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Archive for the ‘chronic fatigue’ Category

Rachel is a new friend of mine who suffers from FM and frequently visits for a Reiki session or ‘tune-up’. As mentioned earlier, each person and each treatment is different. Rachel is one of several people I know that suffer from CFS and FM. I thought I’d share a Reiki session we had recently.

THE ANALYSIS

When Rachel first called for a Reiki session, we only knew each other from an acquaintance of ours. I learned from our telephone conversation, Rachel was born January 7, 1972 at 4:00 a.m. in Toronto, Canada. She was born a Capricorn with the Moon in Libra. In numerology, her date of birth or Lifepath adds up to a ‘27/9” (1 + 7 + 1 + 9 + 7 + 2)

As we talked, I could see Rachel has ridden an emotional rollercoaster through life. Rachel mentioned her restlessness, and impatience has caused difficulties in staying focused—she also noted that there have been many times she has retreated into a dream world to escape the realities of what she sometimes sees as a harsh world. As we continued our discussion, I could sense that it wasn’t the world that was harsh but the criticism and judgments of her own efforts. She mentioned the word ‘perfection’ several times in our conversation and that in her attempt to create something of her own, she would in despair, tear up what she had written or drawn, even though in another’s eyes it might be excellent. She almost mentioned times of feeling ‘out of breath’ and that exhaustion and Fibromyalgia seem to hit then. This could also offset a Migraine.

Delineating a natal chart is fascinating as far as health concerns. For this particular chart, I looked at the Sabian Symbol for her Sun, Capricorn 17: A young woman surreptitiously bathing in the nude., as well as the Symbol for Chiron, (discussed later) which sits in Aries and her 4th house.

http://sabiansymbols.astrologyweekly.com/

As you know, Chiron is a passion of mine—there is still so much to know about Him.

There is a wonderful website which describes Chiron in all the signs and houses. This next quote is from: http://home.iprimus.com.au/gjdemontfort/Chiron.htm

“In Aries or the first house, the sense of self has been violated in some way, manifesting in feelings of worthlessness, and/or that nothing is ever quite good enough. The lessons of Chiron here are in learning to assert yourself and to take appropriate action or initiative to remedy the situation – appreciate yourself and others for who they are. Easier said than done, as you can tend to be self sabotaging in your thought patterns. Remember your thoughts are powerful – you reap what you put out.“Chiron in the 4th
If the 4th house is taken to be the father, then he may carry the Chiron projection. The child with this placement may be exceptionally sensitive to his wounds, or view the father as a kind of teacher or mentor. One woman I know with Sun conjunct Chiron in the 4th was, as a young girl, abandoned by her father shortly after her mother died of cancer. This early rejection contributed to her receptivity to the pain, needs and feelings of other people.It is possible that in the later years of life, those with this placement may develop a latent interest in various forms of healing.”

The Sabian symbol for her Sun, Capricorn 17: A young woman surreptitiously bathing in the nude……well I had to look up surreptitiously—of the many interpretations I chose the word Secretive. Nude symbolizes vulnerability, being open, honest and truthful—it is as if this young woman enjoys her time alone to look deep within at the patterns and behaviors of her life. I bet Rachael spends a great deal of time, meditating and intimately learning about herself. By symbolically understanding the pains and traumas in her life, they will start to loosen their hold and power. Genuinely, this ‘young woman’ seen in a positive light is comfortable enough with herself and not overly concerned about her appearance and seems happy with her sexuality. Nudity can also express a highly sexed and/or senuous woman which would enhance her artistic talents and spirituality.

On the other side of the coin, this form of retreat can make a person disengage from life, from people, from relationships. Rachael mentioned she has an affinity with the tarot card, The Hermit. Is Rachel a shy and reclusive ‘young’ woman? Does she hide from certain people, situations in her life? Does she not want others to see her inner beauty and light? Or is all this for a greater purpose? It is true Capricorns can be very complex, deep and theoretical. and do not like to stray far from their favorite mountain peak……but they are always striving for the summit.

When a person withdraws from life it could be because they feel out of place with their views and beliefs. These people avoid confrontation and tend to be passive, allowing others to dominate and walk all over them. This may be why Capricorn 17 tends to live in her own little shell. Like a snail, she has built a shell of protection around her.

“Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they are yours.”–Richard Bach Illusions.

When people have a low self esteem, they feel they have little worth and almost expect to be cheated, stepped on and depreciated by others. To defend themselves they hide behind a wall of distrust and sink into the terrible feeling of loneliness and isolation. Fear steps in and constricts and keeps us from risking new ways and solving problems. Reassurance of our capabilities and strengths helps us highlight who we are and carry on. But if we tend to live in isolation we detach from our need for people and lose this viable and necessary connection. We all need people.

“You teach best what you most need to learn.”–Richard Bach Illusions.

Fibromyalgia can hit with a force on people with low self esteem. It feeds on negative thoughts and comments and poor attitudes about the Self. But Fibromyalgia is not really the problem—that is, it’s a symptom. There is usually something much stronger happening underneath. With astrology, numerology and the Sabians and more, I try to uncover what’s under someone’s skin, the deepest point within.

The Sun is weaker in Capricorn than most signs and its ruler, Saturn can be a hard taskmaster, especially for young Capricorns—although Saturn tends to mellow as Capricorns grow older. Saturn also represents the lord of Karma—you reap what you sow. One of the karmic laws is that whatever you send out to the universe will return to you three-fold. I told Rachael when she finds herself thinking negative thoughts to erase them in her mind and replace them with something positive. She said she’d definitely try it.

