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this article has been updated…

METAPHYSICAL CAUSES OF MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS (MS)

“If you can imagine an electrical cord with insulation that’s frayed and worn away in places, causing a short in the wire and then shorting out the electrical system, then you can visualize multiple sclerosis (MS).” THE AUTOIMMUNE CONNECTION ~ Rita Baron-Faust

Before we start unraveling the emotional causes of Multiple Sclerosis (MS), I’d like to look at Louise Hay’s perception of this dis-ease, which she describes it as – “Mental Hardness, hard-heartedness, iron will, inflexibility”.

The many people I’ve communicated with, who have MS or inquired about it, were taken aback when they read Louise Hay’s description.  They were hurt and upset at what she was implying.  I’m not even sure if I totally understand her metaphysical reason for MS, but I’d like to try.

The people I know with MS are highly emotionally sensitive (empaths).  As a result of being so open, stressful situations and people can override their nervous system causing them to feel overwhelmed and exhausted.

“Empaths are naturally giving, spiritually attuned, and good listeners. If you want heart, empaths have got it. Through thick and thin, they’re there for you, world-class nurturers.” Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life ~ By Judith Orloff

I’ve worked with some individuals, who counteract their sensitivity by developing a false persona.  They ‘appear’ courageous or overconfident and in control, on the outside which means they’re holding back or numbing their true essence inside.  They’ve disowned parts of themselves that they believe others (friends, colleagues, partners and intimate relationships) will see them as weak and needy. This form of false extrovert can create mental hardness, hard-heartedness, iron will, inflexibility, which actually conflicts with their inner-anxiety, insecurity and self-doubt.

FLEXIBLE/INFLEXIBLE

Flexible people believe in change, both in themselves and in others The rigid person, on the other hand, is fearful of any kind of change .. as things keep changing around them, they become more fearful and insecure.

Inflexibility creates rigid people, who are generally sensitive and nurturing, but also fearful .. a fearful person becomes more rigid as he or she hides their true identity through life.  This creates as mentioned before, an artificial extrovert who finds themselves swinging between impulsiveness and rigidity.

The more fearful a person becomes, the more rigid he or she moves through life.  This form of control is a result of insecurity and anxiety, creating tension and hesitancy which may show in their speech.  Even when anxiety is intense, they may give the impression that they’re in control and to others appear normal.  But inside they’re a mess!

Rigidity has been described as a static, stiff and strained position (self-depreciating) that interferes with body’s natural sway and limits the body’s ability to move at its joints, which link the bones together.  Healthy, well-coordinated muscles receive and respond to a multitude of signals from the nervous system, which help them to move in a balanced way.  But when the muscles are overused, misused, abused, disuse, disease or trauma, the smooth interaction between the nervous, circulatory and musculoskeletal systems is disturbed, movement becomes difficult, restricted, painful and sometimes impossible.  These dysfunctional patterns affect the nerve fibers that are surrounded by a layer of insulation called the myelin sheaths.

As commented to an inquirer in the ‘About’ section of this blog, “Nerve signals cannot travel normally when the myelin sheaths breaks down.  This causes the nerves to become inflamed. The more inflamed the nerves become, the more they begin to fail, short-circuiting the electrical flow, thus causing nerve inflammation. Damage to the brain and spinal cord is scattered throughout the Central Nervous System (CNS) causing sclerosis, which means ‘scarring’.

Normally, and through time the myelin has the ability to repair itself (remyelination). But with MS, the nervous system is continually and rapidly short-circuiting, not allowing the body’s natural healing abilities to catch up so healing can take place. Movements of the body may become impossible to control because the messages from the brain to the muscles fail to get through. Because each person experiences different patterns of scarring, no two people with MS have exactly the same symptoms.

“When our nervous systems shift into an aroused state in response to danger, and we cannot defend ourselves or flee, the next strategy the nervous system employs is immobilization.  Nearly every creature that lives has this primitive response wired into its repertoire. Psychological scars from trauma are reversible but only if we listen to the voices of our body.” Waking the Tiger ~ Paul A. Levine

CREATING THE OUTER-MASK

“Who would you be without the thought that you need to make an impression?

… How do you react when you believe the thought that you can find love and approval by making yourself more likeable? If the person you are doesn’t seem to be attracting enough interest, it seems natural to make some changes, to modify your appearance and your personality until you hit the right combination and become more appealing.  Most people begin with the physical, trying out dozens of variations of outfits, hairdos, makeup, diets, walks, and facial expressions.  This progress to figuring out when to smile, when to make eye contact, when to laugh, when to talk, when to keep quiet and what opinions to have.

