Part 1: Impact Injury
Part 2: Movement as habit
Part 3: Emotional and Mental patterns
Part 5: Toxicity
Part 6: Lifestyle
Part 7: Case studies and Conclusion
If you are seeking relief from a painful issue that hasn’t done the decent thing and simply just gone away, then this series of articles offers:
-avenues to explore that you may not have considered yet
-fresh perspective on those you may have tried already
-some suggestions about where to best invest your time, energy and money.
In my work as a body therapist, and NLP coach, I am often asked the above question. It is usually followed by “Can it be fixed?”
The usual issues that raise “The Question” are neck, back and sciatic pain, whiplash, frozen shoulder, carpal tunnel/rsi or tennis elbow, headaches and migraines. The un-usual issues that raise “the Question” are those frustrating pains that come and go, move around, or are in odd places.
Following is a brief look at how diet may play a part in physical pain.
Many pain conditions involve inflammation. This is part of the body’s natural response to irritation, be it physical damage or chemical or allergic sensitivity, but sometimes you can get on a nasty spiral where inflammation leads to pain, leads to more irritation and inflammation … so interrupting that cycle can be an important factor in reducing pain.
All the foods that we as westerners tend to use, not only to celebrate, but also day to day, are very inflammatory – specifically sugar, meat, wheat, dairy, and deep fried foods – so diet may exacerbate an actual injury. Of course this sort of chronic inflammation due to dietary habits is also linked to degenerative and cancerous diseases that are rife in western culture, yet are very rare in indigenous cultures.
Sometimes a specific food intolerance can be directly involved in pain. Low back pain that is unresponsive to physical treatment, might respond well to removal of gluten or some other food, (see part 7, the case study for Ruby) which is upsetting the intestines and causing referred pain in the back. Kidneys, gall bladder and other organs can refer pain to the back, which might be best addressed with diet, detoxification, lifestyle, or treatment with other-than-physical therapies.
What to do:
If you are serious about your health, especially for the long term, then addressing diet is essential.
In general the more raw fruit and veges you eat and the simpler the diet, the less inflammatory it is. Also specific foods can have an anti-inflammatory effect, turmeric for example.
Professional vs internal advice
Good personalised dietary advice can be sought from practitioners such as naturopaths, chinese medicine and ayurvedic practitioners, who can assess your unique constitution and body type and give you a starting point that is tailored to you.
Bear in mind that diet is such a personal thing and absolutely nobody knows exactly what you need at any one time. The ideal advice comes from your body – not your mind or emotions, see below. If you treat yourself as a living experiment, and take your time observing how you respond to changes, you will develop your own sensitivity and instinct about what you want/need and how much.
The very word “diet” generally brings up emotional reaction to imagined denial of favorite foods.
Two approaches come to mind here. The first is to focus on adding top quality vibrant superfoods that you enjoy, rather than focussing on the denial and lack of consolation. It will build your sensitivity and your taste for food with “zing”.
The second consideration is to address the emotional links to consolation eating and cravings, which leads us nicely onto the next section of this article set : Part 4 – Emotional/Mental. Diet also links to Part 5 – Toxicity. Oooh, now we’re getting into the Interconnectedness of All Things.
Craig Love is an NLP Coach and a certified practitioner of 3 body therapies: ConTact C.A.R.E, Ortho-Bionomy, Zero Balancing, and is part way through adding the Feldenkrais Method of somatic education to his toolbox. He works in and around Auckland, New Zealand with animals as well as people, helping with issues as diverse as whiplash and back pain to phobias and anxiety, and with “labels” from Fibromyalgia to Crones Disease.