Reset your mind, body and soul

Wouldn’t it be good if we could press the reset button and our body went back to factory mode setting; well only if you were manufactured with the perfect body to start with. Now that is wishful thinking!
I am thinking of more a life, before chronic pain took hold. I started the reset process in my body this month with a Gong Bath, it was amazing, I fell asleep, when I woke up I was startled at how bright it was, despite the cloudy day. This can sometimes happen after a therapy, you suddenly become aware of nature and things seem so much more emphasised, larger, louder, clearer, softer…… it was like I had gone into default mode, experiencing a rebirth moment. It has been a while since I had a full dedicated gong bath that was not on a retreat or at a festival. My body went yes, this is OK, I remember this, wow, sleep, rest………RESET!

I decided this month to experience a totally new type of sound therapy to me. It is using the very old and ancient sound of the Tibetan bowls, where the bowls are played and placed on and around the body.
I am always up for trialling any type of holistic treatment that may assist in the management of my pain caused by fibromyalgia, I decided not to have any other therapies whilst I gave the bowls ago, so that I could really judge the impact of them on my body.

My first session was interesting, having previously experienced the crystal bowls I was not sure what to expect for this treatment. I was made to feel comfortable on the therapy bed, then gently held by my ankles which were pulled to open my chakras, (please just stay with this, if it all sounds a bit weird). I then had my chakras dowsed to see which were unbalanced and to determine which bowls would be used.
I then turned over onto my stomach with my head up near most of the bowls positioned on the floor. Bowls were gently placed along my spine and each encouraged to sing. I must be honest at this point; to begin with I did not enjoy it. It made me feel sick. Then gently the bowls were moved up and down my body. When a bowl was removed to be replaced by another one, I could feel my body tensing and I was in half a mind to ask her to stop. As with most therapies I have discovered that you need to give it a go and sometimes more than once; as it is the bodies way of adjusting to a new stimulus, or as I like to think pressing the factory reset button.

When I turned over to lay on my back and have the bowls placed on my front I felt this fear of dread and sick to my very core, not what I was expecting from a relaxing Tibetan bowl therapy session!
However, I continued to persevere with the treatment. At the end as with most sound therapy there is a small amount of silence allowing the body to integrate and the body’s cells to absorb what has happened. It was then suggested that I would need a further two sessions to really feel if there was a benefit.

Following the first session, over the next few days I did feel less pain and tension in my hips, knees and ankles. I then became quite unwell I think possibly a virus, which knocked me sideways, I found that I was unable to do much over the weekend with little energy, a nasty cough, sore throat and a nose that would not stop running. I almost cancelled my appointment for the 2nd treatment, but I woke up feeling better. I was uncertain if the treatment had caused this or if I had picked up a virus, I will never know.

Having the second Tibetan bowl treatment could not have been so different from the first, although the session was structured the same. My body seemed to be more accepting of the sound vibration and when the bowls were being moved on my back It felt comforting and cocoon like, I could feel the very bronchioles deep within my lungs being massaged. Now that is a bit weird! The whole time the bowls were being played I did not cough once, my nose did not run, I was left feeling more energised. I was told that having dowsed my chakras, they indicated that my immune system was compromised.

My third session again was very different, my body was accepting of the treatment and no feelings of dread or sickness. Only two bowls were used on me this time and one was so deep and reverberating I had a feeling that it was ‘searching for my soul’, there was a concentration on my hips, knees and ankles and each time a joint was reached, the bowl was gently chimed. The vibrational feeling went right into the centre of each one, so very powerful. During the silence at the end I had a sensation of going back very quickly through a star-studded black void and then just as quickly shooting forward into a bright sparkling light as if going through granite, I then felt grounded. It was like past, present and future rolled into one; my mind, body and soul reset; very surreal.

After the session had ended I asked about the big deep sounding bowl, that seemed to be searching for my soul, it was explained that it was the largest bowl and usually is not moved around the body as the magnetic handle placed within it, will not normally hold. It decided to hold for me, maybe what my body needed.

How am I feeling now? Different, I can’t quite explain what has happened; it is as though something has shifted deep in my core, my soul feels lighter, balanced, grounded at one with by body. I have not noticed any pain. If that’s what happens after three session I daren’t even begin to imagine if I continue to have more. Sound therapy for me is an incredibly important part of my pain management plan, giving me the opportunity to press the reset button…….

