Advanced adventures in healing the gut: biofilm eradication

Having this information BEFORE coming off psych drugs might actually help one heal enough to not do as much damage in that process. I don’t know this for certain but I intuit that it’s likely. Healing the gut also helps heal the psyche in general for folks who’ve not started taking psych meds. This is something I know.

Things are very rapidly changing right now…I shared the below info in one of my healing groups…some of my readers may find it helpful too so I’m going to share some bits and pieces in this post. I don’t feel ready to write in-depth about this topic but introducing it seems to make sense because everyone I interact with in my private life who is also healing from protracted psych drug withdrawal issues is finding this phase I’m going through very interesting and some folks have started pursuing something similar for themselves too.

I’ve been treating biofilms with a variety of enzymes (several different kinds) with great results. I’m fairly far into my recovery with protracted psych drug withdrawal syndrome…so it’s important to point out I did not tolerate enzymes for several years…but now that I do…treatment has become critically important and I’m getting better and better.

It’s not only important to get good “probiotics” into us. It’s often also important to work at getting the bad microbes OUT.

Biofilms are when pathogenic bacteria and yeasts form a defensive substrate. It’s likely the foundational reason it’s difficult for many people to profoundly heal their guts. From Wikipedia:

A biofilm is any group of microorganisms in which cells stick to each other on a surface. These adherent cells are frequently embedded within a self-produced matrix of extracellular polymeric substance (EPS). Biofilm extracellular polymeric substance, which is also referred to as slime (although not everything described as slime is a biofilm), is a polymeric conglomeration generally composed of extracellular DNA, proteins, and polysaccharides. Biofilms may form on living or non-living surfaces and can be prevalent in natural, industrial and hospital settings.[2][3] The microbial cells growing in a biofilm are physiologically distinct from planktonic cells of the same organism, which, by contrast, are single-cells that may float or swim in a liquid medium.

Biofilms are likely implicated in all the chronic illnesses that I’ve found those of us with protracted withdrawal issues have in common. That includes chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, Lyme disease and many autoimmune diseases. See: Protracted psych drug withdrawal syndrome, chronic illness, CFS, Fibromyalgia: it’s autonomic nervous system dysfunction

When I shared this info with folks in my chronic illness circles someone asked about my protocol so far and I share that below as I shared it with them. The thing to be clear about is that it changes daily at this point…things are really intense but clearly good stuff is happening that I simply couldn’t tolerate…(The most key factor for those of us impacted with severe protracted psychiatric drug withdrawal syndrome is that the nervous system can’t tolerate the necessary detox until necessary time and initial care has been taken. For me that meant several years of nursing my nervous system with an uber clean diet, meditation, yoga, and very very slow detox with gentle agents generally not recommended by anyone who is into detox because detox at the stage I’m finally able to handle now and that I’m sharing is far too aggressive for those of us with a damaged nervous system from psych drugs)

My current “protocol” changes daily in that I always respond to my body. So I can’t say I do anything totally regimented. This is because my body remains delicate and my nervous system must be carefully catered to. What I’ve been doing is taking three different potent biofilm disruptors, all of which have a lot of different enzymes. They are Syntol — which includes a probiotic — and Neprinol (both by Arthur Andrew Medical)– I slowly worked up to the maximum therapeutic dose, but don’t do that religiously and generally take them around the clock as it makes sense (so I don’t take 4, 3x a day…I might take 2 – four to six times a day for example…sometimes I take a lot less. I find I tolerate less of the Syntol and have to cut back more frequently) My body wants more or less at different times. As the detox continues and the die-off diminishes I expect this to change.

Then I recently added Interfase Plus (Klaire Labs) and that really helped a lot additionally…I do the same with them…up to the therapeutic dose as my body wants it. I continue to eat really clean and am doing a candida type diet for the short-term as well.

The initial 2 weeks was super intense and I had to manage the detox carefully…resting a lot and taking breaks between doses etc.

