Phil Escott – Main Contributing Editor
So, how, in two years did I go from the fat, inflamed guy on the left to the reborn, lean guy on the right, having unwound a whole load of autoimmune problems? Read on…
I started this website back in January 2010. At the time I was well out of shape, and thought that I should attempt to get back into the shape I had previously been in back in 1996 when I wrote my book on fitness, diet and Ayurveda – “Pure Activity”. I thought it might be interesting to document my weight loss and return to health using the principles from that book – a path that most online health “gurus” never take, as they never seem to get out of shape, or never admit it anyway.
Well, I made some modest early progress, but nothing to write home about. Familiar to most of you? Yes, well this is the result that we can come to expect when we still cling to old dogma and aspects of conventional “wisdom”.
Things took a really devastating turn by the end of 2010, and instead of a return to health I was now crippled with agonising psoriatic arthritis. Apart from being terrifying and all the other uncomfortable emotions one gets from such a diagnosis, it was embarrassing to think that I had a website about health up and running!
However, being ill was actually the greatest gift I could have imagined.
In the two years after that diagnosis, I devoured all the knowledge I could on returning to health, sometimes trawling the Internet and reading books for up to 12 hours a day to get to the root of what doctors kept telling me was “incurable”. Gradually things started to look up as I ironed out harmful practices and beliefs and took on new, better ones. I unwound countless niggling and not so niggling ailments, and my climb back to health got underway. The discovery of such masters of diet and healing like Jack Kruse, Natasha Campbell McBride, Terry Wahls, Caroline Myss, Louise Hay and Robert Smith and their inspiring stories of how they had fixed themselves, loved ones, patients and clients when the medical system had failed was a complete revelation. Even in those few names, I have perhaps given you all you need to know…
Even when I was still only a relatively short way down the healing path, people said I looked so well and asked what I had been doing, which gave me confidence I was on the right track. When I got them on board and their symptoms faded and their weight came under control, the responses they gave me were so encouraging and inspiring that it helped my own healing greatly too. It was then that I pretty much felt an obligation to get totally well so I could help as many as possible to cut through the bullshit out there, of which there is a lot, and take them straight to the really useful stuff, whether they are trying to heal from something complicated, learn how to iron out some niggles or just to stay well and happy way into old age.
And that’s what this website is all about.
I have since rewritten Pure Activity to include pointers to the best of what I’ve found, but still including all the stuff that was actually good, even though when I wrote it in 1996, I was really only trotting out others’ theories without deep personal experience. In the new version you will find the entrances to all the rabbit holes of discovery you need to design your own healing path, and most importantly, to develop your own intuition so you never rely on people like me, or worse still, closed-minded doctors. I will also regularly blog on the various aspects of healing that occur to me as and when, from diet to emotional clearance to spirituality, while I work on what I hope will be the definitive book on healing autoimmune conditions. It will be called “Arthritis – The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me.” And it was…
It has taken me to knowledge I would never otherwise have discovered; it has deepened my relationships with myself, my loved ones and my fellow humans in general, and given me a deep confidence that all is very much well with the world. In my new book, as well as all the pointers to every technique I used, I would like to take you on a very personal journey through what it’s like to heal. In my healing I found that such personal accounts were the most powerful form of imparting information, so it is because of this, not because I actually want to focus on myself, that I will include the real warts-and-all stories, some of which I’m not that proud of, and would rather not have to write about… but if it helps… so be it.
It takes some time to discover, but illness on any level is a true gift, which modern society tells us to ignore by blotting all the painful but beautiful symptoms with dangerous pharmaceuticals. Through illness we can read all we need to know about what we need to heal at a deeper level than just physically. Let me try to give you the tools to do that, and to help you not only return to health, but to be so much healthier and happier than you ever dreamed possible, wherever you are starting from.
‘Pure activity’ is an approach to living in which one endeavors to enhance every aspect of health and wellbeing. Many people seem to be seeking a ‘holy grail’ of health and happiness, which is often frustratingly elusive, often involving bouncing between allopathic and holistic approaches, stabbing at the latest wonder drug, dietary modification, health supplement or therapy. It’s often hard to work out what might be working or not and why. I’ve been lucky so far in that I’ve not had any seriously life threatening illnesses, but have suffered with debilitating, chronic conditions that have severely impacted quality of life, including depression and various longterm conditions such as migraine and fibrocystic breast syndrome.These conditions are often lumped into the category of ‘stress’, ‘allergies’ or ‘women’s problems’ and attributed to nebulous causes such as ‘hormones’, ‘environmental toxins’, etc.
The assumption is that conditions such as depression must either be blasted with allopathic drugs or one must undergo indefinite expensive experiments with therapies and alternative treatments. Other conditions, if not clear cut, can also be placed within a similar ‘lottery’. You may quickly find something that works or you may find yourself on an endless search, which will not get very far if, like most people, one only has limited resources.
My experience is that the process of attaining health and wellbeing is ongoing. Many of things that impact on this negatively are the products of the world and society we live in, within which it’s very hard to find a core approach that is basically healthy and life affirming. My experience is that there is no one ‘wonder ‘solution to health. For me it’s been a process of gradually eliminating things that impact on health and building a lifestyle based on things that enhance it. This seems to involve incorporating lots of simple changes that eliminate conditioned, habitual choices and behaviors and sticking to them, coupled with more infrequent big paradigm shifting modifications.
On this site we aim to share the simple changes that we have found work for us, plus the bigger picture within philosophy, neuroscience/psychology biohacking, which inspires us and hopefully others to a wider understanding of the amazing potential we have as human beings to evolve beyond just surviving and existing to become energized, fulfilled, sensitive, happy and healthy individuals.
ABOUT THE HANNA SOMATICS EDUCATORS
Brian Siddhartha Ingle ND. DO.
Is a graduate of the British Collage of Osteopathic Medicine. A professionally qualified Naturopath and Osteopath, a licensed Doctor of Osteopathy in ACT Australia. Brian is a certified Hanna Somatic Educator & Equine Hanna Somatic Educator. He is the founder and director of the international Institute for Somatic Movement Education, and a member of the teaching team at the renowned Novato Institute for Somatic Research and Training. He is constantly inquiring into mind body disciplines and has developed somatic systems and protocols applied to osteopathy, yoga, weight training and running. He is Irish by birth and lives between Northern California, Europe and India.
Gayatri is a certified Hanna Somatic Educator, Somatic Yoga Teacher and a certified practitioner in Equine Hanna Somatics. She is part of the teaching team at the International Institute for Somatic Movement Education and a graduate of the Novato Institute for Somatic Research and Training. Through a gentle yet powerful way she guides her clients to rediscover their greater potential, using movement, breath and awareness. She offers yoga and somatics individual sessions and workshops worldwide. Gayatri is Swedish and divides her time between India, Sweden and Northern California.