A built-in part of developing a personality that’s designed to please is constantly watching for signs that you’re succeeding.  This can be a very stressful way to live. Anxiously focusing on the other person, checking for approval or disapproval, leaves nobody at home in yourself, nobody noticing your thoughts or taking responsibility for your feelings.  This cuts you off from the source of real contentment. The outward focus also leaves unnoticed and unquestioned the inevitably painful thought that if you have to transform yourself to find love and approval, there must be something wrong with the way you are” I NEED YOUR LOVE – IS THAT TRUE? ~ Bryon Katie

CASE STUDIES

One of the case studies I’ll be doing in this metaphysical article on Multiple Sclerosis is Paul (not his real name), a young man of 31 years, who was diagnosed with MS at 27 years old.  As a child, Paul lived in terror of his father.  He often saw the atmosphere in his home to be intensely emotional, he wanted to either run away or fight back (yell, scream, throw things) but instead he fought to keep it all inside.  He was afraid his intense emotions may anger his father; with his mom, he saw her as weak and powerless.  This caused him to ignore his inner feminine qualities and create a false persona that appeared logical, analytical and cold (mental hardness); it was his means to gain worldly power and success.

Looking at Paul’s astrological natal chart, and sharing/communicating with him, it seems his alcoholic father displayed wide mood swings that frightened him, keeping him and his mother and siblings, in a state of constant fear.  At times when Paul’s dad came home drunk, he beat up on the children to vent his frustrations. Feeling powerless toward authoritative people, Paul reacted (and still is reacting) with fear, suspicion and a lack of trust.

Defensiveness and rigidness harden into our character to protect us, especially when we feel threatened by others. When this defense mechanism is alerted, we either pull back or crawl into our shells at the first sign of trouble, or we rapidly boil with rage.  Autoimmune and chronic disorders can become a crutch to hide behind when painful and difficult situations arise that you don’t want or don’t know how to meet head-on. Being in constant fear can take away our strength and immunity; it deteriorates bones, delays the mending of fractures, weakens the lower back and in extreme cases, causes paralysis.

Most of us learn, by the age of four or five, to hide, squelch, or camouflage our emotions in social situations. We catch on very quickly to the fact that most people are inauthentic with one another – they lie about their feelings, leave important words unsaid and trample unheedingly over each other’s obvious emotional cues.  Learning to speak is often a process of learning not to speak the truth and attaining an uncanny level of pretense in most relationships.  Every culture and subculture has a different set of unspoken rules about emotions, but all of them require that specific emotions be camouflaged, overused, or ignored.  Most children – (empaths) – eventually learn to shut down on their empathic abilities in order to pilot their way through the social world. The Language of Emotions ~ by Karla McLaren

Paul did learn to shut down his feelings .. he pictured himself as a go-getter, full of physical daring and courage. He told himself: ‘be strong, be forceful, be independent, be brave’; and powerful.  Inside he felt scared and insecure but hid it by building an armor of steel around himself. He kept moving in order to maintain his balance, but the effort required so much attention, he didn’t notice when he went speeding off the track. He was thrown off the football team at college and lost many a job because of this. It became hard for him to remain calm, because everything stimulated him. Nervousness and excitability were the price he paid for non-stop excitement. But it all came to a halt when he started waking up exhausted and felt out of sorts, even though he’d had a good night’s sleep.   When his vision started affecting him, he thought it was from his fatigue.  He took supplements known to energize the body, but he only became more lethargic. When he started suffering tremors, he knew something wasn’t right but was too afraid to see his doctor.

Tremors are a common symptom of multiple sclerosis, experienced by around three-quarters of people with the condition [multiple sclerosis], and one that often makes sufferers feel quite self-conscious. For most, the tremors will be mild and occur infrequently, but for some, the tremors may be more severe.   https://multiplesclerosisnewstoday.com/2017/05/12/four-types-of-ms-related-tremors/

Along with the tremors, Paul started experiencing tingling in his legs and feet; his headaches were more frequent and he suffered pain in his abdominal area and bowel problems.  Frightened he turned to a good friend, who advised him to seek medical help and gave him the address of an excellent clinic.  We’ll explore this in later detail later.

 

Arlene (not her real name) age 44, is the 2nd Case study we’ll be looking at who also has multiple sclerosis (MS).   She too, like Paul, is deeply sensitive, and intensely emotional. What differs between Arlene and Paul, is that Arlene was naturally born with a competitive spirit, where Paul changed his persona.(false extrovert) to forget his troubled past.  Arlene’s parents loved her for her achievements, not for the person she was. This caused her to disconnect from her inner-self and her own emotions to focus intently on being recognized as a high achiever.  Arlene worked hard to get A’s in school, and kept herself busy with swimming, dance, and gymnastics.  No matter what she did, the love she craved for was never there.  Deep inside she struggled with pent-up rage and hostility.

