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Posts Tagged ‘fibromyalgia’

“Osteoporosis; is the eating away of our firm foundation. Bones are the hardest substance in the body. They support and give strength to the body. They are also the most brittle of substances that make up the body. If we see ourselves as having little or no support in the world of a physical or of a metaphysical nature our own foundation is weakened and the structure collapses in upon itself. “
http://www.compassionatedragon.com/metaphysics5.html

“EMOTIONAL BLOCK ~On both a physical and metaphysical level, bones represent support. Bone disorders are invariably linked with a fear of not being sufficiently supported or fear of not sufficiently supporting others. Bone disorders indicate that we don’t feel “solid” enough to take care of our own lives.

…MENTAL BLOCK ~ Bone disorders are a message from your body to acknowledge your own inner strength. Your body is telling you to stabilize yourself, to regain your balance by allowing yourself to experience simple pleasures without guilt. You have everything you need to create a stable life, without having to depend on others for support.” Your Body is Telling You: Love Yourself ~ Lise Bourbeau

The word Osteoporosis literally means porous bones. Bones are our inner scaffolding, a supportive solid structure created to give our bodies form as well as protect our internal organs and works as a frame for our muscles and skin. It is through our bones we strive towards independence and find our place in the world. But in a world that is in a continual state of flux and change, women and men are physically crumpling to the increased pressures and stress that surround them. Many who have been unable to regenerate their energy against the bitterest winds and storms are now being diagnosed with Osteoporosis.

Lise Bourbeau, author of the excellent book, Your Body is Telling You: Love Yourself, also claims that bone disorders that end with “itis” (inflammatory disease) also indicates repressed anger. Anger is a form of energy; the more it builds up, the more necessary it is to release it.  Energy can’t be destroyed, so if we don’t release our anger and let it build, it can have damaging effects on the physical body.  Repressed anger can cause hypertension, headaches, PMS, heart problems, ulcers and it makes osteoporosis worse.  Holding on to anger causes you to “tense up”, putting extra pressure on your joints and muscles.  Long-term anger exhausts your life force and energy – it drains energy from the ‘foundation’ of your body.. your bones, muscles, blood vessels, immune system and internal organs..it also destroys your self-esteem and self-worth.

The need to control also creates an aura of stress and tension around ourselves…it drains our energy. Control comes from the need to dominate and perfectionism..it can also come from not trusting others. Control keeps us limited and disconnects us from our creativity, spontaneity, imagination and fun. Control can easily lead to aggression or anger…it can constrict and restrict our energies leading to oppression and depression.

Stress also causes our body to become rigid, tight and inflexible. This in turn causes the muscles, ligaments and tendons to tighten and over time shorten, creating an uneven pull on the skeletal bones of the body. Eventually the tension can build up to a point where it causes pain, inflammation and bone malformation. As energy levels drop from the buildup of toxins, this puts a ‘crimp’ in our circulation of energy, our energy backs up, and the already maxed out immune system weakens and turns on itself. Arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are autoimmune conditions as well as Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and the Epstein-Barr Virus.

Releasing anger takes time and patience. For some people it can take longer but if you work at releasing anger (hitting a pillow, yelling in your car, walking, exercising, etc.) it will reprogram your nervous system and will help to make you less ‘reactive’ to emotional triggers.

From http://www.alive.com/420a2a2.php?subject_bread_cramb=227

“Your immune system is the most complex and critical component of your body’s inherent defence mechanism: a vast network of specialized cells and organs including your liver, lymphatic system, thymus, spleen and bone marrow. Together they share the responsibility of maintaining your resistance to disease.

Immunity is partly inherited and partly shaped by lifestyle. Your ability to ward off disease is determined by the resilience of your natural defences.”

Most of our immune cells originate in the bone marrow, in fact there is a whole cast of characters that make up the immune system and its roots can be traced to the ‘stem cells’ in our bone marrow. When balanced, the immune system cells are able to distinguish what is the “enemy” and what is the “self”.

If you’re really interested in learning all you can about the immune system this site “The Anatomy of the Immune System” is fantastic! If you click “elsewhere” on 1. Bone Marrow, you’ll discover and learn more about the various characters of our stem cells.

