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Thread: Why going primal and then paleo didn't 'heal' me. page

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    vstefan's Avatar
    vstefan is offline Junior Member
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    Cool Why going primal and then paleo didn't 'heal' me.

    Primal Fuel
    [semi long] [inspirational]
    First off I'd like to say in no way am I shunning primal, or paleo or 80/20 or however you choose to eat. I eat about 98% paleo and avoid preservatives and additives etc and I love the way I eat. I just want to give you an insight as to why your diet may not resolve your problems, even when you have made some other changes in your lifestyle. I'll start off with an anecdote and talk a little about mindset.

    I'm 18. I've always been sensitive to stimuli, ie getting headaches in the wind, getting a runny nose going barefoot etc... And from time to time these sensations would come and go with no real patterns. Secondly, I've had chronic pain in my elbows for 18 months. Along with my neck and recently my foot. As I discovered MDA I decided to go more barefoot, ditch the orthotics. My elbow pain was also so bad I couldn't pick up a glass of water without cringing. My foot pain was so bad I was scared to even shower without wearing jandals, or go for a walk for even a few minutes outside.
    Recently something changed. I went to a hypnotherapist and then later read a book I had earlier discovered "Healing Back Pain" by Dr. John Sarno - great book, check it out if you have any problems. Basically I discovered lots of my problems, better yet if we say 'symptoms' were from my mind set. And not wholly from being just common stress. Even on relaxing days I would be in pain.

    Shoot back to when I started eating completely paleo. I had notice bowel movements etc were better, smoother, easier. I was reading lots of 'success stories' and 'benefits' on these and other websites. After a few weeks or a month I had noticed better bowel movements but nowhere near to the same extent as the first few weeks. Other glowing effects of paleo were diminishing too. Basically I had expected, or anticipated to 'feel' a lot better with a dietary change. And a healthy diet does do these things, but possibly not to extent we believe. Also my chronic cough went away so to do my runny nose; only to come back. I always believed there was something special about my bodies, or each individuals body resulting in some sort of organic cause of whatever symptom.

    Last week after reading the book I had decided enough was enough. I would get on with regular activities and not anticipate any pain or any reaction. I would uncondition myself. I admitted my problem was psychological, even though specialist in [osteopathy,massage,podiatry,ad nausem] would say the (complex, illogical) cause was X resulting in my symptoms Y. Why did me having flat feet and overpronating mean I had to wear orthotics or avoid going barefoot? Other people overpronate and have no problems, it is a "normal abnormality". My elbow pains greatly started to subside. From being scared to go for a walk or pick up a glass of water, to going for 5km+ walks in a few days, busting out half a dozen pull-ups in less than a week really showed me something. IT'S ALL OUR MINDSET.

    As my pains have greatly improved I thought back to my cough and my runny nose. Why did they come back even though my diet should resolve these issues? I spent a few months tweaking and twisting my diet but my symptoms were persistent or lacked a pattern. While these problems had organic causes, the root issue was my mindset. I had done X and Y to try improve my symptoms and that might have helped initially, but these kept coming back. For example I had always kept tissues in the same room I had been sitting in or in my pocket. Possibly why my runny nose continued... I had expected that they 'might' come in handy. What about my cough? I had gotten over a cold and it had lingered and lingered. At the same time I had the contrasting view that the body is super strong and it should tolerate benign things and not be fazed by basic abnormalities. Why would my neck or elbow still ache even though I was having a great time at the beach or on holiday? It was still pre-occupying my mind and I always anticipated a negative reaction from movement or usage. Why did my foot start hurting? Well I had been worried as I made the shift to barefoot that I might hurt myself or get bullshit condition XYZ.
    These issues were consuming me mentally.

    While symptoms or illnesses have an organic cause and can be influenced by diet and exercise; if these are addressed and still continue, it is possible to look at your mindset, how you deal with and acknowledge emotions and whether you are engaging in enough uplifting activities and releasing your negative emotions in a constructive way.

    The unconscious looks to give out problems to distract you from your deeper emotional unhappiness. Why do some people lose weight easily eating less while others don't? I'm sure a positive mindset has a greater influence than diet and exercise, although they are still part of the puzzle.