I think it’s important to point out that I have not tolerated and continue to not tolerate the more potent targeted anti-fungals that are also derived from plants (most often used for candida) like caprylic acid, oil of oregano, undecylenic acid etc.  I believe this indicates that the die-off is simply still too much for my nervous system. That said, these enzymes are also very effectively killing off these pathogens and that is clear by what I’m going through now. I’m confident that what I’m doing is hastening profound healing.

The above substances for candida can be very helpful substances for folks who do not have the sorts of hyper-sensitivities many of my readers have.  So if you don’t have such issues they may be worth exploring. I may at some point try them again as my hyper-sensitivities continue to diminish. I think it’s likely that at some point I will tolerate most anything once again. Healing is happening!

Sometimes I use activated charcoal at night to clear out the toxins. I drink psyllium husk drinks with the activated charcoal…I take additional probiotics besides the Syntol as my body likes…I take Prescript Assist and Primal Defense…and a liquid detox probiotic from Ascended Health (which actually really helped get me ready for this phase I’m in right now) … I did a lot of prep to get here really…with probiotics (which I’d not tolerated for a lot of years either) and herbs etc. …

My histamine issues seem mostly gone since I started the detox…I can eat most of the foods again that I couldn’t eat for years…I’m still very much in process so not sure how it’s all going to unfold. There are some foods I’ve not felt inclined to add back…because they’re problematic foods in any case. Gluten and nightshades, to be clear. I do have the genes for Celiac disease and nightshades are toxic for a lot of people and neither group of foods appeal to me at this point so I’ve not added them back.

I have found that it’s important for me to not think I can copy anyone else’s protocol but I learn from others all the time. I suggest the same to any reader of this material. My intent in sharing this information is not that it be copied exactly but that folks might get ideas about how to proceed on their own unique path.

Of note too: the detox has been fascinating in that it illuminates my psyche too. That which needs release/transmutation/integration comes to light so that it can be processed…so the detox has been incredibly emotionally and spiritually cathartic. I suggest going easy and being gentle…the enzymes are extremely powerful… I didn’t tolerate them for many years. I had to do all I did before I got here…very slowly detoxing and healing.

The gentle agents that helped me get to where I could tolerate what I’m doing now were first simply a really clean diet. For me that meant a low histamine diet. Later when I could tolerate them, herbs were added. Healing herbs that helped heal the gut too in that they include gentle anti-fungal and bacterial properties included bugleweed, nigella sativa seeds and oil (black seed oil), holy basil, lemon balm and many more. I mostly bought bulk loose herbs and made tea that way. It was easy to control dose and it’s much cheaper too. I also ate a lot of fresh cilantro, dill and parsley and I mean a lot, both raw and cooked.  Also more recently adding fish oils, phospholipids, CoQ10, and a large variety of minerals among other things have participated in my preparation. That phase was not only strengthening my nervous system it was also healing my mitochondria. I continue with those supplements as well. Remember I didn’t tolerate ANY OF THESE substances for several years. So if that’s you too, just keep on taking your time. It gets better.

Herbs have played an incredibly important part in my healing and continue to do so.

I would not have reached the point where I can now attack the biofilm without the year of intense herbal therapy that I created for myself. I am happy to also say that I’m planning on taking a class towards my certification as an herbalist come January. A real class in which I attend in person. It will be my first such commitment out in the world and I’m very happy about that. Yes, I’m getting better. Yes, it gets better.

UPDATE and FYI: I only tolerated the above supplements for a couple of months and then had to go back to far gentler methods. This is okay. I don’t see it as a set back…it’s what my body wants and needs at the moment. Listening to our bodies and what they need is always a good thing.

and

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Charles Parker has a great collection of additional info on his site CorePsych right here. 

More:

*it is potentially dangerous to come off medications without careful planning. Please be sure to be well-educated before undertaking any sort of discontinuation of medications. If your MD agrees to help you do so, do not assume they know how to do it well even if they claim to have experience. They are generally not trained in discontinuation and may not know how to recognize withdrawal issues. A lot of withdrawal issues are misdiagnosed to be psychiatric problems. This is why it’s good to educate oneself and find a doctor who is willing to learn with you as your partner in care. See: Psychiatric drug withdrawal and protracted withdrawal syndrome round-up

Support Beyond Meds. Enter Amazon via a link from this blog and do the shopping you’d be doing anyway. No need to purchase the book the link takes you to. THANK YOU or make a donation with PayPal

I get knocked down, but I get up again. You’re never gonna keep me down.

