Reactivity in Auto Immune Conditions and Inflammation

Please do not take this as scientific proof. If you are looking for modern science you probably wont find it here. This blog and website is only about ideas that might be possible.

As I always say in my blogs and posts, find out for yourself what is true. Believe nothing unless you truly believe it deeply inside. And if you don’t know, be ok with not knowing and make your inquiry into healthy living and illness come from an unknown perspective.

Basically, develop discernment and inner wisdom, it will serve you for life and help others who also don’t know.

My conversations are speculative and holistic. I’m trying to connect dots that medical science doesn’t want to, or can’t, or won’t, connect. Mainly that means exploring the connection between matter and thought, or body and mind you might say.

I want to look at patterns, beliefs, language, energy fields, that sort of thing. I truly believe we only have a small bit of the puzzle of being human. Most of the rest of the puzzle will not be found in science or conventional medicine.

But the puzzle and the mystery is where the exciting stuff is. That’s where I like to dig around. I am an investigator and explorer.

So I have been contemplating the nature of auto immune conditions, described by conventional medicine as ‘self attacking self,’ and decided to talk a little about how our emotional mental ‘reactivity’ to life, thought and situations may play a very big part in perpetuating the suffering of self attack.

The key here is to understand why reactivity, particularly over-reactivity, is happening on the mental, emotional level, and to attempt to ease it down and relax it. In my world awareness and understanding is fundamental in the healing.

Reactivity tends to come from fear. That fear can be fear of danger, fear of lack of safety, threat to life, violence or extreme vulnerability. Fear is an existential issue we all have somewhere deep within. People with trauma, childhood wounds, acute sensitivity (sometimes from birth trauma) and unstable childhoods are prone to this fear more than most. This fear is visceral, it’s not simply emotional or mental. It becomes physical, make no mistake. And that physicality we now know (through science and biology) can affect our gut microbiome, digestive process, gut permeability, ‘fight or flight’ mechanism, and adrenal glands, as well as the whole body. Every physical effect I have just stated impacts the immune system.

The deeper trouble with this is that it sets up a chronic pattern that may lock us in for life. If these things are happening in childhood and youth we learn them as survival mechanisms and repeat them every time something real OR IMAGINED reminds us of the old trauma. It doesn’t have to be a real threat, it can just be the thought of it or something similar. In fact much of this reactivity will happen IN ANTICIPATION of trouble THAT ACTUALLY DOESN’T HAPPEN.

This has been one of my ongoing life stories revealed to me over the years through various body work therapies, deep inner exploration and more recently chiropractic testing. I developed a secret inner part of me that was always alert to danger, always on the look out and hyper vigilant, whether I was asleep or not. The consequences of this are serious and disturbing, both physically and mentally. Physically it means being always in reactivity mode and high alert, and never able to get into deep restful delta sleep where healing and renewal comes from.

It means immune system and nervous system are on constant alert to danger. It began in my early teens during my parents slide into acrimonious divorce and my slide into ‘out of control’ drug taking chaos. It has lasted a lifetime (the effect not the drugs!), and been mostly hidden from view but had massive repercussions on my relationships, purpose in life and most important on my physical health. Specifically on my immune health, gut health, and now thyroid health. It also resulted in addiction problems.

So what does this say?

Well I actually see this reactivity, this over active ‘fight or flight’ mechanism, at play in many people I work with, and almost always with those who experience some form of auto immunity. And it can disguise itself in many ways. Being over critical of self or others is one way, being self hating (remember the ‘self attacking self’ phrase at the beginning of this article?), being extremely resentful, being highly anxious, fearful, angry or depressed are all permutations of the same thing, reactivity.

This blog piece is just the beginning of a much bigger conversation about mind and body and trauma, and about how the immune system gets over activated when we are young.

If we accept that reactivity might be an issue both physically and emotionally it gives us knowledge and insight, and puts us in a greater position to be able to take action.

What action? I am going to discuss this next time.

I would love to hear from you what you think, as I really don’t have all the answers, but thousands of questions that I love exploring.

And the next piece I think will be how to turn our unhealthy reactivity to a healthy and calm responsiveness so we can maintain calm in our inner world.