Look at it here http://www.microbiologybytes.com/iandi/2b.html

One of the stem cells, the macrophage is the easiest to identify under the microscope. It looks like a dark, horseshoe shaped blob and is rather quite large compared to the other cells of the immune system. If you remember the old Pac Man game then you’ll have a good idea what the macrophage does.

“Monocytes circulate in the peripheral blood prior to emigration into the tissues. Within certain organs they have special names, e.g. in liver they are known as Kupfer cells, in brain as microglia, in kidney as mesangial cells, and in bone as osteoclasts. Elsewhere they are referred to as tissue macrophages”

The macrophage also accumulates in tissues that are injured and inflamed, such as arthritic joints. There its venemous tentacles seek out, surround and destroy its prey. It dines on the bacteria or a clump of viruses that were tied together by your antibodies. Sounds like a horror story involving poisonous spiders, doesn’t it?

As mentioned in the above quote, the macrophage exist in bone as osteroclasts. These are microscopic cells specially designed to nibble, dissolve and breakdown bone. They are similar to the demolition crew in the construction industry. How and why an area is targeted for ‘remodeling’ is still not yet understood…although they are called in when a bone is fractured or broken. What we do know is that the osteoclasts spend a couple of weeks resorbing the bone and when done, mononuclear cells, the cleanup crew pull up and prepare the surface for new bone formation. Then, the osteoblasts take over and start rebuilding. So healthy bones are constantly remodeling themselves. But what happens in the case of osteoporosis or osteopenia? What causes the osteoclasts to continue demolishing?

“In osteoporosis, the net rate of bone resorption exceeds the rate of bone formation, resulting in a decrease in bone mass without a defect in bone mineralization. In women, osteoclast activity is increased because of decreased estrogen after the menopause. (Men with prematurely decreased testosterone may also have increased osteoclast activity.) These changes result in further net loss of bone. The amount of bone available for mechanical support of the skeleton eventually falls below the fracture threshold and one may suffer a fracture with little or no trauma.” From http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=11794

So somehow the osteoclasts become hyperactive and perforate and penetrate too deeply into the bone. These osteoclasts act like hungry termites, gobbling away at the framework of your house, weakning the foundation of your physical being. There are more osteoclasts then osteoblasts and the fewer osteoblasts cannot keep up the demand of rebuilding and recalking the holes in your bone. Your bones become less supportive and more fragile.

Our bones are constantly losing and replacing cells….they are ‘living tissue’ that grow as the body grows. Bones, give our bodies form, protect our internal organs and work as a frame for our muscles and skin. It is our bones that enable our muscles to move, giving motion and life to our physical being.

How do we prevent and/or reverse the cause of bone loss? What makes our bones stay strong and healthy? Is calcium the answer? We’ll be looking at these questions and more in the next article(s) of this blog. Osteoporosis afflicts both men and women. In fact studies indicate that doctors/scientists have not paid enough attention to osteoporosis in men. Perhaps the reason women are catalogued more, is because, they are known to live longer than men.

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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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Do you need Me? I AM there.
You cannot see ME, yet I AM the Light you see by.
You cannot hear ME, yet I speak through your voice.
You cannot feel ME, yet I AM the Power at work in your hands.
“I Am There” by J.D. Freeman

As mentioned previously Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Fibromyalia (FM) benefit from an array of different modes of healing. Reiki is but one way to experience the advantages of allowing the body to heal itself. Reiki is a catalyst that allows the patient the process of healing his or her own body—with CFS and FM it should be used in conjunction with medicine and alternative healing..

An illness is considered to be a lack of energy and balance with the many layers of the physical body. In the last segment I wrote…..
“Usually this cycle begins with an upset, which then leads to stress. Stress is usually caused by change, a change we don’t want or feel we can’t handle—this causes emotional discomfort, which causes spiritual pain and then dis-ease. “

“the greater part of human pain is unnecessary. It is self-created as long as the unobserved mind runs your life….Unhappiness ultimately arises not from the cirumstances of your life but from the conditioning of your mind.”
“The Power of Now” Echkart Tolle

A buildup of stress affects our immune system causing chemical changes within the body. This buildup can cause fatigue, anxiety, depression and many pain-related problems as well as inflammation of the tissues and endocrine disorders. This causes the organs in our body to mis-fire, throwing our physical and energetic system off balance.