Vulnerable areas of Capricorn are the bones, knees, teeth, skin, shoulders, lungs, hands, nervous and digestive system. Rachael also experiences respiratory difficulties and becomes exhausted and tired easily.

Rachael mentioned her FM hits mostly in the shoulder and neck area which sometimes causes a dreaded 3-day migraine. I felt that Rachael’s sinuses were affected too and seemed to be full of old negative emotions that were mopped up but never drained away. This lack of drainage could also affect her ongoing muscle and neck tension as well as depression.

When I started working on Rachael there was tenderness and pain around her right shoulder. I told her this could be coming from a congested Liver Meridian. Surprised, she asked how shoulder pain could be linked to this meridian. Because I said, this meridian is linked to your shoulder via the nervous system.

The Sabian Symbol for Rachael’s Chiron is Aries 10: A teacher gives new symbolic forms to traditional meanings.

Part of body, The Eyeball. The eye (window of the soul) by itself is circular and resembles an expanded point of space (similar to the symbol for the astrological sun). It is close to the ‘third eye’ which turns inward to see the ‘infinite’…the language is strange, the symbols unfamiliar. To discover new symbolic forms, the teacher will gather pieces of the puzzle (some traditional, some unknown) and begin the process of creating.

The inside of the eye works like a camera. The lens projects a sharp image on the back surface of the eye. There, a layer of light-sensitive cells called the retina works like photographic film. The image on the retina is ‘upside down’, but the brain turns it the right side up. Interesting!!

WOW! Immediately I found myself reflecting on The Hermit card in the tarot which Rachael had mentioned earlier. Also the Hermit card is said to be related to Virgo, which I believe is related to Chiron!

The Hermit lives with solitude and introspection, learning through self reflection. He is about serving others through the knowledge he has learned and gained. He is about bringing something new to the world, something that never existed before (look at the Hermit in the Thoth-Crowley deck –the universal egg and sperm). He says, when we understand our uniqueness we will be able to trust ourselves completely. But first we must deal with the three headed Cerberus which represents healing our past, present and future. Then the Hermit can shine his light for others, offering a different perspective from the mountain peak of pure abstract thought.

I have often seen a person with Hermit energy having to travel in what seems like the wrong direction – backwards – in order to go forward in life. Deep in his soul, the Hermit has a knowing he is here to conclude unresolved issues of the past, so that he can move on.

Chiron (son of Saturn) constantly records every memory, input and experience, searching out ways to cure a ‘wound’ that won’t heal from traditional beliefs and medicines.

This quote is from http://www.alphalifetrends.com/chiron.html The whole article is interesting and enlightening.

“The Truth about Chiron is that it points to the type of qualities and the area of our life that is designated to give us the opportunity to understand selfless giving and to grow through our chosen responses to these potholes. Within these challenges, we are given the deep hole of experiencing unfair situations that we must accept, deal with, understand and ultimately bless. This is a very tall order, however, our life, our path is sprinkled with them.”

THE TREATMENT

I purchased a Reiki portable healing bed quite a few years back and love the freedom it allows me and my clients. If a patient is too ill to travel, the Reiki bed and I go to them. In this case, Rachael came to me. When she walked into my home, a CD of Reiki music was playing, the curtains closed, shutting out the day’s worries, which was relaxing for both her and me. I asked Rachael beforehand to wear light loose clothing. In Reiki one does not have to undress, the healing passes right through the clothing to the source.

Before we began, Rachael sat down and we talked about the Sabian Symbols for her Sun Sign and Chiron. (Talking with a patient, a healer can often sense a person’s frame of mind and level of stress) Rachael was very excited at my finding and confirmed this was indeed her personal story. She mentioned she knew ‘big time’ of her weaknesses but not so much of her strengths and abilities. Also in her childhood she was put-down by others, especially her siblings and parents. Rachael told me she learnt to bottle up her thoughts and feelings by keeping them to herself. But sometimes she EXPLODES over insignificant things and lets her feelings of frustration, anger and lack of control out especially while in her car—road rage!

“Half of the world is composed of people who have something to say and can’t, and the other half have nothing to say and keep on saying it.”–Robert Frost

“It was if I internalized all their negative comments and believed them” Rachael exclaimed. “I’d hold my feelings in until boom, they found a way out”! Swearing or verbally attacking a ‘bad driver’ was her place to Vent her Anger and Pain—at people she didn’t know and whom she’d probably never see again! But she also knew road rage can cause serious accidents! Somehow Rachael needed to communicate her anger and frustration to her parents and siblings. Her response was….they won’t listen, they won’t change. Well, somehow her feelings had to be known. Even if they don’t change, at least she would be sticking up for herself and communicating the best she can.

Rachael also mentioned she was in a dead-end job that on some days bored her to tears. “The people I work with are wonderful, but the work itself is repetitive and routine—nothing changes from one day to the next”. She let out a big sigh.

I felt as if Rachael’s Capricorn was hiding in the ‘shadows’. Capricorns main interest IS their work. Their career is supposed to be one of their reasons for Being. A job that isn’t challenging can stress Capricorn to max, leading to indigestion. Rachael definitely needs to find what motivates her in life. She needs to find her PASSION. The feeling of self-fulfillment, usually through helping others, is one of the beautiful gifts that the Lifepath 9 has to offer.