If you want to find out more about Sound Therapy please visit Sally Free Sounds for the soul

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Do What Makes You Happy

I have not had the desire to pick up my drum, practice yoga or go for a healing treatment, I just wanted to be……I think it is important to listen to your body, let your soul and spirit speak to you and feel what is in your heart. We spend so much of our lives trying to please other people and not necessarily ourselves. Sometimes you need to be selfish and do what is the right thing for you. Do what makes you happy, do what makes your heart sing, do what you want to do, when you want to do it, even if it is just for a short time.

Just before I took my healing sojourn this month, I attended the annual Lupton Festival, I got there in plenty of time for the opening ceremony which we were all given strips of coloured ribbon to attach onto the ancient oak tree on the front lawn of the house. It was a very magical and special moment. I have always had a strong affinity with the Lupton Healing Oak Tree, its majestic trunk routed firmly in the ground with its boughs spreading out, enveloping me in a massive comforting hug, supporting a whole universe of other plants and creatures within its branches. If I place my heart against its truck I can feel totally at one with the energy of the universe, plus no one bats an eyelid if you hug a tree here.

I attended several workshops at the festival although it was on for two days I was only able to make it on the Saturday. I enjoyed a wonderful gong bath with Sally and then this followed with a Shamanic journey facilitated by Christa together with Sally and the gongs; both therapies I found to be very powerful and healing, they took place in a marque and lying on a blanket on the grass with the sound of the fountain in the background really solidified the whole experience.
Later in the day I moved into the coolness of the Sanctuary to make my own Traditional Incense with Mortar and Pestle Magick, following a delicious vegetarian wrap for lunch, I headed back to the Sanctuary for an Orgonite Workshop, the three pieces that I created are now spread about my home and apart from the benefits of turning negative into positive energy they look amazing. I was unable to stay for the evening, which included fire walking, music and drumming no doubt it was an enjoyable night. I however felt immense gratitude for allowing myself the time to do something that makes me happy.

It was in the first week of my holiday I decided to try an activity that I had not done for years.
As a child, I used to cycle everywhere, giving me the freedom and independence to go off to explore. Becoming older and in not so great health I still have that desire to feel the wind in my face and that sense of freedom once again. I decided to hire a bike, the route chosen was alongside an estuary on a cycle path, I thought it would be flat, but suddenly a hill emerged along route and I had to get off and push, the bike I hired had only three gears and a very uncomfortable saddle. I was a bit wobbly to start with, once I realised you never forget how to ride a bike, the feeling of freedom and the wind through my hair brought the biggest smile to my face. My only fear was fatigue taking hold of my body, leaving me struggling to get home. Luckily despite being a bit achy when we returned to our starting point, nothing that a cup of herbal tea and a big slice of salted caramel chocolate brownie wouldn’t put right!
It was then I decided to try an electric bike………hills, no problem and when I feel a bit tired, pressing a button and it is as if someone is giving you a little push that helps you to dig a little deeper. I’m now hooked on cycling again at last I can do a physical activity without the fear of running out of steam. Yes, you have guessed it, this makes me happy.

I have always loved to dance, usually it has been in a club, at a party or more recently around a fire. I was somewhat surprised that whilst in my local supermarket a track was being played that found me shaking some moves down the fruit and veg aisles. It all came a bit too naturally and made me chuckle. I realised it was a track that we have in the Zumba class. I cannot wait to get back to it and perfect those routines, so I can go shake my booty whilst carrying out the weekly shop. This is going to make me happy.

It wasn’t until earlier this week that I returned to my weekly yoga practice. Since I started Kundalini yoga earlier this year, it is a practice that fills my body with energy and gives it a good work out and I have noticed an increase in my lung capacity, practicing the breathing techniques. The mediation and mantras we do give me the opportunity to look inwards. The beautiful village location has a wonderful energy and a great outlook onto the meadow behind. I leave the class feeling amazing and watching the cows run across the field gently lowing to the farmer always makes me smile. This makes me happy.

My mum always said, ‘Do what makes you happy’. So that is exactly what I intend to do. Life is very precious, and we are here for only a short amount of time, so doing things that make you unhappy cannot be good for your wellbeing. No matter what challenges my health throws at me, if I am doing what makes me smile, all will be well in my little corner of the world.

Lupton House

It is so worth it…….

Living with pain does not mean I need to stop doing the things I have always enjoyed doing, but it makes me stop and consider the impact it will have on my body, we all need to take care of ourselves and love who we are. Life is very precious, as is our health; having poor health makes it more challenging but not impossible to live the life that the heart and soul desires.

