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About Me

Five doctors, an osteopath and an acupuncturist all provisionally diagnosed me with autoimmune disease (Crohn’s disease, Ankylosing Spondylitis or Celiac disease, depending on who I asked). One doctor told me that I was, 'the worst autoimmune patient I have ever seen.' It must however be noted that I was never officially diagnosed by a specialist, because my appointments were cancelled due to the lockdown; my mysterious illness may have been severe MBS/chronic pain, severe IBS, severe perceived food intolerances, chronic fatigue, brain fog and various other mindbody problems (the list goes on…).

Assuming that I had autoimmune disease, I was faced with a choice between conventional doctors who say these diseases are incurable, and the paleo diet/functional medicine crowd who hold out hope for a full reversal of symptoms by maintaining a highly restrictive diet and supplements regime. I opted for the diet approach. This offered temporary relief, but in the long run it led to an unhealthy obsession with food. At my worst, I was wheelchair-bound with chronic hip and back pain. For four months I was unable to eat anything other than 1000 calories of mushrooms, almond milk and cucumbers, because I reacted terribly to all other foods.

My complete symptoms list included: gingivitis, lordosis, wisdom tooth-related infections, anal fissure, haemorrhoids, severe RSI-like hand and wrist pains, urinary pain, anxiety, depression, severe brain fog, IBS-like diarrhoea and constipation, probable severe autoimmune disease, gluten, lactose, soy, starch, onion, nut, egg, and artificial sweetener intolerances, chronic fatigue, chest pain with accompanying shortness of breath, neck pain, chronic low back and hip pain, insomnia, dizziness and infected bug bites.

I could only sleep in a sun lounger. I lost about 25 kilos and looked like a prisoner of war. My endoscopy was cancelled due to the covid lockdown.
t that point, it was sink or swim.

Physical treatments had let me down. I was forced to look within for a solution. I prayed to Christ that if he showed me the way to recover, I would spread whatever message he wanted me to spread. Then I was recommended Healing Back Pain, by Dr. John Sarno.

Sarno believed that chronic pain and other conditions like IBS and Fibromyalgia are psychosomatic. Initially, I couldn't accept this and the book was left unread on my nightstand. Then I had a dream. In my dream, I was on a podcast, holding up a copy of Sarno's book saying 'diet is okay, but this is better.' This dream persuaded me to give the book a try. Sarno's core concept is that chronic pain is a distraction from repressed emotions, particularly anger. Acknowledging those emotions defeats the purpose of the distraction strategy and leads to a reduction in symptoms, so long as the patient is aware of the causative link between mind and body. He rechristened psychosomatic chronic pain as TMS (Tension Myositis Syndrome), later changed to The Mindbody Syndrome.

I began to apply Sarno's insight to my own life and immediately got a significant improvement. Over the next 15 months, I did a lot of journalling to release my repressed emotions, especially grief (my dad died from ALS when I was 19). My pain and other symptoms gradually reduced and I slowly increased the foods I could eat, and my range of motion.

Now I am fully recovered. I do not take any medication, herbs or supplements (except one daily Vitamin D pill). I do not eat a special diet. In fact, I eat a lot of junk food. I can run a 10k in 40 minutes, climb mountains, hike 18 miles, and lift weights.

I am now offering my services as a mind-body coach to help others with their mind-body illnesses. I will advise clients on any stress-related condition. The conditions most commonly associated with mindbody syndrome are chronic pain, IBS, brain fog, chronic fatigue syndrome, diarrhoea, constipation, fibromyalgia and migraines. Bookings can be made via email:

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