Principles of Self-Experimentation: Dave Strives to Help His Body Heal Itself

shellI‘m now feeling sufficiently better to begin my search for causes and cures of ulcerative colitis. I’m proposing to use an approach called Self-Experimentation, explained in Seth Roberts’ book and articles. In two previous articles, I have summarized:

  • the self-experimentation process (decide on objective; collect base-line data; imagine hypotheses/theories; test hypotheses through immediate feedback collection and improvisation; make it part of your daily practice of living)
  • my initial self-experimentation hypotheses about causes of this particular disease (‘modern’ malnutrition i.e. lack of diversity and micronutrients in what we ingest; exposure to environmental toxins; musculo-skeletal distress)

I don’t expect readers to be as interested as I am in finding causes and cures for this disease. But what I’m doing here is constructing a model. If the model works for this disease, for me, there is no reason it can’t work for all auto-immune, environmental and other complex diseases, for any individual, if they follow the same process and tailor it to their personal situation. This is all part of my learning and discovery about how to deal with complex problems, starting with Let-Self-Change, except in this case my interest happens to be personal. I’m using this public diary to chronicle my self-experimentation because I’m learning as I go, and because my readers have already provided over 100 ideas and some fascinating hypotheses to consider — and in a lot of cases it’s clearly personal for them too.

It is hard to avoid the impression that

  1. there is a massive epidemic of complex diseases in our society, almost none of which have an identified cause or cure,
  2. the health system and medical profession are systemically incompetent to deal with this epidemic (they deal with standardized treatment of symptoms, not causes, not individualized patient-managed treatment, not cures, not mitigating disease catalysts, not prevention), and
  3. corporate Big Pharma is disinterested in these diseases, because they make their money on standardized treatments (not cures, not prevention) for diseases that have ‘simple’ bacterial or viral or ‘genetic’ causes (not complex environmental or parasitic or dietary or holistic causes) suffered by wealthy patients — in short, their ‘business’ is mass-producing high-margin antibiotic toxins, not preventing, understanding or curing diseases.

I don’t expect everyone to ‘buy’ the idea of self-experimentation (though I would encourage skeptics to read Seth Roberts’ articles before dismissing it). Learned helplessness runs deep in our society, and those who suffer from it will never accept the legitimacy of self-experimentation. Acknowledging the utter inadequacy of the well-entrenched and massively expensive health system/medical profession/Big Pharma oligopoly to address the most serious and fastest-growing illnesses in our society is terrifying, and some will dismiss this acknowledgement as an emotional political or spiritual position rather than a consummately rational one.

But for those who see the legitimacy (and urgency) of self-experimentation as a means to improve our personal and collective wellness, this article offers the first elements of a model that might improve its effectiveness.

I think this model needs to be based on a series of principles, that guide and inform the imagining of hypotheses about wellness, the determination of appropriate tests and self-experiments of those hypotheses, and the interpretation of the results of those tests and self-experiments. Here is my first cut at a set of such principles.