Capricorns also love to ‘keep moving’. I suggested aerobics or some kind of exercise would be more to her advantage than ‘fighting’ rush-hour traffic.

Usually I will ask a client to pick a card from a tarot deck or the Inner Child Cards. Today was different. With the Hermit such a focal point in Rachael’s chart and healing, we decided it was exactly what the Universe had ordered.

After our talk, I asked Rachael to sit sideways on the chair, allowing my hands to flow slowly over her body. Gently sweeping through and around Rachael’s energy field, head to toe, I acknowledged where my hands would tingle, feel no vibration or feel hot or cold. Sometimes my hand would shake slightly at troubled or congested areas. All this took maybe five minutes. With the initial assessment done, I asked Rachael to lie down on the Reiki bed, face-up and the treatment began.

Usually a Reiki treatment starts at the head or feet of a client. This helps to ‘read’ the person’s entire energy field. Areas of imbalance have a tendency to express psychological and emotional information. With Reiki II, the Emotional symbol allows impressions to be received from the practitioner which if expressed, encourages the client to participate and explore their meaning. Reiki often can bring out specific body memories, emotions and thoughts which need to be uncovered and released so healing can take place.

The actual treatment and conversation between Rachael and I is confidential. Spiritual energy was very strong in the room, and I sensed ‘many hands’ helping and healing….surrounding her body soothingly. Between the Reiki and the ‘many hands’ both Rachael and I could feel tension being drawn from her body, from her legs, stomach, shoulders, arms and neck. Rachael noticed pain and tension disappearing from her head. Knots in her muscles unfurled.

Make a list of areas in your life in which you do feel worthy. Identify your true value and how that value serves you and others. Don’t stop listing until your heart opens to loving yourself. Also list the ways in which other’s “bad” treatment of you has helped you to learn how to assert yourself and to value yourself more. Again, keep listing until your heart opens to them, and to yourself, for experiencing the lesson.”

And this, from a book by Howard Sasportas (The Twelve Houses)

Spirit showed me Rachael’s energy field which was low and her solar plexus congested with dirty red energy. There were many hot spots in her field and in the thymus/heart area the color, Olive Green. Olive Green means we are starting to compromise our immune system.
Rachael’s liver was off balance and possibly affecting her cholesterol levels. The gallbladder, spleen adrenals and lymph glands needed special attention too. When the organs in our body are full of toxins they have difficulty releasing and eliminating toxins as they are released into our system. Reiki helps to wash them away.
From my Reiki Manual

Reiki works a little like soap. Soap gets dirt out of your clothes by using the positive and negative charges of atoms. Each of its molecules has two sides, one attracted to dirt, and the other to water. The dirt loving side attracts the dirt like a magnet does to iron filings and the water loving side sticks to the water, carrying the dirt with it, which is then flushed out of our system.

For Your Interest

The gallbladder meridian when afflicted causes eye weakness, temple and migraine headaches neck tension, jaw pain, ear weakness, and shoulder pain, tightness in the ribs, asthma, shingles, arthritis, pain in the hip and knee complaints too! PHEW! That’s a tall order for a little organ huh?

(Picture below from “A Beginner’s Guide to Shiatsu by Partick McCarthy)

The Gallbladder and Liver Meridians (notice the intensity of the gallbladder meridian in the head region). One of the linked sites on my blog is Wingmakers. A FANTASTIC SITE! Discover what it says about the Gallbladder and its connection to the Wood Element. http://www.wingmakers.co.nz/Nature_Meridian.html

The full body treatment lasted for approximately an hour and a half. I would like to stress that the healer does not do the healing. We are merely a channel for something greater that moves through us. We also do not have to know or understand a person’s illness to heal….for healing comes from beyond us.

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched. They must be felt with the heart.”-Helen Keller

“Love not what you are, but what you may become.”-Cervantes

“Dwell in possibility.”-Emily Dickinson

I told Rachael she had to stop holding back things that needed to be said. We focused on building up her self esteem, taking time to write down her gifts and strengths and setting personal goals and facing her fears. She realized she had a lot of work to do. Healing IS hard work but the rewards are many.

“You are amazing, original, the one and only you.”-Sue Bender

I would like to intervene and say that I have learnt a great deal about myself by mirroring the people who’ve come for Reiki. Most of what I have shared about Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has been from my friends and clients. Many of the online sites and books were due to their own search for self-healing.

“This, then, is the test we must set for ourselves: not to march alone, but to march in such a way that others will wish to join us.”-Hubert H. Humphrey
As Rachael relaxed after the Reiki Treatment and enjoyed a cup of herbal tea, I recommended a friend of mine who is a Homeopathic doctor and my friend Sue the acupuncturist. As stated before Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue are multi-faceted illnesses. More than one approach is needed for healing. Although this will be a great investment of time and change for Rachael the road to health begins with the conscious decision to be well.

 

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”—Gandhi

 

Chiron and more
http://www.alphalifetrends.com/

Sabian Symbols
http://www.sabiansymbols.com/index.asp
http://sabiansymbols.astrologyweekly.com/

Earth Meridian
http://www.wingmakers.co.nz/Nature_Meridian.html

The Twelve Houses by Howard Sasportas (talks of Chiron through the houses
http://www.amazon.com/

Stay tuned……(a new topic!)

