Gut issues? The Doctor says its all in my head!

Everything we put into our bodies affects the terrain.

The toxins that we breathe in,
The foods we eat,
The medications we take,
The types of bacteria that colonize our body
Our thoughts, feelings, emotions we have about ourselves and the world affect our terrains.
How we eat, exercise and the lifestyle choices we make.
How you manage stress/relationships/previous traumas/childhood beliefs and values etc.
They all affect the strength of your natural killer cells.
The terrain is everything and if I have taught you nothing today except it is not all about diet and exercise then we are making progress! Everything we are thinking and feeling and is going on in our lives is affecting our microbiome.

Traumatic childhood experiences,  stressful work/ family life experiences can become part of our default wiring and our brain map.
Finding ways to get out of your default mode that you maybe experienced in your chiildhood can lead to shifts not only the way you feel but how your body functions at a molecular level. We can’t rewrite the past or our personality but we can change what’s happening going forward and that starts with perception, that creates the feeling.

How we perceive and interpret stress and interpret ourselves and others in the world, events and so on determines how we experience and remember the world. This trickles all the way down to ourselves. We talk about shifting the way we think about stress. Challenging stress and how it affects the biology of your body. For those that suffer with stress for a lot of them it may not be the actual stress that’s the problem but how they perceive the stress! For those that suffer with anxiety or high stress they may perceive that same stress very differently as someone who is not internally hard wired to be stressed out. If that stress is perceived by another person and this is often due to abuse and trauma in childhood. I see amongst families where there is a very strong genetic wealth ie the mother and the father are well and the granny and granddad were well. This genetic wealth passes down three generations of support, kindness, financial support, mental support. Conversely I see families with poor genetic wealth, how a sick mother or father has to be cared for by a child and eventually they become so sick from the stress of looking after their parents or grandparents as well as their own kids they too get sick and then they their children in turn must care for them. A neverending circle of ill health. The ill health gets passed down through generations. So we have to change our perception of ourselves and the world around us in order to change how we’re doing things.

For some people antidepressant and antipsychotic medication is a starting point for helping them cope with anxiety and trauma and therapy is also very useful for helping other people come to terms with their past. Meditation or yoga can help you get out of your autopilot ANTs automatic negative thought modes. Some people use travel and education and pursuing new experiences.  There’s millions of ways of doing this but awareness of ourselves is the first step to recovery.  Awareness of what your feelings and emotions are. How they’re affecting your brain and your microbiome through the gut-brain connection. We have to consider you are talking to your subconscious. The gut brain axis means the gut and the brain are talking to each other all the time. The medical model is in the very early stages of accepting the role of the mind and brain in healing the body. Some doctors are finally accepting stress reduction techniques as they come to realize that they play a large role in the fight or flight in terms of disease. A significant mental change through visualization and positive self talk can have a significant mental change and therefore physical change to the body and brain access. If you hear anything that makes you feel that you have yourself to blame for your illness, you should ignore it, set it aside.

Sometimes an illness has come to us, as it was with me as a sign to recalibrate, to rest and to reassess my life. I had to do many things. I had to remove significantly stressful people and toxic family, friend and peer relationships out of my life.
I had to stop taking responsibility for my mother and her illness and hand her over to the state to care for her.
I had to make peace with the fact that I couldn’t fix her and instead I needed to fix myself,  to save my marriage and save my children from being without their mother.
I had to change how i exercised, what i ate, how i relaxed, how i slept , how i spent my time.
I had to change my careers. I had to go from travelling the world and country in corporate pharma to being a self employed health coach and working from home alot. I had to reduce my hours at work.
I had to stop taking so much on. I had to stop helping so many people.
I had to priotise my self care, i had to do selfcare 3 hours everyday.
I had to take medication and hormones to help me and thats Ok.
We have to give ourselves time to heal. It takes a few years. Healing is not linear.

Meaning if you do all the things in the next 6 months you may not heal. The body can only heal as fast as it is able to.
We have to be peaceful with the fact that it is OK to slow down and to set the pace of your life.
We have to give ourselves permission to move forward slowly without feeling judged, blamed or responsible.
We are ultimately responsible for our own happiness and our own health.
So much of how we talk to ourselves effects how we heal and how we recover and how we power through some of the most difficult situations in our lives. Most important thing is to get a life that’s meaningful to you. A life where you understand and experience “your own worth” and “where you know what your purpose is and what you want from this life”.
Living an authentic life , your authentic life, having the life being with the people you like, talking about the things you like and not going against your grain, not doing what other people are doing.
Trends, social media and modern society makes you think you should be doing what they do but actually not caring about what other people think and only following your own path is key to your health. If you were to ask people seriously what they thought about how you lived your life? Most people would say they don’t care how you live your life, they simply think about their own life. People don’t care about the choices you make, most people just want to see you happy with whatever you choose.

