a natural health professional, very spiritually led person, psychologist and sufferer of the genetic cesspool, I try and tell my clients this all the time. This is not something you have manifested or you deserve or you can think away with happy thoughts. Some illness just is. It’s not there to teach us a lesson.

    The relief that I see on people’s faces when I reassure them that they 99.9% most likely are not (the scientist leaves a small margin of error) being punished for burning someone at the stake in a past life is palpable. It is ALL about management. Life is about management.

    Is this a devisive standpoint? Maybe, but I have found people are almost craving to hear it. I hate saying to someone. ‘You have triggered this disease in your body and now we can only manage it.’ I know they want to hear that it can be ‘cured’. But I think, when they accept it, it actually brings control back to them . Hmm. Would be interested to read if it is devisive. I have found that mentioning this before or during a first consultation does decrease my rebooking. People want the magic pill.

    If you have a body, it will age, it will ‘malfunction ‘. There will be emotional, spiritual and physical issues that are simply part of living on a planet with other people who we cannot control. Would be boring if we could-just as an aside. Finally, we all will die of some sort of physical degeneration. We have bodies and we are here existing in a physical world.

    I find physical work heals physical. Emotional work heals emotions. Spiritual work heals spirit. They ARE related but to treat one of the three as a more noble pursuit is to ignore our humaness. All we can do is manage life in a way that personally suits us. To be honest unless you have a strong body…..which is what you are advocating…we cannot have the energy to deal with the other two.

    • Thanks for this, Rebecca!

      “Some illness just is” is such a powerful way to think about it and even though rationality faces an uphill battle, I think it is gaining more and more of a foothold with each passing year.

      Anyhow, to answer your question, it’s not divisive yet, but I’ve been getting a lot of emails with people praying for me and asking me to take A Course In Miracles (which I’m familiar with already … kind of spooky stuff, even though there are some interesting aspects to it).

      I’m not sure if this is the battle I want to engage in, however. It seems so pointless and I’m well aware that I get a little dopamine spike by feeling “right,” as do those who present their views. It’s like Batman vs. the Joker. We seem to call each other into existence …

      Oh no! Now I’m being mystical … yikes!

      But seriously, I think you’re completely right that embracing the physical and treating the physical on that basis is the key. This is why doing tailor-made food sensitivity tests based on a lab analysis has been so powerful.

      It wasn’t 100% accurate, but gave a strong basis for further testing “in the field,” so to speak. It was a lot of work, but the most precious thing about that work is that it helped make both my body and my mind stronger.

      I wonder if part of the solution to why people prefer the fantasy-realm stuff comes down the fact that thinking is hard. I actually don’t find thinking to be all that hard, but am currently quite fond of this video called The Science of Thinking.

      It’s quite a nice expose and “palatable” explanation of why we let ourselves down in so many areas of life. I’m not sure I agree with his conclusions 100%, but the notion that “you have to be willing to be uncomfortable” in order to learn is powerful. I just can’t figure out why in so many ways people are more comfortable with their discomfort.

      Thanks again for the great contribution and so glad to hear that you’re bringing relief to people with plain talk about the real need for management. Look forward to further discussion! 🙂

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