This month has been interesting with the hot weather, I have noticed that my Chronic Fatigue heightened and I have spent some weeks just wanting to sleep during the day, I awake in the morning feeling unrefreshed and this is when I know the pain will start to niggle its way into my joints, starting with knees, elbows and feet. Some mornings getting out of bed causes such severe pain in my toe joints that I hobble around until, the pain gradually subsides. What possibly didn’t help was dancing until the early hours either around a camp fire or more recently jumping up and down at a concert; However, on both occasions it was so worth it!!!

At the end of June, I went to a gathering of like-minded souls in the heart of the Dorset countryside at Gaunts House, the reason; to Celebrate life and being alive, a retreat and gathering between the worlds, what a fantastic way to empower and rediscover myself. I haven’t lost me, but over the past 5 years facing the challenge of living with chronic pain, something changed; I became a person who I hardly recognised, someone old beyond their time, a someone who ends up not doing things as they feel too tired or their joint pain puts heed to their activities. I look well, but hidden beneath my shell, is a body that sometimes just lets me down. With Fibromyalgia, pain changes and moves around the body without warning, there is no set pattern with the disease, it effects those living with the condition differently and we all have our own unique symptoms, there is no cure or control over this, making it more difficult to get on with life. Fighting any illness daily, leaves you feeling exhausted in mind, body and spirit, which is why I explore all types of holistic therapy to enhance my wellbeing.

I have previously experienced a workshop run by Christa Mackinnon in Shamanic Journeying, accompanied by my friend Sally Free who is a Gong practitioner, at Gaunts they were joined by Heike Jenkins who runs drum and music circles and provided us with canvas and glitter for our amazing art work at the weekend. The three of them, facilitated the most wonderful weekend I have ever had the chance to participate in. I was joined by a number of like minded souls, some camping and others like myself decided to have accommodation which was in the old stable block, or the main house. It was an incredibly hot, sunny weekend but the outdoor pool, provided a cool refreshing pastime should anyone wish to take a dip and many did.
The food at Gaunts was vegetarian and prepared by an amazing group of volunteers, the main house still maintains its grandeur of a family home, the tranquil grounds surrounding it provided plenty of space for quite reflection, walking, journal writing and just being . Yani Vark took the most beautiful photos that captured the real essence of the gathering.

Celebrating Life was a wonderful weekend of empowerment, connecting with nature using gongs, music medicine, shamanic journeying and working with the medicine wheel. The weekend was filled with activities, but with space to take time to reflect on being in the moment. After the opening ceremony on the Friday night, it was followed with the Gongs played by Sally which encouraged a deep restful sleep for me.

Saturday morning dawned with the promise of wonderful experiences to come and I was not disappointed. We started with a gong bath, followed by music medicine ran by Heiki, I picked a shaker that made me feel like I was in the ocean, it moved from side to side in a gentle rhythmic sound of the ages. Making me smile. This then continued into shamanic journeying with Christa, during which I had a sense of freedom and memories of my childhood playing in the fields, no sense of danger and a great feeling of the love I have for life. I could feel tingling in my legs and the right-hand side of my body, the side that the pain tends to dwell in. I felt a strong desire to heal and be healed.
After lunch we danced and danced and danced….. and then walked the labyrinth whilst continuing to drum. The rest of the afternoon involved glitter and glue and sticking things on to some beautifully prepared canvases, you can never have enough glitter in your life. Creating art work is very powerful and encourages the brain to switch off from over analysing things and to just be in the moment. The remainder of the afternoon was to collect bunches in preparation for the fire ceremony later that evening. I went off in search of wild flowers and herbs similar to the bunches I used to make as a child with my mum and it was on this forage that I came across the old walled garden of Gaunts, where just the gentle humming of the bees and the stillness of nature was a joy to immerse myself in.

After dinner I took a stroll down the lane to visit the Starhenge cosmic stone circle, there is something very magical around stones and circles and only wish that I had taken my dowsing rods with me.
The fire was lit later that evening and we all sat around it with our drums and collected bunches, I felt a deep connection to our forebears as I placed my flower and herb bundle in the fire and watched the rosemary scented smoke rise to the sky. The ceremony was closed down and then as the fire continued to burn and the night sky darken and so the dancing began.