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“Both CFS and FM make you stop, whether with exhaustion or pain or both.  If you have either of these illnesses, there is little doubt you will spend some time resting.  This is an important factor in your bodymind understanding.  A large number of people affected by these types of illnesses—and there are many variations—are high-flyers already climbing their career ladders.  If so, you may well be stressed, and this will certainly strain the immune system.  But it may also be that you are going in a direction that is not true to your inner nature—as if you are going against the grain or against your spirit.  And then you get stopped.” Deb Shapiro YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND

Do you think you have chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia? The only reason I ask is because hypothyroidism can be missed with these illnesses. In Fibromyalgia for Dummies, Dr. Staub mentions that a low thyroid function leads to fatigue and also causes painful and aching muscles. I experienced this a few years back when I became premenopausal. I also had trouble maintaining my body temperature, my skin became dry and I suffered from heart palpitations. Also high estrogen levels can affect the thyroid. To get a proper diagnosis, I highly recommend taking a thyroid blood test. By the way, some auto immune disorders can be yeast related too.

Maybe, like me, you have both! But if it is just your thyroid, taking a synthyroid drug will diminish a lot of the above symptoms. When I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, within a week of taking the medication I felt a lot better. Hypothyroidism has also been known to mimic menopause. With fibromyalgia, there is unfortunately no quick cure. Not yet, anyways.

I consider myself a very spiritual person. As I look at all the different patterns of my life emerging, I’m starting to see that spirituality was initially a form of escape. It was a form of disassociation and a defense from avoiding some of the more painful experiences in my life. Having a spiritual consciousness does not make you immune to dis-ease. This was a huge lesson for me to understand. What spirituality does do however is provide you with certain tools to understand and work with an illness. I’ve also learned that spiritual development is about learning to treat the whole self with love, respect and attention. It means giving the body the things it needs to be healthy.

One of the greatest tools that continually helps me on my journey is astrology. It has taught me to dive into my emotions and feelings. It has shown me emotions are an essential source of personal power. On a physical level it says ‘there’s a real world out there, and you’re in it’. Astrology helps us to find our own individuality and compass in life. North, East, West and South = NEWS! It’s definable and measurable and it never lies. It helps us to nurture and understand ourselves and evolve to higher levels of understanding. When this happens the healing process begins.

Accepting an illness means we have to do something about it. It makes us stop and take notice of something gone wrong that needs our attention. If we don’t we tend to feel powerless to face the challenges ahead. Instead we face whatever happens, happens….we become a ‘victim’ instead of empowering and healing ourselves. We cannot run away or try to suppress it….pain is real and there are times we have to learn to live with it. The pain itself will teach us what to do, that’s if we ‘listen’ and stay mindful of it. Accepting what is, takes time and patience to initiate.

Our body and spirit goes through many cycles of cooperating and compromising. When this happens, there is less tension. Our bodies and our health is in a constant flux of change. It’s up to us to continually work at keeping it balanced. To heal, we must turn back the tide and use our own initiative, will and spirit to get well. Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue and Hypothyroidism are all auto immune diseases. This literally means your body is under attack from itself!! It’s as if our body and soul are at war with each other. So how do we find peace within ourselves?

When I learnt Reiki, I discovered there were three levels to each initiation. Reiki I, represents the body, Reiki II, the mind/emotions, Reiki III the Spirit. Learning and understanding what FM was, took me through three different `stages.

From my Reiki I Manual…

The Reiki attunement awakens our abilities to feel, hear, touch, smell and live again. It takes us back into our bodies and jolts us back to life. A body that reawakens and allows the spirit to feel grounded and connected within a solid structure. Our body is our best friend and lifetime companion. Yet it really is an automated machine that willingly obeys and acts out our every thought, feeling, word and desire. Reiki rebuilds the energetic system of the body. It reconnects our emotions to our spirit and our spirit to our body, helping us to rebuild a stronger foundation and a healthier body.

Anatomically, the 1st Chakra relates to physical body support. The 2nd Chakra represents our emotions. We’ll be covering the chakras and their meanings shortly.

The First Initiation – The Body

This was when I started looking seriously at my diet and my intake of processed foods, alcohol, caffeine and sugar. Sugar, I discovered really aggravated my FM. I try to avoid sugar, especially at night and carbonated beverages as well as juices.

In the morning, I haven’t been able to give up my first cup of coffee. Ohh, that’s a must! If I need more of the ‘taste’ of coffee, a decaffeinated works just as well. And besides, too much caffeine definitely stimulates our nervous system and exhausts our adrenal glands. These are the glands of emotion and help us to survive through sudden emergencies, releasing energy and vitality into our body. Without them we’d surely die.

Also, I mentioned about salts in the previous post and I have found myself craving for chips, salted nuts, pretzels, etc. So it does seem, my blood pressure must dip at certain times when FM strikes and knocks me down. I’ve also craved dark chocolate and have discovered dark chocolate is actually good for CFS and FM, as it work as an antioxidant as well as an anti inflammatory. The darker the chocolate the better! Oh and not the whole bar (aw sucks)…..a piece a day is sufficient.

Three meals a day is good practice and also increasing your fiber intake. Fiber can actually cleanse the body by absorbing toxins and moving them out of our system…re the bowels.