For example when stress is high we fall back into the old ingrained ways of thinking. The brain might play a trick on us and convince us to go back to our old behaviour the familiar way. You see this in addiction and those that suffer with addictions. The neural pathways that tend towards pleasure and comfort. It plays out in all kinds of scenarios to help our health and capacity for healing. It’s not just alcohol and drugs that are addictive but foods, habits, routines and certain ways of thinking are also addictive. This is a big part of my work, trying to help people change their habits, change their routines, change their thought processes. This takes a long time, it doesn’t happen overnight but once you’re committed to your own healing and you’re committed that you’re healing is the most important thing in your life and in your day and your healing is more important than your family.  It will take two years, five years, 10 years depending on how long you’ve been sick..You can change how you live your life. You can come off the hamster wheel and you can live a different existence, an existence in which you’re respecting your gut brain axis and your immune system. When you up against the wall, you might fall back into your old habits, beliefs and choices. Its hard to make the right decision in the moment so therefore it’s important to plan ahead of what you’re going to do if you come up against a situation like that.

 If we fail to prepare we prepare to fail.
Ask Who can help me achieve my goals?
Who can I trust to talk to in this situation who can support me when I give into food or alcohol ?
Who will help me understand my value and worth and see my importance and goodness in this world?
Why did I decide to change my life?
Self love is the first step on the path to recovery and this is a huge part of my work. If a woman or a man comes to me and they don’t love themselves they will not be able to do what I ask them to do at home.

I can’t heal you. You have to heal yourself. You have to be prepared to do what I tell you to do for along period of time in order to make change happen and it’s not a quick fix. Its a long slow process of building one habit after another habit into your life until you find a healthy sustainable way of living. Doing something once is not going to change your health but doing something once a week for the next 52 weeks or 104 weeks over the next two years could have a profound difference..Whether that’s changing how you eat, when you eat, how you exercise, how often you take a bath, how often you swim in the sea, do you go for a sauna, how often you connect and have a deep meaningful connection with somebody, how often you sit down and rest, do you read a book or are you looking at your phone all night?
Our minds are wired in certain ways that keeps us from truly living. There’s long standing hang ups there that pull us towards old habits, routines and beliefs that can stunt us from healing. This is why it’s so difficult to change our habits. You can rewrite your future. You can forge new neural networks. It’s not easy and it’s not fast it takes time because most of our associations are with pleasure and reward habits and not necessarily the healthier habits. You have to burn the bridges of old neural connections and create new ones and the only way we can do this is by creating new habits. By setting reminders in our phones and alarms to go off at certain times and certain days and certain weeks to do all of these things. Each new habit must be repeated at least 30 days for a start, but really 60 or 90 days before it becomes an ingrained habit. I myself have been building in new habits into my lifestyle and diet over the last ten years and it really took me 10 years to have the diet lifestyle I have today.

It takes 45 days to create a new neural network. That’s a whole month and a half.  Its not long when you think about the length of your life. When you’re doing it day-to-day trying to change. Anything from recognizing an extra limiting belief for passions, choosing a healthy food over an inflammatory food, make your own response rewarding for you and stick to it.
Write notes. Pin it up in the fridge.
Do whatever you have to do to make it happen.
For me not giving my children the life that my mother gave us and not making the mistakes that she made was a massive motivator for my healing journey. As soon as I had children, I wanted to be around for my children, to see them get married, to see them have their grandchildren, to see them find joy in their relationships and careers, to see them and support them throughout their lives, their journey through life. This is a massive motivator for me to stay on the right path. Its hard to create a new map but it is possible.

You can do anything for four to five days because after the first few weeks if you get through that you will know in your head you can make change for a happier healthier life. Knowing you are in control is a powerful motivator. Change doesn’t just happen by chance. We have to make change happen.
Please share my vision of medicine with those that are ill and suffering. Those who need to hear a different story about their health. Please share my work with your healthcare providers who have the power to shift this narrative from a medication based system to respecting our entire immune system.
Share it with friends, who may not be facing a difficult illness yet and hopefully they’ll never have to because if you can set yourself on a healing journey early enough in your life diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, dementia, osteoporosis can be prevented.

My hope and hope for everyone who I have supported on their healing is that your story will finally be heard and that you’ll be able to find true health in all your body systems.


Fiona Murphy