By Carmel Reid, Somerset, UK
I am an engineer, and I have come to realise our bodies are amazing pieces of engineering, with extraordinary delicacy in the way our various systems keep our bodily functions in balance, and I have come to truly appreciate the exquisite instrument we live inside every single day!
In 2002 I was noticeably breathless at the smallest exertion, like climbing a flight of stairs, and my major muscles were weak – with my arms I could not lift my own body weight on parallel bars at a children’s playground and with my legs I could not stand up from a squatting position and my hands were very shaky. My GP checked me for asthma by inviting me to blow into a tube, but I had been attending singing workshops and my lung capacity was pretty good, so he suggested I might have a thyroid problem and gave me a blood test, thinking, as I was overweight at the time, that my thyroid was underactive.
As it turned out, my thyroid was hyperactive; I had a swelling on the right side of my neck and a radioactive iodine test showed a ‘hot nodule’ in the thyroid gland. Then in 2003 on a visit to the gym, my heart rate showed up at 166 on the cycle machine, and a further visit to the doctor gave me a diagnosis of atrial fibrillation. He explained that hyperthyroidism can cause weakening of the major muscles (which explained my weak arms and legs) and can also cause atrial fibrillation (irregular heart rhythm). This can lead to clots forming in the heart, which can then cause a stroke, and he recommended I take aspirin to thin my blood.
At the time I was into alternative medicine and didn’t take the aspirin he recommended, but looked at my lifestyle, i.e. what had caused the thyroid to be hyperactive in the first place. When the doctor agreed that it could be caused by stress, I decided then and there to de-stress my life. I stopped doing committee work and generally tried to get less stressed about everything. It took a while because living with stress had become my whole way of being.
Unfortunately it wasn’t enough – I was still living in a stressful way and in 2004 I ended up in hospital with a cold right leg, due to an arterial clot that meant no blood was getting to my leg. Fortunately I didn’t lose my leg – but if I hadn’t sought medical help, I could have done. At that point I surrendered to whatever medication was recommended to me and after leaving the hospital feeling somewhat shaken and subdued, I obediently took both Warfarin to thin my blood and Carbimazole to suppress the thyroid. The other options were surgical intervention to remove the overactive nodule, or radioactive iodine to reduce the thyroid function and it would then mean I would be on Thyroxine for the rest of my life. Neither felt right and the doctor agreed for me to take the Carbimazole for two years, with various warnings about possible side effects, none of which I had.
In 2005 I was introduced to Serge Benhayon, founder of Universal Medicine, and inspired by his way of living, I have made several significant changes in my own life. These have included refining my diet and adopting a much more gentle approach to work, relationships and life in general. I used to do everything in a rush, I was very hard on myself and very critical of others – not a very pleasant way of being I can tell you – and it would seem, my body agreed!
By now eating predominantly what supports me to feel truly well and vital, I have developed far more awareness of how the things I choose to eat or drink affect me and my body – either supporting me to stay feeling clear and light, or making me feel heavier and unfocused.
Interestingly enough, as time goes by and I keep refining my diet, the more my ability to feel clearly and be aware increases – thereby showing me that my body is a fine instrument and that clearing it of junk food and food that numbs or dulls me has enabled it to work more effectively.
I have attended numerous courses and presentations with Universal Medicine over the last ten years and have had many individual Esoteric Healing sessions, many of which have helped me to observe how much my way of living affects my body. I can also feel how I am affected by my thoughts, and the tension and discomfort they can sometimes create.
When I look at what the body does – even just the glands and the way they monitor the blood, responding by releasing more or less hormones that are able to keep the body working in perfect condition – it is truly amazing! The body has an incredible, intelligent monitoring system and we can marvel at how delicately it adjusts its internal production of hormones in order to maintain balance and harmony where possible.
What I have come to learn by my own experience is these internal systems are so delicate that it seems they cannot work well if we treat our bodies roughly by living hard and ingesting food and drink which cause an imbalance.
I am finding the more I refine my diet and let go of my previously constant busy and stressed way of getting through life, the more I am able to feel just how much I have, in effect, been abusing my own body. I can feel the way I am affected by emotions and to some extent even by the actions of other people – or the way I feel drained at the end of a busy day at work if I get lost trying to ‘get it right’, as has been my tendency.
Through all this I am gradually learning to be more still (calm), to be more respectful of my body, to walk through life gently, moving my arms and legs with a greater degree of tenderness, and am finding myself naturally speaking more gently. I don’t get so anxious about getting things done and funnily enough, I’m getting more done because I am so steady. As a result I am far less exhausted at the end of my day and my body feels more relaxed and at ease with the world.
The vitality I now experience is far greater than it was twelve years ago. I stayed on the Warfarin and was allowed to continue beyond two years taking Carbimazole. Usually it is stopped at two years because of the risk of side effects, but I didn’t have any. The symptoms of hyperthyroidism gradually decreased, until in 2010 the endocrinologist agreed that I could come off the thyroid medication (I stayed on the Warfarin as the heart condition had not resolved). My muscle strength has returned and my hands no longer shake. My body regained its natural weight, shedding 41Kgs on the way.
My thyroid is now virtually back to normal, two out of the three measurements are within normal range (T3 and T4) but the TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) is still suppressed, so I am defined as ‘borderline hyperactive’. I have been diagnosed with osteoporosis in my spine, which can be caused by hyperthyroidism, so the consultant is still concerned and recommends radioactive iodine, but accepts that I still want to work on lifestyle changes before going down that route. At the moment I still feel there is more that I can do to improve my health, but will follow his advice if I am unable to get the thyroid function completely back to normal.
I am in effect my own medical experiment, with regular blood tests to support monitoring the changes I feel occurring: I will be continuing to take even more tender loving care of this amazing body as time goes on. Regular exercise to increase bone strength will help the osteoporosis, as well as looking at the deeper issues underlying these conditions as revealed by esoteric medicine, such as deep disregard.
The deep disregard rings a bell – I have not taken great care of me or my body – doing everything for others first. So I am working on more self-love, really taking care of my body first – rest, gentle exercise and nutritious food.
Many thanks to Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine for providing the inspiration for me to make these changes and as a result, turn around my health and vitality in the way that I have. It is astounding how much my body and life have benefitted by making simple lifestyle changes and caring for myself in a true way, and this shows me that there is much we can do to help ourselves, if we so choose.