  1. Learn from Nature: Study, understand and emulate natural processes of balancing and dealing with problems and imbalances. Ecologies are inherently complex systems, and nature has been dealing with them effectively since life first emerged on the planet. Discover why, and how.
  2. Learn to Self-Adapt: Study and draw on the evolved processes used by indigenous cultures that self-adapt to challenges rather than attempting to try to change or control the environments that give rise to these challenges. Your objective should be to help your body stay well, fend off illness, and heal itself, not to impose cures and treatments on it, as if it were something apart from ‘you’. This is all about ‘being the change’ you want to see.
  3. Listen to and Pay Attention to Your Body: It’s a complex system too, and for three million years, consciously, subconsciously, intuitively, it’s been telling us what it needs, what makes it healthy and unhealthy. Heed its messages, and trust your instincts.
  4. Love and Respect Self and Others: There is nothing to be gained from being angry and dissatisfied with ourselves and others about things that we have no control over. This low self-esteem, unwillingness to understand and forgive others, is enormously destructive. These negative emotions are a consequence of the disconnection that our civilized society has brought on, and we must learn to recognize and cope with them. And we must overcome, too, our learned helplessness, our irrational cult of leadership and our unwarranted bias for the views of self-styled or elected ‘experts’, officers, directors, presidents, managers and specialists over those of everyone else. No one, and no one’s judgement, is ‘better’ than anyone else’s.
  5. Understand and Appreciate Uncertainty, Unpredictability, and Uncontrollability: Embracing complexity requires that we be able to cope with incomplete knowledge, incomplete assurance, constant changes and surprises, and a world where no one, not even the rich and powerful, is in control. We have been brought up to loathe these things, and we will drive ourselves crazy if we don’t learn to let go, to accept how things are instead of always trying to change them.
  6. Make Time to Heal and to Understand: We are all so busy that we do not have time to learn, to discover, to do or to understand anything properly. We have to learn to make time for things that are really important. That means stopping doing many of the things we are doing now.
  7. Network and Collaborate: Self-experimentation is personal, but not solitary or isolated. We can and must share our stories, learnings, and experiences, and work together to discover and understand. 
  8. Do Good Research: This is a learnable skill, one not properly taught in any formal education program that I know of. It is also an art, that requires improvisation and other capacities. It’s essential to learn to do it well if self-experimentation is to be effective.
  9. Focus on Prevention: Those who embrace complexity appreciate that it is easier to prevent a problem from arising in the first place than to deal with it when it does. That requires foresight, and also a very different mindset from that of medical professionals.
  10. Take Personal Responsibility: Self-experimentation requires that you take back responsibility for your wellness from experts and professionals. That means challenging everything, not blaming others, investing the time and energy in the work of self-experimentation, and giving yourself credit for the successes that come with competently managing your own health.
  11. Keep Track: Self-experimentation requires the selection, maintaining and learning from vast amounts of data. Meticulous and detailed record-keeping is essential.
  12. Seek Balance: In choosing hypotheses and self-experiments, don’t look for ‘silver bullet’ single answers, and be wary of those who over-promise ‘cures’ or treatments that work for everyone, or who attack any other approach than theirs, even when that approach seems moderate, natural and reasonable. Likewise, be very cautious about self-experiments that are extreme (e.g. extended fasting, anything that causes pain, anything that seems harsh, unnatural, frightening, excessive or unreasonable). If it seems bizarre, it probably is.

So here is what I’m doing as Phase One of my self-experimentation process, in search of the causes and hence the prevention and cure of ulcerative colitis. This Phase is modest — low-hanging fruit experiments with low risk and (based on other patients’ experience and some medical research) high likelihood of effectiveness. This Phase is also unlikely to significantly test my three initial hypotheses. That’s the role of the later Phases, which will include some more novel and even controversial (but still rational and defensible) self-experiments. Because we’re talking about complex systems (i.e. the human body),  proof of a cause or cure will be impossible — there are too many variables and unknowns. But I expect there will be compelling evidence of the probability that the causes, cures, treatments and preventatives that appear to apply in my case (and the cases of other self-experimenters) have broad applicability for our whole society. I think that’s enough.

Here’s Phase One:

  • Increase Omega-3 Fatty Acid/EPA/DHA/ALA Intake: There is considerable evidence that the tissue damage and inflammation of colitis is precipitated by a certain kind of leukotriene and prostaglandin, and that Omega-3 acids — EPA, DHA and ALA — metabolically reduce the body’s production of these leukotrienes and prostaglandins. So I’ll be experimenting with fish oil, flax oil, and Omega-3 supplements. I’m also looking at an Omega-6 fatty acid called GLA that seems to have a similar mitigating effect.
  • Broaden, Diversify and ‘Naturalize’ Diet: When we eat a narrow range of foods, many of them heavily processed with antibiotic and toxic chemicals, our body is starved of many of the micronutrients it needs, and also deprived of the ability to ‘learn’ to deal with the millions of types of bacteria and other substances that occur naturally in unprocessed foods. So when it does face these bacteria, it’s prone to make errors of ‘inexperience’ and overreact or confuse which bacteria to neutralize. A diet consisting of many more different types of foods, ‘raw’ rather than processed, should therefore ‘re-educate’ the complex digestive system how to properly digest foods, and give it everything it needs to do its job. So I’ll be eating more complex carbs, and a much more varied menu of foods, and avoiding meats from grain-fed animals, all processed foods, and specifically foods containing saturated and trans fats. At the same time, I’m not going to give up on high-fibre foods (in moderation) or fried (in vegetable oil) foods (in moderation) or low-fat dairy products (in moderation), even though a lot of experts say these foods can aggravate colitis. Why not? Because eating fruit with the peel on, eating nuts, raw veggies and berries is natural — and my hypothesis is that eating these things in moderation should not be harmful. But we’ll see.
  • Maintain Minimal Intake of Broad Range of Vitamins and Minerals: When you get a disease of the digestive system, it inevitably inhibits your body’s ability to process foods properly and get the maximum nutritional value from what you eat. Vitamin and mineral supplements are not as good as getting these nutrients from foods, but they’re better than not getting them at all. Better safe than sorry.
  • Increase Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid Intake Specifically: Absorption of these essential nutrients can be particularly compromised when digestive function is impaired. Crohn’s patients need to be especially concerned with this (since these nutrients are processed by the small intestine damaged by Crohn’s rather than the large intestine damaged by colitis), but why take a chance? In addition, B12 and folic acid strengthen red blood cell production and offset the anemia that often accompanies colitis because of the blood loss from the disease’s inflammation and intestinal ulcers.
  • Increase Pro-Biotics Intake: The jury’s out on whether probiotics (mixtures of massive numbers of varied bacteria) can improve the natural ‘flora’ of the lower digestive system and hence rectify the damage caused by ‘modern’ malnutrition and digestive disease. Some say they’re the wrong bacteria. Others say they can’t possibly survive the harsh journey through the upper digestive tract to be able to do their jobs in the lower tract anyway. So I’m going to self-experiment and decide for myself.
  • Resume Exercise and Optimize Aerobic and Anaerobic Fitness: My body told me, just a little too late, to get into shape to fend off and mitigate this disease. I was in terrific shape when this disease hit, and I suspect that’s helped my recovery immeasurably. I’m going to keep at it, without overdoing it.
  • Begin Emotional Relaxation and Resilience Program: Meditation, yoga, and a do-it-yourself course in self-restraint, stress awareness, avoidance and mitigation, and Let-Self-Change, are part of my self-experimentation program. Stress is the trigger, not the cause, but to find the cause you need to get the catalyst under control first.
  • Begin Musculo-Skeletal Relaxation and Resilience Program: As I’ve discussed, I intuitively believe that my poor posture, poor muscle health, and the vast build-up of tension in my neck and shoulders was a contributor to my vulnerability to this disease. I’m looking holistically at a set of preventatives and treatments for this disease, and therefore my musculo-skeletal resilience needs to be part of my self-experimentation.
  • Reduce Exposure to Antibiotics and Other Toxins: The more I learn about antibiotics, pesticides, herbicides, toxic household ‘cleaners’, and the other poisonous crap that our water, foods, soil and air are deliberately or negligently saturated with, the more these substances scare me. Most creatures know better than to shit where they live. What’s wrong with us? I recognize that these poisons are everywhere and unavoidable, but I’m determined to expose myself to them as little as possible. That means reading food ingredients, avoiding unnecessary medicines, not using herbicides, pesticides and toxic cleaners, filtering the water, and taking other steps to poison myself a little less.
  • Investigate Infliximab: There is some evidence that this injectable antibody could actually prevent the hyperactivity of the immune system (specifically the adrenal cortex) that precipitates Crohn’s attacks. I’m skeptical, from what I’ve read so far, that it does what it is alleged to do, and it may not work for colitis anyway, but I’m convinced that preventing the immune hyperactivity reaction directly is more ‘natural’ than suppressing the immune system entirely and reducing the hyperactivity that way, so I want to learn a lot more about this drug.

