The Importance of a Success Story



After hearing a great health success story, one can begin to find hope and make new plans. If you’ve overcome a health crisis in your own life, you probably feel immense pride and satisfaction in knowing you’ve taken your life and health back into your hands. You overcame the confusion over what was causing the issue, found someone who could help and now you look back at that time grateful, knowing you’re in a much better place. While in that place though, you probably had no idea how bad things were. This is why sharing success stories is so important. Most people will suffer for years with what they consider to be a small issue and never consider that by investing time into fixing the issue, large-scale changes could begin to happen - physically, mentally and spiritually.


We all assume that having arthritis, fatigue or headaches is completely normal. It happens to everyone and you just have to deal with it. Well, it’s not normal and when you fix your health, you fix your life. If the vehicle we use every day, our bodies, through which we experience this world, is not in balance and operating efficiently, more than likely our behavior, decisions, and mood, are not quite right either.


In her book Gut Reaction, first published in 1998, Gudrun Jonsson describes one success story of an elderly patient who had been suffering from arthritis. She treated him by changing his diet, eliminating acid causing foods and within 3 months his arthritis was completely healed. He came back to visit her for a checkup and to his surprise, he mentioned that ‘things were waking up down there’. Through curing the acidity in his system and his arthritis, he had managed to restore the flow of energy through his body, restoring his long-lost libido. He was shocked, stating that ‘I thought it was gone for the last 20 years!’ He continued on his diet for another 3 months and soon met a young girl. They fell in love, married and are still happy and together today. He is wonderfully taken care of by his new, sweet love. This success story reminds us all of the importance of prioritizing our health. When we understand our body, its blocks and how we can adjust what we do to it on a daily basis, we can ultimately begin to change our destinies.


Most people believe that we can throw anything into our mouths and the body will take care of itself. That you can drink, overeat, consume sugar, coffee, and drugs, and the body will still be able to detox itself. The truth is, our digestion is sensitive. Just the way that alcohol can make us sick, so can food. Different combinations, eating too fast and too much can all cause our bodily functions to get sluggish, tired and out of whack. The gut is the second brain within our body. The same method that the brain uses to make decisions, lives within the digestive tract walls as well. When we make sure our digestive system is not clogged, is not overloaded, is PH neutral and is processing things well, we too can process the events and opportunities that arise in our lives properly. When energy can flow and we feel good, all things become possible again.


I’m sitting in Gudrun’s office in Kensington. We are talking through all of the things we would like to cover in the blog over the next few weeks. I have a side passion and interest in natural health solutions, nutrition and the spiritual and psychological aspects that arise within these fields. I’m a friend of a friend and I love to write. She tells me briefly about a woman she had been speaking to the day before. Gudrun had treated the patient’s mother 30 years ago and the patient mentioned her mother is still grateful for all that Gudrun did for her, acknowledging the Gut Reaction treatment changed her life and played a key role in her finding happiness and health again.


I begin to realise that I am sitting with a woman who is the real deal. Gudrun has a strength about her, an inner wisdom and a sense of self that I admire. It is not often that you meet a woman that you know understands herself completely. This is a woman who has done the work on herself, the Shadow work I believe Jung would call it, to ensure that she is capable of helping others. You cannot help others if you are unsure of who you are or why you do the things you do. Gudrun, in my opinion, heals because it’s her lifestyle, her everything, not her career. After two meetings with her, I began to see how what she does could really change my life. I’m so looking forward to working with her and I will be documenting my experiences through this blog platform.


If you’re suffering from any ailments, I hope you enjoy my story and I hope it gives you hope. For so long, so many problems have seemed to swim around me. I’ve had trouble eating anything that wouldn’t make my stomach hurt, I’ve had headaches, no appetite, dehydrated, depressed, unmotivated and sad. Meeting Gudrun has brought back a faith in me that if I can get my health back, I can take my life back. Reading her books reminds me that it all comes down to the base level of health you are able to maintain in your gut.


Gudrun believes that for every year you’ve had an issue with your stomach or digestion, you need the equivalent in months to repair the damage. I started having issues with my stomach 5 years ago so to be safe, I believe within 6 months, I could potentially be a whole new human being. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting stories and articles inspired by Gudrun, her treatments, insights, stories, recipes and the latest discoveries in health and nutrition. I will also be weaving in my experiences with Gudrun’s treatment as I attempt to return my gut and liver to their previous states of glory, hopefully continuing the beautiful cycle that is generated through success stories.



- Holly Parkes, 25th September 2018





Barry Pluke's Recovery



Gudrun Jonsson has started treating a new patient. A very interesting new patient. Barry was a boxer in his younger days. Growing up in South Africa he was known to be a deterrent to bullies, helping those who were naturally smaller than others or easy targets. He tells me that he never quite knew he had this reputation until he reconnected with friends years later, who still thanked him for having their backs in the schoolyard.


Bright, present and an excellent sense of humor, Barry Pluke has been a professional masseur for more than 30 years. He’s worked on projects all over the world, looking after people from all walks of life, both fragile and tough. Most recently he was working on a production to ensure that actors, actresses and stunt people were able to maintain the physically demanding nature of their work. I’ve only just met Barry and it becomes clear to me that he’s someone who is incredibly down to earth but he also seems to have an intuitive side. He’s light-hearted, kind and vulnerable lying in Gudrun’s treatment chair. I don’t know Barry but after our two-hour chat, I struggle to imagine someone who wouldn’t find Barry as likable and interesting as I do. Although, I am somewhat biased as Barry and I were both born and raised in Cape Town, so I automatically feel at home with his tendency towards banter and sarcasm.