Thank you so much for reading, and please please comment and add something to the conversation. And share this is you feel moved to.


Brain Health – It Matters More Than You Think

I have come to believe that our brains are probably the most overlooked organ in the whole body, until they go wrong!

We are more likely to notice, or get tested, or even feel, an issue with, say, our liver, kidneys, or thyroid, than our brains.  Because our brain and our mind are so entangled our experience is always totally subjective, which means we have no real way to tell if something is up, until it reaches the critical zone.

But maybe some of our ill health, stress, and mood inconsistency has more to do with our brains and what they are doing, or not doing, than we think?

Ask some chiropractors and they will say,’ Almost all imbalance (disease) comes from the brain-body communication system going wrong.’ Brain connects to nervous system in a bio-feedback relationship. It compensates and regulates. It operates via your conscious mind but, more importantly, via your unconscious mind. You have billions of processes, actions, complex activities taking place without any awareness from you whatsoever. Yet you are not a machine as such. You are a bio-electrical-organic-organism that interacts with the environment, constantly making adjustments and changes in order to survive and thrive. Everything that happens below the level of conscious awareness still depends on some aspects of its environment to help it. It is as alive as you are, and always adapting to its environment. That environment is you, your thoughts and beliefs.

What does that mean?

It means that if you carry trauma and constant stress, or pent up anger or fear, it affects some of your primary systems, namely your nervous system and immune system. Thoughts affect reality, and they affect matter. That interprets as, your thoughts, concepts and beliefs affect your body on the deepest levels, and the effects may well, over time, begin to impede the function of some of the unconscious actions that must take place for health and wellbeing.

That is where brain will become imbalanced and the bio-feedback relationship between body and mind may begin to break down.

If it’s not at ‘optimum’ then its always in ‘compensation’ mode.

In my opinion, by the time some of the very dramatic brain meltdown diseases happen, there has already been serious fragmentation of the brain-body relationship, but it has been hidden from conscious view.

That is why I favor a strong argument for brain and body detoxification, and a program of relaxation and sleep reprogramming, meditation and spending time calming down. If we take responsibility BEFORE things degenerate we may save ourselves a lot of trouble and money.

The bottom line is help your brain to maximize it’s ability to regulate and communicate. It will serve you well as you age. Here are some ideas.
1. SLEEP. This is probably the most important. In the deepest of sleep, known as ‘delta‘ sleep, the brain detoxifies. Your brain has lymph nodes in it and when this state of sleep is reached the channels of detoxification open and the brain is effectively ‘cleaned.’ It needs to happen regularly. The problem is most of us are living lives that are way too stressful and over active, and our sleep patterns are all over the shop, exaggerated these days by the amount of cell phone and computer use before bed time. Think of delta as the battery recharge time.

And it is not just sleep hours that matter but when you sleep. Ayurveda suggests that for optimal wellbeing we need to go to bed when the sun goes down and get u when the sun rises. Most people I know go to sleep very late after eating a big meal in the evening. For myself, I go to be about 8pm! and get up at at least 5am. That rhythm works well for me. And yet still at times I have to deal with erratic sleep patterns. So I use visualizations and sleep programing visualizations to help with it. They work. In the next few weeks/months, I hope to be able to offer you a new brain entrainment system that will help. I have been trying it out and so far it is working well. Stay tuned!

2. RELAXATION. When you relax, really relax, it has a profound impact on your body and brain health.  Just as sleep helps heal you, so does relaxation. We are designed to be relaxed, to deal with stress, and to return to the relaxed state as quickly as possible, like most animals. But as modernization has enveloped us we have lost the sacred and natural art of deep relaxation. So we spend much of our time in a hyper vigilant state. That means our ‘fight or flight’ mechanism is always switched on and we are prepared for danger. Unconscious mind can not tell the difference between what is real and what is imagined, and so it responds to anxious thoughts, thoughts of the future, thoughts of the past, fear of imagined events, in the same way.

What I am saying is that most of us don’t reach true relaxation even when we are asleep. So we have to create ways to help us. Get off your phone and get outside into nature. Meditate. Breathe. Do yoga. Do nothing at all. Practice stillness and just silently sitting. 