So there you have it — the principles that will guide my self-experimentation program, and the first phase of the program. I won’t bore you with the details of how I’m going to ‘separately’ test each of the ten elements of Phase One in such a way that I know what’s working and what isn’t — I’ll be describing this in more detail in Seth Roberts’ self-experimentation forum, and I’ll provide a link when I’ve done so. Seth is also considering me as a case study for his upcoming book on self-experimentation, and I’ll keep youapprised of details on that as well.

In the meantime, your comments are welcome.

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23 Responses to Principles of Self-Experimentation: Dave Strives to Help His Body Heal Itself

  1. Dean F. says:

    Dave … I wish you the best with your experiment and I look forward to seeing how it goes.

  2. Siona says:

    Oh, Dave. I’m dealing with a similarly elusive issue – an autoimmune disease that manifests itself primarily through digestive woes – and I’m hugely empathetic to your process. I love the way you’ve taken responsibility for your health in this way, and like Dean I’m eager to see how things unfold.I can offer only a few gentle comments about my own experience. I, personally, avoided the “self-experimentation” approach — or at least that particular label. I value science tremendously, but part of what I gained in an earlier embodied wrestling match (I struggled with addiction in the past) was an understanding of the value of entering into and being one’s body, rather then disidentifying and distancing oneself from oneself. What my disease has taught me is not cure but care; it’s taught me to treasure my energy and to listen so astutely to what it is I need and want and crave in any given moment; it’s taught me how to be sensitive to stress; it’s taught me how to attend. (What’s wonderful about this is that I now have so much more stamina than I ever did before, and that my health as a result is excellent . . . but this doesn’t matter as much.) I suppose my mere point was that cure is important, but more important, from my perspective, is what’s learned as a result, and not learned from a scientific standpoint, but learned personally. I think you’ve said all this in your post. I’m not sure I’m adding much that’s new. All I wanted to was encourage the care and to listen to the message and allow the healing. The difference between experimentation and exploration might be mere semantics, but to me it does feel different. I suppose I just wanted the reminder.Be well.

  3. Rajiv says:

    Dave,Please look at the Crohn’s disease section at Dave Gregg is a good friend, and an extremely competent scientist/researcher formerly at Lawrence Livermore Labs.Here are the links

  4. Karen M says:

    Re: #2: Years ago, I heard from an inspired dentist about a book by Weston Price, “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.” It was out of print then, but I think it’s available. I’ve only read about it, and some excerpts, but think you might appreciate his method… collecting data on peoples who still ate natural diets. There was a lot of variation among the diets, not so much within each one, but they were completely unrefined. And none of the groups had our issues with degenerative diseases. Re: #5: This reminds me of the way babies meet the world perched (since they can’t walk yet) on someone’s hip. They have no idea what’s coming, but usually are ready to meet whatever it is with full enthusiasm. Can you arrange to hang out with any babies? I may check out some of the things you’ve mentioned, too. In the meantime, after one of your earlier posts about your diagnosis, and how you had been exercising… I started walking more, usually in the evenings, in addition to the smaller walks to & from train and work. My own self-experimentation, and I think it has had have an effect, especially if I pay attention to my posture. I think it helps tone abdominal muscles. Sounds like a good plan– just be gentle with yourself.

  5. Karen M says:

    I just read and bookmarked Rajiv’s links, too. There is the ring of truth in them. But I think I need to get another opinion before I try Gregg’s suggestions. Unfortunately, I have to travel soon, and may not be able to do anything before then.