Foods and cleansers that contain preservatives and chemicals are also known to magnify FM symptoms. Even wheat, corn, soya, dairy products and citrus fruits can aggravate FM. Also, be aware of artificial sweeteners, sulfites, MSG and food coloring. These are toxic!!

Magnesium is essential for muscle and tissue and requires calcium for proper assimilation. Magnesium cannot be stored in the body for long periods and therefore we need to supplement our diet regularly with it. Magnesium is an alkaline mineral.

Special note: Drinking too much milk can lead to a magnesium deficiency! Milk contains high amounts of Calciferol (synthetic Vit D) which actually withdraws magnesium out of our bloodstream. Also, if you’re taking a Vitamin D supplement, make sure its coming from a natural source.

“Theories suggest that the root cause of fibromyalgia is an imbalance somewhere in the body. For example, people with fibromyalgia generally have low levels of serotonin the hormone known as the pain messenger. A deficiency of magnesium, which can cause achy joints, has also linked to the condition. There is also belief that people with fibromyalgia have high levels of toxins in the blood.” Debora Yost



Read the labels of everything you buy and notice how you feel when you eat certain foods. I learned that a high intake of protein lowers our calcium and magnesium in the body. I also discovered carbohydrates enhance them. By observing what we eat, brings our body into balance. Once the needs of our body are met, then its ‘whole’ can be addressed.

CFS and FM symptoms can also be minimized by mild exercise. Even when you just want to curl up in a ball, find a way to get up and keep moving. Don’t fall into self pity, believe me, it only makes it worse. Also, muscles that aren’t used, tend to lose their stretch and eventually shorten. Stretching exercises are great in putting elasticity back into our muscles.

Don’t get discouraged if you can’t do an exercise all the way. You will. Don’t strain or rush. I had to train myself to work slowly and smoothly without jerking or bouncing. Slowly you can build from a 10 or 15 minute workout to a half an hour. Take your time. Most of us with FM and CFS have a tendency to ‘over extend’ ourselves, I know I do. Now we’re learning to nurture ourselves and pace our movements.

Have you looked into practices such as tai chi, Qi chong, water aerobics, walking or yoga. Natural endorphins are released during exercise and help with pain relief. It also keeps our joints limber. Physical exercise also pushes fluid through our lymph system which helps to move waste through our bodies.

Posture is very important. I’ve become aware of slumping as well as jutting my head forward, especially at my desk at work. Being a dispatcher for a busy courier company, I don’t always have time to do a regular ‘body check’. The problem is, when the phone calls quieten down, this is when I really start to notice how I’m sitting and of course feeling my pain.

My greatest tension is in the neck area. This is where I’m learning to to be aware of and break old physical habits, like jamming the phone between my neck and shoulders and trying to do several tasks at once. I’ve also noticed when putting my mascara on in the morning, I have a tendency to tilt my neck back, which overstretches the muscles in the front and compresses the vertebrae in my neck.

The most vulnerable neck muscle is the trapezius http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trapezius_muscle it runs from the base of the skull down the back of the where where it fans out to the shoulders blades and spine. This is a nasty one for me!

Also look at the sternomastoid. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sternocleidomastoid_muscle ohh when tense, this is the muscle that can also affect the face, ears and jaw. It supports the neck to the side and front where the trapezius controls the front and back. Schrunching our heads and neck to the telephone strains and tenses both these muscles. Also mental stress, depression and anger can tense these muscles up without us even noticing.

Another major symptom these muscles can create when stiff/tense is the feeling of being off balance and feeling dizzy…..they have also been the cause of unexplained fainting.  The sternomastoid when affected can send pain deep into the ear and to the eye and the sinuses.  This muscle can make your teeth hurt and the root of your tongue hurt.  Sometimes it can cause a chronic cough or sore throat, I’ve met many people with FM who have had these symptoms and yet their doctor flatly refused to believe muscle tension was the cause.

The inner ear acts as a guidance system for focussing and tracking of the eyes.  The sternomastoid when extremely taut or overstretched can affect the inner ear as well as the eyes, causing blurred or double vision.

Where do you hold tension in the body? What muscles feel tense and taut? Make a note of the areas and then search wikipedia or other informative sites. Learn how the muscles in your body work.

“The muscles enable all the bodily systems to function, such as circulation, digestion, breathing and nerve impulses.  Their freedom of movment is essential for optimum health.  When the muscles are restricted, whether through tension, tightness, or lack of tone, your energy will be unable to flow smoothly, and you may suffer from related problems.  Stress release and emotional expression are therefore essential for muscle ease.  Exercise is also vital–it not only releases muscular tension but psycho/emotional tension as well.” Deb Shaprio YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND

Vitamin A and E as well as essential fatty acids and a good calcium/magnesium supplement could help your CFS and FM. Your body will guide you to what works and what doesn’t. What works for someone else, might not work for you. As mentioned earlier, CFS and FM is a multi symptom disorder; to treat it we need a multi faceted approach.

Barley greens are ten times richer in calcium than milk. I was astonished to learn that. To absorb magnesium in our bodies we need calcium, phosphorus, vitamins B6, C and D as well as a normal intake of protein. For my body size I require about 50 grams of protein a day.

I found this really great site http://www.immunesupport.com/understanding_cfids/ It also has chat rooms and newsletters on FM and CFS.

