Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Applied Kine-what...?

One of the great things about living in South Africa is being exposed to a whole different culture, on so many levels. Back home, "alternative" therapies such as reflexology, acupuncture, moxibustion, etc. are run of the mill, pretty much everyday affairs. People buy packages of 10 sessions just to get 1 free session!

While I was aware of other "alternative" Western therapies, it never occurred to me to check them out. Or rather, they were always less familiar hence never top of mind... stuff like homeopathy, bach flower remedies, kineasiology, etc. were treatments I wouldn't have thought to check out at all since the Eastern therapies were always there when I needed them.

(Somehow, pills, vials and flowers seem so much easier and gentler than needles and suction cups. Dunno why I never noticed this before?)

Yesterday, I went to go check out something completely new and alien to me: Applied Kinesiology for the diet. Wikipedia's explanation: here.

Don't you love how just because people can't explain something, they call it a "pseudoscience"? Or even, "alternative" therapy? My theory is this: Maybe some things just can't be explained. Yet. Or maybe never. ...if it works, it works. Period.

But I digress. My Applied Kinesiology session KICKED ASS.

So I went to see Dr. Anna Keating at Firdale Wellness coz she came highly recommended. I tried calling in January this year but she only had the next available appointment in March, so I gave up. This time around, I got an appointment 3 weeks from when I called. Dr. Popular! She's a Nutritionist by training, as well as a Chiropractor AND does food allergy testing through Applied Kinesiology.

The whole reason why I went to her was coz I was getting extremely confused about what I should or shouldn't be eating. Don't think the vegetarian route was working for me as I fell sick 3 times between March - June and was completely wiped out for a whole week the last time. Was also feeling extremely bloated often and everyone told me "it's wheat intolerance". And then I seemed to be showing classic symptoms of IBS, especially during stressful periods. It just seemed like my entire digestive tract was falling apart on me.

During the consultation session, Anna said her role wasn't to tell me whether or not to go vegetarian or eat meat, but through the tests she would put me through, I'd see which foods I have an allergic reaction to and which are OK, and along the way I'd figure out what works for me and me alone.

So I lay on her table and she got me to raise my right hand and push against her hand. Kind of like in this picture here.

Seemed easy enough. Then, over the course of the next 5 minutes, she turns and picks out various vials from the shelf behind her - she's got rows and rows of little vials with clear liquid in them. She then places these vials on my belly, and does the same thing with my arm pushing against her hand again. Sometimes I could push back strongly against her hand, and sometimes I had no strength to push back against her at all!

Those vials are filled with different food components, such as cow's milk, yoghurt, wheat, blood-sugar level indicators, etc. And the theory is your energy reacts with the energy of whatever's in those vials, so if it's a substance you're allergic to, it makes you go weak and hence your hand's unable to push against her hand. If it's something your body's OK with, you're able to push back strongly against her. It's the most bizarre, amazing thing.

Turns out my sweet tooth, craving for carbs, and frequent energy crashes are all related to the same thing: CANDIDA SYNDROME! (with extra parasites to boot, but more on this later).

When she said that, I almost fainted. I was like... EXCUSE ME?!? I DON'T HAVE THRUSH!! But she laughed and said it's a yeast-type of fungus which is present in EVERYONE'S digestive tracts. It doesn't necessarily always show up as thrush in your privates. (COZ I REPEAT: I DON'T HAVE IT!)

I have more than what I'm supposed to have in my gut (hence, my arm went limp and couldn't push back against hers), and feeds off sugar which explains why I feel bloated all the time. And along with this, she also tested for parasites and my arm went very limp yet again. YUCKINESS! I was absolutely grossed out with this.

Again, she says "everyone's got worms"... and it's microscopic worms and not the big fat tape worms I was imagining. Especially now with Spring and the changing seasons, it's apparently when they come out in full force. She reckons my entire system is probably still adjusting to the S.African food, water, weather especially since I've come from a warm, humid place to a damp/ dry, colder place.

She tested all kinds of other food too, and apparently cow's milk doesn't agree with me, although yoghurt is OK. Wheat is surprisingly OK with me... and now that I'm thinking back, I know I should've written this all down coz I can't remember half the stuff she said now.

She's put me on a "Candida & Parasite" Detox Cleanse for a month (yuck, I feel so dirty). So I've got to pop these pills 3 times a day, as well as pop good bacteria (pro-biotics like acidophillus) twice a day.

And yes, since it's a "Detox cleanse", it means I have to stay away from all kinds of food such as sugar, yeast and wheat as well.

Which sounds simple enough, but this means all of these foods are out of bounds: cakes, jam, pudding, golden syrup, molasses, honey, bread, pizza, pita, grapes, raisins, sultanas and most other dried fruit with sulphur, vinegar (and products with vinegar such as ketchup, mayo, salad dressing, worcestershire sauce), pickled, smoked or processed food (such as herring, ham, sausages), sushi/ sashimi (which probably caused the parasite overgrowth in the first place), no yellow or blue cheeses, no commercial fruit juices (as these may contain mouldy fruit), peanuts, pistachios... and while fruit is OK, no fruit with high sugar content such as melons.

PHEW! ...that's pretty much 2/3 of what's in our fridge that's out of bounds. No wonder my gut was in trouble.

I've since gone to the health-food store to stock up on wheat-free pasta. That's pretty much "bee hoon" noodles where I come from - rice vermicelli, which is an EXTREMELY cheap packet of rice noodles, but because it's packaged and marketed to be sold in a health-food store, somehow these guys think it's OK to rip people off at ten times the price it should be sold for.
This is regular bee hoon:

And this is the kind of packaging they've got in health food stores so they can charge an arm and a leg:

...I should really start looking into where the nearest Chinese supermarket is.

Also had to find a wheat-free, sugar-free (including honey and molasses-free), raisin-free muesli for morning breakfasts. Raisin-free muesli doesn't seem to exist, and there's no way I'm eating the alternative, plain oats for breakfast(YUCK!). Also stocked up on healthy (and even more expensive) health bars to prevent energy crashes between meals. I keep telling myself that change is good. Expensive, but good.

Anyhow, after a month I'm supposed to go back to Anna for her to test my allergic reactions again. After this detox month, the results would be more accurate since my body would be at its base level of optimum health. Right now, it's too full of gunk to give an accurate reaction.

It's only been one day but I'm already feeling the effects. Yes! My poo's come right! (Not that you needed to know). I'm just waiting for the "Die-off" reaction... apparently on days 2 - 5 of the detox is when the worse effects might be felt when large amounts of parasites get killed off and a large amount of toxins get dumped in the large intestines... causing some people extreme bloatedness and nausea. Yay.

So far so good... I'm also eating 6 smaller meals throughout the day, to regulate my blood-sugar levels. Seems to be working on Day 1... only 29 more to go!

*UPDATE: To check out the follow-up appointment, click here.

To make an appointment, call Firdale Wellness Centre: +27 21 423 0739

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