Arlene hated the constant go, go, go, she just didn’t know how to stop.  Her nerves were frazzled, from turning herself inside out to win the love and approval of her parents and teachers.  She often skipped meals, even though she was doing strenuous physical work. Her body became undernourished and she stressed about money, this  further depleted her system. Too much adrenaline and cortisol ran amok in her blood, causing a tremendous drain on her immune system, and physical body.  She developed an array of allergies and physical stresses, including intestinal cramps, memory loss, sleep deprivation and depression.  With all this going on, Arlene developed mononucleosis at the age of twenty-one.  Her blood tests showed, low levels of Vitamin D, hypothyroidism and she tested positive for the Epstein Barr Virus (EBV).

Epstein-Bar Virus (EBV) is a herpes like virus thought to be the cause of mononucleosis and Burkitt’s lymphoma.  It is contracted through the cells in the lining of the mouth and throat, which means it can be spared by sharing utensils, kissing, and unsanitary habits.  EBV symptoms are known to duplicate other conditions, including debilitating fatigue, fever, swollen glands, arthritic symptoms, multiple allergies and difficulties concentrating.  As the immune system deteriorates, many people with EBV get strep throat, tonsillitis and chronic sore throats.

“EBV is a highly specialized parasite. It seems to strike humans exclusively, and its focus is the antibody-producing B cells of the immune system.  [B cells amplify the immune response]. It is as if the very cells with the task of destroying viruses entice the Epstein Barr Virus in.  As B cells carrying the viral genome begin manufacturing virus particles, the T lymphocytes try to stem the rising tide of nonself by secreting alpha-interferon and suppressing the B cell hosts. This is at best a questionable tactic, for it effectively weakens an already damaged immune system.” Chronic Fatigue Syndrome ~ Jesse A. Stoff, M.D. and Charles R. Pelegrino

PART II –

“Illness is more than a matter of imbalanced physiology. There are always psychological and emotional aspects to every health problem and unless these are thoroughly addressed no cure, from no matter how holistic or alternative a source, will ever be complete and lasting.” Burton Goldberg and the Alternative Medicine Guide

WHAT IS MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS (MS)

Trying to explain MS to friends and family can be frustrating because MS is known as an invisible disability or a hidden wound, that others cannot see.  So even though pain, poor sleep, fatigue, depression and other symptoms stop you from doing what you want or need to do, the outside world sees you as perfectly healthy.  Unfortunately, looking good on the outside and feeling awful on the inside can sometimes causes others (including your doctor) to over look the impact of MS on your life. However, as this disease progresses, it attacks your brain, spine and eyes*, causing problems with your balance, muscle control, vision and other bodily functions.

*The optic nerves (optic neuritis) and parts of the brain that control eye movement can be affected by MS, causing blurred or hazy vision and sometimes temporary blindness.  Occasionally, pain around the eyes will happen before the eyes are affected, sometimes within an hour or even up to a couple of days.

“Optic neuritis is linked to multiple sclerosis (MS), a disease that causes inflammation and damage to nerves in your brain and spinal cord. Signs and symptoms of optic neuritis can be the first indication of multiple sclerosis, or they can occur later in the course of MS. Besides MS, optic neuritis can occur with other infections or immune diseases, such as lupus”.  https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/optic-neuritis/symptoms-causes/syc-20354953

MS affects both the immune system and the nervous system of the body.  The immune/lymphatic system, is composed of white blood cells that move rapidly and specifically through the bloodstream protecting the body from attack by bacteria, viruses, and cancers. MS is an autoimmune condition in which an overactive immune system attacks the myelin sheath that surrounds the nerves in the Central Nervous System (CNS). This flux of energy is called demyelination, and causes disrupting signals between the brain and the body – similar to an exposed electrical wire. MS can be really frustrating because the symptoms are often unpredictable, sometimes flaring up for no particular reason and always at inconvenient times. A large variety of symptoms may include: blurred or temporary lost vision, spasticity of muscles, loss of sensation, incontinence, loss of balance, extreme fatigue and memory problems. Eventually the myelin sheath repairs itself, but often scarring remains (sclerosis), which continues to impair the function of the CNS. When there are multiple scars, it is known as ‘multiple sclerosis’.

The lymphatic system is like a sewage system for toxins in the body. The primary function of the lymphatic system is to transport lymph, a clear, colorless fluid containing white blood cells that help rid the body of toxins, cellular waste and other unwanted materials.

