A Personal Evolution from Chronic Illness to Optimal Living
Having suffered from post viral syndrome, adrenal fatigue, or chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), ME – or whatever name one ascribes to this chronic condition) I understand how debilitating it is and how helpless and misunderstood sufferers feel.
It is extremely frustrating, and there’s rarely anything doctors, or most other practitioners can do to help.
And those suffering from chronic ailments or ‘syndromes’ such as fibromyalgia, anxiety, IBS, POTS and many more share the same or similar experiences, or feelings.
As such, I have the last 30 years of mt life exploring solutions, and the last 20 years as a natural medicine practitioner working with clients on making solutions.
Given I experienced a complete recovery 25 years ago, and my general health and resilience has improved so significantly over the last 10 years as a result of this exploration, I know intimately that there are solutions that create complete recoveries, so I have searched extensively for techniques that yield more than just partial or temporary results.
I’ve experienced complete recovery myself which allowed me to believe that it is possible, and have witnessed it with clients many times, so it has set a benchmark to aim for.
It often, or almost always, requires more than one technique. As such, it involves a combination of techniques.
And it involves a bit of a paradigm shift in one’s perspective of health and disease.
Rather than a predominantly medicinal approach, be they pharmaceutical or natural, I have found that the most profound or complete resolutions have come from behavioural of lifestyle changes.
It’s a far less appealing model for the general public, as it requires more work and responsibility for the individual. Plus, we have been so indoctrinated by the medical and pharmaceutical model that many believe that in order to change processes of illness in the body, we must take something.
However, if one takes a step back, we can see how short sighted this approach is – especially with chronic illness.
Agreed, it is absolutely necessary if one catches an infectious disease, and modern medicine & the pharmaceutical approach evolved at a time when 90% or deaths came as a result of infectious diseases and trauma. As such, this model, aided heavily by modern engineering and sanitisation, was highly successful.
However, the world has changed dramatically, and 90% of deaths now result from chronic, lifestyle preventable illnesses.
Therefore, a different approach is required. Hence , the need for a paradigm shift to yield more complete results. Or, dare I say it, complete resolutions.
This shift comes from looking at the fields of evolutionary medicine, genetics/epigenetics, and anthropology.
Research has found that it takes 40,000 to 100,000 for a change in our environment to be assimilated by our bodies, at DNA level. As such, the bodies we now inhabit, are those of our ‘hunter gatherer’ ancestors some 40,000 years ago.
Our bodies adapted to live, and flourish the way we did then.
But that’s a long way from how we live now. Pretty much most of what we do is different.
We sit more, eat differently, exercise less, stress more constantly, breathe far less efficiently, think too much, work too much etc. etc.
Life is much higher paced, and far more complicated. We’ve created a huge mismatch between the bodies we inherited from our hunter gatheerer ancestors, and the world we have now created.
Our highly evolved thinking or rational brains have allowed us to become ‘so-called’ top of the animal kingdom, yet we have forgotten how to live as we evolved to, or we are built to.
To quote one of my favourite evolutionary medicine specialists, Daniel Lieberman, in hos book ‘The Story of the Human Body. Evolution, Health and Disease’.
“We didn’t evolve to be healthy, but instead we were selected to have as many offspring as possible under diverse, challenging conditions. As a consequence, we never evolved to make rational choices about what to eat or how to exercise in conditions of abundance or comfort. What’s more, interactions between the bodies we inherited, the environment we create, and the decisions we sometimes make have set in motion an insidious feedback loop. We get sick from chronic diseases by doing what we evolved to do but under conditions for which our bodies are poorly adapted, and we then pass on those same conditions to our children, who also then get sick. If we wish to halt this vicious circle then we need to figure out how to respectfully and sensibly nudge, push and sometimes oblige ourselves to eat foods that promote health and to be more physically active. That too, is what we evolved to do.”
The way to create complete and long term resolutions to chronic ailments is to address this mismatch.
It was when I began to explore techniques based on this approach, that I started to witness far more potent results in clients.