When we aren’t feeling well our energy is focused in the area attacked by the pain and usually there isn’t enough energy reserve to move it through and out of the body—the lymph fluids gather around the imbalance, turn to sugar and stagnates. (As mentioned I have noticed sugar aggravates and triggers my Fibromyalgia attacks—ohh and I love sugar!).

The Reiki hand positions help to replace and store enough energy in the body’s immune system and organs, helping to move and eliminate toxic materials which allow the body to return to balance and good health.

I have participated in Reiki exchanges, and have seen many variations on the positioning of hands during a treatment. Some practitioners use seven hand positions, some use twenty four, some use variations of the twelve more commonly accepted hand positions. Still others were not taught specific hand positions, but rather to intuit where the energy was needed in a recipient’s body. So, which system is correct, or best?

The hand positions are related to the locations of the chakras and the endocrine glands as well as some of the meridian points. Reiki, when administered over time, seems to have an accumulating effect in the endocrine glands, which keep our immune system in top-working order. When enough energy has gathered, then the chemical reactions of the glands push the immune system into different cycles of the healing process.

Endocrine Glands (Original illustration created by Diane Abeloff, 2002)

(http://www.besthealth.com/besthealth/bodyguide/reftext/html/endo_sys_fin.html

http://biology.clc.uc.edu/courses/bio105/endocrin.htm

http://www.hormone.org/endo101/gland_diagram.cfm

When a person has had a long-term imbalance, there is usually not enough energy to trigger a higher immune response, and the “condition” seems stuck and on-going. But, when additional energy is introduced, then the immune system can draw upon it, kicking the body’s defense mechanism into a higher level of healing, causing their illness to change/mutate, and trigger the healing process.. By doing Reiki on the specific hand positions, a practitioner can give the fastest “charge” to the glands that are responsible for maintaining ‘health’, and accelerating the healing process. It is possible to just lay hands on one area of the body, but it will take much longer for the energy to find its way to each of the organs of the immune system and to amass or “kick start” the healing process.

Most healers once initiated into a healing modality find over the course of time, their own way. I did. With a combination of Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, Massage, Touch for health, Astrology, numerology, etc., I’ve incorporated my own healing system which in my estimation stimulates and enhances the body’s own ability to regain and maintain a healthy balance. When I teach Reiki, some of what I’ve learned is integrated with the session and guides the students to ‘feel’ the energetic system of the body. Some students are advanced and able to see the body aura right away. Others, as they practice and use their gift of intuition begin to see the aura as well. It wasn’t until I was attuned and practicing Reiki II that I began to see auras as well as the chakras and energetic system. It is truly amazing! You can see the aura change before your eyes with a person’s passing thoughts, feelings and emotions. There is an abundance of personal information about a person within the combinations and frequencies of color. If interpreted ‘correctly’ a person’s true character can be revealed, for the truth is clearly visible behind the façade or mask they carry with them in day to day life.

Often with a Reiki session, the client becomes more and more relaxed, slowly drifting down and deeper towards their inner self. Usually I like to start at the head position—there I can tell how much stress the person has brought with them. If I feel they need to relax, I ask them to take three long, slow deep breaths and as they exhale to release all their tensions, cares and worries of the day—just let it go. Reiki music plays in the background as well as healing scents, which help to calm and soothe them.

As healing commences, I ask the patient to visualize Reiki as drops of sparkling energy/water slowly flowing down their shoulders arms and chest and every portion of their body. When this happens they start becoming more sensitive to their inner world, turning their vision inward—their relaxation deepens, they begin ‘seeing’ memories or stories starting to unfold of their own past. Sometimes they find themselves going to the place within the body that feels the worst at the moment. Sometimes a patient sees an image forming that expresses how the pain feels.

When the Reiki treatment progresses, I encourage my patients to talk during the session. As their day to day distractions fade into the background a number of possibilities can happen. Just as the layers of onion is slowly peeled away, so too are our thoughts and memories. The deeper we go, the better the results—it takes us down and into the core issues. I do not judge or comment what the patient speaks of, only encouraging them to see it for what it is and let it go. As the patient relives and recounts their own inner issues, he or she usually comes to a dramatic realization of what emotional issues could be causing their pain. Sometimes this can happen with one session, sometimes it takes more.