Modern society has changed our being and it was here at Gaunts house dancing around the fire that it dawned on me, that there is something very powerful about dancing around a camp fire, primitive, soul enhancing, I felt a huge sense of joy connecting with the fire, dancing on the earth in bare feet. It was here I reconnected with myself. It was in the early hours of the morning as the fire died down that I found myself heading off to bed, with dirty feet covered in ash, but a heart and soul full of joy and the most amazing feeling of being alive, really alive. My body ached but I knew the adrenaline pumping around my body would sustain me for a few days within the state of euphoria.

I slept well, maybe from exhaustion but woke feeling refreshed, Sunday was started with Heike’s drumming circle, music is very powerful it aids healing for mind, body and spirit, following this with one of Sally’s gong baths, Christa explained how to worked with the medicine wheel, I found this ancient form of meditation to confirm; I believe I am me, being true to myself, can help me heal. I have always had faith that this time of suffering with pain will pass, to be free from all that holds me back, to love life and live.

Following lunch the weekend came to a close with a drumming circle and closing ceremony. I came home from the weekend feeling so amazing, I knew that I would be tired but I was so high on life, sometimes it is really important for me to weigh up the consequences of enjoying myself and feeling alive or giving in to the pain that ravages through me. Fibro has taken my body, but I refuse to let it take my soul and spirit.

Sometimes you really have to embrace the opportunities that come your way; Celebrate life and being alive. Believe me it is always, so worth it.

www.christamackinnon.com

www.heikedrumshare.com

www.soundsforthesoul.co.uk

www.gauntshouse.com

 

 

The Journey Continues

As part of my holistic journey I have found sound therapy to be beneficial to the management of my chronic pain caused by Fibromyalgia, this sound has taken the form of gong, tuning forks, crystal bowls and drumming whilst also practicing yoga, Reiki and more recently joining a Zumba class. I would not have believed that I would have been able to participate in a dance fitness activity following my diagnosis in 2014, when I was walking with the aid of a stick. I have always maintained that I will keep on fighting this, exploring activities that I feel will benefit in assisting my body to heal itself. I believe that a lot of my healing has been a reaction to the sound and rhythm allowing the very cells of my body to absorb and be agitated, bringing them to life; it makes me smile, I feel happy and with that, energy seems to flow and the pain melts into the background.

I have always been interested in how our ancestors dealt with health conditions using herbs and natural therapies to alleviate pain and health conditions often administered by the wise elders of the indigenous groups around the world. Something that I feel, we have lost in our modern society of technology, stress and burn out.
This has led me on to the path of Shamanism, learning to feel the connection between nature, mother earth and my whole being. Rhythmic drum healing is a very ancient therapy that has been practiced for thousands of years by many cultures to promote wellbeing and healing using the natural law of resonance to restore the vibrational integration between mind, body and spirit.

I could not believe my luck when I was offered the opportunity to birth (make) my own Shamanic Drum in a one day bespoke workshop which was held locally.
Prior to the day we were asked to source a piece of wood to use as a beater, so during the storms and following the blizzards a couple of months ago, I wandered along the seashore and found a beautiful piece of drift wood, which I felt was perfect for my drum.
I attended the workshop with a mix of excitement and apprehension, after being so poorly at the start of this year with a chest infection and chronic fatigue, I knew that birthing a drum was going to be very special. I would be creating this wonderful tool for healing and it would be taking place on the full moon.

There were five of us attending the workshop, our first task was to select our 16 inch rounds of wood than had been handcrafted to form the frame for the drum.
It’s really strange when you sit and think about making a shamanic drum for yourself, I really wanted to feel that I was in touch with my ancient ancestors, the night prior I had not had the best of nights sleep and had been very restless so arrive feeling a bit jaded.
We were invited to select our deer skins that were outside in five buckets, Phil had had spent a lot of time in the days prior, preparing them for our use. He explained they were all different sizes. I selected the last reamaing bucket, this turned out to be the smallest skin.
At first I felt I little bit of disappointment, but then realisation that envy is something that I need to work with, I was starting to discover that my little deer was going to teach me some very valuable lessons in life. We started to connect with our drum, by some shamanic journeying which is similar to a deep mediation whilst a drum beat is played, we did this at various stages throughout the workshop.
After cutting out the circle to make the drum from the skin, we were asked to make the umbilical cord to lace it all together, from the same piece of skin. There was a concern that I would need to use an additional skin as my hide was quite small. However I ended up with about so much cord, I had a lot left over after I had laced it, my second lesson from my little deer, just because something is small, it does not mean that it cannot generate a bountiful supply.