Emotions contain patterns of memories that are stored in the body. Anxieties, worries and fears can make us feel trapped in a situation. The stomach area can become inflamed, along with the duodenum and colon.

“The valves of the lymph system move the waste-filled fluids to be flushed and filtered. But since there is no pump as there is with the heart, lymph circulation depends solely upon our breathing and muscle movement. Physical exercise and diaphragmatic deep breathing are critical to lymph cleansing and to a healthy immune response.” Linda Page ~ Detoxification: Programs to Cleanse, Purify & Renew

Deep abdominal breathing and exercise are all ways to support lymphatic circulation. Every time we contract a muscle, the muscle rubs against numerous lymph vessels, stimulating them to contract. This is another reason exercise is so good for us!

“The lymph glands are a part of our immune system as they help purify the blood, keeping it healthy and strong. They also “clean up” garbage in the body (such as dead cells in the blood) for removal. Their relationship to the blood implies that the lymph glands are intimately connected to keeping us in an even emotional state, constantly purfiying our emotions. Swollen glands or blocked lymph nodes can therefore imply an emotional blocking or a denial of emotions, leaving us unprotected and vulnerable to invading poisons, or to the effect of poisonous feelings.” (Debbie Shapiro The BodyMind Workbook).

In regard to the immune system, a large percentage, about 80% is located in the gut. So the foods you eat, do have an impact on either strengthening or weakening your immune system. If you have an autoimmune disease, you may have a gut imbalance known as “small intestine bacterial overgrowth” (SIBO) which can lead to leaky gut.  When leaky gut is present and the liver is over-stressed, the door is open for toxins to reach the brain via the bloodstream. When inflammation in the brain gets out of control, you might notice yourself feeling exhausted, forgetting things, feeling confused and unable to formulate words in a sentence.

“The gut’s function is to absorb and break down food nutrients for assimilation. It also functions to keep harmful things from leaking into the bloodstream where they can harm. Imagine a barrier/wall between the gut that resembles “a net” (called the intestinal gut barrier). When there are abnormalities in the ‘intestinal barrier,’ the permeability of your “net” increases, (the holes in your net get bigger), so things that normally can’t pass through this net into your bloodstream are now able to, causing a negative immune reaction. These things include undigested proteins like gluten, bad bacteria, undigested foods particles and toxic waste. The newly introduced particles can cause health issues such as food sensitivity, IBD, IBS, autoimmune diseases, chronic fatigue syndrome, inflammatory chronic diseases, thyroid problems and even skin conditions. This new permeability called “Leaky Gut Syndrome” can be caused by an unhealthy diet (low-fibre, high saturated fats, sugars and alcohol), over-consumption of Lectins (proteins found in un-sprouted grains), chronic stress, imbalances in the good and bad gut bacteria, fungal and bacterial infections, long term use of conventional NSAIDs and stomach acid-suppressing drugs.” Nutrition House Nutrition House – Glutamine – Leaky Gut

CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM

An EXCITED nervous system forces your body to produce an excess of the stimulating and stress producing hormones adrenaline and cortisol, to prepare your body for fight or flight. The adrenals release cortisol in preparation to heal damaged tissue and stimulate your immune system, but too much adrenaline and cortisol can raise your stress levels higher.

Cortisol has a huge impact on the liver, which has an important role in regulating blood sugars and removing toxic substances from your bloodstream. If the liver can’t function at its best, it gets weary and tired.  Not only is it the breeding ground for negative thoughts and feelings, it physically affects the blood, the immune system and your ability to fight infections.

“The functioning of the liver is very involved in addiction behavior, whether the addiction be to food, alcohol or drugs, as it is the liver that removes toxins from the blood and deals with the excess fat and sugar intake.  The emotional tension that gives rise to the need for release through an addiction is felt here, as this tension may be based on anger and resent (towards the world, or towards specific individuals).  Often the toxins are ingested through the addiction as a way of hiding from those toxins already in our system: hate, frustration, rage, incompetence, self-dislike, hurt, greed and a need for power.  By taking in external toxins we do not have to admit to, or face up to, what is already inside us.

The liver is closely connected to the third chakra, that which focuses on power and self identity.  By transforming these qualities we are able to rise above them to the highest levels.   But it can be just as easy to become a victim of these energies as it can be difficult to transform them.  The liver then reflects the anger and confusion experienced in trying to find ourselves and our purpose.” Deb Shapiro The BodyMind Workbook

The constant release of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol can sear the body in a way that is similar to acid searing metal. Even hours after the output of these chemicals, they still remain high in the body, elevating blood sugar levels, causing damage to the immune system, decalcifying our bones and thinning our skin. Long term emotional stress can reach chronic levels with the production of these hormones.  This is when toxic emotions become deadly emotions. This powerful ongoing infusion of chemicals injures tissues and organs, resulting in many different autoimmune dis-eases.