Those of us recovering from the iatrogenic injuries that psych drugs cause have a very bumpy healing road. It’s never linear and there are just tons and tons of set backs…

Not unusually I’ve been having a bumpy ride…and today, the refrain of an old song popped into my head. It’s VERY happy. And today I can see again how I keep learning more and more and my nervous system is also getting stronger.

I get knocked down, but I get up again. You’re never gonna keep me down.

So, yeah, Amen and Hallelujah…we have resilient spirits and bodies and we heal…even if it’s one hell of a bumpy ride.

Have fun listening to Tubthumping by Chumbawamba…I just did.

I’m thrilled…lab work proves I’m doing it right! (thyroid issues and herbs)

Herbal medicine for the win!

I tested hyperthyroid about 6 weeks ago…it made my iatrogenic nervous system chaos far worse.

I took herbs (mostly a variety of different but particular nervine herbs which I made into teas and sipped therapeutically throughout the day) and did yoga, concentrating on a few poses for supporting my thyroid and also emphasized certain healthy foods in my diet.

A few days ago I sensed I no longer needed the herbs (I continuously intuitively took what I needed, not what is generally prescribed by herbalists, even…I totally listened to my body and the energetics of the herbs) So I stopped the herbs a few days ago as they seemed to no longer be needed and in fact were not agreeing with me anymore and so I stopped them over the course of a few days.

Today it’s been 6 weeks since I last tested and my thyroid test came back NORMAL. I’m off the medicinal herbs and feeling much better. A regular doctor would have put me on pharmaceuticals that are dangerous and have potentially serious side-effects. I would not have been allowed to play with my dose and intuit what I needed like I did with the plants. THIS is what healing can look like. I will stay attuned and continue to learn about what my body needs and test again if I feel I need to do that.

The best part is I’m feeling better than ever. It seems that course of nervine herbs helped heal my nervous system in general. HEAL is the operative word. I am not taking them at this point. They did their job and when it was done they let me know it was done. I was able to know by tuning into the energetics in my body. That is how plant medicine works.  The proof is in the lab result I just got this morning.

Related posts:

For a multitude of ideas about how to create safe alternatives to psychiatric drugs visit the drop-down menus at the top of this page. 

Support Beyond Meds. Enter Amazon via a link from this blog and do the shopping you’d be doing anyway. No need to purchase the book the link takes you to. THANK YOU or make a donation with PayPal

“I wrote a new story for my nervous system” — neurosculpting, neuroplasticity

Updated note, Jan. 2015: I really enjoyed this (neurosculpting) system and while I don’t practice this precisely anymore it helped inform an important part of my own journey as I was coming to understand how these principles work in my body/mind/spirit. I have found that from learning from many different people who have healed from pretty intense histories I can piece meal my own (ever-changing) protocol…this has been necessary. We don’t have clones running about to tell us exactly what to do. Still, this program helped so much that I was shocked to see that I had written this post this year. It felt like a long long time ago, since I’ve incorporated so much of what I learned since then.

This is so EXCITING. I listened to this with such complete and total delight. This interview with Lisa Wimberger is, in large part, what I have been creating for myself…not even understanding all aspects, which means that listening to this interview was BRAIN CANDY too. Lisa Wimberger talks about brain candy as being part of the healing process.

Psychiatric drug withdrawal syndrome often results in a severe injury to the autonomic nervous system. Listen and learn. Hearing this explanation further helps and educates my own process. Again, exciting.

Also anyone with any trauma issues or autonomic nervous system issues may find this helpful. Many long term chronic health issues end up involving the nervous system as they are traumatic in many ways: Protracted psychiatric drug withdrawal syndrome, chronic illness, CFS, Fibromyalgia. Yeah, they all have things in common.

