This page is a list of all the resources I have found helpful on my journey to health. I will keep adding to this list.
Last updated: 9th May 2019
Some helpful starting points
- Lyme Disease UK website and facebook group (click here)
- Caudwell Lyme website. Set up my phones4u founder John Caudwell, who was affected by Lyme.
- Richard Horowitz’ books: “Why Can’t I Get Better?” and “How Can I Get Better?”
- Website and blog produced by a patient who fully recovered from Lyme disease and has lots of helpful resources for patients https://realfoodrebel.com/
- Another great patient-led website by a lady who fully recovered: Layers of Lyme
- Stephen Buhner’s Lyme protocols, available for free at http://buhnerhealinglyme.com/, with much greater detail provided in his books “Healing Lyme”, “Healing Lyme Disease Coinfections – Bartonella and Mycoplasma”, and “Natural Treatments for Lyme Disease Coinfections: Anaplasma, Babesia and Ehrlichia”.
Neuroplasticity & brain retraining
This has been, hands down, the tool that has given me the greatest health benefits. There are lots of different programmes, books, tools and communities that can support with this. Here are some of my favourites:
- The Gupta Program. Originally designed for CFS/ME but has been successfully used for lots of chronic conditions, including Lyme, fibromyalgia, IBS etc. The cost of the program is, compared to many treatments, very reasonable and you really do get a lot of resources for the price, including a 12-week live webinar series with the founder Ashok Gupta which was invaluable for me. https://www.guptaprogramme.com/
- The Women’s Wellness Circle. Website and facebook community (@thewomenswellnesscircle). Webinars, interviews, meditations and other resources to support healing of the mind and body. Two of the Women’s Wellness Circle coaches are also coaches for the Gupta Programme, which was how I found it.
- You are the Placebo. Book, CD and online resources by Joe Dispenza.
- The Power of Belief. Book by Bruce Lipton.
- Heal documentary available on Netflix. http://www.healdocumentary.com/
- I am also aware of Dynamic Neural Retraining System (DNRS), which many people report huge success with. I have not used it myself, but am including it here nonetheless.
The impact of stress on our health cannot be under-estimated. It took me years to realise just how stressed I was, all the time, as a result of past trauma, social anxiety, perfectionism and basically being a bull in a china shop. This is still a work in progress for me, but I believe it to be hugely important for anyone with health issues. Some ideas…
- Meditation. There are so many different styles or “types” of meditation, so I would recommend trying various styles until you find one that feels right for you. If there are any classes near you, that would be a great place to start. I personally prefer to practice unguided meditation – basically sitting quietly for a period of time, maintaining focus on my body and present experience. But I think guided meditation is really helpful for beginners.
- Meditations from the Gupta programme; available for free via The Meaning of Life app (available for Apple and Android). These meditations are not chronic-illness related so are suitable for everyone.
- Sudhir Rishi podcast – available on iTunes. This amazing man runs the Sampoorna Yoga training centre in Goa where I trained in 2016. The podcasts are mostly recordings of live meditations and Satsangs. It doesn’t get much more authentic than this!
- Kundalini yoga meditations and kriyas as described in: Meditation as Medicine, by Guru Dharma Singh Khalsa MD & Cameron Stauth
- Calm App. Costs £9.99 a month but worth every penny. I started using their sleep meditations when I was struggling with insomnia and I still use them now; I’m normally asleep before it’s finished!
- Headspace – a very popular meditation app. I don’t use it any more but I think it’s a really good starting point for beginners.
- HeartMath. A tool for changing the pattern of your heart rhythms to achieve what is referred to as “coherence”; a state characterised by harmony in our mind, body and emotions (description taken from HeartMath website). There is a book that describes the HeartMath theory and techniques: The Heartmath Solution: Proven Techniques for Developing Emotional Intelligence. By Doc Children & Howard Martin. You can also purchase technology that allows you to monitor your heart rhythms in real-time, giving you a form of biofeedback to train your heart rhythm patterns. I practice with the Inner Balance device daily.
- Trauma release work. If you are human, you have trauma. I had spent years unaware of the impact of past trauma on my health. Some tools that I have found helpful:
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT or “tapping”). I was taught this technique via my work with the Women’s Wellness Circle. There are also books, youtube videos and online courses that teach this technique. I think that if you are working with deep trauma, it is worth working with a practitioner, for guidance and safety.
- Somatic Experiencing therapy. Created by Dr Peter Levine. He has a book called Waking the Tiger that explains the therapy in detail, and a shorter book that has a much briefer overview of the theory behind the therapy, followed by practical exercises to work through (Healing Trauma: A pioneering program for restoring the wisdom of your body). Because this therapy doesn’t involve “reliving” past trauma, I have found it quite safe to work through without assistance from a practitioner, but others may benefit from working with a practitioner. In the UK, they can be found via https://www.seauk.org.uk/
Dietary advice and recipes
There are so many different dietary protocols for people with chronic illness, it can feel a bit overwhelming. My advice would be to make small changes over time. Investigate different protocols and find what works best for you. I have settled on a diet that is paleo; gluten and dairy free; very low sugar; mostly plant-based with a small amount of high quality meat; and avoidant of lectins in grains, legumes and plants in the nightshade family. This might sound like a lot, and five years ago it would have done for me too, but I can honestly say I don’t generally struggle with this way of eating, except when I am travelling.
Some helpful starting points:
- The Wahls Protocol has been used successfully with Lyme, as well as many other chronic conditions. Website and book
- The Paleo Mom. Website and book.
- Bulletproof diet. Loosely based on a keto diet (high fat, low carb), although Dave Asprey the founder gives various options besides full keto. Lots of good info on his website and podcast (see below).
- Website and blog, with recipes, by a nutritionist who lives and works locally to me. My favourite website for breakfast ideas! http://www.crunchnutrition.co.uk/
I’ve really enjoyed listening to podcasts this year. I like to listen to them while I cook and while I drive, but they are also great for anyone who is sick and needs a restful activity to pass the time. All of these are available on iTunes and likely other platforms.
- Lyme Ninja Radio
- Bulletproof Radio – not focused on Lyme or chronic illness generally, but rather is a podcast designed for people who aim to be the best that they can be. Covers everything you could possibly imagine in relation to health and has hundreds of episodes.
- The Doctor’s Farmacy – podcast by Dr Mark Hyman on all things functional medicine.
- Revolution Health Radio – podcast by Chris Kresser. Again, all things functional medicine. Chris is one of my favourite functional medicine practitioners for reviewing science in relation to health.
- Broken Brain – podcast co-created by Dr Mark Hyman, hosted by Dhru Purohit. Tagline “Heal your body, heal your brain.”
- My Dad Wrote a Porno. This has nothing to do with health. But it is bloody hilarious and we all need more laughter in our lives.