The predominant emotions of the nervous system is fear and/or anxiety which can constantly keep us in the fight/flight/freeze response.  For example, you may feel restless, unable to sit still or be at peace; feeling hot during the day or sweating at night; reckless or lack of fear; lack of ambition or purpose; lack of drive or lack of will; low libido, inability to maintain erection or reach an orgasm; feeling cold and exhausted; fear of making any move because “it could be the wrong move”; feeling powerless; overrun by the will of others; frequent or urgent bladder problems; incontinence; holding in guarded secrets; money problems; premature aging; weak bones; bad teeth.

“Immune System – This system is in charge of keeping you safe – keeping foreign invaders out. Symptoms that show up in the immune system are often linked to defensiveness and protection. Do you feel angry and defensive? Do you feel vulnerable and defenseless? What or whom do you feel like you need protection against? (Others, or maybe even yourself? Or do you feel like you have no protection at all? The immune system is your protector. If you feel unsafe being vulnerable, have no way to protect yourself, or feel defensive all the time, it can wreak havoc on this system.” How to Heal Yourself When No One Else Can ~ Amy B. Scher

Revisiting Case Study #1~ Paul

Looking at his astrological natal chart, Paul is extremely sensitive emotionally, but he’s careful not to show it.  Instead he presents a solid facade to the outer world, giving the impression that he’s quite cool, and even invulnerable.  “I feel I have always worn a mask around people. I pretend too much which causes me anxieties about myself and the world around me.  I never asked of anything from others yet I constantly bend over backwards to please the people around me. The image Paul’s words showed me was of him being an emotional pincushion to others.  He was misusing his personal power for others.

Paul did not feel safe in his home or with his family. Because of his unstable home life, Paul was never able to enjoy a carefree childhood, he repressed his youthful spontaneity and lowered his expectations because of his father’s drunken stupor. As an adult, Paul had trouble with relationships due to a resistance of becoming too emotionally involved with someone.  But he also had a huge fear of being rejected.

“Rejection: Feelings of rejection can stay with a person for many years – to the detriment of their relationships and well-being.  Often people take rejection personally, thinking that they are not good enough, that there is something wrong with them. So instead of going forward and changing, they give up, close down, and feel sorry for themselves.

Fear of trusting, opening up, or getting too close to people can also occur when a person has experienced extreme rejection. Most people fear rejection, and as a result, many fail to pursue their dreams and enjoy life.

 Feelings of rejection contribute to many diseases and dysfunctions, such as anorexia, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, endometriosis, paralysis, numbness, cold sores, frigidity. Such feelings can also create breakdowns, stress, nervous anxiety and tension”. THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF YOUR BODY: The Essential Guide to Health and Wellness ~ Inna Segal

We all want to feel safe, protected and cared for, it’s a place where we truly belong.  But as a child, Paul suffered betrayal and a lack of trust/security…he also suffered rejection… the thought of being rejected crippled him.  In Paul’s chart, it showed he was born with a strong emotional hunger and need for security.  His mother, who had her own problems couldn’t fulfill Paul’s need for security, he interpreted her reaction as rejection and in turn rejected her when she wanted to be warm. I explained to Paul that he was very difficult to approach when hurt, and has a tendency to emotionally withdraw for long periods of time. He wrote back and said it was true.

Unknown to Paul, his severely limited childhood, although long past has been intensifying his lose of confidence and inner conflict.  What’s happening here is not just the lack of support from his parents, it’s also his own feelings of self-rejection and guilt because of his mixed emotions towards his family.

Paul was under a lot of anxiety which he kept to himself.  As noted earlier, he created a false persona around others so as not to rock the boat.  And this was the image given to me during his distant-healing, Paul in an unsteady boat in stormy seas. He was so afraid of making mistakes or being misunderstood he’d created his own form of self-paralysis.  He literally took on jobs, he loathed, so that others would thank and appreciate him.  Paul was doing things to be loved, instead of doing what he loved.  Deep within he felt so inadequate about who he was, he didn’t have a clue about his life purpose.

PAUL’s DISTANT-HEALING

Reiki is a healing energy where the healer acts as a catalyst for your healing. In other words, I (the Reiki practitioner) do not heal you, you do! Reiki allows your body to relax, allowing the healing process to start. The distant-healing is complete when your body tells me it has amassed enough energy to start the healing process. How you heal, depends on you. I am not a ‘Faith’ healer (though some people think I am). I’m a metaphysical healer … helping you understand the emotional component of your dis-ease so you can begin to take the steps necessary to heal it.

