Caring for myself with GAPS

I just wrote about how I’m gradually shedding the load I carried during winter … and over at Sacred Essence I wrote about the importance of honouring the SPACE between seasonal changes. This Spring I am not leaping into the meadows, ready to dance with the bees and butterflies. I am walking slowly and taking time to smell the flowers … and stare at them.

Last weekend I had two very beautiful and peaceful experiences meditating and communing with the plants … one of these experiences led to connections between the grevillia flower and the terrible eczema that I have had on my hand. I will write about those experiences in my next post, but first my hand:

Eczema has always been there as a part of my life as has (surprise surprise!) asthma also. Asthma and I have an understanding and we know how to keep a respectful distance from each other now, with occasional clashes … but eczema has always boggled me. Never could quite work what triggers it. It’s never been this bad before, but as one friend pointed out to me, after such a period of dreadful sleep and the associated anxiety and tiredness that comes with sleep deprivation, it is probably a stress response this time. A week ago it was red, swollen and blistered where the skin was so thin and tight that it had begun to split. It was so painful I couldn’t move the last two fingers on my hand without wincing and I would spend every spare moment looking at it in utter astonishment about how it got to be so bad so quickly. Even the sheet brushing my hand at night would wake me up with pain. Incredibly, within one week of focused healing this eczema has begun to clear and my hand is functional and looking almost normal now.

I started by going on the GAPS Introduction diet – and it is largely to this diet that I credit my recovery. At the same time I have been meditating and also using a Thought Field Therapy treatment (TFT). And sleeping. Sleep helps 🙂 A lot.

The GAPS Intro diet could be seen as harsh. Basically I have had meat stock and soups made from this meat stock for every single meal for the last week. We all know that chicken soup is a nourishing meal when we are ill, but never before have I experienced such quick healing from a diet change. I’m no stranger to limited eating. I have had many food sensitivities in the past. It is my hope that this diet will help me reach the stage where I can eat anything I’d like to once again and not experience the instant mucus response, wheezing, joint pain or tiredness and fuzziness that goes along with it.

It is not a weight loss diet, it is a diet for healing the gut, along the idea that our digestion is the root of our inner health. I’m not going to describe GAPS here, but I recommend that you research it thoroughly before you consider starting it. It sounds extreme, but I have come through Stage 1 and I am ready to gradually introduce more foods. In a week, apart from the healing of my eczema, I have noticed lots of other changes in myself: my skin and eyes are clear and sparkly again. I am holding myself more upright. I am sleeping really well. I am dreaming again. Happy dreams 🙂 I am able to plan ahead and find myself WANTING to get back into my work and move through projects.

I did experience a bit of ‘die back’ (where the toxin-producing bacteria begin dying off and releasing their toxins into the system) by day 3, but no more than a bit of back pain and tiredness, and I do not feel hungry if I eat my soups with enough fat, meat and veggies in them. Anyone who knows me will be able to tell you how I can put my food away 🙂 and I am terribly grumpy when I am hungry so it was important for everyone in the house that this didn’t happen!

It takes preparation and time. Cooking stocks is a slow process, but that goes well with my current feeling that I need to move slowly through this gap between the seasons. Healing shouldn’t be rushed either, but having said that, I am delighted with the progress I’ve seen so far.

The best thing about it though, is now that I am feeling better in myself, I am more able to see the best in others again, and for a while there I wasn’t doing that. I didn’t realise what a weight I made for myself by thinking bitter thoughts about everyone and everything. Now this weight from my belly has been lifted, in all senses of the phrase … and I can think caring thoughts again. It’s a pretty good start, don’t you think?

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