Later we following the Shamanic tradition walking in single file, stepping in each other’s footsteps, while Alex drummed for us, making our way into the woods. We came to a large tree and then took it in turns to test the strength of our umbilical cord, which we had taken with us. We were asked to lean back and take the strain of the cord to see where it breaks, having completed that ritual, we returned to lace our drums.
This was the most challenging part of the process, I discovered you need a lot of strength to lace the back, to ensure the face is kept taught. I think this was the time when I felt most connected to the process and started referring to the drum as her, I don’t know how or why, I just knew. After a fair bit of effort and some help from Phil I finally birthed my drum.

I have been taught that great patience is required both during the making process and the need to be allowed to completely dry before being played, each day I kept going to look at the change in the colour on her face and eager to hear her first sound. Her markings are similar to looking at the moon, I see pure beauty; the significance of birthing my drum on a full moon is being able to use the strong energy as a very positive opportunity and illumination to the world.

Two weeks later, on the new moon when an energy portal is opened up to bring in your good intention and manifest healing energy, I knew it was time to hear her play. The sound that she gives out is so very special, I feel a very deep connection to nature, to my ancient ancestors and also to the spirit of the deer coming through the drum.

Earlier this week, after a particular challenging day, I picked up my drum, sat out in the garden in the evening sunlight and quietly played, letting the gentle rhythmic beats flow through my body, quieting my mind and bringing loving healing energy to my soul. I feel truly blessed, and so the journey continues……..

 

If you would like to know more ~

About birthing your own drum please contact  Phil Rowe Drums

About Sound Healing Sally Free ~ Sound Therapist

 

 

 

Behind the Mask

I’ve been really struggling this month, pretending to the outside world that all is well. I am not struggling with chronic pain, but I am struggling with my health. When suffering with Fibromyalgia it can mask other things, so when I feel a bit unwell, I put it down to Fibro and dismiss it. This has resulted in yet another battle I am fighting against ‘holistic versus modern medicine’.

I had another session on the Crystal Healing Bed at Lupton this month, I think they forgot about me so I was on a bit longer than usual and although I did cough a few times, I was left feeling very invigorated with a zest for life. So much so that I even gave a new dance fitness class a go, and discovered the joys of Zumba, I loved it. Knowing I needed to pace myself after completing a vigorous form of exercise, I decided to give my weekly yoga practice a miss. I felt good the following day, apart from an annoying cough that I have had since October.

Towards the end of the week, I was finding myself wheezier and the cough keeping me awake at night. So I made that call to the doctor, I even started apologising for calling them and said I feel a bit of a fraud, as I don’t really feel ill, I just have this annoying cough and its causing some pain when I take a breath in. Turns out the doctor I saw thought I had pleurisy, so given antibiotics to take and rest.
Not one to take antibiotics, I was anxious as to how they were going to impact on my body. I felt a whole lot worse, I started to actually feel and believe I was ill. The mind is so very powerful.
I felt sorry for myself and lying around resting, meant not doing anything. I should have gone to have my monthly gong bath, but felt too unwell as my cough seemed to have become worse since visiting the doctor.

A week later, I still had the cough so returned to the doctor, this time sent for a chest x-ray and given a short course of steroids. Expecting the steroids to kick in and the cough to ease, I couldn’t have expected the reaction I had, on the first day of taking them; I thought my blood was boiling, I had a massive pulse in my neck and could feel the blood pumping down into my legs. I took to my yoga bolster, and put my legs up in the air in a supported shoulder stand and gave my body some long gentle breaths until I felt calm and grounded again.

Having had antibiotics, steroids a chest x-ray that shows nothing sinister. The doctor seems to be at a loss, so I’m now waiting to have some blood taken. In the meantime I have been battling with fighting this holistically and the intervention of modern medicine.

I went for healing this week and whilst receiving my treatment, the healer working with me started to cough, I however did not for the whole session I lay there and at the end I felt a lot lighter, my energy had shifted, my wheezing eased.

I am a strong believer that we all have the ability to heal ourselves, but when your energy levels are so low, it ok to ask for help. That help can come in the form of holistic therapy healing or with medical intervention.
Thinking back, our ancestors must have asked for help and advice and would maybe have visited the local shaman or wise person, who using their skills and knowledge would have prescribed a medicine made from natural ingredients or a ritual to carry out to rid you of your disease.

I think it is about balance, the battle I have going on is of my own making.  It is important for me to live by the values that are important to me and my lifestyle. I don’t pretend to be someone who is pure and perfect and living this wonderful holistic dream. This is part of my journey and I have free will to make choices about how I treat my health. If I decide that modern medicine and holistic therapy can work together to help heal my body; then so be it…….

