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When we first did GAPs intro, I knew very little, other than what was written in the Gut and Pyschology book by Dr. Natasha Campbell Mc.Bride. This is indeed the place to start, but as you start the intro diet, sooner or later a whole host of questions arise. You start googling to try and find answers, but few blog about their problems and so very often it turns into a struggle. I agree with the wise sages who reccomend that only one member of the family go through intro at a time, preferable mum first, so that she is then strong to help those coming along after (but of course, this is hindsight!)
What this adds up to is that it can become a very ANXIOUS time. We would love to just start eating right and have all our health difficulties melt away, but unfortunately it doesn't happen like that. Very often we get old symptoms back, albeit briefly, we have days when we feel pretty awful (even second time round of intro!) We can be very tired, overwhelmed with all the food preperation, and then little minor says he is hungry and you have run out of soup! Then there is the confusion between die-off and food reaction, and soon you can find yourself unsure, uncertain and feeling low which aggraveates the whole situation. In fact there are times when I have been sorely tempted to stop eating (which obviously wouldn't solve the problem at all, but make it far worse!!)
Is there help?
One thing I have learnt on this second round of intro (from reading theGAPS GUIDE book, with which I would not now be without), is that the intro diet is lower in magnesium than the full diet. Magnesium is found in the broth, yes, but in higher quantities it is in nuts and dark green leafy veg which are too fibrous for the intro. Now why should this matter?
Well, having learnt the hard way, a magnesium deficiency can AGGRAVATE ANXIETY - the last thing you need! So if you are finding that you are struggling with anxiety and/or panic attacks, and feeling particularly overwhelmed, then consider magnesium oil. Acording to the GAPS GUIDE author, Baden Lashkov, it may even help with constipation, depression, muscle aches, insomnia, headaches, stress, restless leg syndrome and cramping.
What type of magnesium?
When I first read about magnesium, I was encouraged, until tried to look to purchase a supplement. Of course, on GAPs we have to be very careful of the 'other' ingredients in supplements, or we could find ourselves sabbotaging our efforts. Of course, you can use epsom salts for bathing, but we are supposed to rotate our detox baths, so this would not give daily magnesium - but an epsom salt bath can be great for managing detox feelings.
My main concern was that I learnt that supplementing with magnesium can cause loose stools. Seeing as I am more diarrhoea prone, I did not think that was a good idea. But then I found the 'Hormones for Balance' website. The author explains the different kinds of magnesium supplements and which are the best. It was here that I discovered magnuesium oil which being topically applied (on the skin), by-passes the gut and so is suitable for people with sensitive bowels. So I went looking for magnesium oil to purchase. A quick search on 'Amazon' will show you that it is not cheap. However, reading through the reviews, it soon became clear that there was another solution (excuse the pun!). Make your own, for a fraction of the price.
Make youR own magnesium oil
You only need two ingredients. Water (preferably distilled to extend the shelf life, but I use filtered water) and magnesium flakes.
There is no oil in magnesium oil, however it 'oils' the body! Some say it feels oily when you apply it, but I don't find that is always the case,
Magnesium oil is very safe to use, however always consult a health professional if you are at all unsure. You will need to apply the oil daily, preferable after bathing or showering, but not necessarily.
Spray the body with between 6 and 30 sprays and remember the soles of your feet. You can start low and increase the dose as any sensitivity decreases.
It may sting to begin with, and you can dilute your mixture a bit until it gets more comfortable, but this should subside after a few applications. Applying the oil to fattier regions of the body may make the sting less noticeable, or remove it entirely.
You can add essentail oil/s to the mixture. I like to appply the 'oil' before going to bed.
You may find that it helps other problems you didn't know were related to a magnesium deficeicy! I hope you find this as helpful as I did!