Reiki, acupuncture, ‘light’ massage, therapeutic touch, homeopathic medicines as well as reflexology all help to minimize the pain of CFS and FM. Shiatsu (pressure points) is also good in helping to move blocked and toxic energy.

I’ve found aromatherapy oils, chamomile, lavender and sage help to soothe the muscles. They’re great in the bath or add a drop to your favorite body lotion. Epson salt baths help to draw out pain from our aching muscles.

There are a lot of great sites on natural herbs and vitamins to use to relieve the symptoms or pain of CFS and FM. Part 3 of Chronic Fatique and Fibromyalgia addresses how healing is related to the mind. It explores our emotions as well as the body/mind connection. Exploring the complexities of the Self, starts setting us apart from everyone else.

CFS and FM seem to be an internal battle; to heal we need to STOP and listen to our internal struggles, our judgements and how our belief system thinks our life should be. We need to look at our habits and routines; as well as put aside what we think other people expect of us and tap into and identify with our true nature.

Do you think FM and CFS could also be related to our high-tech world? Is this a form of disconnection from the rhythms of Nature. Have we allowed our bodies to become immobilized, tense and frozen.?

Technology has allowed us to expand our minds, our self expression and group awareness. Its invisible webbing urging us towards greater connectedness. But…..

“We tend to think of the rational as a higher order,
but it is the emotional that marks our lives”
Merle Shane

Scientists link processed foods to autoimmune disorder http://www.trueactivist.com/scientists-officially-link-processed-foods-to-autoimmune-disease/

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“Fibromyalgia (FM) means pain in the soft fibrous tissues in the body.  It is a newly recognized illness featuring widespread chronic pain, stiffness, tenderness, deep fatigue, and sleep disturbance.  It can come and go and is of indeterminate length.  The exhaustion may be so draining that it can make it hard to function, eith mentally or physically, and there appears to be abnormal sensory processing, which increases the pain experienced.  There also appears to be a strong connection to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)–some experts say the two are simply variations of the same thing–as FM also has a possible post-viral cause and the two illnesses share many of the same symptoms……As with CFS, this illness implies a loss of purpose or direction and a loss of spirit.  It is as if the desire to participate and enter into life has drained away, leaving you without intention or motivation.” Deb Shapiro YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND

Chronic Fatigue (CFS) is a relatively new disorder, its characteristics often overlap with fibromyalgia,(FM) which is why I combined them together. In fact, FM, CFS and hypothyroidism are all autoimmune diseases and share similar symptoms. And there are a multitude of symptoms to these dis-eases which include, muscle pain, sleeplessness, fatigue, gastrointestional upsets, allergies, headaches, etc. That is why a multi-faceted approach is necessary in improving both CFS and FM. Discovered in the mid 1990’s, CFS and FM affected young and old alike. They both can be very disabling, disempowering and brutal dis-eases.

(A large group of people suffering from CFS and FM, also have low blood pressure. Many who find themselves reaching for foods high in salt, have noted they feel better.) Fibromyalgia and low blood pressure can be related to a lack of self, lack of self esteem, lack of competency, lack of self acceptance, deep feelings of separation, guilt, feeling trapped, alienated, relying on people’s feedbacks, being and feeling criticized by others, and suppressing the emotions.

When my doctor told me I had Fibromyalgia two years ago, I was shell shocked. It had to be something else, something I could easily conquer. Why even many of my friends called me a ‘health nut’ so how could this be possible? In fact, to me, it was impossible. I was in denial for a whole year and during that year, the fibromyalgia got worse. I learned the more I resisted it, the worse it got.

First, I thought it was my thyroid, after all I do suffer from hypothyroidism and take Levothyroxine 0.075. Maybe I needed a higher dose. However, my tests came back revealing I was taking the right amount. (more on this later)

Still ignoring the prognosis, the symptoms of fibromyalgia escalated. Weather fluctuations and the seasons increased it. I suffered fatigue, depression, joint and muscle pain, especially in the neck and shoulder area. In fact, my shoulders felt like they were climbing around my ears! I held a lot of tension in the jaw area, causing my lips and even my eyes to start drooping. There were times at work, I could hardly keep my eyes open. In fact, every system of my body seemed to be under attack. This dis-ease screamed to be acknowledged. But still I hid it from myself and others. It wasn’t until FM almost stopped me in my tracks, did I finally stop resisting the pain, turn around and embrace it. This was when I started observing it, looking at situations, past and present, which might have triggered or caused it to flare up again.

“CFS usually develops as a result of being disconnected from our emotions. Emotions are the energy that bridges the mind with the body. When we disconnect from this energy, we experience a lessening of life energy, which can eventually lead to chronic fatigue and/or depression.

This is a pattern that usually begins in childhood. At home and in society, many receive the message that it’s not okay to express certain feelings, such as sadness or anger. Women are especially taught it’s not okay to express anger or sexual feelings,. We suppress or “depress” the so-called unacceptable feelings inside us. We become cut off from our emotional energy and are left with a general feeling of fatigue and disconnection from life. As a result, we very often feel we’re “running on empty,” so to speak.

It’s important to know at least 80% of all autoimmune dis-ease occurs in women. Somewhere very deep within our bodies, there’s some kind of destructive message that needs to be revealed and transformed. To break free of this pattern, it’s helpful to establish a safe environment to reconnect with our feeling processes and begin to safely release stored anger, sadness, and other suppressed emotions. It’s highly recommended and important to contact a qualified professional as you go through this process.