    As I'm regaining my strength and health in other ways in the upcoming weeks I hope to go for longer hikes then before, start swimming, get back into lifting -- and lift more than before, progress with the guitar and generally get on with my life, being a much stronger version of myself. A primal lifestyle will enhance that, but not create that if I'm not holding my own. And I will be more active around here


    EDIT - tell me your personal stories too, I'd love to get a further insight on this concept. I'm sure this idea can be applied to anything, even food intolerances and being "gluttened" to an extent. HAHA
    Last edited by vstefan; 04-19-2014 at 08:26 PM.

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    picklepete's Avatar
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    Placebo effect is definitely an elephant in the room that doctors and researchers can't explain well. I'm not too surprised
    if the benefits of diet X hinge on attitude as much as the benefits of pill X. Unfortunately the brain is a powerful self-deception engine and seems wired to produce soothing narratives even when there's no data regarding before/after/cause/effect.

    Though to give PB its due, Mark writes quite a lot about mental health.
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    Paulak's Avatar
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    vstefan, im sorry you are going through all of this. Im assuming you had a lot of medical testing before concluding that it was coming from your thoughts ? Been checked for Lyme disease ? Im sorry if you posted these details elsewhere because Im new here. Im just saying, sometimes there is a reason, and sometimes Paleo cant cure everything.But,you are still on the right track with Paleo. Do you exercise regularly?

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    The Placebo Effect in Diet | Mark's Daily Apple

    Mark has acknowledged this.

    But also, 50 pounds of fat didn't drop off my body by placebo, they are actually gone.

    I totally get placebo. I can even convince myself I'm feeling sensations for no reason and feel them. I am easily hypnotized and have learned to train my thoughts thusly. I've learned to control my bowels voluntarily, slow and speed up my heart, and more. All from a sort of limbic system feedback technique. But I could not out-think my arthritis. I tried. It ended up being the junk food.


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    Some people seem really invested, for lack of a better word, in their ailments. I don't mean that as a total insult or anything. You will find lots of people like this. My boyfriend is like this, even though he's healthier than many people 30 years younger, he's almost always worried he's about to die from some horrible disease or that he's ready to drop dead from old age. His mother is similar, all her phone calls with him are lengthy discussions of health problems. Knowing my boyfriend for so many years, I just don't think he can think of himself as anything other than sick, in pain, barely able to hold on to life. And then in the next breath he'll be all puffed up about his physical prowess and how much stronger and healthier he is than others. Makes no sense. It totally IS all in the head. I wish I could give him whatever placebo you have found. But unless it's prescribed by a doctor, he won't take it.
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    vstefan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes View Post
    Some people seem really invested, for lack of a better word, in their ailments. I don't mean that as a total insult or anything. You will find lots of people like this. My boyfriend is like this, even though he's healthier than many people 30 years younger, he's almost always worried he's about to die from some horrible disease or that he's ready to drop dead from old age. His mother is similar, all her phone calls with him are lengthy discussions of health problems. Knowing my boyfriend for so many years, I just don't think he can think of himself as anything other than sick, in pain, barely able to hold on to life. And then in the next breath he'll be all puffed up about his physical prowess and how much stronger and healthier he is than others. Makes no sense. It totally IS all in the head. I wish I could give him whatever placebo you have found. But unless it's prescribed by a doctor, he won't take it.
    Tell him to read the books and keep an open mind, I read one online for free, liked it so I decided it was worth buying the book. Fingers crossed

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    I have the same problem. I always consider myself to have a weak immune system. I'm always afraid to catch a cold. Even in summer i'm afraid to leave the house with wet or moist hair. And when i do i feel dizzy and as if i have a cold, but the next day it is almost always alright again. What would you guys do in my situation?

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    The mind is very powerful. A couple of times I've literally talked my way out of a tooth ache! And when the kids were little I'd talk to the family, and we'd tell our bodies, "If you're going to get sick, do so NOW or AFTER the trip!" It worked! Now, when I start to not feel well, I take a 15 min. nap to reboot.

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