I love how she talks about how the brain loves novelty. That is the cornerstone of what I do for myself. I find truth EVERYWHERE. Pieces of the puzzle everywhere. I am constantly rewriting and reformulating my story. And I love how she addresses these concepts…again, brain candy for me.

She is also talking about exercise, diet, meditation, and new habits…all things I talk about all the time in my own healing process are all critically important. I write about this at Mad in America: Everything Matters: a Memoir From Before, During and After Psychiatric Drugs. She is helping me bring together many things I’ve been working on. Articulating it in the most delightful way which will help further along my own process.

So listen here from Sounds True, an interview with Tami Simon:

Founder of the Neurosculpting Institute Lisa Wimberger speaks with Tami Simon about how people can change their ingrained beliefs and conditioned behaviors using her revolutionary method. Neurosculpting takes a whole-brained approach to changing the way we deal with stress. Lisa relates how to “set up our brains for change” by calming our fight, flight, and freeze response, and guides us through a Neurosculpting session so we can see how we might respond in a new way to a stressful situation. (66 minutes)

and also a short video on youtube

STRESS IS A SILENT KILLER.

It contributes to high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, PTSD, neurodegenerative diseases, and suicide.

Drawing on her own history of trauma and experience helping “first responders,” Lisa Wimberger teaches powerful and easy-to-practice meditation techniques that improve the mental and emotional quality of life for those who are suffering. These techniques can be used at any time to turn back the body’s clock, regenerate the mind, break negative patterns, and heal emotional wounds.

I just bought this program. Looking very forward to getting into it…I’m sure it’s going to help bring together a lot of my own work. Thank you, thank you Lisa Wimberger and Sounds True!

See also from Beyond Meds: Neuroplasticity: enormous implications for anyone who has been labeled with a psychiatric illness  

 

For a multitude of ideas about how to create a life filled with safe alternatives to psychiatric drugs visit the drop-down menus at the top of this page. 

Support Beyond Meds. Enter Amazon via a link from this blog and do the shopping you’d be doing anyway. No need to purchase the book the link takes you to or make a donation with PayPal. Thank you!

Calming yoga class for the central nervous system (good for those of us with psych drug withdrawal syndrome too)

Relaxation and Stress Relief

Millions of us in our modern world suffer because we are constantly pushed and hurried. Rushing causes tension and stress. We are over-exposed over-saturated with incoming information 24/7. Any information that comes to you causes your sympathetic nervous system (the fight, flight or freeze) to act or react. When you are exposed to stressors it is up to your parasympathetic nervous system to bring you back down. (read more on youtube below the video)

This is the second video I’ve shared with Melissa West teaching. See the first one here. I like how she teaches and both the video I’m sharing today and the prior one are very very gentle. Just perfect for my hurting but healing body. Don’t let the gentleness fool you, however, these are powerful yoga sessions and if you do them mindfully you’ll feel just how powerful they are.

legsI’m copying and pasting the below from the prior post as it is still true and has some helpful information for beginners.

Yoga has been and remains fundamentally important to my healing process. Not only did it allow me to slowly rehabilitate my bedridden, atrophied muscles. (it’s rather astonishing what happens to the body after being mostly inert in bed for two years). But it has since started to slowly deeply strengthen me in a multitude of other ways. In this process too, since yoga is also a profound mindfulness practice, I’ve come to learn to deeply listen to my body. Yoga, among other things, serves as a system of somatic release. In this way layers and layers of trauma and pain can be accessed and healed.

Below I’m posting some of the yoga posts that include very easy videos that I started out with as I got out of bed. Look for RESTORATIVE yoga videos when you first start. These are deeply healing to the nervous system and those of us with withdrawal syndrome need to heal our autonomic nervous systems. 

Here are some links that can get people started if they’re still ill or if they’re just beginning a yoga practice:

these sequences have also been very healing…belly breathing is also really really good for the calming of the nervous system:

The above can get you started with baby steps. Don’t feel beholden to do all of any of these videos. Pick and choose from what your body likes and wants.

