Review: Walking through Honey – Brian Sherman 

THIS IS A STORY OF THE FAILURE OF THE WESTERN WAY.
THIS IS A STORY OF HOW SUCCESS SHOULD NOT BE MEASURED
THIS IS A STORY OF TRAGEDY AND SUFFERING THAT COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED.
THIS IS A STORY OF AN INTELLIGENT, CARING AND INCREDIBLY HARD WORKING MALE WHO HAS BEEN FAILED BY THE WESTERN MEDICINE MODEL.

Brian Sherman has led a hard working life with great financial success in the equities markets but it appears this came at a price. Fifteen years of intensely stressful roadshows when he “he constantly gulped down antibiotics to over ride flu” (p 126) and many more years of overuse of anti depressants and anti anxiety pills (p16) have taken their toll. Say hello to what happens when the body is out of balance and creates a collection of symptoms called Parkinson’s Disease.

This story is the left hemisphere of the brain in sole control. Driven, competitive classic alpha male – someone who has thrived in the western system and achieved great monetary rewards – but at what cost?

It seems he was completely disconnected from his body and emotions. Unaware of the bio-feedback that a more connected person could have noticed. Without right hemisphere body-mind connection the left hemisphere thinks it is in charge and lives totally in the future or the past but does not notice the present moment. It does not feel. I saw the same pattern in my closest loved ones in my family who have died way to young – a complete disconnection from their physical body, completely lost in left hemisphere thoughts, unable to notice their body crying out in pain. There is only so long you can not listen before dis-ease rears its ugly head. 

Positive thoughts are not enough. In fact they can even exasperate the problem. “I’ll be fine”, “nothing to worry about”, “my drinking, my meds, my stress are not causing me harm”, “surely the chemicals in my environment wouldn’t hurt me”. These positive thoughts are left hemisphere persuasiveness at its best. It takes continued and regular practice to truly feed the balanced left-right connection and understand that consciousness is not just about thinking words, in fact thinking words is a relatively new thing that consciousness can focus on.

When someone is so embedded and so successful in ‘the western system’ then it is natural that they would expect the same system to solve their problems. This was Brian’s journey, hopping from psychiatrist to psychiatrist, neurologist to neurologist, western doctor to western doctor, taking every combination of pills given to him, but surprised that the expert doctors couldn’t seem to agree on anything and frustrated by the dilapidating side effects he was experiencing. 

Just goes to show that unfortunately these experts don’t have all the answers. The body-mind is way too complex – it has 3.6bn years of evolution. These doctors and specialists are only getting their advice and information from one place, medical trials and research papers mostly designed and funded by big pharmaceutical companies. They are busy. They dont always have the time to research all the latest ideas.

Be very clear that big pharma does not benefit by curing you but by you being on a concoction of profitable drugs for as much of your life as possible. This is the system we trust.

It seems on the surface like Brian looked everywhere for advice but actually he only looked within the western medical model. There is another side, the ancient wisdom and the eastern model perspective of creating balance and harmony in the system. What was he feeling? What sensations could he notice? How could his thoughts be triggering his emotional and hormonal biochemistry? Was he living is constant sympathetic stress response that downgrades digestion and immune system strength?  Could his poor health be compounded by a vegan diet lacking in essential animal fats and amino acids and a multitude of pills? What impact could the antibiotics have had on his precious and vital gut biome?

It seems like his kids started to realise this. “It is not helpful that the western medical system separates the body into systems” where “ the subtle but powerful interaction between psychological and physical is lost” with a “bath of pharma on top” p52

I was surprised how they have all missed the most obvious. Until I read this book I had not researched Parkinson’s Disease (PD). The book made it clear that there is western medical consensus that PD is linked to reduction in the number of dopamine producing neurones in the brain. 

My belief though seventeen years of health study is that Hippocrates, the physician from Ancient Greek often thought of as one of the most outstanding figures in the history of medicine was right when he reputedly said 2500 years ago “all disease starts in the gut”. So what do I do next, a quick google search on dopamine. 