3. EXERCISE. A vital component of brain health ad mind body wellbeing is exercise. Just a little regularly keeps the whole system active and moving.
‘One project found that women over 65 who walked 30 minutes a day slowed their cognitive decline. When measuring mental acuity, the researchers found that the people who exercised appeared several years younger than those in the control group, who did not exercise at all.’ Huffington Post.

4. HERBS, SUPPLEMENTS AND DIET. Fruits and vegetables, anti oxidants and Omega 3 fats from natural sources are all helpful. Heal your gut and it will heal your brain. Stop processed food and toxic sugars. Here is a good article to help you:

The purpose of this short blog is not to give you the definitive answer to this issue but to prompt you to think about it some more and to begin your own investigation. Believe me, it matters. The brain is not as fixed as we think. Research now is suggesting that it can be repaired, that is is much more ‘plastic’ than we imagine, but we need to really take care of it else we begin to lose function. We have seen the rise of dementia and alzheimers, motor neuron ailments, nervous system related problems, depression and insanity. We don’t have to go down that route, but we must intervene and take responsibility for our own brain/body health.

Most doctors are not going to help with this. They are symptomologists and will only respond to what you present. It is really up to you to dive into this area and figure it out.

Sorry to end this early but I really must go and relax in nature! Thanks for reading!




How ‘whole’ are you? It is an interesting question most people have not, nor will ever, contemplate. I have and I do, all the time. I don’t think this is just a spiritual question, I actually think its a health question, and a very important existential question. It matters. A LOT. Here is a post I just wrote on my ‘Holistic Life Facebook Page.’

“I have spent 15 years attending to my wellbeing and to the relationship between body, mind and spirit.

In that time I have experienced a 180 degree turn around in how I live, what I focus on and how I relate to life itself.

It has been, and still is, a profound transformation.

Both simple and complex. And my awareness of the divine running through everything only increases day by day.

At first I thought it was just the body that was faltering with all its angry symptoms.

That took me directly into my emotions, which were tangled up, fearful, old and also angry.

That took me to all my thoughts and beliefs, the fundamentals of my everyday life, some of them very toxic and negative.

And finally I arrived at my spiritual essence, the nature of truth and love and reality itself.

Each step of the way my eyes opened as did my heart, until everything melted into the same thing.

You don’t choose wholeness.

You arrive at wholeness. It is a place not a thought or belief. It is a tangible frequency of frequencies.

It is where and when everything comes together, no longer separate.

It is when we, as human beings, become greater than the sum of our parts.

Wholeness is our natural state, and seems to be rare in this ‘techno-modern-superficial-separation-believing’ society.

I am forever grateful that illness came into my life to show me the way home. And I am grateful to my past self to have the wisdom to hear the call to go on the journey of healing, even if it was scary, lonely, mysterious and long.

Sometimes the longest journeys are the best.”

My advice is to take the journey. However the invitation comes, its always there. Be brave, be vulnerable, be open, step into the unknown. The benefits are incalculable. You don’t have to completely turn away from medical systems, you simply have to become your own authority, your own guru, your own advocate. Its about inner discernment as much as anything.

When you find out who you really are, through being very honest with yourself, it changes everything.

Just How Connected To Our Environment Are We?

This one question is the source of constant inquiry to me. It is that important, and that mysterious, I just can’t believe it. And I honestly do believe that if we could see and know the truth of our relationship to our environment, we would be shocked to the core and change instantly.

But first I have to answer another question. What do I mean by ‘environment?’

Let me be clear here I am not talking about ‘nature’ or ‘environmental issues.’ Of course that is very important, and very related, but I am talking specifically here about consciousness and form.
I mean more on the level, to use a metaphor, of the goldfish and the water. By environment I mean the space we exist in, our reality (or what we take for reality), and interact with, and of course that includes earth activity, weather, sun and moon activity and planetary movements.

We imagine ourselves to be separate from the world and each other.  You can feel where your body ends and the world begins. You know the world through your senses, 5 (usually) coherent messengers that feed impulses and signals to your brain that your brain interprets as ‘the world’ and makes necessary adjustments.

