Navigating Personal Research & Finding the Right Practitioner

IMG_9521When I first became aware that Copper Toxicity was one of the core underlying causes of the myriad of debilitating symptoms that I was experiencing (and had been to some degree for my whole life), I was elated to have discovered that which was causing my plight. However, I was soon met with a great deal of confusion in that I quickly realized that this was far from something that was well-known: within both medical arenas (allopathic and alternative) and the general population. This initially led me to feel lost, frustrated, and defeated. However those feelings were ephemeral as I soon gathered myself up and began the enlightening and fascinating journey of personal research that ultimately solidified my true and cherished passions in the fields of holistic health, natural medicine, and nutrition science.

I’ve always really enjoyed research and writing (which has a great deal to do with why I majored in sociology as an undergraduate), so I channelled these interests into a new personal research odyssey. As there are limited resources that define, outline, and portray specified, efficacious treatment protocols and analysis for Copper Toxicity (however, these are currently growing for which we are all grateful), I decided to develop my own which has been one of the best decisions I have made in my entire life. I studied books and viable internet sources – from anatomy & physiology books, to nutrition science books, to published medical journals, to holistic health & healing books, to self-help books, and beyond. I then began to document all of my findings in various notebooks…the real life, paper notebooks that seem to be a distant memory these days! 🙂 Over time, I began to connect the dots and have now developed a tremendously involved arsenal of information that I surely plan on publishing and sharing down the line.

As most of those with Copper Toxicity have gathered early in their journey of healing, they too must independently and proactively embark on a research project all their own in order to conceptualize this malady and decipher that which will be best for their overall healing. As someone whom has been doing personal research essentially every day for over two years, I have come to know that there are two very important components to keep in mind while performing your own, these being – the recognition of your own bio-individuality and being your own best advocate.

While the internet is a tremendously helpful tool, and I am profoundly grateful for it (obviously 🙂 ), it can simultaneously catalyze a great deal of confusion and an overwhelming sense of frustration as well. It is for that reason that I feel the need to elaborate further.

I know I stress the salience of bio-individality over and over within my blog, but that is for good reason. There are an endless array of examples that prove its significance in my own case, and the more research I perform, the more it becomes clear to me that this area is not highlighted nearly to the degree that it should be to perpetuate lasting and relevant healing. A good example is in the case of gut healing, which is a very important avenue to consider when healing from Copper Toxicity, as well as in general, as most of our population has some kind of gut imbalance. Many many sources will advocate for blanket sweeping, one-size-fits-all protocols that “must” be used to heal your gut. Sure, some of these protocols have components that everyone should consider, however there is a great deal of contradiction amongst them. For example, eating prebiotic foods to serve a food for your “good”, beneficial gut bacteria. This is helpful for some, but if you are sensitive to high FODMAP foods (see my CT Diet page for further explanation), which a great deal of copper toxic individuals are, this will only greatly exacerbate your symptoms. FODMAPs such as garlic and onion can cause symptoms such as abdominal distention, nausea, vomiting, gas, and various others. Initially, I was loading myself up with these as they are advocated on many many gut healing protocols and was sincerely perplexed as to why my symptoms were only getting worse. It wasn’t until I was researching the enzyme alpha-galactosidase (which is an enzyme responsible for digesting these sugars), that I was introduced to FODMAPs and their potential to exacerbate gut imbalance. Once I temporarily IMG_9700eliminated them from my diet, the aforementioned digestive symptoms greatly lessoned and I have since made great strides in healing my gut for good (finally! 🙂 ).

Furthermore, regarding gut health, most protocols recommend or discourage fermented foods as part of your regimen, however they do not include the fact that there are two completely different kinds – one helps, and one hurts. “Lacto-fermented” foods, which are traditionally fermented and include sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha are very good for gut health, as they provide authentically derived probiotics that are the most bioavailable. Distilled vinegars and pickles however, are very bad for the gut yet are still considered “fermented foods”. Also, many varieties of sauerkraut will have been pasteurized, which is heating process that kills the probiotics housed within them, rendering them useless for the purpose of healing your gut. I was happy to have made that discovery, as the nagging confusion of what “fermented foods” really meant was starting to bother me at that point in my journey.