And surprise surprise there it is all laid out bare, gut health appears to have a massive effect on the healthy production of neuro transmitters such as dopamine and serotonin and plays a huge role in brain and mental health through the gut-brain vagus nerve axis.

The very first things I found…..took me about two minutes.

Do your gut microbes affect your brain dopamine?
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31098656/

“All this evidence strongly supports that the microbiota-gut-brain axis is key to the physiopathology of several neuropsychiatric disorders involving those where dopaminergic neurotransmission is compromised”

How with all the research that was done, all the visits to all the neurologists has no-one mentioned that maybe it’s very strongly linked to gut biome health. It is mind blowing that the gut biome doesn’t even get a mention in the whole book.

I teach that there are two main pillars to health and wellness. Good nutrition and gut health being one and skilful management of the stress response two. Both major omissions in Brian’s life. 

Nutrition got about three lines in the whole book and he skipped over the western doctors being concerned about the vegan diet by arguing back “Despite the fact that a well balanced vegan diet is known to balance nutritional needs”. Brian listens to the doctors when they tell him to take big pharma’s pills but ignores them when they critique his vegan diet. The book doesn’t mention the gut biome once. Ultimately the very nature of our evolutionary being is that we are a synergistic community of bacteria and other cells. These bacteria play a vital role in our immune health, send chemical signals throughout our body and even effect the expression of our DNA. Ignore them or destroy them to your peril.

It doesn’t take too much research to ascertain that:

1/ Gut health and in particular having a well balanced micro biome is vital for immune health and disease prevention

2/ Over use of antibiotics is terrible for gut biome health

3/ Stress is terrible for gut biome health

4/ Poor diet is terrible for gut biome health and I would argue that a vegan diet just does not provide the necessary amino acids or correct type of proteins or fats.

And so there you have Parkinson’s Disease a collection of symptoms caused by the mind-body-biome being out of balance. This book is a classic example of why western medicine left brain reductionist thinking is making us more sick not better. We have had fifty years or more of this model being in charge and trillions of dollars of spending yet we are seeing increasing levels of disease and illness. Time for change.

What would I do? Simple if it was me then the first job would be sort out my gut. 

  • Stay at home with nursing and spiritual support for one month
  • Come off all medications and use my meditation, yoga and breathing skills to stay calm and relaxed
  • Fast as much as possible with just bone broth, water and vitamins
  • Flush my system with twice daily enemas.
  • Use psychedelic assisted therapy to change habitual patterns of thinking and acting and help me reconnect to my body (check out book New science of Psychedelics)
  • Finish up with a Faecal MicrobialTransplant to repopulate my gut with a well balanced microbiome
  • Continue my life with daily yoga and meditation and the right kind of high fat diet combined with organic vegetables and ethically produced meat that has lived a stress and chemical free life
  • Develop a daily spiritual practice to help me connect to a higher creative force and be at peace with myself

But what do I know? I’ve only being running a health retreat for eleven years, been studying wellness for seventeen and helped over thirty thousand people on this path. Doctors know best. You can trust big pharma. Now be a good boy and take your pills.

Disclaimer: This is not medical advice of course as I’m not a doctor!

PvB x

But Chris Kresser is a medical doctor that I trust

https://chriskresser.com/how-to-prevent-parkinsons-disease-with-diet-and-lifestyle/

Faecal Transplants to Help Treat Symptoms of Parkinson’s

https://biotechdispatch.com.au/news/faecal-transplants-to-help-treat-symptoms-of-parkinsons

Faecal microbiota transplantation therapy for Parkinson’s disease

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7458210/

Fecal Transplants Relieve Constipation and Motor, Non-Motor Symptoms

https://parkinsonsnewstoday.com/2021/05/18/fecal-transplants-relieve-parkinsons-constipation-reduce-motor-non-motor-symptoms-small-study-finds/