In today’s episode I’m interviewing Casey Hibbard. She is the founder of the Rebuilding My Health website and podcast. She is a journalist who became a storyteller about health and healing. Now she shares the healing stories of many, while looking for the common denominators of healing amongst those stories, to be able to inspire and support others along the way.
Casey’s Healing Story
After being a journalist and a corporate writer for a long time she began having health issues after the birth of her son. It started with digestive issues and progressed to fatigue and weakness, joint pain, brain fog, vision loss and even autoimmunity. She was not getting answers from the conventional medical framework and decided to go outside of conventional medicine and finally found her underlying health issues’ causes.
This helped her identify that she suffered from small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, leaky gut, food sensitivities, H pylori, candida parasites, her pancreas wasn’t working well, she had many different infections like Epstein Barr and others. And so, she started a healing process, which took a few years of addressing the underlying causes of her health issues, peeling back the layers and almost immediately went on an anti-inflammatory diet and saw symptom relief within days!
She started working on her gut infections, balancing her microbiome, did some toxin work and detoxification and she slowly started to get better and better, even to the point where her autoimmunity disease was gone.
This painful process inspired Casey to start telling other people’s stories where they were overcoming and reversing conditions that many people think are not reversible or fixable. She decided these stories should be shared so other people going through the same issues could benefit and find hope in them.
Common Health Issues and Their Underlying Causes in People’s Stories
Having experience interviewing has been critical in knowing what questions to ask in order to uncover healing stories. Almost like an investigative process, to get to the most relevant part, you need to really get to the points that are important for understanding what the original causes are and what’s going to help them heal.
It’s super interesting and fascinating to come across all these different conditions and diagnoses. Many times there are common themes of what the underlying causes are and what people are doing that is working to make them feel better. You can probably break it down to four or five different major things.
Number one would be diet changes and almost everybody in their stories say they start feeling better within days. It’s not like it’s a one-size-fits-all diet. There are certain things that help over and over like avoiding gluten, dairy, and sugar, but other than that it can be pretty individualized when you talk about food sensitivities.
Food is definitively a huge factor in our health. We are what we eat, and our health will most likely be determined by it. Food can be our medicine but, depending on what we’re eating, it can also be a major source of inflammation and illness.
This is so interesting because it gives some sense of control over illness. People realize that they are not hopeless and that they can make changes to their diets that will eliminate inflammation and pain. Again, this is really, very individualized, and the person has to find which foods cause inflammation in their system. Probably 99% of the stories have a diet element where they saw change because of food changes.
Another common element in healing stories is gut healing. There are stories where people have greatly reduced anxiety, eliminated infections, and even treated rheumatoid arthritis by optimizing their gut bacteria.
It is not just how well you are digesting and absorbing your nutrients, but also the health of your gut bacteria. Our gut bacteria has influence all over our bodies including our nervous system, hormones, brain, vagina, etc. The gut is interconnected with everything else. If you have imbalance in the gut, then autoimmunity is more likely, viruses are more likely, anxiety, depression, skin issues, etc. When we heal the gut everything else gets better.
A third common element in healing stories is toxins. There are so many cases of people healing from dementia, degenerative diseases, neuropathy, depression, even seizure disorders, by detoxifying their bodies and their environment.
So many practitioners are not used to people recovering from these conditions because they are not addressing these underlying causes.
Doctors are maybe giving a medication to prevent the progression, but in the healing stories, people often say, “no I’m not taking that as an answer, I’m going to do whatever it takes to heal.” Then they end up transforming their health.
It’s definitely inspiring for other people going through the same problems.
It All Comes Down to Stress
In many stories there is a point where stress comes up. There is almost always a stressful triggering event like they got a divorce, or had a death in the family, or moved, or lost their job, or sometimes all of these things happening all at once. Sometimes it is sustained stress from a relationship, or work, or whatever.
Often people describe having to recover from stress in order to heal and many cases they healed after they resolved the stress exposure. It is surprising how many times people say, “I did all these other things, but I didn’t really heal until I got out of the stressful situation.”
We have to take a look at how stress has affected us. For example, toxins create stress in the body also, so detoxifying is part of getting rid of a source of stress. And then stress of all types (whether toxins or psycho emotional stress) affect digestion so the more we heal the gut, the more we’re helping the body recover from stress.