Barry suffered a stroke 4 months ago and has been in rehabilitation ever since. His right side has a lot of pain and he is unable to use his right hand. His left side is better but still not what it used to be. He has lost the strength in his voice and has been finding it difficult to walk since the stroke. His eyesight has also diminished somewhat. He is struggling. Unable to work and doing his best to recover quickly from his stroke.


I’ve come to meet Barry so that I can track his progress as Gudrun treats him and attempts to get him back to work as a massage artist and a part-time comedian. The first prong of Gudrun’s treatment plan involves exposing Barry to negative ions in order to get the energy flowing back through his body, clearing blockages and removing pain. She does this using a specialized machine. After Barry’s first 2 and a half hour session on this machine, he reported that the pain had subsided in his right side significantly and that night he slept deeply and woke up late in the morning feeling rested. His shoulder showed more movement and his right hand was pain-free. He was able to feel his fingers and lift his arm again.


Barry has had a run of bad luck. The stroke that struck him down in June of this year was a complete shock as he pushed through the incident convinced that he was feeling ill because he was simply suffering from food poisoning. A stroke can often be mistaken for food poisoning and unfortunately, if Barry had received treatment within the first 4 hours of feeling ill, he may have been less affected. He treated two clients while feeling ill and only found out the next day in the emergency department what had happened. During his 6 weeks of recovery at the hospital, Barry did make progress but it was a trip to France with caring friends that saw him make the most progress. About a month ago, he did a lot of recovery in their pool which helped his right arm and hand significantly. Unfortunately, after missing his flight home, he was roughly handled getting out of his wheelchair and his right arm was damaged and in pain again, undoing all the good achieved on his French recovery trip.


After that he was put in touch with Gudrun and now in conjunction with the negative ion treatment, Gudrun is using reflexology on Barry’s feet to stimulate the flow of energy around the body. A low GI diet has also been put in place to help Barry’s diabetes and to rebuild healthy fermentation in his gut. Diabetes can sometimes be the trigger for a stroke, so Gudrun believes for his recovery it’s essential to maintain a sugar-free, alcohol-free diet so that he can see real improvements on his right side. Maintaining stable blood sugar levels will also allow his body the energy it needs to begin to heal. We discuss a new technology that’s just been released to track glucose levels in the blood, something that could help diabetics and those with low blood sugar identify immediately which foods cause their blood sugar levels to rise and fall intensely.


Barry has now been treated by Gudrun twice. After his second treatment, Barry, who had been struggling to walk, managed to tackle the stairs with a lot less assistance and a lot more strength. Already Gudrun’s treatment has seen him gain some of his independence back. The negative ion machine and her massage can only do so much though. It will take a real commitment and discipline from Barry in his time away from her to stick to the low GI diet that will help his body become acid-free. With a healthy fermentation in his gut, he should be able to regain more energy and movement as well.


I find myself really invested in Barry’s recovery. I’ve met him only once but I realize that this man has helped a large number of people during his career. He shows me a video of himself helping a stuntman on the set of a movie. Within 10 minutes the shoulder of the man he is working on is improved and I realize why he has been so sought after around the world for his healing touch. Now Gudrun is selflessly giving her healing abilities to see Barry become himself again. If anyone can help this man take his health and life back, it’s Gudrun.


I can’t wait to see Barry healthy, back at work and back to boxing. It’s going to take discipline, strength, and assertiveness to put himself before others, something I’m not sure Barry has ever done before. After meeting Barry I found myself thinking through his circumstances. Wondering how a man dedicated to health and helping others has found himself in this position. I wondered if his stroke was an urgent request from his body, asking him to look at is his tendency to put others’ needs and health before his own.


Recovering from this stroke will require Barry to find his voice and implement discipline within himself and to those around him who could cause him to stray in terms of his diet. If he fears putting people out he will be unable to put his strict new health needs first. I believe he will need to start asking in an assertive way for what he needs to be done and when he finds his own inner strength, putting himself first, I really believe the strength of his voice will improve.


Revisiting the day that the stroke happened, I see in a way, that he didn’t put himself and his health first by saying what needed to be said which was ‘I feel sick, I need to go home.’ Instead, he kept working, giving to others until he couldn’t even drive himself home after his last client. I feel as though I’m able to see this in Barry because I am the same. I’ve been that way my whole life. If I’m busy at work and people need me I will skip meals, not drink water, work till the late hours, putting others and their needs before my own, often ignoring my body for hours. I’ll go home with a terrible headache, tired but satisfied that I gave all I could. But is living this way sustainable? Who will put my body first if I don’t?


Maybe sometimes we get sick because there is something we desperately need to learn. Our bodies are begging us to stop, look and really see our behavior. Something we need to be forced to look at and to fix. Something that if we are able to see and correct, will greatly improve our lives in the future. All of life is learning. Illness is like failing an exam. We all need to revise, reflect and pay attention in class.


-Holly Parkes, 11th October 2018