But what happens if you are not actually receiving the whole picture? What is beyond the perception and interpretation? Nothing? Is there such a thing as ‘nothing?’ Is it as convincing as we believe?

We understand through science and quantum science that everything is comprised of energy at the quark level. The whole shebang is energy in movement, in flux. And we further understand from quantum experiments  (the double-slit experiment) that this energy field, which includes us and everything around us, responds to thought and belief, intention and desire. It actually seems to respond to who we are at our deepest level, not just what we think or feel on the surface of life.

Furthermore it looks as though we are all engaged in a consensus reality, a matrix if you will, a virtual experience that has certain fixed parameters and we get to experience it as our reality.

Please be clear at this point. I am exploring, not giving a thesis. I am not a researcher, a scientist or a quantum guy. I don’t have a clue, but I am fascinated by this subject.

Here is why. Because I FEEL completely hard wired to most of their reality we live in, and SOFT wired to the rest of it.

I mean hard wired in the sense that when I walk down the street like you I see shops, cars, people, road etc etc.

Soft wired becomes more subtle and unique to each of us. I ‘feel’ energy and vibration when I go to certain places. I am aware of  a feeling within me that doesn’t feel as though its mine. It can be subtle but I have learned to open to it. It helps to open to it as impersonal (without shirking my own responsibility for what I feel).

Further more I believe that I ‘feel’ earth-life. I feel thunderstorms, earthquake activity, moon-pull. I feel solar activity, as I know many people do, and I feel astrological pulls and pushes all the time.

And I ‘feel’ people. Some folks feel other people more than others. But they definitely do. I have also experienced many times a certain ‘telepathy’ with my wife, where I say instantly exactly the thing she is thinking. This has happened hundreds of times, and is now beyond shocking us. THAT SUGGESTS THERE IS MORE TO OUR EXPERIENCE THAN WE CURRENTLY UNDERSTAND.

I am not unusual in any of this. But what may be unusual is that I listen and take notice. I trust myself and am willing to open to what is happening, even though I might not understand it.

It is one of the things that makes me a good coach and guide. I ‘feel’ my clients and where they are at.

It is my claim that we are blinded by our own perception, and interpretation of our perception, and we do ourselves and the apparent world a great disservice by our ignorance.

We take the picture we experience to be THE WHOLE PICTURE, and that is one of our greatest errors.

Consider what happens to consciousness, to our experience of reality, in the deepest state of meditation, or in a flotation tank, or under the influence of certain psychedelic drugs.
It changes, fundamentally. And what has until that point seemed so real suddenly and often overwhelmingly no longer does so. Suddenly everything may appear connected to everything else, and it is as though ‘the doors of perception’ themselves have been opened and we see the truth that it is IMPOSSIBLE to define what is ‘out there’ as reality and what is not.

That awareness changes your life completely.

This post is a simple and basic discussion of this point. I would LOVE to hear from you and know what you have experienced and what you believe. I hope it has prompted some contemplation and even a rethink of where you are at.

Thanks for reading!

Being ‘Triggered’ and How It Affects Health

One of the links between the body and the emotions, between emotions and health and illness is the nervous system and ‘triggers.’

Most people these days have heard the term ‘triggered.’ It’s a term used to describe a largely unconscious response mechanism activated by some event, or thought or experience. Something ‘triggers’ you and in a flash you have gone to a different place within yourself and might suddenly feel emotional rage, stress, anxiety, or any negative sensation. It is rather like, and can be associated with PTSD. There is an element of PTSD in it.

Something triggers you and bam! You are jettisoned into a different reality and you lose perspective and balance and might become irrational and emotional, or feel like a trapped child, or anything. Triggers are individual because they come from our individual experience. In most people they have their roots in childhood trauma and stress, situations of powerlessness and lost innocence, experiences that have never been processed but been ‘lived with’ or even denied. They are extremely powerful and should never be underestimated.

But here is the point. The triggers are not just in emotions but in the body, held within the nervous system. These triggers activate the ‘fight or flight’ mechanism and have the power to instantly release cortisol and adrenalin, necessary for survival in the face of great danger but destructive in times of peace.

