Monday, February 06, 2012

Psychosomatic Nutrition Part 2

We are all familiar with expressions like “worried sick.” Most people also know that these expressions are based in truth. The various neurotransmitters of the body responsible for a sense of well-being and for anxiety are placed all through the digestive tract as much as they are the brain. This is fact.

This is also why the related release of stress hormones is known to also be cosmetically “unfriendly.” Many of you know that if you are stressed you start to hold water, become bloated, maybe gassy, crampy – either constipated or unfortunately, just the opposite.

And most of you know that stress and worry can induce these physiological responses. It is no coincidence that these same general symptoms are common among all the various “food” related digestive disorders and allergies and intolerances that the modern civilized world has manufactured for you – so now you can have something else to “worry” about – food itself – and of course - a marketed solution to solve it for you.

It’s ironic to me that most if not all of these disorders are unheard of in Europe in the areas where people still live traditional lives – where the corner stone of their mindsets toward food is a mindset of enjoyment – not fear and stress.

The word disease, often means dis-ease, which means “a cause based in a source of tension, usually unreleased tension.” And the tension you have been led to absorb and internalize about food and eating – right foods vs. wrong foods - is as much a contributor to any food-allergy-illness-aversion you ‘think’ you have - over anything you are actually eating.

And when I say this, people love to get all offended and defend their victim status. They love being victims of food and digestive ailments - phantom though they may be. Even “Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease” estimates that over 90% of people with these various “food issues digestive disorders” actually do NOT have them. But oh, they love to think they do. And this is a decidedly curious North American phenomenon.

  “Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease” estimates that over
90% of people with various “food issues digestive disorders” 
actually do NOT have them

So, to make the point on the mindset of psychosomatic nutrition – follow me to my hypothetical Abel laboratory for a little experiment.

 Like many other “nutritionists” out there, I’ve just stated I have a lab, so it must be true, right? To be even more official I’ve even donned the white lab coat for full effect. I’ve chosen two people in my lab with exactly the same symptoms.
 Both have been convinced by the diet, food, and supplement industry that they have various food aversion that makes them sick – you know, bloating, cramping, headaches, water-retention, fatigue – the usual symptomology that can apply to a thousand different things – including stress and worry.

 These two people, let’s call them Cindy and Susan:  I’ve given them each a serious dose-by-injection of sodium pentothal. You all know it as “truth serum.” But truth serum is not something that makes you tell the truth – that is a public misunderstanding. The various “truth serums” are drugs that make you intensely “open to suggestion.” (A lot like masking marketing as scientific proof)

So, after dosing Cindy and Susan, the experiment is ready to begin. Both are now quite open to the power of suggestion. I give Cindy a couple large chocolate ├ęclairs. But along with these ├ęclairs I “suggest to her” that this particular food is going to do her a world of good. She is going to feel much better and healthier from eating this food. Her symptoms are going to go away, if she just eats this more regularly, and less of other things. I “suggest” to her also, that everything I’m telling her is clinically proven in labs around the world. Labs - just like mine.

 Now, for Susan, I take a different route. I give her a whole foods salad, with healthy nuts, seeds, raw veggies, healthy extra virgin olive oil – just the healthiest meal possible. But now under the effects of sodium pentothal – I also “suggest” the following to her: I tell Susan that in the future she will just not be able to resist this meal because it’s sooooo delicious.

 But I also “suggest” to her, this meal is making her sick. This is the meal causing all her digestive symptoms. And just like with Cindy, I “suggest” to her also that everything I am telling her is “clinically proven” all around the world in labs – just like mine.

Now for added effect and because I consider myself a bit of a mad scientist – I hook Cindy and Susan up to a bunch of bells and whistles machines -The kind of machines that will beep and make noise and measure things like worry, anxiety, stress and physiological response to it all. The conclusion looks something like the following:

 “Sometimes these so called “symptoms” exist only in your mind”

 Cindy is completely relaxed by all physiological indications and responses. But she is eating the chocolate eclairs which everyone outside my mad-lab knows is bad for her and should immediately affect her condition and response. Yet all machines measuring stress, both emotional and physiological – are quiet.

  Susan on the other hand is making her own noises of enjoyment – since it was suggested to her she would “love” this meal – even though it would make her sick. So you can hear her moaning “mmmm, that’s good” as she starts to taste her food. 

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