  6. Rajiv says:

    Karen,You can always call David Gregg. He is quite willing to talk about his discovery process. His phone number is on his site. He is a retired chemist from LBL. He is 70+

  7. Karen M says:

    Thanks, Rajiv! I actually sent him an email last night. I’ll wait and see if he responds to that before trying to call him.

  8. David says:

    Our prayers are with you. Keep up the fight.With metta, David

  9. Dave Pollard says:

    Thanks everyone, for the kind words, advice and links. I’m feeling much better, and started the Phase One experiments today.

  10. malcolm klein says:

    I love your site- its a so full of wisdom… so your illness has me worried…I’m not sure what you are doing in the way of diet as therapy, but I firmly believe most all of the modern chronic ailments can be traced to post palealithic diet changes. Not sure if you are aware of Leon Cordain and Stanley Eatons extensive research on the the composition of current hunter/gatherer diets, and the biochemical differences and their effects on metabolic markers of disease and inflamation. Please check-out their website, he has full pdfs available of all his published peer reviewed papers there… take care of yourself- please

  11. tim says:

    Dave, Awesome that you are taking charge of your medical care, as opposed to being a passive recipient. Have you ever checked our Ray Kurziwell’s writings about how he reduced his diabetes symptoms? Seems like right up your alley, as far as a methodology.

  12. Rajiv says:

    Dave,You may also consider adding L-glutamine to your diet.Here is the google scholar search and an article Glutamine and the preservation of gut integrity.

  13. Rajiv says:

    The link to the article is here

  14. Good luck Dave with your attempt to concur your IBD. I have Crohn’s Disease myself and would like to welcome you and anyone else affected by IBD to join us at . I know we would all like to watch and be aware of your experiment (as even for those who may not believe in it, it gives a chance to see someone’s current attempts with it).

  15. Paul Bayer says:

    Hi Dave,I suggest two ways of helping your body to cure itself:- the simplest is to drink water and to stop drinking dehydrating fluids (coffee, black tea)- the second is meditation since it increases blood circulation and body awareness and reduces concerns. You can start both now. My feeling is that your approach may be too complicated and too analytical. Please read “One Small Step Can Change Your Life

  16. malcolm klein says:

    Experts aim to put worms to workA world conference of parasitologists in Glasgow is asking: Could a worm a day keep the doctor away?Scientists are looking at parasites to treat allergic conditions such as asthma and inflammatory bowel disease.It is one of a range of issues to be examined by 2,000 delegates from 88 countries at the six-day conference on parasitology and tropical disease.Treating malaria, which kills three million people a year, with new drugs is also on the agenda.The International Congress of Parasitology got under way on Monday.Dr Mike Barrett, an expert in parasitology at the University of Glasgow, said allergic reactions are reaching epidemic proportions in the western world because we live in “super-sterile” conditions.Scottish leaderIn the developing world, allergies are “very rare”.He said: “Parasites depend upon their hosts in order to survive.”But to survive inside us, parasites must avoid the efforts that our immune system makes to destroy them.”Many parasitic worms have therefore developed ways of dampening down the inflammatory immune responses that are also responsible for many of the symptoms of allergic disease.”The results of recent clinical trials using worms to treat patients with inflammatory bowel disease will be presented and discussed.”Dr Barrett said Scotland is a “world leader” in researching and treating tropical disease.An exhibition at the Glasgow Science Centre shows how Scottish investigators in the 19th and early 20th centuries dominated medicine throughout the British Empire.Dr Barrett added: “Dr Livingstone succeeded in exploring the African interior mainly because his medical training enabled him to avoid the infections that killed so many of his predecessors.”A distant relative of Livingstone, Patrick Manson, from Oldmeldrum (near Aberdeen) is known as the father of tropical medicine.”He made innumerable discoveries in this area and inspired ageneration of investigators, many educated at Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen universities, who discovered the causes of exotic diseases like elephantiasis, bilharzia, African sleeping sickness and leishmaniasis.”Story from BBC NEWS:

