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    In reply to: Perspective

    Looking Back to Gain Perspective – My Journey from 2011 to 2016
    I had been having all-over pain for quite a few years, but never mentioned anything about it because I attributed it to getting older. I was way beyond fatigued – it had become really difficult to get out of bed, go to work, prepare my meals, and even bathe. Every day everything hurt, all the time. I was exhausted and couldn’t get my energy level back up no matter what I tried. When I went to my follow-up appointment after knee surgery, my doctor asked if there were any other health issues I needed to talk to her about. As usual I said, “Nothing but the usual aches and pains.” We said our goodbyes and I was on my way. On the 45-minute drive home I could not stop thinking about how bad my body felt. Why hadn’t I mentioned this to my doctor?
    I took me more than a year to finally tell my doctor about the all-over, 24/7 pain. She asked what seemed like a million questions, poked and prodded, and then referred me for some lab tests. She said her preliminary diagnosis was fibromyalgia, but we would wait for the test results to see what they said. A few days later she called me: I had a positive anti-nuclear antibodies (ANA) titer, which when coupled with some of my other symptoms and physical traits was an early biomarker for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). I needed further testing and evaluation and she referred me to a neurologist. This was early September, 2012 and unfortunately the first available appointment with the neurologist would be after Thanksgiving. I couldn’t do anything but wait. Or could I?
    I googled and tried to absorb everything I could about lupus. I downloaded research papers. I read the blogs of people with the disease. I devoured books about auto-immune disorders and leaky gut syndrome. What I knew for sure was that I didn’t want to be on medication that I had to take daily, for the rest of my life – so I watched YouTube videos about alternative and complementary treatments.
    I asked myself what I would do if in three months, I was diagnosed with lupus. I decided I would completely overhaul my diet to better support my immune system; I would employ more mindfulness techniques, more regularly and frequently; I would search and experiment until I found an exercise regimen that would accommodate my pain and lack of energy without derailing me; I would reduce my stress by taking breaks, and by taking a long, mindful walk around our beautiful university campus during every workday; and I would negotiate with other administrators to balance the workload. I thought I would get everything figured out and planned in advance, so that if I got the diagnosis I could “hit the ground” (forget about the running!) with my new diet, work, and lifestyle changes. Then I thought – what is the point of waiting until I get a diagnosis? Why shouldn’t I start implementing these changes now? So I did.
    I was not diagnosed with lupus, but the diet, work, and behavioral changes I made brought my life back to me. It wasn’t the same as my old life pre-pain and pre-exhaustion, but it quickly became my “new normal”. I have continued living in this way to this day, and have no intention of reverting. That would mean returning to a diminished existence, and I sure don’t want to go back there again!
    When I look back to September 2012, I almost cannot believe the transformation. It has been quite a process, but the 3.5 years would have passed whether I had made these efforts or not. Yes, I still have some pain, but ever since the sixth day on my elimination diet it is no longer the 24/7, all-over kind. After extinguishing that constant all-over pain, I was able to begin the slow process of identifying each muscle and joint that had its own issues and receive physical therapy and alternative pain management techniques to eliminate or manage them. Using mind-body and subtle energy modalities I have experienced healing, and received illuminating insights into my life’s issues and my life’s purpose. I have also learned or developed coping skills for both physical and emotional pain. Important relationships in my life have been strengthened and deepened as I have progressed in my own personal development.
    In September, 2012 I didn’t know how long I would be able to continue tolerating the quality of life I had. It was difficult to see the point of pushing myself to get through every day. My life since then hasn’t been a cakewalk – along the way there have been some very large hills, and some really deep valleys. This is life, after all. But looking back now I can attest that today I have greater wellness, resilience, self-knowledge, peace of mind, and the feeling of freedom that comes from living my life authentically. It has definitely been worth all of the work.
    #eliminationdiet #mindfulness #subtleenergy #stressbreak #balancedworkload #whatalongstrangetripitsbeen

    Gail Moser
    Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

    Almost 20 years ago when Oprah was having all kinds of “New Age” people on her show, there was something in the air that reached me. Maybe she put it there, I don’t know. She is a very powerful person.
    I was an avid reader and book purchaser and soon my shelves were full of weighty tomes on metaphysics, the collective unconscious, transpersonal psychology, meditation, myths and archetypes, mindfulness, chakras, auras, rebirthing, developing psychic abilities – I think you get the idea. I also became curious about energy and its manipulation for healing. I am talking about “subtle energy”; it is called by different names in different traditions but in the western world it is probably most commonly known as chi, qi, ki, and prana. So when a new spirituality center opened up in my city I went to the open house to learn about Reiki, a hands-on healing method that was developed in Japan and had been in use since the early twentieth century. I had an open mind, but no knowledge of subtle energy or how to manipulate it, or what impact this could have on the body. I walked in late, as usual; so I seated myself as inconspicuously as possible in the back of the room.
    The registered nurse who delivered the presentation asked for a volunteer from the audience so she could demonstrate this hands-on approach to healing via the body’s energy field. I was tempted to raise my hand but didn’t; an older man, probably in his late eighties, walked to the front of the room.
    About 30 seconds after the presenter/practitioner placed her hands lightly on the man’s shoulders, I felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Gradually it seemed that all of the neurons in my body began to fire, but not in an extreme way; it felt like a pleasant mini-surge of endorphins and dopamine. Then, a peacefulness came over me like a tingly, gentle mist descending. I wasn’t even being touched by the presenter but it sure felt like she had done something to me. And it felt really good.
    There are many forms of energy healing: Reiki, Healing Touch, and Pranic Healing, to name just a few. BodyTalk, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), acupuncture, and acupressure are all forms of energy manipulation. Subtle energy can also be balanced through breathing practices, such as Pranayama.

    Have you employed any touch-based energy therapies – either through a practitioner, or by your own hand – to access the subtle messages your body sends? Have you tried a breathing practice like Pranayama, or perhaps something less formal or of your own design? How has your awareness of your body changed or increased by using these methods?
    How has your body responded to the energy healing modalities listed above? Do you have experience with any others – what was that like? How does your body let you know that it has accepted the changes in its energy field? What does it feel like when your body’s energy field changes, or is healed?
    #subtleenergy #subtleenergies #reiki #healingtouch #pranichealing #pranayama #emotionalfreedomtechnique #eft #bodytalk #acupuncture #acupressure #touchbasedtherapy #breathingpractice #energybalancing

    Gail Moser
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