With Reiki and distant-healing Reiki, we are moving to a deeper region of the inner self, becoming aware of the symbolic messages of your body from within. Here, we are trying to understand what your illness looks and feels like, symbolically. We are listening to the messages of your body.

SCANNING THE ENERGY-BODY

Scanning a person’s body before the distant-healing helps to determine where Reiki energy is most needed. Physically or remotely, the scan works on the person’s energetic field, where it’s possible to sense imbalances before they manifest physically.  Remotely, I visualize myself standing alongside your energy-body. Visually, I note if there are any areas around your field that look dark or muddy. I also look for any energy leaks or holes in your aura.

Then, with my hands 2 or 3 inches above your subtle energy, they move slowly along the length of your energy-body from head to foot. I pay close attention to the sensations in my hands as they gently move over your body. I note if I feel tingling or prickling in a particular area. I also notice if your etheric body is giving off heat or feels cold, the latter usually indicates an emotional energetic block.

to be continued …..

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Immune system book

It was just over a year ago, a comment was made in the ‘About’ section of this blog about the metaphysical reasons for Multiple Sclerosis (MS).  The Metaphysics of MS will be the first of many articles we will look at regarding autoimmune disease.  Leave me a comment if you’d like to read the metaphysical cause of an autoimmune disease you have or would like more information on. 

Identifying which autoimmune disease you might have can sometimes be a difficult process.  Symptoms can be vague because autoimmune diseases can present themselves in so many different ways, affecting the thyroid, the brain, the skin, or other organs.  If you suffer from an autoimmune disease, most likely it started off quite subtly – like fatigue, insomnia, a bit of muscle pain, headaches, a little dizziness, and cramps with diarrhea. Then, (days or months later) you noticed the pain never went away and you felt extreme fatigue, joint pain, more frequent headaches, memory lapses and lower back and bladder pain. You saw your own doctor and then another and another hoping one of them would explain and resolve your suffering.  Initially, you were given anti-depressants, and antibiotics, and told to rest.  You seemed to get better, then two or three weeks after, your symptoms worsened baffling your doctor.  With all this going on, you may feel trapped in your own personal hell!

Christine, 38, had suffered with extreme fatigue for a year before contacting me.  Even though she had 8 – 10 hours sleep, she felt more tired in the morning then when she went to bed.  Although Christine was put on a nutritional and detox program by her naturopath, she didn’t respond well to the treatment.  I think it’s not only important to detox the internal organs, such as liver the pancreas and intestines, but also to release any repressed emotions of pain, grief and unresolved trauma:

“….I don’t have good memories of my childhood, which bothers me a lot. Not one really happy memory, even though my siblings tell me of a happy childhood. All I have is a general sense of fear, of not knowing who I was, of having to shut down to fit in and be accepted. I cried easily because I was very sensitive, so I was always a subject of a joke, or my siblings threatened to tell my parents I was crying. What I remember most was being constantly verbally attacked or silenced.

… Yes, my entire endocrine system is messed up, thyroid, adrenals and the lymphatic system. My previous doctor was mainly treating my thyroid issue, but I am under a care of a new doctor now, and she is investigating everything. I had tons of blood work done, even genetic tests. My blood test showed antibodies for Mycoplasma pneumoniae bacteria, Epstein-Barr virus (had mono when young), Lyme disease, Hashimoto, which I already knew, and looks like I m pre-diabetic, which can be reversed. Oh boy! The good news is I don’t have arthritis, and the joint pain and swelling can be from the inflammation caused by the Hashimoto or even Lyme.

 “One of the most complex and important systems in the body, the immune system is comprised of the lymph glands and nodes, the thymus gland, tonsils, spleen and white blood cells.  The main function of the immune system is to recognize foreign substances (antigens)—such as viruses or bacteria—and prevent them from doing harm.  This is the ability to protect yourself against illness.  It is an awareness of the relationship between inside and outside, to what extent you are influenced by that relationship, and the ability to discriminate between what is you or is not you—between the self and other than self.  If the immune system is overactive toward external antigens, such as pollen, then an allergy can develop; if it’s underactive, then an infection develops. If the immune system is overactive against an internal antigen, then it can start destroying the body, as in autoimmune diseases; if it is underactive then abnormal body cells will develop, as in cancer.” YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND ~ Deb Shapiro

Most of us have been wounded by our childhood experiences and/or relationships in life. With little emotional stability, we suffer because it hurts, and often that hurt is felt deeply in the core of our being.  It can cause some serious damage to our personal power if these wounds erode our self-worth and our self-respect.  If we take on guilt or blame or feel inadequate, we can become extremely defensive; saying things to loved ones, we can’t take back.  But when our deep feelings and needs emerge, we may unconsciously fend them off angrily, impulsively and sometimes even sexually.  Often though, we deny our needs for closeness and intimacy and try to be emotionally self-sufficient. But that’s not what we really want.