Here is a longer but very gentle routine as well…again, remember only do that which your body likes.

I want to underscore that I rarely do more than 20 minutes of yoga at one sitting even now and I’ve been doing a deep and profound yoga practice for several years now. I did do this whole video as it’s so slow and gentle. I did however shorten many of the holds…so in that respect I didn’t do the whole thing. My body is still healing…this is what it needs. Being a good yogi doesn’t mean necessarily stamina (or great physical flexibility)…it’s much more about listening and attending to the body right NOW. On physically stronger days I may do yoga several times a day. Anything from 5 minute to 20 minute sessions. On better days I may do that several times during the day.  On a really bad day I may do nothing at all or more often just really small laying down stretches for no more than a few minutes.

Trust yourself. Trust your body.

MORE: Yoga posts on Beyond Meds

You can visit the bookstore too.

For a multitude of ideas about how to create a life filled with safe alternatives to psychiatric drugs visit the drop-down menus at the top of this page. 

Support Beyond Meds. Enter Amazon via a link from this blog and do the shopping you’d be doing anyway. No need to purchase the book the link takes you to or make a donation with PayPal. Thank you!

Breathing meditation for a stressed out nervous system

This is a nice sort of beginning relaxation meditation.

A note for anyone who might be in the midst of withdrawal syndrome. Don’t worry if you can’t do this, or if you can only do it for a minute or two. When I was at the height of the illness I couldn’t listen to ANYTHING. A meditation, at that time, was successful when I stayed with the internal chaos for 30 seconds…that grew to a minute, two minutes and slowly over time my practice developed. There are still times when distraction is preferred over meditation. Trust your body. Do only what you can handle. Please be patient with yourself. Babysteps. Tiny little baby steps are good.

I recommend not looking at the screen when listening.

This guided meditation is from http://www.quietmindcafe.com and is one part of a three-part relaxation and stress management system. Use this sympathetic breathing guided meditation for profound relaxation and stress relief. This breathing technique calms and balances the autonomic nervous system, which is your fight or flight response. This breathing technique will boost your immune system and suppress cortisol which is a hormone responsible for rapid aging.

More meditation collections on Beyond Meds.

And here is the meditation category too, with all posts on meditation.

The above meditation is good for those of us with damaged autonomic nervous systems:

●  Protracted psychiatric drug withdrawal syndrome, chronic illness, CFS, Fibromyalgia. Yeah, they all have things in common.

 

*it is potentially dangerous to come off medications without careful planning. Please be sure to be well educated before undertaking any sort of discontinuation of medications. If your MD agrees to help you do so, do not assume they know how to do it well even if they claim to have experience. They are generally not trained in discontinuation and may not know how to recognize withdrawal issues. A lot of withdrawal issues are misdiagnosed to be psychiatric problems. This is why it’s good to educate oneself and find a doctor who is willing to learn with you as your partner in care.  Really all doctors should always be willing to do this as we are all individuals and need to be treated as such. See: Psychiatric drug withdrawal and protracted withdrawal syndrome round-up

It’s become clear to me that whenever it’s possible that it’s helpful for folks who’ve not begun withdrawal and have the time to consider a carefully thought out plan to attempt to bring greater well-being to your body before starting the withdrawal. That means learning how to profoundly nourish your body/mind and spirit prior to beginning a withdrawal. For suggestions on how to go about doing that check the drop-down menus on this blog for ideas. Anything that helps you learn how to live well can be part of your plan. That plan will look different for everyone as we learn to follow our hearts and find our own unique paths in the world. Things to begin considering are diet, exercise and movement, meditation/contemplation etc. Paying attention to all these things as you do them helps too. The body will start letting us know what it needs as we learn to pay attention. 

For a multitude of ideas about how to create a life filled with safe alternatives to psychiatric drugs visit the drop-down menus at the top of this page. 

Support Beyond Meds. Enter Amazon via a link from this blog and do the shopping you’d be doing anyway. No need to purchase the book the link takes you to or make a donation with PayPal. Thank you!

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