  17. Shannon F. says:

    Dave,I share the hopes that people have for your healing. I do think there is a lot of wisdom on your site – I have forwarded several of your articles on to friends and family. I really like the principles you list – they have a lot of common sense in them.I have also heard about the Weston Price research among traditional peoples worldwide. You may already be familiar with the book that came out recently based on his research, Nourishing Traditions. It’s a cookbook, but also so much more. A lot of good stuff in the sidebars about processed foods and general nutrition.And I’m currently reading an amazing book called Healing with Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford. This one will take you months to get through but it is so worth it. Some tidbits I’ve gleaned:1) Eat a light supper. Your stomach needs to be empty by 1:00 or 2:00 so that your liver and other organs can go to work doing general detoxification. If they are tied up with food, the toxins stay.2) Eat more variety of whole grains. We all love bread – what’s not to love? But that is the poster child for food that is more processed than necessary, and of which we eat a huge amount of the same item (wheat flour). I’m getting familiar with millet, quinoa, roasted buckwheat, etc. and getting an in depth love affair going with brown rice and oats. All these, by the way, need to be soaked, to remove phytochemicals (? I just made up that word – might be wrong) that inhibit digestion.3) Eat in season and according to the needs of your particular health challenges. (More about this in Healing with Whole Foods.) This speaks to your “one size doesn’t fit all” principle.The two books I’ve mentioned here sometimes contradict one another (most specifically, on the issue of animal foods), but I find that they share a basic view of whole foods and diversity of diet as the basis of good health, in a way that is an extraordinary step forward from basic mainstream processed foods.All the best,Shannon F.

  18. Merrie says:

    Dave,I like your idea of self-experimentation. It is very much like what I used on my candidiasis. All symptoms are gone and I no longer take any medications, and only one supplement. The only things is, I remain overweight. One thing I found on this journey was that it can take a long time for the body to heal when so much of it diseased/injured. How did I start? I started with a list of symptoms — it was a long list — and then I picked one and researched it. From there I made hypotheses and attempts to eliminate the symptom. What I found was that I had to be very determined because when I relieved one symptom, multiple others would take its place. However, I could check off that one symptom on my list and start another. I added the new sympotoms to the bottom of the list, and just kept going focusing only on one at a time. Sometimes, I’d try something and it would eliminate a symptom I wasn’t looking at, but I’d document the relief, cross it off the list, and continue to work on one I started with. The hardest thing of course is to remain determined while as you solve one symptom, and several more pop-up; often times these symptoms are more aggrevating, too. Why did I continue? Becasue I could see from my list the method was working. And, over time what I came to see was that the downward health spiral was reversed and as I got better the downward spiral reversed itself and I suffered symptoms I hadn’t suffered in years. It would seem to me that the symptoms were there years ago to let me know I was on a downward spiral, but were simply ignored though I visited a physician regularly. Anyway, mid-reasearch I stopped to document cronologically as many symptoms as I could recall over the years. I was working on the end of the symptom list to try to get rid of two of the most persistent symptoms, one having to do with the gut and the other was the asthma. Asthma was the most persistent of all the symptoms. As I worked to heal my gut, my asthma lessened — there wassome kind of connection. I rarely have digestive problems and no longer require asthma meds (down from Advair 500/50 just 3 years ago). I can jog a mile and a quarter, too. That’s not too bad at almost 50 years old.