All in all, I use these examples to demonstrate that you must go into this with an open mind and realize that these suggestions, while helpful in many ways, can lead you to counterproductive implementations that may set you back in your achievement of indelible healing. Always remember, what works for some may not work for you, and simply keep this in mind throughout your considerations.

Moreover, as is true with all aspects of life, it is very very important to be your own best advocate throughout this process. This may take some time, as you get to know yourself and your health status further, however it is truly an essential component of conceptualizing your healing protocol and journey effectively. Of course, I advise everyone to seek the counsel of a qualified healthcare professional (see my CT page “Relevant Practitioners” section) in order to gauge their own personal biochemistry, acquire the proper testing, and receive well-informed, supportive guidance throughout your process. However, in the same breath, you must remain confident in your own convictions and feelings regarding your current health status, knowing that the first, or second, or third practitioner that you seek out may not be the best fit for you. When I hear that someone has been made to “feel like an idiot” or their own personal feelings and concerns were discounted, it truly saddens me, as this absolutely MUST stop happening. You know your body best and this absolutely, indubitably, must be honored by your doctor. Furthermore, a great deal of time is necessary to devote to your case, as it is very important for your chosen practitioner to understand your case history, who you are as a person, and what your current presenting symptoms and concerns are – you are deserving of the best care and do not settle for anything less. I would suggest that if you make an appointment, and the practitioner spends no less than 1 hour with you during your initial consultation, it is time to move on and look further. It is imperative for them to spend the time to get to know you comprehensively in order to adequately treat your case in a relevant and reverent manner.

Furthermore, never underestimate the power of your own intuition and always trust your feelings and concerns. As stated previously, you know your body best, as it is your temple and must be treated as such. This notion regards choosing the right practitioner, implementing your diet transitions, choosing the right supplements, etc. Never cease to honor and heed your “gut feelings” (pun intended 🙂 ) as they can and will steer you in the right direction. I have worked on fine tuning this over time, and can honestly say that my own inner compass has served me extremely well and I am so grateful for my continued guidance as it has been magically eye opening and highly efficacious to my overall, comprehensive, daily healing.

IMG_9519In addition, regarding personal research, one highly pronounced element that seemed to jump out at me one day is that science is subjective! Yes, science is based on tested, observed, and “proven facts” however, behind this process are human beings, whom have a plethora of differing perspectives, motives, focuses, and agendas. This can and does truly alter the non-fiction component of science and makes it far more malleable and subject to change than is initially considered to be the case. Simply keep this in mind and realize that just because something is in print doesn’t mean it is the ultimate truth.

While it can indeed be difficult at times, you must step back and take a deep breath (or several 🙂 ) and realize that this is a process, and not a sprint to the finish line. While we’d rather not see it this way, the current realm of healthcare throughout the US and the world is a “proceed with caution” avenue. You must keep all of your options open and serving as your own best advocate is imperative to leading you to indelible, optimal balance and vitality that you absolutely and truly deserve and are completely capable of attaining. My doc said to me once, “the more we learn the more we realize we don’t know,” and that is a humbling truth indeed. As your journey evolves, new things will be presented to you in order to further lead you to the actualization and complete and full acquisition of all of your goals (both with your health and all of the rest of your life’s picture). As is true with all facets of this journey, never cease to have full compassion for yourself, honor your own feelings with trust and honesty, and never lose sight of the fact that you are an incredibly magnificent, brilliant soul whom was put on this earth to make manifest the astounding beauty that burns within you. 

You will get there, I assure you…and while it will be challenging at times (ok, maybe more than “at times” 🙂 ), just remember that often the most precious gifts in life are born from the biggest challenges, and that is absolutely the case with Copper Toxicity, and the healing odyssey that it brings about.

All the very best and in health,

Megan ❤

Copyright © 2015-2018 Megan Westbrook – Flow Surge Healing

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