When a new patient schedules a healing session, I ask for and write down their name, date of birth and health concerns. I look at their natal chart, their lifepath number and zodiac sign before they come for the appointment. The astrological chart helps me to understand their inner makeup as well as the challenges they’ve had to face in life. Also sending distant Reiki to a client while they are on their way to the session helps them to be in a relaxed and receptive state when they arrive. If a healing was done recently, smudging the room with sage helps to release any negative energies left by past clients and also acts as a blessing. The use of incense or oil burner helps to raise the vibration in the room. Soothing music during a treatment helps a person to relax and BE. Sometimes I bring the tarot along with me and ask the client to shuffle and choose a card, asking him or her what the card means to them. It can be an important catalyst in the healing session.

A REIKI TREATMENT FOR CHRONIC FATIQUE AND FIBROMYALGIA

Rachel (36) is a 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 either CFS and FM. I thought I’d share a Reiki session we had recently.

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HEALING FROM WITHIN

“Life is like an onion; you peel off one
layer at a time, and sometimes you weep”

Carl Sandberg

After typing my last post, a magazine I’d taken off the shelf had flipped over to page 28 and here’s what I saw….

Immunity – too much of a good thing?

“According to Dr. Paul Ridker, a Harvard University medical professor, those of us who express a highly tuned immune system – and therefore a faster and more intense inflammatory response – may be at greater risk for a heart attack than those who have higher levels of cholesterol but lower levels of inflammation. This may answer the question: why do some people with advanced heart disease (i.e., badly blocked arteries) survive years, while others, whose levels of cholesterol and arterial congestion is relatively low, had heart attacks? Further it drives home how important it is to your health to control excess inflammation.”
Alive Magazine, February 2007, No. 292

Wow! I can remember discussing fibromyalgia with my doctor. He said nonchalantly, “Well no one has ever died from fibromyalgia.” And a quick thought entered my mind, “but I bet it’s an invitation for a host of other illnesses.” I didn’t actually say this however, I wish I had. Unfortunately, my visitation ‘time’ was up and I was ushered out into the waiting room where at least a dozen people were anxiously waiting to see the Doc. I hope all their questions were answered….mine sure weren’t!

Fibromyalgia IS an intense inflammatory response! And excessive, oh boy, most of us with FM can attest to that. The stress it puts on our bodies forces the adrenals to keep releasing more hormones. This in turn stops the production of our thymus gland, which, leaves us more susceptible to infection and illness. And, if I’m reading the above article right, heart disease!

The thymus gland is situated above the heart and is of great importance to the immune system. If you could look inside your bone marrow, everyday, it is creating billions of cells that will become different kinds of immune cells. One in particular that we are interested in, is a lymphocyte, a natural killer T-Cell, it’s the good guy. These powerful cells first go to the Thymus which comes from the Greek word thymos meaning soul or personality….it’s connection is to the immune system and our sense of Self. But if our adrenals are on a high, how do these cells get to the thymus. And if they don’t get to the thymus, where do they go?

It is the thymus that gives the T-Cells special instruction before they move into our bloodstream. But without instruction, would the immune system and its powerful chemicals attack anything in its path, including healthy cells? If that’s the case, the immune system would act as a gallant knight charging into battle, killing his men as well as his opponents. Or do the T-Cells with no where to go, just dissipate? Any doctors reading this care to comment?

And, if the thymus is about ‘a sense of Self’, if it’s not working properly would we class that as low self-esteem, a low sense of self, weak self preservation, self-limiting fixed concepts? If it does, then we may be onto something. I myself have an inferiority complex…..I’ve always admired others but never seen these same qualities in myself. I’ve turned down many opportunities because of an inner fear that I wasn’t good enough. I can’t tell you how long I’ve been working on myself to see my true potential. In the last few years, I’ve explored my creativity in all facets of the arts. And I think I’m actually narrowing down which ones I’m interested in bringing to fruition. But it has taken a long time!

So how do we work on calming and strengthening the adrenals, opening the thymus and recharging all the immune glands. With Awareness.

