Good morning! I wanted to talk a bit about the various treatments I am using to manage and hopefully cure this ME.
Yesterday I received my sixth reflexology treatment from a very handy qualified neighbour. It was incredible to think that it was my sixth weekly treatment and I remember agreeing to a recomended course of six, half thinking I wouldn’t need them all and I’d be fine within a few weeks. The good thing is that looking back over the six weeks I can see some real improvement. although any improvement is slight and gradual, it is improvement none the less, and it is good to focus on the positive!
My first treatment was on the recomendation of a good friend who had received reflexology to help with her recent cancer and it was ‘sold’ to me because of the great relaxation that my friend experienced. Also being a neighbour it was relatively easy to get to!
After ‘walking'( more of an aided shuffle) the couple of hundred yards to her relaxing treatment room I was laid out on a very comfy reclining chair, and Julie asked a whole list of medical questions. This was to assess just what my symptoms were. This also gains confidence of any reluctant customer, wary of ‘new age’ treatments! Being familiar with holistic methods and at this point without a confirmed diagnosis, I was very open about both the emotional and physical symptoms I was experiencing.
As my ME had been creeping up on me over the past several years, I did have a certainty that I had been ‘overdoing’ things in recent years. I absolutely LOVED my work and my family. Since re marrying two and a half years ago I had thrown myself into being a dutiful wife and to be a ‘good’ mother I crammed my full time business between 9 am and 3 pm, running from my ‘shed’ to the car to rush to school and collect my darlings. Then I would spend the next 3 or so hours in the kitchen, preparing home baked meals and cakes. Sometimes even preparing two sittings for my husband to eat on his return after the boys bedtime. Meanwhile my beloved blackberry was on the kitchen work top so that i could respond to that wonderful rush of emails that come between 4 and 5pm!
So part of me knew I needed a rest! Like many working mothers, there was nothing I wanted to give up, but I just needed time to stand still for a while so that I could catch up, or just rest without feeling I was missing anything or getting behind! I hear all those cries, ‘Be careful what you wish for!’ I even preached the ‘law of attraction’ in my business world, I knew that dreams and wishes do come true if you believe in them enough! Being completely honest here, I think that it is that element that the western medicine understands, ME is partly psychological, but nothing prepared me for the ‘brick wall’ my body faced through May and then critcally in June this year.I have now been diagnose with Severe Chronic fatigue syndrome, this affects about 25% of the total of CFS/ME sufferers http://www.patient.co.uk/health/Chronic-Fatigue-Syndrome-/-ME.htm
Severe CFS patients are diagnosed after a clear 6 months of symptoms and looking back my first episode of this was in 2001 after my first husband left leaving me with a gallery to run and 1 & 3 yr old boys. Hense the thought that my illness is trauma related (although somewhat delayed) not following a bout of illness which is easier diagnosed.
Returning to my first reflexology, when Julie first massaged my feet with a warm cream I sank into the chair and closed my eyes. This was short lived as the treatment began, as she gently rubbed my big toe with a circular movement I could have sworn her fingers were under my skin on my scalp! My temples were being massaged from my feet!
To quote Julie’s brochure; ‘ Reflexology helps by working on specific reflex points on the feet, this improves circulation and lymph flow, cleanse the body of impurities and revitalises energy, which will encourage the body to naturally restore it’s own healthy balance. Additionally, Reflexology can bring soothing stress relief and relaxation to the mind, body and spirit.’
I certainly felt relaxed during and after that first treatment and left ready for a nap! She also gave me a print out explaining some of the symptoms I might feel following a treatment. This included headaches, fatigue, frequent urination and emotional lows amongst other things.
I did suffer from a headache, but followed Julie’s advice and drank lots of water to help flush through the released toxins. My husband struggled to see the benefit of a treatment that left me exhausted, with a headache, but over the following weeks he could see that after the initial ‘shock’ my body definitely improved and visits to Julie have become markers in my overall recovery.
The first visits were a physical struggle to even get there and back again, where walking aided I resembled a crippled 85 year old, walking in slow motion, every step an enormous effort. Then following an elderly friend’s passing, I inherited a wheeled zimmer frame with a seat! This was super as I could be pushed across the lane for treatments.
Yesterday, I could walk, using the frame, but me pushing it, and almost walking straight, not so hunched as before. Also I’ve not experienced headaches following the treatments since the first session.
During the course of treatments, Julie has been able to pin point my various ailments, feeling a ‘tight spot’ somewhere on my foot that happens to correspond with a pain or stress somewhere else in my body. For instance, points around my ankles and heals reflect my stomach and ovary area. Other points linked to specific organs and interestingly reflected the ailments that I was suffering at the time of each treatment.
One of the curious things about ME is how the symptoms move around. One day it could be tired eyes and headaches, other days, sore knees and hips, sometimes elbows and wrists are in pain, and others my nerves are just violently vibrating!
The other fascinating thing I discovered was that combined with the other complimentary therapies, Julie would be able to ‘massage’ the parts that other therapies had revealed as a problem. I will discuss this more on future blogs.
In closing, on the day that my calendar says I would be running the ‘painting the summer on silk’ residential course at Dillington house, I am reclined in my conservatory, watching clouds and listening to birds, forced to rest from an excursion yesterday to my son’s last day at primary school, assembly and party. I did it, and as I realise, had I not been ill, I would not have made it, the booking for my teaching was made way before I even knew when the last day of term was!
Blessings often come disguised….