By SD, medical administrator, UK
A few years ago, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a condition that has both chronic pain and chronic fatigue as its markers.
I had been experiencing pain in my legs for which I was seeking the perfect pair of shoes to remedy, and deep exhaustion for which I was supplementing myself with plenty of sugary foods to keep me going.
But these coping mechanisms eventually could not stand against the tide of fibromyalgia which came crashing down around me. There came a moment when I looked down at the page on my work station and saw the words spinning; by the time I got home I could hardly move or breathe.
The next few months were spent trying to figure out what was ‘wrong with me’ until eventually the doctor gave the diagnosis of fibromyalgia. He said it was a chronic condition, that I would spend the rest of my life in pain, and then he prescribed me some anti-depressants and referred me to a physiotherapist and a consultant who specialises in chronic pain.
Personally, during this time I was a mess. My whole body hurt. I was depressed. Alone. And scared. It felt like my life was over, which in a way it was. I had to quit my job because I could not stand or walk. Whenever I moved it felt like broken glass was scraping along the insides of my muscles. There was literally nothing I could do but lay down and rest, which was hugely difficult as I was also a single parent of two small boys.
And yet, here I am today and I no longer have those symptoms, which so tore my life apart. In fact I am more vital and strong than ever before and although I have myself to thank for that, the combination of Conventional Medical Practices and Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy were definitely the deciding factors in my recovery.
Conventional Medical Practice and how it helped me to recover
I was given an appointment to see a pain specialist at our local hospital for rheumatic diseases, and although our meeting was brief, the words she said were enough to change my life forever.
The consultant, who was a lovely young woman, described fibromyalgia as a condition of the nervous system, which was registering pain where there was no cause for pain. She said that it can come as a result of extreme stress in life. But the thing that she most wanted me to understand, is that there was no actual damage to my muscles or my nerves – they were simply in reaction. She said that I could move through the pain and it would not cause further harm, and in fact she encouraged me to move as much as possible – to reintroduce true movement back in to by body again.
With these words I left the hospital deeply knowing that:
- I had a lot of work to be getting on with.
- It was totally and completely understandable that I was in the state I was in, considering what I had experienced in the previous few years – no judgment.
- That I had in fact been living with fibromyalgia for some time, as I could recognise traits of it from when I was a child, and although not as extreme then, it was not surprising that I was feeling this way now, given how I had been living.
- I had been given the keys to my freedom, because I could move again without fear of causing myself more harm, that the pain was not real in the sense that it was not actual nerve damage, more like nerve exhaustion, which I knew I could work with and heal.
- It was my responsibility to heal.
My next appointment at the hospital was with a physiotherapist who also specialises in chronic pain. He was a very sweet young man who drew out onto a large piece of paper several circles and labelled each one as an element of life such as sleep, work, play etc. He explained to me how each of these elements need to be in harmony with each other in order for there to be harmony within the human body, that we need all of these elements in equal measure to feel whole. In looking at the diagram, I could instantly see how out of balance my life had become, especially with sleep. Life for me at the time was all about everyone else, running around after what they needed, never really taking the time to care for myself or my body and thus collapsing in to bed each night, only to wake up in the morning still exhausted but needing to get through the day. I could see how this is how I had always lived, it was not new or recent. This is the way I had chosen to live my life ever since I was a child.
The physiotherapist explained to me that when we are not getting the quality of sleep that we require, our nervous system has to step in to take over, which can lead to nervous exhaustion and eventually fibromyalgia – my life in a nut-shell.
Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy – the beginnings of choosing to be responsible
I left the hospital with a very real and clear understanding of myself and of the choices I had made which led me to that point. The prescription for anti-depressants was still sitting at home and I knew I could use them at any point should I need to, which was very supportive.
The next place I went to for help, was my local Esoteric Connective Tissue Practitioners. These were hands-on sessions where I lay on the treatment couch, fully clothed and with warm blankets over me. The practitioner would very lightly place their hands on the back of my ankles whilst I was laying on my back and do a very delicate rhythmical movement to which eventually my whole body would surrender and I would drift off in to a deep sleep.
The main feature of these sessions for me, was the fact that on the couch during the treatment, there was no pain. No anxiety, stress, or tension. I would feel whole and complete. I would feel warmth from the inside out that spread throughout my whole body.
This warmth, I came to understand, was the real me – the truth of who I am. Not because the practitioner told me so, but because I could feel it. It was familiar, ancient in fact. It was like coming back to the security of my mother’s arms after the ordeal of being born and feeling her unconditional love for no other reason than the fact that it was me she was holding.
These sessions happened each week and slowly, slowly with time, I came to identify myself less and less with the pain and more and more with the essence of myself that I experienced during the sessions. And eventually, the pain stopped.
During this time I also worked on exercise, inspired by the sweet person that I was discovering I am; I would move with gentle movements that honoured how I was feeling, never pushing myself but equally always challenging myself to take just one more step, building up the number of steps I could take each day.
In addition, I worked on my self-talk, as I came to realise that this precious child I was developing a relationship with inside did not deserve to be spoken to with harsh words. And I decided that if words spoken in my mind made me feel bad about myself, then they were simply not from me or the love that I am, they were a learnt behaviour that did not belong to me or my body and therefore I gave them no time – sometimes I would actually tell them to go away – which helped enormously.
So, to say that my life has been transformed by the support of Conventional Western Medical Practices and Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy is an understatement. And yet, transformed is exactly what it has been. I stand here today, discharged from the care of the hospital and seeing the Esoteric Practitioners occasionally through the year as a way to continue deepening and building on what has been lived and learnt so far. I can walk, I can sleep, I can enjoy time with my children, family and friends. I can work again, which is a blessing in itself.
There is a commitment to life now that I am experiencing which is unlike anything I have known in myself before – because, somehow, this delicate and precious being that I am naturally has the power, the vitality, and the strength to diligently work and toil each and every day without getting exhausted, emotional, or drained. In fact I have the ability to bring all the love that I feel for myself to all the places and the people that I meet. Which is in itself a transformative event.
- Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy
- Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy – what a relief
- From domination to conversation – a physiotherapist’s testimonial to esoteric connective tissue therapy.