The goal of spiritual practice is full recovery, and the only thing you need to recover from is a fractured sense of self.
Marianne Williamson

“People have a tendency to look at the things they want and say, “yes, I like that.” However they look at the things they don’t want and give them just as much energy, if not more, with the idea that they can stomp it out, they can eliminate it, obliterate it. In our society, we’ve become content with fighting against things. Fighting against cancer, fighting against poverty, fighting war, fighting drugs, terrorism, violence. We tend to fight everything we don’t want, which actually creates more of a fight.” Lisa Nicols, The Secret

It was Frederick Perls, who was one of the founders of gestalt therapy. He noticed that many people’s personalities lacked ‘oneness’ and in fact seemed fragmented. Carl Jung later called these fragments archetypes. Perls claimed we never look at ourselves as whole but in pieces.

When I studied astrology, my teacher said the same thing about reading astrology charts. He said we look at a chart in pieces instead of looking at the ‘whole’. How true!! When I first studied astrology, I looked at each aspect, each house, each sign independently. When there was a negative twist to an aspect, it would depress me. On the other side of the coin, a positive aspect would elate me. It was like a see-saw effect or a swinging pendulum. So how do we begin looking at the whole?

Awareness is listening to your body and letting it tell you where it needs help. Your body has an inner wisdom that tells you when to rest, what to eat, when to sleep, etc. It all begins with paying attention to the body and learning what it has to say. If you want to live more fully aware of yourself, more in touch with life and the body, you can learn to do it. But you have to commit yourself to a full exploration of what’s inside you. You have to learn how to work with the body. If you really want to develop this you also must be ready to Hear The Information it tells you. Many of us fear what the information will say, so we go on a large explanation of how we couldn’t do it because we felt blocked, or out of touch with our feelings. I truly don’t think this is it. You’re afraid of what your body is going to tell you. You’re being defensive, you’re resisting.

Awareness requires honesty and integrity. It is the ability to be in control of your thoughts and feelings. It’s about focusing your thoughts, feelings and attention on a particular subject. Awareness is intuitive, it’s knowledge and information that doesn’t judge, grudge, criticize or have an emotional charge to it. If it does, you’ve hit a live wire, an old memory of being hurt or criticized that has burrowed itself in your body. And you’re going to keep paying for that memory until you find a way to release it.

Awareness silences the inner chatter within our mind and calms our emotions. One of the best ways is studying and meditating on symbols that are meaningful to YOU. Symbols are created by your subconscious mind; we see them all the time in our dreams. Working with our own library of images we can begin changing what we don’t like or what we wish to improve in our lives. We can start removing obstacles from our paths, many of which were put there when we were children. There is a huge data bank we’ve created different experiences from and all these come from our unconscious.

How Awareness Works

Remember playing musical chairs when we were kids? The music played and played and we kept marching round and round, faster and faster until the music stopped. Now aren’t some of our days just like musical chairs? It’s a vicious circle that insults the mind and the body.

During a morning or afternoon, let the music stop, say STOP and notice what your thoughts and feelings are, notice the position of your body. What’s going on that you weren’t paying attention to? A nagging ache or pain may be obvious at this very moment. Your body is simply telling you where it needs your attention. A simple body check will tell you where you need to concentrate your energy. Maybe all you need is to stand up and stretch, take a walk. Pain is the body’s way of saying, pay attention to me.

Wherever you are, no matter what you are doing, you can develop awareness. And when you do, you will discover how you avoid, block, interfere and change your own thoughts and actions. You’ll become aware of how you unconsciously hold or move positions. Our bodies are sending SOS messages but our minds suppress them and by the end of the day, we beginning feeling our tense and abused muscles. Indeed, I have noticed many uncomfortable poses I’ve put my body in and how these poses have affected my body. My shoulders hunch over from the pain and it seems my neck gets shorter by the minute. After typing that rushed report, my neck and shoulders are a mass of knotted muscles.

“The symbol plucks all the strings of the human spirit at once……”. J.J. Bachofen

Symbols are powerful messengers. They are the expression of the soul and your inner wisdom.

The Second Initiation

Focused “mental/Spiritual” INTENTION and AWARENESS is the key into the power of REIKI

Reiki II, consists of learning the symbols which are the essence and have been called the “Formula” of Reiki. The power and effectiveness of the symbols come from the Reiki attunements that are given during a Reiki Class. Before the attunement the student is shown these symbols and given time to memorize them. During the attunement, the energies of each symbol come down and enter the student’s mind/body, linking themselves to the appropriate symbol in the student’s mind.

