As I do more and more 1:1 nutritional consulting, one thing I consistently find astonishing and upsetting is the number of patients who have suffered what we could classify as adverse childhood events or ACE’s.
The reality is these are common and can significantly affect people’s physiology and mental health.
Note that stress per se is not an issue.
We do not want to raise snowflakes.
We want children with resilience and grit, not wallflowers wilting at the first sign of life.
The world needs more adults that understand the words responsibility and integrity, not more self-declared victims.
The more ACE’s you have in childhood and in the absence of a AAA (Always Available trusted Adult), the higher the chances of mental illness, poor diet, heavy drinking and daily smoking.
Four or more ACE’s with no support means you are 300% more likely to face the issues above.
You are far more likely also to end up in jail.
Check out this powerful 6 minute video called “Step into the circle” filmed in a jail in the USA.
Am I suggesting you get involved in mental health care per se?
But be aware that these things are way more common than you think and, with tact and sensitivity, you might explore these issues with people that have persistent poor health behaviour and mental health issues.
Personally, I am a massive fan of EMDR – Eye Movement desensitisation and Reprogramming.
EMDR is an NHS approved trauma therapy, which takes away the “charge” from an event and allows you to “process” past trauma.
I will speak about my treatment, why I needed it and the profound results in another newsletter.
EMDR is something I return to from time to time as I come up against patterns of behaviour which do not serve me.
I am going to see my practitioner tomorrow morning.
One of the reasons I love EMDR is the trauma/issues are removed without talking about it per se (you “reprocess” the event in your mind), and then it is gone.
No endless talking about things from the past, stirring up old issues and your feelings about the event/trauma.
They are gone.
It breaks the cycle of behaviour.
This is not to say that traditional talking therapy/counselling/psychology is not useful for some, but to really change behaviour, I believe you need to get into the nervous system.
For me, I needed a high calibre clinician using EMDR.
I know some people get great results from EFT/tapping, and some do well with neuro-emotional technique (NET), or NETWORK or BEST or hypnotherapy or NLP……the list goes on.
There is no right or wrong way, there are results, and there are theories.
Find what works and use a good referral source.
Your job is to spot it and tactfully talk around the issue and, if needed, whip out an ACE questionnaire and refer out.
ACTIONS TO TAKE:
– Check out the EMDR book, the first two chapters explain so much of human behaviour. I keep a copy in clinic to loan out.
– I have attached the ACN ACE questionnaire to use in clinic.
– Have you got patterns of repetitive behaviour you do not want? Eating? Drinking? Bad relationships? Not really doing what you secretly want to do in life?
Find a EMDR practitioner and give it a go.
Part of the reason I set up ACN was thanks to EMDR and a few other people (Like: https://geoffsober.com/) who helped me get out of my own way.