  19. mattbg says:

    Perhaps reconsider the attitude toward saturated fats because they are as important to body tissue structure as the other types of fats, obviously in moderation. Trans fats are obviously ones to avoid, though.Also investigate the stability of vegetable oils under heat. Most vegetable oils are not very heat-stable. When not heat-stable, toxic chemicals can form when you heat them, particularly with repeated heating and cooling (such as in re-use for deep frying). Olive oil, being mostly unsaturated, and coconut oil, being mostly saturated, are two heat-stable vegetable oils. Canola oil also looks good on paper, but the source of the oil has a strange history. Oils that are mostly polyunsaturated (sunflower, corn, etc.) are perhaps the worst for frying.

  20. Clarissa says:

    Hi Dave,I discovered your site a few weeks ago and LOVE what you are trying to do. I relate to your journey of discovery with your body. Self-experimentation is important with many chronic disorders that Western medicine has little treatment for. I discovered this for myself about 13 years ago when I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, an autoimmune disorder with symptoms that include aches and pains in the connective tissue of the body. At that time [early 1990s], Western Medicine had little treatment and no cure, so I began a search for treatment and hopefully, a cure. I began with a review of medical literature [fortunately a friend at Harvard University’s medical library did a Medline search for me]. Then I tried the treatments that empirical evidence had indicated showing some promise. I had limited success. Nothing made a significant shift until I tried acupuncture. Gradually, over a 2 year period, my symptoms dissapeared, never to return. A valuable resource for Western and alternative medicine [Chinese, Aruvedic, herbs, meditation, body therapies, homeopathy, etc.] is Dr. Andrew Weil. Here’s an article on Crohn’s disease from his website. . So, Chinese Medicine is one option I’d recommend. I also came to understand that the body-mind-heart-spirit are one, and so physical symptoms are how the body is attempting to surface to the dominant “ego,” or conscious, waking, part of us, what the Ego/Self may not want to hear or is resisting. In my case, fibromyalgia was my body’s way of telling me that my life as I was living at that time was “hurting” me. [I was writing my dissertation at Harvard, married, and the mother of a toddler, and took no time to take care of myself.] My body kept creating pain until I HAD to pay attention and respond by making changes in my life. In addition to Chinese medical frameworks for understanding the body’s energy system, another useful framework chakra system. Chakras [from Sanskrit “wheel”] are energy centers in the body; the major ones correspond to the Western endrocine and immune system. Your digestive system symptoms are associated with the First, or Root, Chakra, which is the energy center of Safety and Survival. OK–you not only left your former occupation, but a whole system of how you earned a living, which very understandably may have led to some level of fear/anxiety [“How am I going to survive and find meaning?”] which, if not adequately faced and responded to could eventually manifest into physical symptoms. This is not in any way to say that we are responsible for our symptoms, but to affirm the dynamic relationship between our bodies and our emotional-spiritual-cognitive selves. Treatments that honor this relationship include Guided Self-Healing, Reiki, Homeopathy, Emotional Freedom Technique [a method of tapping on acupressure points and shifting energy], Flower Essences, Plant Spirit Medicine, and Shamanic Healing. One way you might begin to explore what your body is trying to tell you that Dr. Andrew Weil recommends is going into a quiet meditative state and simply asking your body, “What does this pain mean? What are you trying to tell me?” and see what comes up. Don’t give up after only one try; keep at it. Also try asking for a dream to come to you to tell you before you go to sleep. Know that you are on a journey that is as much about your spirit as it is about your physical symptoms. Blessings, Clarissa

  21. Dave Pollard says:

    Thank you all for your kind words, encouragement, ideas and links. I’m up to 120 e-mails with suggestions for my self-experimentation program. Anyone interested in the subject, and in more specifics on my program and the methods I’m using, can find them (and some interesting advice on self-experimentation in general) on Seth Roberts’ self-experimentation forum here.

  22. Great post! Good luck with the experiment. I will be checking back to see how it is going.

  23. Sally Rouses says:

    I would be interested to hear how things are going. My son was diagnosed a year ago and we are still struggling to get things under control-we are in another flare. He is on a similar program as you described except he has not been on Infliximab.Please let me know how it is going and what you have adjusted.Regards,Sally

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