From My Reiki II Manual

Reiki is the flow of energy patterns and symbols, constantly mixing, exchanging and drifting apart in an endless dance with Universal Energies.

Reiki II is about increasing your power and becoming consciously aware of your relationship to life. The attunements awaken the “still-small-voice” with each of us, asking us to recognize the truth even when we don’t like what it says. It is a willingness to know yourself as you are, dropping pretenses and disguises. Reiki is about changing attitudes and patterns of behavior so that stress and illness can be understood and a sense of harmony and balance is maintained.

When I teach Reiki, my students learn, healing oneself is the catalyst to heal others. The purpose of healing is to become whole – to help us become aware of, admit to, reclaim and integrate our fragmented parts. Integration then becomes a support system within the Self. When we are comfortable with the self, we no long feel the need to use the title of our jobs, our spouse, our bank account, therapist, university degrees, etc., to hold us up. Integrated means we are able to stand on our own two feet.

Some methods of awareness are role playing and/or exaggerating the symptoms and behaviors. The principle awareness is to be in the ‘now’, to become aware of bodily senses and to ‘stay with our feelings’ until we start understanding their message and begin our own journey of healing.

There are so many ways to use guided imagery and meditation to improve our lives, reduce stress, enhance self-image, heal the body. The internet has millions of hits on these and other techniques. I’ve only touched a few that have helped others and also helped me.

Listen to your surroundings

“Nature speaks in symbols and in signs”
John Greenleaf Whittier

Look around the room you’re in at the moment and let each thing speak to you about itself. I definitely know the room I’m in right now, especially my desk is saying, “I’m messy and full of all the work you must do. Until you tidy me up, I’m going to irritate you and keep you from concentrating”. Eek! Okay, okay, I get the message, you’re point is very clear! Let me clean it up!

If we can really listen to our surroundings we will begin to see the effect they have upon us. And when we become more aware of our environment we can change our surroundings and make them more comfortable and less ‘agitating and distracting’.

Do you get the picture? How about that beautiful painting hanging in your room or that sculpture in the corner? What does it want to say to you? How about the hanging plant, the couch, the chair? If you can learn to ‘listen’ to your surroundings you can become aware of the ‘effect’ they are having on you emotionally as well as physically. And, all this eventually leads to a healthier body.

Try being aware of your stance when doing the dishes, reading, at the computer, brushing your teeth, bringing in the groceries, taking out the garbage, talking on the phone, etc. You’ll be quite amazed at how you may clench your jaw, and stiffen your muscles. Look in the mirror at those forehead wrinkles.

Exaggerating Symptoms

When we are in pain all we want is for it is to go away, disappear from our consciousness. Another form of awareness is Gestalt Therapy, this is expressing your symptom or pain more by exaggerating it.

Close your eyes and think of any pain you’re experiencing now or have experienced lately. Focus your attention on the pain and look at it in detail. What parts of your body are affected and what sensations do you feel in these body parts. Pay attention to feelings of pain and tension, see if you can really accept the discomfort you feel. See if you can increase this symptom and be aware of how you do this…..now see if you can reduce it by letting go in some way. Take more time to explore your illness and become more aware of it in detail.

Identifying a Symptom/Illness – The Power of Symbols

We are moving to a deeper region of the inner self, becoming aware of the symbolic messages of our body from within. The simple questions following should be answered from a relaxed and focused pace. Here, we are trying to understand what our illness looks and feels like, symbolically. We are listening to the messages of our body. This exercise can be used for all kinds of illnesses…..CFS, FM, Migraines, Bladder Infections, Multiple Sclerosis, Ulcers, etc.

I adapted this inner communication guide from a book by Laura Day, who has written many great books on intuition and awareness. There’s a link to her website below.

Take a deep breath and allow a few moments to center yourself. You will obtain a more accurate result if you respond to the questions without thinking, allowing your intuition to guide you. Do not judge, just listen.

Trust your first response.
Don’t go back to change your answer.
Let your first response BE the response.

This is not a pass or fail test, just simply notice what images come to mind.