Affirm: It is safe to express all that is within me. I love, honor, and accept all aspects of who and what I am. As a result, I am energized, expressed, and filled with joy!”  Louise Hay

We discussed Chiron and the Sixth House earlier in my blog. It just so happens, my Chiron IS placed in my Sixth House. Only when I admitted to having a problem, was Chiron released and awakened. And when he did, it was as if he took me to T.S. Eliot’s Wasteland and the Fisher King’s realm. By gosh, I realized there was a resemblance to the Fisher King and Chiron. To restore the wasteland, the Fisher’s King’s wound had to be healed. The wound that would not heal was a direct result of severing some kind of connection crucial to one’s well-being. Wow! I discovered the King did not heal until an innocent young man (or woman), the ‘Fool’ entered the scene. I realized the Fool was to be a new element, a new perspective that needed to be learned in my journey of healing. A journey deep within myself and my own inner core. And Chiron took me there.

Have I healed this dis-ease? Ohh how I wish! There are times it grips and crushes me like a vice. The pain is all consuming. Chiron, his knowledge and wisdom was on my side, provided I was prepared to look at myself, squarely in the ‘eye’. I was driven by a new sense of vision, a purpose. A new sense of growth and change. This is my story and hopefully it will help others to ease their discomfort. Here is what I discovered.

Chronic stress, viruses, allergies and hormonal imbalances have been linked with CFS and FM. Other symptoms are, aching, weak muscles, swollen lymph glands, joint pain, headache and sore throat. Psychological symptoms include, confusion, depression, impaired memory or concentration, excessive sleeping, appetite loss or gain and stress.

With CFS and FM, not only do our bodies and nervous system react to stress by secreting hormones and enzymes, they continue sending stress signals to the brain which reacts by sending more stress hormones throughout our bodies. When this happens our muscles are unable to relax, we are in, what is called a fight or flight mode. The adrenal glands continually pump out epinephrine, the tension buildup accumulates, our pulse races and our bodies become locked in a fixed position.

2006 was a very stressful year for me. My father passed away, a relationship I was in, dissolved, and the relationship to my own family buckled. And I was laid off from my job. Financially, spiritually, physically, I felt disabled. Although all this was happening in my life, I didn’t see it! I found myself strapped in a tangled web of pain and frustration.

At first, I tried different kinds of herbal medicines. Malic acid, L-Glutamine (amino acid), magnesium, Epson salt baths, Lecithin, antioxidants, and painkillers to name a few. They did help, but only minimally. Why weren’t these working? My doctor prescribed a drug for depression called Venlafaxine….all it seemed to do was make me more depressed and sleepy! I realized the cycle of pain killers and antidepressants were a recipe for more complications. I had to go deeper.

Looking back at the traumas in my life was like a breakthrough for me. As a Reiki practitioner and teacher, I’ve always helped others but somewhere down the line excluded myself. Now it was my turn.

When everything in my life was falling apart, I tried to hold myself together; I isolated myself and grieved alone. The stress this put on my body and muscles became a constant pain. My immune system faltered, which decreased my ability to fight viruses, like the common cold and flu. I also realized I was what many consider a high achiever. I didn’t see this as first. I thought high achievers were top aggressive performers, who like athletes in professional sports were ranked as the elite in their sport. Not so. A high achiever can be someone who continually pushes to do their best and beyond the call of duty. This, in itself creates stress in our lives as we try to stay ahead of the competition. The competition not being another business, but other people within the business. Being image conscious and self conscious, I never thought my work was ‘good enough’. I kept trying harder and harder. The more I pushed the more my FMS developed.

Catherine Northrup in her book Women’s Body, Women’s Wisdom, mentions only a snippit about fibromyalgia but definitely worth mentioning.

‘When you experience a bodily sensation such as back pain, ‘a gut reaction’, a headache or abdominal pain, pay attention to it and see if you can pinpoint the emotional situation that may have triggered it.’ ‘…other related conditions such as neck pain and fibromyalgia, all of which he (Dr. John Sarno), refers to as TMS – tension myositis syndrome. He notes that the personality of those who tend to get this syndrome is characterised by being highly conscientious, responsible and perfectionistic.”

Bingo!

Alternative healing and spiritual psychology helped me to begin the study of my own body, mind, and soul. I focused on any emotional or energy disturbances in my chakras or energy bodies. I used different forms of divination to find new ways to establish a balance within myself. I bought the book Fibromyalgia for Dummies (by Roland Staud, M.D.) and read countless topics on CFS and FM on the internet. I learned to heal and start letting go of my past childhood traumas; which were enveloped in an internal battle of fear and control as well as a resistance to change.

If you have questions or comments on my blog, please leave a message. If you’d like to address an illness, let me know, and we’ll share our thoughts together.

To be continued…….