We need to be proactive in helping our bodies recover from stress. So, we take out the stressful foods, we take out the stressful toxins, we help our body with gut healing, and rebalancing hormones, and nutrient deficiencies, and supporting our adrenal glands, and balancing our cortisol and adrenaline, and so on, and we ultimately end up healing.
The Healing Process Is Not One-Size-Fits-All
It is critical to be able to get access to a practitioner who understands what we are going through and can support us in our own healing process. Healing needs to be individualized.
The diet changes are not one-size-fits-all, the gut healing and what needs to happen is not the same for everyone. Even the adrenal healing is not the same for everyone. Finding a practitioner and the testing that’s going to give us the information we need, can really make the difference in a successful protocol.
The standard medical system has led us to believe that we need to address separate health issues one by one. People aren’t necessarily looking for the whole healing journey. They’re usually looking for how to fix digestion or autoimmunity. It turns out that no matter the diagnosis, what is required is a healing journey.
It is also important to have help with where to begin. How do you go through diet changes, gut healing, detoxification, adrenal recovery so that you end up getting all the way to an overall healthy state? That is also where an experienced practitioner can make a difference.
So many people have seen 20 doctors before they decide they need to look outside the standard medical framework in order to get some answers. That process ends up leading people to feeling empowered and educated by doing their own research and trying to find someone who can really help them heal.
The most supportive practitioners help people by letting them know that they are present to guide them through their process and that they will help them to not be stressed by the experience. Practitioners need to help educate their patients and guide them in accessing the information they need in order to heal.
People nowadays are their own health advocate and they’re the ones making the lifestyle changes and decisions. Practitioners should give their patients the information that can help them along the healing path to hopefully make it more efficient and successful.
You Are Not Your Diagnosis
Sometimes what can happen in the conventional medical system is there’s a diagnosis made and then the person feels kind of stuck with that diagnosis. It’s important to understand that a diagnosis is not permanent; it can change.
With almost all of the chronic illnesses, the diagnosis can be reversed. There are tons of autoimmune reversal stories, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Lupus, MS, and more. It is so inspiring to see that happen.
People can then step back, rethink and say, “hey is this really the definition of myself or my life or who am I really in this life?”
Your medical diagnosis doesn’t have to define you. The diagnosis can change and at the same time there’s an important level of acceptance too. It’s important to reconnect and recognize what your body is trying to tell you and what you need to do to help your body heal.
There has to be belief. A belief that it’s possible to heal. That you’re going to take the necessary steps and have that outlook in life that anything is possible. That mindset is super powerful across many healing stories.
Sometimes people can be overwhelmed and asking themselves “how am I going to do this” and yet at the same time sometimes it’s these small changes that add up to big changes in the long run.
Some of the simple stuff can be the most powerful, like the anti-inflammatory diets can be super powerful and then people say the joint pain is gone or the brain fog is gone. When they start to see progress, and they realize it’s something that they can do, a huge mindset change happens.
Also, simple things like implementing the acronym C.A.R.E., starting with clean eating and adequate sleep, recovery activities and exercise. Those are things that we can do every day and they can have a huge impact on our health.
We lose track of all this because we get very distracted with all the external messages and to do lists, and we put ourselves last, and we can lose sight of the importance of the foundational daily activities and how essential they are for us and our well-being.
Once you start feeling better, you realize what your body needs in order to maintain that feeling and it becomes a lot easier to keep this new lifestyle. Sometimes all we need is a little bit of inspiration from others to remind us what they’re doing and that we can do it too.
If you want to reach out to Casey and learn more about how her healing stories can help you, please make sure to check out her Rebuilding My Health website. She is also on social media as @rebuildingmyhealth (Instagram) and @Rebuilding My Health (Facebook). You can also check out her Rebuilding My Health Radio Podcast.
If you want to learn more about how stress and trauma affect us, and how to heal so that you can be better and more present in your relationships, you may want to read my book Master Your Stress Reset Your Health.
If you’re interested in a safe and effective body, mind and spirit detoxification that will actually make you feel better and that you can do without affecting your daily routine, you can check out my New 14-Day Detox Program here. In the Detox Program I teach you to connect with yourself, and use mind-body tools, such as biofeedback, to process emotions.
For the most comprehensive support, even with the most difficult health issues (physical or mental), it is best to meet with me one-on-one, which is available to you no matter where you are in the world (via phone or zoom). You can set up a one-on-one appointment with me here.
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