So the more you get triggered, the more the nervous system is activated, until, left unchecked and unacknowledged, it starts to create chronic patterns that easily run down the adrenal gland, and contribute to thyroid degradation and immune system overload. The nervous system is fundamental to health, and a huge contributor to illness. Thus emotional life is hard wired to body health.

For true health to be realized these triggers have to be fully met and understood, and at some point they must be released from their stranglehold over the organism. This process of moving beyond the triggers is one of the great liberators I have seen in many people, and in itself can cause a cascade of transformation that is profound.

I have also seen the damage triggers create when left un investigated. They can run rampant and cause chaos. And the worst thing is they will almost definitely cause illness.

What Place Does HOPE Have in Healing

We can live with hope, and avoid despair, if we learn to surrender our attachment to what we think our health outcome should be, and instead be present to the healing journey as it unfolds  –  Joanna Garritano

I had a long conversation about health with someone yesterday. He had health issues and I told him of my journey, the short version, but it did include the bit about my diagnosis results and the prognosis handed to me by the consultant in a London Hospital. I go into detail about this encounter in my book but suffice to say it was a pivotal moment in my journey.

For your benefit, this is a short description. The consultant was aloof and, dare I say it, arrogant. That was my feeling, subjectively of course. He sat in front of me and said 3 things.
1. What you have (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) is incurable.
2. You will be on medication for life.
3. You may well have to have some, or all, of your colon removed.

When I questioned him he added a 4th blow.

4. There was nothing you can do, no diet would help, no natural medicine would work, nothing.

Honestly, it makes my blood boil right now just thinking about it.

It makes my blood boil because he was WRONG, and because many people who are not as feisty, rebellious, or informed, as I am (and was even then), may well believe him, throw themselves into his hands and GIVE UP ALL HOPE.

That makes me furious.  Because I seriously don’t believe it to be true. And I am living proof of it.

12 years since that diagnosis and prognosis and I never took ANY medication for it. I have NO SYMPTOMS of IBD at all, no ulcerations, no blood, no mucus, and when I’m tested there are no signs of inflammation. So, as we like to say these days.


Sorry to be dramatic and animated but I think you can understand how it feels to me.

I could have had my colon removed, for no good reason. I could have started taking steroids, anti inflammatories etc etc and been dependent on them for the rest of my life..And so on. It could have been the end of me. As it turns out it was actually the beginning of a long and deeply transformative journey.

When I reflected on this experience I realized why I was so angry. Because what was at stake here was HOPE.

Hope is a fundamental part of healing. Its not some by-product, some throwaway part of the human condition. It is an integral part of us.

I don’t think you can heal without hope. Hope creates an energy that drives or pulls us forward. If you take hope away you don’t, in the case of illness, create acceptance, you create resignation and despair. You cannot heal or transform if resignation or despair are the dominant energies in your system. We are not mechanical robots, we are subtle, complex, mysterious life forms that have unique and powerful abilities to change things simply through the power of our beliefs, our attention, and our consciousness itself. 

We are not mechanical robots, we are subtle, complex, mysterious life forms that have unique and powerful abilities to change things simply through the power of our beliefs, our attention, and our consciousness itself. 

Whatever positive feelings and emotions you can muster in the face of illness are welcome. Be they joy, laughter, hope, love, or peace, they all help by flooding the body with helpful and healing hormones that uplift the whole organism and give it life force.

Conversely whatever negative feelings or emotions flood the body, the opposite may well happen. they depress and downgrade us. They slow things down, they deflate us and allow for negativity to flood the body.

If you sit for a moment and consider this, feel the energy of joy, love and laughter and how they FEEL in your body, and then you consciously consider despair or resignation and how it feels in the body you would have to agree with me. They are very different. So hope is  a valuable part of the healing process. 

BUT BE CAUTIOUS. Remember the words at the start of this blog.

“We can live with hope, and avoid despair, if we learn to surrender our attachment to what we think our health outcome should be, and instead be present to the healing journey as it unfolds.”