If your illness were an animal, what type of animal would it be?
If your illness was a plant, what plant would it be?
If your illness was a landscape, how would it seem?
If your illness was a body of water, how would it be? Is it deep, clear, what’s the temperature, is there any movement
If your illness was a color, what color would it be? Is it bold or weak in color? How intense?
If you could pick a geometric shape for your illness, what would it be?
If this illness was a type of music, what would you hear?
If this illness was a tool, what would it be?
If this illness was a character from history, who would it be?

Whatever symbols or images appear at first, acknowledge them, write them down quickly and then go back and look at them. It could be quite revealing. The character in history could help you understand what character your illness seems to take on. Studying that character, their life, etc., could bring much meaning to your own symptoms.

A dear friend of mine, Lisa (not her real name) did this exercise in regard to her migraines that constantly haunt her life. Here are her answers to the above questions.

Janice, I want to answer the questions you asked regarding if a migraine was a …., what kind of ….would it be? These are what first came to mind for me.

animal: Fisher Cat; plant: Venus Fly Trap; place: Barren mountains, like out in the western US; body of water: Raging sea; deep as can be; freezing and so dark of color that one couldn’t see one’s hand in front of them; color: dirty maroon; geometric shape rhombus; music heavy metal; historical figure: Jack the Ripper

Will have to ponder over my answers myself! Wonderful excercise, Janice. Whatcha think about the answers I gave?

Lisa wrote back later and said….. “Oh, I picked Jack the Ripper as my historical figure representing my migraines…it’s because someone like that is an invader. He invaded lives and snuffed them out. When I have a migraine it’s as if I’m being robbed of life…even if it’s only for a few hours, but it’s obviously worse when I get a “three day sucker” type migraine that robs me of DAYS!
Curious, I googled Fisher Cat and discovered it is part of the weasel family.

As for those symbols…pretty apparent that my migraines remind me of gnashing teeth…ie. the ruthless teeth of a Fisher cat; the sharp tines of a Venus fly trap (the trap alone is significant ’cause that’s how I feel when I’ve got a migraine…trapped in my own head pain); the jagged mountain peaks; and the off-kilter look of a rhombus (out of sorts, like a flattened square). As for the raging sea…when I was a kid I was even afraid to LOOK at books that contained the fish that are so far down in the depths that they glow white and have horrendously, fiendish teeth. Raging, because that’s how a really bad migraine feels…it’s out of control. And then there’s the fact that I fear water and can’t swim…another out of control feeling. Now as for the dull maroon, we’ve discussed that before as being a color that bothers me. And regarding the Heavy Metal music…it also sounds out of control to me; relentless pounding like my head feels with a migraine.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/04/nyregion/04cat.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

http://www.wickedlocal.com/norwich/news/environment/x1596401152

Now that we see how negative symbols can run amok in our life, how do we transform and evolve emotionally, spiritually and physically from them?. The only way to move through the pain is to fully experience it, understand it, and act upon that understanding.

Negative symbols have a positive side to them too, all we have to do is change our perception of them. We’ll explore this in the next section, Healing the Body/Mind with the Spirit. This section will explore the spiritual components to healing Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia, through the chakras, astrology, the meridians, and much, much more.

In the next section, I’d also like to address communicating and connecting with a supportive group. Many people with CFS and FM feel uncomfortable and vulnerable discussing this unfamiliar illness. Yet discussing how we feel could helps us overcome our resistance, anxiety and discomfort to it. It has been proven our attitudes, perceptions and emotions make a difference in how our immune system functions and also how the brain reacts to these emotions too. What do you think?

“We with our lives are like islands in the sea, like the trees in the forest. The maple and the pine may whisper to each other with their leaves…..but the trees also commingle their roots in the darkest underground, and the islands also hang together through the ocean’s bottom.” William James

Some favorite links of mine…
Lots of info on healing, acupuncture, elements, etc.
http://www.thefountainhead.co.za/

More Healing Metaphors
http://www.healingkeys.com/MetaphorAtoZ.htm

Body is a map of Consciousness
http://www.besthealthnews.com/your-body-is-a-map-of-your-consciousness

Symbols
http://www.dreamloverinc.com/dictionary1.htm

Sacred Geometry
http://www.crystalinks.com/sg.html

Fibonacci
http://www.crystalinks.com/fibongoddess4.html

Gestalt
http://www.csulb.edu/~mfiebert/gestalt.htm

Fritz Perls
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fritz_Perls

Laura Day

http://www.practicalintuition.com/

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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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