Broccoli Syndrome!!

By Angela Irving-Brown


Mickel Therapist




There have been lots of blogs about how Mickel Therapy has helped people return to their old self. I wanted to talk about something that I find quite interesting. That is the idea of Broccoli Syndrome. I wondered what on earth that was when I first came across it. I then wondered why “Broccoli” syndrome? Why not “Chocolate” syndrome or “Beer” syndrome? The answer to the latter of these I have still not found but I do understand what the concept is.

card making

When I was going through my recovery I was interested in card making and scrap booking. I still am in fact. I invested rather more than my partner thought I should have in the things I “NEEDED” for this pastime. I spent time at the dining table making cards and trying all sorts of different types of crafts.


I was putting myself first. I was using my keys. Wasn’t I?


Why was it I was still getting symptoms of fibromyalgia when I was doing what I had been taught? Why wasn’t Mickel Therapy working for me anymore?


I remember feeling frustrated and starting to doubt the effectiveness of Mickel Therapy. Then I was introduced to the idea of Broccoli Syndrome.


In what follows you can insert whatever food you like to make it more relevant to your own tastes, but the idea is the same.

groundhog day

Imagine your favourite food, above all else, is broccoli. You tell people that you could live on broccoli, you love it that much. Now imagine getting up for breakfast and all you have in the cupboards is broccoli. So you prepare a lovely bowl of broccoli for breakfast and eat it, accompanied by a cup of coffee.


You then go about your business of the morning until you get to lunch time. Again the only food you have in is broccoli. You are happy about this because it is your favourite food of all. You cook it to perfection, sprinkle with a tad of pepper and sit down to devour your lunch.


After a busy afternoon it gets to teatime. You look in the cupboards and see that you have more broccoli to eat. Not a problem, you think. You decide to sauté it this time in some lovely olive oil. Tea is just yummy.


You go to bed that night happy that you have been able to eat your favourite food so much. The chance of doing this is rare and you have made the most of it.


The next day you get up and look in the cupboards. There is just broccoli there staring back at you. You look at it and think about how much you love it. You then get on with making your broccoli breakfast.


The day progresses much as the day before and you have two more meals of your all-time favourite food. You go to bed satisfied, but not quite as happy as the night before.


The next morning you look in the cupboard for breakfast. And there it is again. That lovely, tasty, green vegetable that you love, honestly. But you are beginning to wish you have gone to the supermarket last night to get something else.


By the following morning you are ready to scream when you see the broccoli there, staring back at you. It seems to be taunting you. It’s saying “you love me, don’t you?” with a sneer on its imaginary face.


That is broccoli syndrome. It is having or doing the same thing that you love, all the time. It is not having variety in what you do, what you eat, where you go and who you see. When this happens you get bored. You are unfulfilled. You feel lonely and worthless. These are all negative primary emotions that, if left unattended, lead to the development of symptoms.


I was using card making as my broccoli. I was doing it whenever I was well enough to do something for myself. It led to me getting angry at it, as well as being bored by it. I was stuck in the same house, in the same room, on my own with no true reason to be there, except I told myself that I was doing stuff for me and putting me first.

I changed

When I changed what I was doing and varied it a bit I started to progress further through my treatment. I still fall into the trap of broccoli syndrome and have to give myself a talking to as to why my symptoms are raising their head again. But using my keys from Mickel Therapy, as well as being aware of the neural pathway, I am able to alleviate any symptoms I get.


Mickel Therapy gives us the tools to listen to our bodies and be honest with ourselves about what we hear. If we can do that and use the tools we can achieve and maintain health.


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5 Responses to Broccoli Syndrome!!

  1. Saul Levit. says:

    Great article Angela. Love tag analogy of the cupboard full of broccoli! So easy to fall into the trap of ‘I love doing this so why do I have symptoms’. Nicely done.

  2. Alison Thow says:

    Thanks Angela. Great blog! It isn’t always easy to spot Broccoli Syndrome and we often miss the boredom creeping in.

  3. Julia McNeill says:

    As a fellow card maker & dedicated crafter …. I have recently found myself going into my loft …. Staring at my stash, doing nothing then coming back down as I just can’t face it any more …. I recently had to give myself the brocalli syndrome talk … Have started swimming again & now I am enjoying crafting again!! This is the best description of “brocalli syndrome” I have ever heard!! Fabulous article Angela 🙂

  4. Teresa says:

    I too love being creative and crafty and don’t find the same joy as I used to. You’ve given me some food for thought!

  5. Jo says:

    Great blog Angela! Well done:) What a good description of broccoli syndrome. It is difficult to spot it creeping up on you. Our thoughts about a situation can be quite persuasive, thinking ‘I love this’ when our bodies are shouting ‘not this again!… lets do something else and come back to this another time!’ Its amazing how much more energy and enjoyment you have when you do a variety of things:) You end up loving the things you love even more!

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