Surrendering attachment to the way we THINK it should look, or the way we want it to look, is so important. I really got this key point somewhere down the path. I actually had a profound moment  during a very dark period when I fell into despair. I was tormented and suffering physically, I had no idea what was going to happen and I was at the end of my tether. I walked into some local woods by myself and lay down among the leaves and fell into what felt like a deep well. I desperately wanted an end to my suffering, mainly from my emotional and mental suffering.

I then found myself speaking to God…whatever that means..And I said, “God, I no longer care whether you take my physical body or not, I hand that over to you, but I want love in my heart, and I want an end to my trauma, to my anger and to my emotional pain. I want some peace.”

It was as though I had realized that, although ultimately I had no power over whether my physical body would heal or not, I DID have power to decide whether to let go of my emotional baggage once and for all, willingly.

And something happened that day, and it has always been with me. What happened was, by just being willing to die but keeping my heart open, I surrendered attachment to outcome. That’s the quote at the top of this blog. To live with hope but surrender attachment to the outcome we think we want. I did that, and it created FREEDOM for me. It released so much healing energy in me it really contributed to my long term recovery and subsequent health.

The truth is, when we get ill, or even when we don’t get ill, we don’t know whether we will live longer or shorter time, or whether we will recover or not. But we can fix our broken hearts, our resentments and grievances, and we can do that now, and now and now. 

Hope, in this context, is a beautiful energy, a powerful energy, and thus a healing one.

If anyone tries to steal your hope away and can’t replace it with something better, turn away and run. Don’t believe them. While you are alive there is some hope.
When its chronic illness and not acute, there is hope.
When you, or they, don’t really know what it is, there is hope.
Act on that hope without fixed attachment to how it should look, and bring all your vibrant intelligence, wisdom and power to take whatever action ‘feels’ right.

Choose ‘hope without attachment,’ over ‘resignation without any power.’

Thanks for reading!



Dig Deep on the Mysterious Path of Healing

If you have chosen the path of natural healing, for whatever reason, and you have found yourself stumbling in the dark, getting lost, going up blind alleys, being scared, or being disappointed, thinking you have found an answer only to be foiled, I have some news for that will challenge you and support you.

That is how it is, both in healing the body AND in transformation. 

Welcome to the mysterious world, the real world, the natural world. I know its frustrating and confusing and I know most of us want our answers to be straightforward and logical, because thats the world we have grown up in, but you are entering a different world now, and it doesn’t work the same.

Science, society, doctors, the whole shebang, would have us all believe its all scientific and even superficial. We so desperately want life to be straightforward. But here is the thing.

The basic model upon which all this thinking is based, IS A FLAWED WORLD VIEW. Yup. It is, sadly, a world view that has divorced itself from the natural movement of life, from nature itself. And I am delighted and sorry to tell them (and you) that the human being is still NATURAL. whether we like it or not. 

We have been heavily socialized, and industrialized and modernized, for only the last 100-200 years. For the previous thousands, even millions, of years, we have had to adapt to nature. Add to that truth the fact that we are highly complex beings who have emotions, hormones that relate to emotions, immune systems that relate to our thoughts and feelings, and nervous systems that are super conductor highways of vast intelligence, AND we have a profound spiritual side that connects us to the divine, and you have a seriously deep and complex person!

So cut yourself some slack and start digging. Dig deep, deep, deep. Dig into the roots of who you are, where you come from, what you have inherited and your entire belief system. Find out where you turned away from love because of fear, when you were young, and heal that wound. Search for all your old grievances and vengeance and commit yourself to releasing yourself from the prison. You wont heal or transform until you let go and really love yourself fully.

You have to dig to heal. When the tree is suffering, you can try and fix the branches, the leaves, or even the trunk, but you probably wont see much difference. But if you attend to the roots and get them nourished and flowing, pretty soon the leaves, the trunk, and the branches are going to grow strong and healthy. Whats the difference between us and the tree?

Nothing, except our beliefs systems. It is our belief systems that stand in our way. Don’t be a victim of a belief system that doesn’t serve you. Find one that serves you, or better still, go so deep into consciousness that you transcend belief systems altogether, and then you are free to play and dance and feel love and joy.

The one who has transcended his own belief system is free, and at peace with himself and the world.