I’m Dr. Jonathan Carp and I’ve been a practicing dermatologist since 2000. I have a special interest in autoimmune diseases. In this blog, I’m going to give you an introduction to the Lifestyle Management of Psoriasis, a protocol that encompasses more than just nutrition and a lot of the programs that you see online or hear from doctors.
Nutrition’s importance is often overemphasized. The Lifestyle Management of Psoriasis entails going through what I call the four pillars of health—nutrition, environmental influences, mental state, and movement and mechanics. Nutrition is just one of the four pillars of health.
Through this protocol, you will learn how to become your own healer and authority in treating psoriasis by addressing the four pillars of health.
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a genetic, autoimmune inflammatory skin disease characterized by dry, scaling skin. A type of white blood cell called T lymphocytes causes abnormal inflammation in the skin and other parts of the body. The scaling plaque is caused by the multiplication of skin cells, triggered by the inflammation-causing chemicals produced by the T cells.
The American Academy of Dermatology estimates that there are 7.5 million people in the US who have psoriasis. While psoriasis won’t kill you, it goes beyond your skin and it can decrease longevity as people who are struggling with it have an increased risk of developing other inflammatory diseases like heart disease and diabetes.
How I Developed the Lifestyle Management of Psoriasis
In 2004, I had a patient who was able to reverse her lupus while at the same time, I was also dealing with cancer (yes, I’m a cancer survivor). These two events led me to embark on a path of learning about healing from an individual’s perspective.
During my learning journey, I met a lot of remarkable people from a medical and mental perspective. I met teachers who are focused on educating people how to become their own healers, from whom my lupus patient also learned how to heal herself. This patient directed me to her teachers and at that point, I delved into relevant medical literature to seek confirmation. I discovered what was possible.
I learned about the kind of cure that takes into consideration its spiritual aspects and getting your frame of mind into healing mode. I looked into various scientific studies that confirm the fact that one’s mental state plays an enormous role in what your body does.
The 4 Pillars of the Lifestyle Management of Psoriasis
As I mentioned, the Lifestyle Management of Psoriasis is based on the four pillars of health: nutrition, environmental influences, mental state, and movement and mechanics. All of these four elements interact with themselves, so you need to cover all four of these pillars to see a radical change in your disease pattern or disease expression.
1. Nutrition. I have developed a disease-modifying diet that’s specifically for psoriasis patients. It’s a healthy diet, but it’s not meant for everyone. What’s important to understand here is a disease-modifying diet is by definition naturally healthy, but a healthy diet is not necessarily disease-modifying. We’ll also tackle using herbs and supplements.
2. Mental State. I teach a technique called mental imagery. It’s a form of visualization that has profound effects on your ability to become your own healer. It’s important to address your mental state because it can affect how you see things and the choices you make for your health.
The practice of visualization allows us to align our mind, self-image and aims about where we want to be at the end of this program with the other pillars of health–nutrition and environmental influences and movement and mechanics. It also deepens your spiritual connection. We want to be in a mental state where we truly believe that we are capable of being our own healers while at the same time focusing on an aim that points us in a direction where we want to go.
Instead of working towards a goal, we’d want to focus on an aim or a direction. That’s because none of us are capable of knowing what the end result will be when we embark on a healing program. So for example, the goal might obviously be to get psoriasis under control. But under the Lifestyle Management Program, we’ll focus on transforming that goal into an aim—a direction towards healing, alleviating, and lessening psoriasis that you have.
When I teach you about mental imagery, I will be teaching you how to turn around suppressed or negative emotions using mental imagery. You will learn how not to get pulled down by negative emotions by increasing positive emotions and embracing social support.
3. Environment. The environmental influences are the toxic things, people, and thoughts in your environment. Your environment plays a role in improving or alleviating your psoriasis symptoms. For example, if you have toxins in your environment, they could get into your food and affect the ability of your body to absorb nutrients. The protocol will teach you how to manage or get rid of toxic elements in your environment to prevent these from sabotaging your path to healing.
4. Movement and Mechanics. The things that revolve around movement and mechanics are posture, sleep, physical activity or exercise, sexual activity, and anything that requires you to move your body. Maybe you are so stressed physically, maybe you sit down all day, or you don’t get any exercise. Understand that these things all contribute to your disease pattern.
In my succeeding blogs, I’ll outline my nutrition protocol and the courses that we’ll go through. Join our Facebook Group to get support and learn in a more comprehensive way. If you have any questions about the Lifestyle Management of Psoriasis, please leave a comment below.