Suggested readings:
Healing Back Pain, The Mind-Body Connection by Dr. John E. Sarno
http://www.amazon.com/Healing-Back-Pain-Mind-Body-Connection/dp/0446392308

Fibromyalgia for Dummies, by Dr. Roland Staub

Metaphysical causes of Fibromyalgia
http://www.compassionatedragon.com/metaphysics5.html

Lack of Vitamin D Linked to Pain – Fibromyalgia News
http://www.immunesupport.com/library/showarticle.cfm/ID/5324/

Fibromyaliga Herbs
http://www.herbal-supplements-guide.com/fibromyalgia-herbs.html

Check out The Chakra Test! There are 56 questions to which you can answer ‘Definitely to ‘Not At All’. It even has a graph showing the activity of each chakra. If you’re honest with the answers, the results are amazing.
http://www.eclecticenergies.com/chakras/chakratest.php

**This ‘letter’ has been circulating the web lately and although I’m not sure where this originated from, it descriptively explains to others and ourselves the many symptoms aggravated by FM and CFS.

So many FM  and CFS sufferers have been told that all they do is whine and complain….so we learn to suffer in silence.  This letter speaks volumes.

A friend of mine keeps hers on the fridge, while another made copies to give to close family and friends.  If it helps, pass it around.

A LETTER TO THE HEALTHY WORLD
FROM THE LAND OF CHRONIC PAIN AND FATIGUE

If you were born with healthy genes, you may know me but you don’t understand me. I was not as lucky as you. I inherited the predisposition to chronic pain, fatigue and forgetfulness.

I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia (FMS) after months, years or even decades of mysterious physical and emotional problems.

Because you didn’t know how sick I was, you called me lazy, a malingerer, or simply ridiculous. If you have the time to read on, I would like to help you understand how different I am from you

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT FIBROMYALGIA

1. FMS is not the newest fad disease. In fact, it isn’t a disease at all, and it isn’t even new. In 1815, a surgeon at the University of Edenburgh, William Balfour, described fibromyalgia. Over the years, it has been known as chronic rheumatism, myalgia and fibrositis. Unlike diseases, syndromes do not have a known cause, but they do have a specific set of signs and symptoms which, unfortunately for the patient, take place together. Rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are also syndromes.

2. The many physical and emotional problems associated with FMS are not psychological in origin. This is not an “all in your head” disorder. In 1987, the American Medical Association recognized FMS as a true physical illness and major cause of disability.

3. Syndromes strike life-long athletes as viciously as they do couch potatoes. They can be disabling and depressing, interfering with even the simplest activities of daily life.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ME

1. My pain –
My pain is not your pain. It is not caused by inflammation. Taking your arthritis medication will not help me. I can not work my pain out or shake it off. It is not even a pain that stays put. Today it is in my shoulder, but tomorrow it may be in my foot or gone. My pain is believed to be caused by improper signals sent to the brain, possibly due to sleep disorders. It is not well understood, but it is real.

2. My fatigue –
I am not merely tired. I am often in a severe state of exhaustion. I may want to participate in physical activities, but I can’t. Please do not take this personally. If you saw me shopping in the mall yesterday, but I can’t help you with yard work today, it isn’t because I don’t want to. I am, most likely, paying the price for stressing my muscles beyond their capability.

3. My forgetfulness –
Those of us who suffer from it call it fibrofog. I may not remember your name, but I do remember you. I may not remember what I promised to do for you, even though you told me just seconds ago. My problem has nothing to do with my age but may be related to sleep deprivation. I do not have a selective memory. On some days, I just don’t have any short-term memory at all.

4. My clumsiness –
If I step on your toes or run into you five times in a crowd, I am not purposely targeting you. I do not have the muscle control for that. If you are behind me on the stairs, please be patient. These days, I take life and stairwells one step at a time.

5. My sensitivities –
I just can’t stand it! “It” could be any number of things: bright sunlight, loud or high-pitched noises, odors. FMS has been called the “aggravating everything disorder.” So don’t make me open the drapes or listen to your child scream. I really can’t stand it.

6. My intolerance –
I can’t stand heat, either. Or humidity. If I am a man, I sweat…profusely. If I am a lady, I perspire. Both are equally embarrassing, so please don’t feel compelled to point this shortcoming out to me. I know. And don’t be surprised if I shake uncontrollably when it’s cold. I don’t tolerate cold, either. My internal thermostat is broken, and nobody knows how to fix it.

7. My depression –
Yes, there are days when I would rather stay in bed or in the house. I have lost count of how many of Dr. Kevorkian’s patients suffered from FMS as well as other related illnesses. Severe, unrelenting pain can cause depression. Your sincere concern and understanding can pull me back from the brink. Your snide remarks can tip me over the edge.

8. My stress –
My body does not handle stress well. If I have to give up my job, work part time, or handle my responsibilities from home, I’m not lazy. Everyday stresses make my symptoms worse and can incapacitate me completely.

9. My weight – I may be fat or I may be skinny. Either way, it is not by choice. My body is not your body. My appestat is broken, and nobody can tell me how to fix it.

10. My need for therapy –
If I get a massage every week, don’t envy me. My massage is not your massage. Consider how a massage would feel if that charley horse you had in your leg last week was all over your body. Massaging it out was very painful, but it had to be done. My body is knot-filled. If I can stand the pain, regular massage can help, at least temporarily.

11. My good days –
If you see me smiling and functioning normally, don’t assume I am well. I suffer from a chronic pain and fatigue illness with no cure. I can have my good days or weeks or even months. In fact, the good days are what keep me going.

12. My uniqueness –
Even those who suffer from FMS are not alike. That means I may not have all of the problems mentioned above. I do have pain above and below the waist and on both sides of my body which has lasted for a very long time. I may have migraines or hip pain or shoulder pain or knee pain, but I do not have exactly the same pain as anyone else.

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