The mind like a parachute only works when it is open.
About three years ago I started to feel pain in my feet and lower legs. At first I thought I had somehow strained them, but the pain didn’t go away, in fact it got worse and I started to feel pain in other parts of my body, my gluts, arms, back, neck, hands and so on. Like many people who experience this type of pain I did the rounds of seeing the GP, a physiotherapist, a chiropractors, a myotherapist, an osteopath and so on but none really helped.
Sometime the pain would ease a bit, other times the treatments seemed to make it worse. During this time I also started to experience bouts of extreme fatigue, sometimes I would get so tired that I would start to shake and feel sick if I couldn’t lie down. Every morning I had to drag myself out of bed because I was so tired, I guess waking up five or six times a night because of the pain didn’t help, but it was more than just interrupted sleep, the fatigue felt like someone had switch off the power supply to my body, and there was just no energy left.
Eventually I was diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia, but the doctor I initially saw wanted me to take anti-depressants and said that was the only option. I’m not keen on using these types of drugs, I did try for a month but felt worse, I still had all the symptoms but with the anti-depressants, I could no longer concentrate on anything. I was already struggling to keep my job and the medication was making it harder.
I went to see a hypnotherapist to learn about pain visualisation and meditation and I also started a gluten restricted diet.
The results have been incredible. Using the hypnotherapy Mind/Body approach, I have gone from struggling to get out of bed to being able to go swimming twice a week and I am starting an exercise regime at home initially to see how I cope, but with the view of going to a gym when I can. When I was at my worse, I could not pick up a kettle full of water, now I can easily lift 1.5kg weights and do three repetitions of 10 arm curls. It might not seem much to a regular gym user but to me it is a huge improvement in my fitness and the fact that I can do it without feeling the muscle pain that I used to, is such a relief.
I’m not perfect, I don’t always fit in a meditation session, I don’t always get the pain visualisation right and sometimes I don’t stick to the gluten free diet and then I start to feel the cramps, muscle weakness, shooting pains and so on creeping back, but at least I now know I can get on top of this condition, I have the tools and that it is up to me to control it rather than it controlling me.
I can only say that if anyone is thinking of using the Mind/body approach go into it with an open mind and be prepared to work at it. The hardest thing I found was to accept that my mind could affect the physical symptoms so much and that by changing my mental approach to the pain and symptoms I could control them, but once I learnt to accept this I started to improve.
I am really lucky that I have been able to feel so much better so quickly, I have my life back again and it’s great.