“Remove the mask, and be that magical, beautiful, genuine, and not quite perfect person, you really are”

 

 

More Information about Gong Baths

More information about Lupton House Healing

 

My Quest for Healing

Those of you that follow my monthly blog, will know I use various therapies to support my healing from a chronic pain condition called Fibromyalgia. I think it important to raise awareness of this and other chronic pain condition, I do not wish my blog to become a source of me feeling sorry for myself, I do not want to give this pain more energy than it already takes from me. So whilst I may not write about, how I feel tackling this condition on a daily basis, I am still fighting the battle and I am slowly winning. Just because I look well and don’t complain about the pain I am experiencing, does not mean that it is not happening.

Today I went for healing at Lupton House and after a short twenty minutes session for a minimum donation of £3. I feel amazing. I have been going to healing since I was first diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, I went weekly and it helped heal my mind, body and spirit. When I attended my first healing session, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. After completing some paperwork, I was led into a beautiful, tranquil and peaceful room with therapy beds set up with different coloured covers and warm cosy blankets, you choose the bed that you are drawn to, obviously not the one with other people on receiving their treatment! You lie down fully clothed just removing your shoes and you can have a blanket placed over you, whilst you close your eyes, relax and drift off somewhere nice.

The healers all work differently, some hands on, some hand off, some a mixture of both. Each time I receive healing it is always different, sometimes their hands feel warm, sometimes they feel cold, more often than not I see wonderful colours mainly purple and other times I see nothing at all, but feel energy pulsing through my body and a serene calmness envelops me like a hug.

The whole healing journey led me to my attunement for 1st and 2nd degree reiki which I use for healing on myself and the dog on a regular basis; however receiving the energy that is channelled through another healer is very powerful and a truly wonderful experience.

Healing as a Therapy seems to have lost is dark, mystical status and is more widely accepted as a Holistic form of healing, it does not take the place of conventional medicine but is often used alongside it to treat various conditions. The great thing is you don’t need to believe in any religion to experience this great therapy.

I had not been to Lupton since October last year, so for me it was lovely to be able to access the beautiful and tranquil space. This week for me, is about self- nurturing and finding my authentic self, there is the super blue blood moon eclipse, tomorrow 31st January and what better opportunity to remove the obstacles in my path, clear my throat chakra where I have been experiencing blockages, holding back and not saying the things that need to be said. The moon energy this month is about manifesting love and healing old wounds and with it being the start of the New Year, what better way than to purge the old way of life; start a new chapter and move on.

To assist in this moving on process, I have been given a new yoga teacher, taking the class that I have been attending for the past 4 years, I have never felt comfortable with change, but it is important to embrace it. When you create space, it can filled with wonderful experiences and kindred souls, if you allow it to.

To integrate all this change, movement and growth, a fantastic gong bath to look forward to on Friday evening.

I feel very blessed to have a wonderful family, supportive friends and like minded kindred spirits in my life. Thank you for helping me to stay strong when my body has been weak. I love you and value your presence whilst you accompany me, fighting chronic pain xx

 

 

The little studio with the big heart  –  The Studio Tqy for timetable & events

Gong Baths ~ Sally free Sounds for the soul

www.discoverlupton.com    Drop in healing Tuesdays 12-3 and 7-9

‘To Ease my Dis……’

When you stop!   Suddenly you notice your own breath, you hear the sound of silence and you smell the scent that evokes a feeling, a memory. Life is so very fragile, yet we race around filling our lives with things, possessions, envy and that imbalance can cause disharmony of the mind, body and soul maybe leading to disease.

“An illness that affects a person, animal, or plant : a condition that prevents the body or mind from working normally.”

So you seek medical intervention and get a diagnosis. A label. Then what? You are maybe prescribed drugs to ‘ease your dis’.

I want more; I want to feel well, I want my life back, I want my mind body and soul to be in harmony with each other. We are all energy and maybe we need to use that energy to heal ourselves, rather than fight with life to become somebody that we think we should be.
I am still on this massive journey of self-discovery and Holistic healing, and one of things I have learnt is, if you don’t keep at it, the dis-ease starts to creep back in.

This summer if you can call it that, has proved to me that in order to feel well, I need to continue with the various therapies I practice. I slipped back into a mind-set of copy and paste, I spent almost a week of my summer break in bed or on the sofa feeling tired and burnt out and lacking motivation, it was easier to sleep that get up and drag my weary body for a walk with the dog. I blamed the weather!!