“What’s wrong with me? Why did this happen to me?” You cry out. First of all, nothing is wrong with you.  There are countless situations and circumstances (starting at your childhood) that can ‘unconsciously’ do some serious damage to your state of being. Perhaps you suffered abuse or betrayal, perhaps someone or something let you down and made you feel unworthy. Perhaps you were violated in unmentionable ways and you feel the guilt or shame, which is way too much to bear, yet you don’t know where to stuff it.  These are the kind of wounds that create dis-ease, infect our self-worth, taint our confidence, embitter us and make us cry ‘woe is me!’ to suffer through life so needlessly.

When the immune system’s energy is distracted from its normal functions to deal with the surges of adrenaline (crisis) in the body, it produces large amounts of *cortisol which, in high levels, is known to kill millions of antibodies as they flow through our body.  Without the antibodies to protect us, we become more vulnerable to illness.

(*When you’re frightened your brain sends a chemical to your adrenal glands to prepare your body for fight or flight. The adrenals release the chemical messenger cortisol in preparation to heal damaged tissue and stimulate your immune system.  But too much cortisol will cause inflammation in the body, not the kind of immune system response we want for healing.  This hormone can dehydrate us and cause us to use up more nutrients and vitamins, not leaving much behind for healing to take place.)

If we are very stressed or very toxic, we will use more stress to remain high to avoid the crash, hence thrill-seekers living on the edge until they burn out, develop serious disease, or find a bearable way to deal with the constant struggle within themselves. “If I don’t keep a constant grip on myself, I’m afraid of reacting with rage, suffering depression or doing something crazy”.

You need, we all need activities to counterbalance our toxic emotional stress and all the day to day demands of life. For example: taking time for self to have a hot bath, meditate, go for a walk or even hang out with friends. If our nervous system is wound up, we will have tension and in all likelihood stress hormones in the blood.

“… in a wide range of autoimmune diseases, the body’s immune cells lose their ability to read the difference between your own healthy cells and the foreign bacteria or viruses – or other unrecognizable microscopic organisms from the environment around you – that enter your body. They don’t stop at merely disabling these invading foreign agents, they go on to destroy the body’s own healthy tissue in deadly rounds of friendly fire. For reasons scientists are only now beginning to understand, the immune system goes on an erratic rampage, disabling the body itself.” THE AUTOIMMUNE EPIDEMIC ~ By Donna Jackson Nakazawa

In the upcoming articles, we’ll look at immune disorders/diseases and the metaphysical effects they have on the mind/body.  Some autoimmune disorders have been written in this blog; however, we’re going to return to these, review and possibly expand what’s already been written.  Links to the previous autoimmune diseases will be shown at the bottom of this article.

We’ll look at, in no particular order, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriasis, Alopecia, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Crohn’s disease, Diabetes (Type 1), Fibromyalgia, thyroid imbalances, Allergies, Parkinson’s Disease, Lupus, Scleroderma and Autoimmune skin disorders, Sjogren’s Syndrome, Crohn’s Disease, Pernicious Anemia, Multiple Sclerosis, Myasthenia Gravis, Lyme disease, Endometriosis, Interstitial Cystitis, Raynaud’s Phenomenon,  Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and many more. There are an estimated 100 different autoimmune disorders though the symptoms vary depending on the type of illness. Most involve inflammation within the body and a general lack of well-being, but they can be tough to diagnose medically.

“Our body’s ability to fight disease is continuously changing. The power of our immune system waxes and wanes, affected by stress, old age, the time of day and our state of mind.  Our immune system is in a constant flux; our health balanced on a tightrope.  For example, the number of immune cells in our blood tends to peak in the evening and is at its lowest in the morning. There are many changes that happen to our immune system during the night, as our body enters a different state of activity and energy use, and in turn our immune system seems to be affect by how we sleep. Reduced sleep – less than five hours per night – correlates with an increased risk of the common cold and pneumonia.”  The Beautiful Cure: Revealing the Immune System’s Secrets and How They Will Lead to a Revolution in Health and Wellness  ~ by Daniel M. Davis

From a cold to a cut, to a virus, your body’s natural defences and immune system works 24/7 to keep your body healthy and balanced.  It’s an intelligent system that is capable of recognizing (most of the time) a mutated cell from a normal one.  But with autoimmune disease, the immune system mistakes healthy cells and tissues as something foreign .. resulting in a chronic inflammatory attack on your muscles and cells.  Somewhere, somehow a breakdown in communication has occurred.

