5 Heart Centered Approaches to Autoimmune Disease

Blog, Lifestyle

Here is a bit of news you may not know about us: It Is Not About The Diet. Yes, we are here cooking, loving, developing, researching. But the science and outward experience of disease is a physical one and we are dedicated to the experience of our hearts.  That is why our site is called AIP Lifestyle and not AIP Diet. Recipes, style and beauty are just one part of a more central theme we embrace; It Is About The Heart. We start there, always. And the diet has come as a result of the overflow from our hearts. When Danielle was diagnosed with Celiac and Hashimoto’sin 2011 she did the physical work. The diet, the supplements, bone broth and lab work. All of those things she continues to do. And I do them all too, because I have autoimmune genetics. Cooking, recipes and  good food are also a lifelong passion I have. But the heart of the matter for Danielle really is how Hashimoto’s came as a gift for healing some limiting beliefs she had made up about herself. After all, autoimmune disease is a disease rooted in self tissue attack. And that is the central theme to what we are about. Healing those beliefs, loving ourselves and others, and finding a manageable way to navigate disease that works. Everyone makes their own personalized road map and we are no exception. In celebration of finding a personal road map, here is a list of some heavy hitters we have both embraced in the last 9 years you may find useful for your healing team. We are proponents of gathering a multi-disciplined teams together that cover all the Lifestyle aspects of healing autoimmune disease. We have many things in our personal arsenal of healing. Here are a few you may find helpful as well.

1. Broken Open by Elizabeth Lesser. Practical, funny, touching and gets to the heart of the matter. It doesn’t really matter what the circumstances are, it matters how we position ourselves in our circumstances.

2. When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron. The pages of this book are dog-eared at my house. When I am having a bad day, I open this book up to a random page and read a paragraph or two. A female buddhist monk, Pema writes beautifully and authentically. This book was by my bedside at the very darkest moments and continues to be the most read book I own.

3. Meditation. Danielle and I have both been meditating for almost 10 years. A daily practice that is a constant in the changing world. Sometimes it is hard to find time or find the right kind of practice. We both use inner chanting. Some practice transcendental meditation which is silent and still. Meditating stimulates brain waves that promote less inflammation in the body. Lights up parts of the brain that experience joy. I like the Deepak Chopra and Oprah Meditation page to get started. It is a perfect place to go if you want to dip your toe into starting a meditation practice.  Step by step instructions, easy downloadable meditations, videos! A wonderfully large resource.

4. Find a Tribe. Your own valued community that can support growth, prosperity and positivity. Because there are SO many resources now, you can do it all from the comfort of your own home or go on retreats. Here are a few ideas:

The Chopra Center

The Omega Institute

Rancho La Puerta Spa 

Spirit Rock Meditation Center  

Day One Journal App this app is only $7.99 and is really wonderful platform for recording important things like journal entries. Rated one of the best apps by Apple in 2012.

Stanford University Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education

Positive Online Radio and Podcasts! Hay House Radio

5. Practice one thing a day as a loving act for yourself. This may be putting on your favorite song, drinking your favorite tea, calling your best friend, snuggling on the couch with your kids, pulling out your fancy lip gloss to go to the grocery store, having a completely mindful experience grocery shopping and smiling at everyone you encounter. I start all my days by blessing them and putting them into the light. Usually this happens in the shower when I am mentally reviewing what I have to get done. Practicing Loving-Kindness towards yourself in an inward way, then watching it spill out and overflow into the world. It is a loving embrace to yourself and your path. We totally think this is all possible. xo


  1. karen mcinnis

    I’m really interested in this. My sister has anclelosing spondalytis. Do you know of any centers for help in washington state? Seattle or north of there preferably. Thankyou so much !!!!!

    • Jessica

      Hi Karen! I don’t know of any centers doing heart-centered healing. I do know of a therapist in Seattle that does this work however. If you would like to private message me I would be happy to pass along their info. I also do The Loving Diet (my own heart-centered program) with distance clients. info@aiplifestyle.com take care! -jessica


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