I had just returned from a fantastic 2 week holiday in the sun to a cold, wet, and grey British August. The weather may have had an impact on my Fibromyalgia symptoms raising their ugly head and giving me a side swipe, but actually I now believe it was the lack of yoga practice, Reiki, TRE and gong that was my problem. I had lost my mojo.

I wallowed in self-pity for a week, feeling sorry for myself. I had finally stopped working and racing around filling my life and time with things, possessions and most certainly envy. Did I feel better, Hell No! My toe bones hurt when I got out of bed in the morning, I have had a constant pain in my foot for weeks, this pain was then followed by my knees then my wrists and fingers, oh the joy of living with chronic pain. I started to feel envious of the people around me, who just don’t get what it feels like when your body is not at ease with your mind. Then along came a local Holistic Festival. The night before I was debating if I would go or not, too much effort!

Well I went; I am so glad I did, I saw a lot of friends and like-minded people from the Holistic world, it was just what I needed to kick myself back into the land of ‘you can start to heal yourself’.
I attended a few workshops bringing down my higher Chakras, a wonderful Gong Bath with Sally and learning to use a tuning fork.  Having been to the tuning fork workshop, I decided I needed to buy an OM tuning fork for myself. This is a therapy that I could use at home very easily between gong baths. I was already starting to feel better for having a gong bath, so using tuning forks had to be a good thing too, as it uses sound vibration to help heal the body.

Luckily for me Sally sells them, so I did not have to go home and look online, I bought one from her, in a beautiful purple bag with a mallet, as soon as I got home that evening I tried it out, the dog loved it and also my husband, who is definitely not into all this ‘hippy’ stuff, he asked me to use it on him as he has had some muscle pain in his shoulder. He has informed me that it is feeling better, but claims it was probably the couple of rounds of golf he played. I think I know otherwise!!!

A week later and I am feeling so much better, I am using the tuning fork on a daily basis, giving myself Reiki, carrying out my TRE (trauma release exercises) and Virginia, as soon as I have finished writing my blog, I will roll out my yoga mat and practice at home.

I know that if I practice all the therapies I use regularly, I will be able to ‘ease the dis’ of my mind body and soul.
Remembering to enjoy the moment, absorb the sights, sounds, smells and feelings of this wonderful journey. Namaste xx

 

If you would like to read my previous blogs here they all are, if you have any questions or would like more information, please Contact me.

Gonging It!

Fibro or Flu?

The Power of TRE

The Dawn of a New Day

I am going to enjoy this!

The Power of saying NO

Please clink on the following links if you wish to find out more information on the Holistic Therapies I Blog about.

Sally Free – Tuning Forks  

Virginia Compton – Yoga

Jo Hamilton – TRE

The Power of saying NO

I had just returned from a whistle-stop trip to Italy, which I knew would be a challenge as traveling and in particular flying can be tiring, at the best of times, but with a fibro body, you need to be able to pace yourself and avoid stress.
In the past I have been a very nervous flier often gripping the seat or arm of the adjacent passenger. Lucky for them, I have been managing my stress and fear, I managed to remain calm even when we hit some turbulence on the way home, it was all good, I practiced my yoga breath and used it as a form of mediation, at one point I thought we had already landed when the undercarriage went down. TRE (trauma release exercises) have definitely contributed to my body’s ability to reduce the stress meaning, no pain.

On my return home, I did not feel well enough to go out for a walk with my husband and the dog. I knew I needed to sleep. I was not feeling any pain, just extreme tiredness and I knew going for a walk would make me feel worse. So Dog and husband went for a walk without me, I slept. I felt better. Result, all I had to do was say ‘No’ there was not an explanation required.

‘No’ is a complete sentence, it does not require a justification. It is the most empowering sentence that you can ever use. At first you feel guilty for saying it and try to explain your rationale. It’s even harder with friends and family, they give you a look, you then end up backing down, and agreeing to something that you don’t want to do, that can often impact your mind, body and spirit.

The result that this can have on your health can be catastrophic. I have learnt from experience, it is not easy to say ‘No’, but once you start it does get easier.

I have always been quite easy going and happy to go along with things, and even though I might not want to do something, rather than say so, I have gone along with it for fear of upsetting anyone, and in the process made myself feel ill and then complained that I wish I hadn’t done it.