We’ve learned that the mind consists of the conscious, subconscious and unconscious.  Therefore, we have to accept that every thought we think, consciously, or unconsciously is automatically turned into electrical impulses that affect the brain and the central nervous system.  Simply put, the thoughts you think daily create your reality and your body.  The shape of your body is a graphic expression of how you feel and think.  It reflects your history; its structure is molded by your individual experiences of life.   If your thoughts/emotions and beliefs/behaviors haven’t been processed or unresolved, you may manifest the imbalance physically. Who you are is unique, that’s why autoimmune dis-eases affect everyone differently: your body, your health, tells the story of your life – your fears and aspirations, your deepest secrets and experiences.  That’s why immune disorders usually have a multitude of symptoms, they aren’t the same for everyone.

“The activity of the immune system in monitoring and protecting our health is a cellular-level operation on many fronts. The dance of all the different kinds of immune cells in the body is a dazzling tour de force by a multitalented corps de ballet, so well trained and exquisitely choreographed, they take the breath away.” Belleruth Naparstek Guided Imagery 

When we are in harmony with our higher-selves, we are filled with physical and inner strength, courage, kindness, humility and self-control.  This incredible dance of power helps us overcome symptoms of fatigue, depression, illness, and despair. It has the ability to bring body, mind and soul together as one.

Louise Hay, Inna Segal, Debbie Shapiro, Mona Liza Scultz, M.D., Carol Ritberger. M.D., and many, many more are making it known that stress related illnesses are at their highest when we lose control of our lives, feel depressed, lonely, helpless and hopeless. With chronic low self-esteem, you may feel failure in the stomach, the pressure of self-blame in your heart or the pain of shame in your throat.

“We don’t yet understand all the ways in which brain chemicals are related to emotions and thoughts, but the salient point is that our state of mind has an immediate and direct effect on our state of body. We can change the body by dealing with how we feel. If we ignore our despair, the body receives a “die” message. If we deal with our pain and seek help, then the message is “Living is difficult but desirable”, and the immune systems works to keep us alive.” Bernie S. Siegel, M.D.

It’s possible you’ve lived with crippling insecurities, or heavy responsibilities that have severely suppressed your joyful, artistic and creative side of life.  As a child your self-esteem may have been severely bruised, your creative talent inhibited or your fun and happiness extremely limited. Growing up you may have felt insignificant or unworthy with no motivation or sense of pride.   You may have caught more than your share of viruses, colds and flu’s, now your immune system is all screwed up.  Everyday, you feel exhausted, you cannot find enjoyment in anything, yet you are under constant pressure to do or be something ..

OR

Perhaps you were inflicted with some type of childhood limitation, a congenital disability or even a restricted upbringing. Maybe you were separated from your parents when you were young. Feelings of anger and of being abandoned may have never discharged from your body, this energy found its way in to the weakest part of your body, the joints and surrounding muscles as well as the elasticity in the body.

“The immune system begins to break down when you feel insecure, experience inner conflict, feel pressured, push instead of allow or feel threatened and manipulated.

Here you need to learn to focus within and allow the innate wisdom of your body to notify you as to when it needs to work and when it needs to rest. Focus on staying true to yourself, and have the courage to stand up for yourself and for what you believe. Practice saying no others, as always saying yes can compromise your well-being. Aim to live in balance, fulfill your own needs and desires before worrying about others”. The Secret Language Of Your Body, The Essential Guide to Health and Wellness ~ Inna Segal

If you want to receive healing you’ll need to be open to it on all those levels, especially actively participating and working with your-Self. Mentally and emotionally, you may need to seek therapy to heal and follow the doctor and/or therapist’s advice to get well.  Physical wounds can also mean you’re dealing with spiritual wounds that need cleansing and mending; all these together say ‘YOU CHOOSE TO HEAL’.

 

Links

Stop hating yourself https://www.psychalive.org/stop-hating-yourself/
Feeling Unworthy?  How to find your way to freedom https://gailbrenner.com/2011/01/feeling-unworthy/
Chronic stress puts your health at risk https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress/art-20046037

https://drhyman.com/blog/2010/07/30/autoimmune-disease/

https://helloclue.com/articles/cycle-a-z/the-immune-system-and-the-menstrual-cycle

LINKS To Autoimmune Diseases on this site

Arthritis

candidiasis/candida

Chronic Fatigue and Fibroymyalgia

Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Part 2

Diabetes

Thyroid – Hypothryoid, Hyperthryroid

Irritable-Bowel-Syndrome-IBS

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) Part 2

Prostate Part 2

Psoriasis

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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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