“Some dogs alertly look at the thing a person is pointing at, other dogs just sniff the pointing finger”, Dr Ray Peat PhD
The above quote from Dr Ray Peat, a big inspiration to my work, has always resonated with me. Our medical industry is built around treating symptoms, not root causes, and it does not view the body and mind as one system.
Some of my clients find their way to me because they realise something is not quite right, some may have been fobbed off by the doctors because, despite knowing that everything is not OK, their tests came back ‘within normal range’ (I can count on one hand the number of people I know whose test results have been outside of ‘normal range’). Some find me because they have had a formal diagnosis of a condition from the doctor. That maybe an autoimmune condition such as diabetes, IIH, colitis or Hashimotos, or something that they are told requires ongoing medication to keep under control such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Or it could be something that the medical profession even admits it is not really sure about, such as a bad back. Many conditions that have pills prescribed as a fix can be resolved by improving overall metabolic health.
I want to reiterate that whilst I am not medically qualified, I have studied the body, how it works, how it is affected by what we think of as modern day living, for 6 years now, and I have found my own way through sub-clinical hypothyroidism, a MTHFR gene mutation, and a diagnosis of Ulcerative Colitis in December 2014.
The beginning of all my programmes begin with a detailed questionnaire designed by my mentor Billy Craig. This enables us to locate root cause issues, and begin to work on addressing those, which is the key to fixing any presenting health issue. This usually involves looking at all areas of your life, because our lives are synergistic, and often we can identify why something is an issue from something that may seem unrelated. For example, people with metabolic issues frequently suffer with high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. These things can very often come to light as you hit your 40’s, and hormones begin to change significantly, particularly if overall health is not optimal.
Together we will navigate the choppy, often shark infested waters of the health world (occasionally with help from Billy when something is outside of my current capability), and I will teach you how to connect back to yourself and reactivate your own perfectly good guidance system that has been muted as a result of a lifetime of being told what is good for you, what to eat, what not to eat, and that you should eat less and move more.
How can you take charge of your health?
Relax. This is so much easier said than done, but you know what helps us to relax? Food. If the cells are not well fuelled, they remain in an excited state (restless legs, anyone?).
Eat. Connected to the one above. We often focus so much on being thin / ‘healthy’ (I use this term loosely in this context), that we eschew entire food groups (looking at you Low Carb). In order to be relaxed you need to eat well, and enjoy it.
Listen to your body, what is it telling you? Some of the key areas I use as indicators of overall health are: Temperature, Heart Rate, Energy, Digestion, Sleep, Mood. If you are regularly having any issues in any of the above areas, it’s a sign that all is not quite right. If you don’t listen to your body’s quietly spoken pleas for help, it will find more elaborate ways to tell you that all is not well – usually in the shape of a significant health scare, or the onset of a chronic condition.
Invest in some basic tools to help you check things like your temperature and heart rate (well, actually the heart rate checker is an app which is free, so just the thermometer). In the fullness of time, you will use tools to confirm what you intuitively know
Be honest with yourself, linked to listening to your body. Once you allow your body to communicate with you, you have to be open to what it is telling you. If you are worried about one of its messages, then look into it. Don’t sit on it and hope it will go away – it won’t unless you do something different.
Question everything. One of the reasons so many people are suffering in terms of health is that we outsource responsibility for it to the ‘experts’. The problem is that the experts are very often not experts at all – the medical industry is just that – an industry and every celebrity and their stylist is becoming a diet guru. The Hemsley Sisters, Joe Wicks, Fearne Cotton et al, they may all be very nice people, they do also however also have books to sell, and they are all without exception, following popular health trends because they do not have the scientific knowledge to do otherwise.
Reject the popular press. If you can read something in the Daily Mail, or the Huff Post, then the science behind it will be questionable, but what will be behind it, is someone who stands to make a lot of money from whatever it is – chia seeds, blueberries, matcha etc. It’s this constant tumble drier of ‘eat X, don’t eat Y’ ‘ eat Y, don’t eat X’ that contributes to the dumbing down of our own guidance system.
Learn to do your own research. As I’ve mentioned in the above points, nobody is more qualified to know what you need in respect of anything, but particularly your health, than you are.
Question whether your life is really working for you; do you love your job? Or do you feel trapped because of a ‘successful’ career / good salary / personal circumstances? Evaluate all of your relationships. You don’t need to necessarily act on your knowledge, but being open with yourself is critical, if you are to enjoy good health.
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. It was Maslow who wrote that sickness may consist of not having symptoms when one should. I myself was a fervent advocate of the ‘I’m never sick’ school of dysfunction and I have plenty of clients who are adamant that they are ‘not the type of person to get stressed’, but one of the key indicators in my recovery was the ability to say I was stressed. This is important.