Living with a chronic pain condition requires you to pace yourself……….easier said than done, particularly when you are having a good time and feel better. In the early days of my diagnoses, I did not think it possible that I would ever have good days and feel well. If I wanted to something special, like going for a night out, I knew that I would have to weigh up the fact that I would feel really poorly for 3 or 4 days after the night out. It was always worth it, but then sometimes you have a really good day and do more as you feel well and then the next day you have a relapse.
I thought I was invincible and everyone kept telling me to pace myself, I thought I knew best, then burn out!

A couple of years ago, I was walking with a stick, sometimes I didn’t need it, on the days when I had paced myself. They were good days. Then I would do a bit more than I should have done, the pacing went out of the window and the stick started to became an indication of a good or bad day. As Fibro is a hidden illness, on stick days friends, family and colleagues could tell it was a bad day. However on good days, because I didn’t have my stick, some people got the impression I was well. They did not realise the effort that I had gone to, to walk without a stick.

It still takes a lot of determination and I still have to make sacrifices and battle with my body to ensure that I use effective pacing, to stay pain and medication free. Learning to stay ‘NO’ has been the biggest tool in my Holistic healing journey, sometimes it has been really hard and difficult, not to justify why I am saying No.

I like Bruce Campbell’s description of The Energy Envelope

To use the idea of the energy envelope, think of your situation as having three elements. The first is your available energy. This is the energy you have to accomplish things. It is limited and is replenished by rest and food. The second is your expended energy, the energy you lose through physical, mental and emotional exertion.

The third is your symptoms, fatigue, brain fog, pain, and so on. In this view, if you expend more energy than you have available, you will intensify your symptoms. This is called living outside the energy envelope. An alternative is living inside the energy envelope.

If you keep your expended energy within the limits of your available energy, you have a chance to reduce symptoms, and over time may be able to expand your limits.

Life is not a rehearsal, this is it! Why waste your time doing something you really don’t want to do. Take control of your life. Learn to say NO and start living inside Your Energy Envelope.

Recently everyone has been telling me I look so well; I feel amazing but it takes a lot of effort and I continue to attend my weekly yoga practice, my monthly gong baths, I fill my life with people who make me laugh and smile and avoid the energy vampires (those people who leave me feeling worn out, as they feed off my energy to make themselves feel better). Sometimes you need to be selfish if you want to get your life back.

Try saying NO, it could really be the starting point to your own empowerment.

 

The Dawn of a New Day

This month’s Blog, has taken me a while to write and I want to share with you how Holistic Therapies have supported me through a very emotional time.

 I have been traversing a period of extreme stress and emotional challenges and often that’s when Fibro rears its ugly head with a massive flare up. Something has changed; my energy, my belief, my coping strategies, can’t quite put my finger on it.   What I do know is; I feel amazing and many people who know me well, have commented on how well I look! Should I feel like this? Who knows it’s my journey, but it’s a journey I want to share with you.  

Belief is the first thing. You need to believe that anything is possible and then the change starts, it’s a feeling; how can I feel this good when I should be feeling this……..Just let it be, don’t give it a label. Grief is very raw in the first few days, when you are watching and waiting for someone you love dearly to end their own journey.

Between spending time with them and trying to live my life, I carried on with planned activities and events. I have been attended my weekly yoga class and Virginia Compton my Yoga Guru, has kept me grounded, TRE (Trauma Release Exercises) kicked in on a regular basis during these yoga sessions and I looked like I was on a Pogo Stick, shaking it all out.  As usual I kept laughing.

I went to Sally Free’s Gong Bath, I spent the whole session with red hot tears pouring down my face that filled up my ears, and I physically had to dry them. But I felt very calm. At home I cried without feeling any emotion attached to it, the tears just flowed and I allowed myself and my body to react how it needed to. I kept thinking, I should be feeling this or I should be feeling that. Who makes the rules?

Still wondering if a flare up was going to happen, I continued to spend time with my loved one, precious moments that I know were part of the healing process. When I received that phone call in the early hours of the morning, my body went into automatic TRE. I stood at the end of the bed whilst my legs, torso and arms shook. How wonderful that in less than a year my body knew exactly what it needed to do. I stood there whilst my whole body shook for about two minutes. I then calmly sat and watched the dawn break and the sun rise on a new day…….     

 Please click on this link to listen to the radio interview I took part in a few days later

https://www.mixcloud.com/RivieraFM/amys-afternoon-show-with-virginia-sally-and-jane-talking-about-health-yoga-and-live-gonging/