Here are a list of some of the techniques I use both with clients, and personally in my exploration of optimal living. More information on each can be found in many articles I have written on this site. I shall provide a link to one of these for many:
- Mickel Therapy – the core approach or rudder that guides the rest. Eliminating (via action) the ‘sub-conscious behavioural and lifestyle habits that suppress energy and send us into constant ‘hypervigilance’, ‘fight or flight mode’ or internal overdrive. https://timaltman.com.au/video-tim-altman-mickel-therapist/ https://timaltman.com.au/mickel-therapy-case-study-fibomyalgia/
- Breathing Dynamics – diaphragmatic breathing rhythms to retrain ideal breathing. https://timaltman.com.au/breathing-life-death/
- Optimal nutrition – including regulating blood sugar levels, increasing vegetable and fruit intake. https://timaltman.com.au/the-ideal-nutrition-plan-for-the-modern-world/
- Meditation. https://timaltman.com.au/meditation-is-medicine-2/
- Therapeutic fasting. https://timaltman.com.au/fasting-solution-optimal-health/ https://timaltman.com.au/fasting-history-purposes/ https://timaltman.com.au/fast-benefits-fasting/
- Optimising our response to stress: https://timaltman.com.au/deal-stress-number-one-contributor-mortality/
- Creating work-life balance – meeting your own deep seated needs as well as those of others or work.
- Optimal sleep practices.
- Herbal medicine.
- Sauna therapy. https://timaltman.com.au/benefits-sauna-therapy/
- Creating more joy or play.
It won’t require all of these modalities or techniques to get better. For many, it only requires a few. Whilst it does require some work and responsibility from you, it is not as difficult or time consuming as you would think.
Once you start seeing results, it spurs you to start exploring more, and seeing further results.
I can assure you, the process of going from helplessness and despair to freedom and joy is certainly worth it.
What have you got to lose.
And the good news is that most of these modalities work as effectively when taught online via Zoom etc. as the do in person, so you don’t have to live locally to see the benefits.
If you’d like to explore further, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0425 739 918.
Linked below is a great interview on the ‘Take A Breath Health and Lifestyle Show’ podcast that I co-host, with Dr Craig Hassed, world renowned researcher and lecturer on mindulness, meditation and psychoneuroimmunology, Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI), also referred to as psychoendoneuroimmunology (PENI) or psychoneuroendocrinoimmunology (PNEI), is the study of the interaction between psychological processes and the nervous and immune systems of the human body.
Dr Hassed has written many books on mindfulness, meditation and mind-body medicine, including ‘The Freedom Trap – Reclaiming Liberty and Well-being’, and ‘Mindfulness For Life’ among many more.
His fantastic book, ‘New Frontiers In Medicine: The Body As a Shadow of the Soul’ was a huge inspiration to me many years ago during my studies into natural medicine and in my process to optimal health & living following my successful and complete recovery from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).
Both myself, and Take A Breath co-host Matt Radford (https://www.takeabreath.com.au/) were super nervous prior, and a bit star struck during our interview as Dr Hassed has been such an inspiration to us. However, we was super friendly and relaxed, so we really enjoyed it, and his discussion on the podcast is brilliant. I highly recommend you take the time to listen.
“Breath and mind arise from the same place and when one of them is controlled, the other one is controlled.
Watching the breath is one form of pranayama (meditation/mindfulness).
Merely watching the breath is easy and involves no risk”
My comprehensive online course for correct breathing is available on the home page of this website – https://timaltman.com.au/
Also, at Mindful Life Training we offer evidence based diaphragmatic breathing and mindfulness courses to organisations both in person and online to help you optimise your wellbeing, performance and state of being. Details linked here – https://www.mindfullife.com.au/breathing-for-anxietystress
An example of a 3 minute diaphragmatic breathing rhythm session to show how you can switch your nervous system from constant low level fight or flight into complete relaxation in a very short amount of time. It feels fantastic and is the only automatic bodily function that we can consciously control quite easily, so it is a way of regulating the same nervous system that regulates our response to stress – the autonomic nervous system (ANS). And all other automatic functions – digestion, metabolism, elimination, detox, immune, all endocrine glands, mood, sleep cycles etc. etc. As such, it allows you to give your body a profound, internal rest and recharge as often as you want 🙂