Living with Fibromyalgia

Lady suffering with depression and fibromyalgia

I’ve just recovered from my last flare up and finally feel back to normal, whatever that means. Perhaps normal is being able to hold this pen without a struggle, producing handwriting that is neat and not childlike.

The strange part is, I can barely remember what it felt like during the last couple of weeks. We move on so quickly, in this life, nothing is sacred. We take tablets to allow our bodies to shift whatever infection we currently fight, and yet we do not often stop to question why, why we became so unwell in the first place, what was going on in our minds or in our lives. I must force myself to remember otherwise people will never know how it feels.

For me it starts with soreness. One random part of the body becomes tender, often on the same side, the first indication of what’s to come. Sometimes it passes, but other times is stays and escalates. As it progresses, for me it moves around the body with increasing levels of pain, discomfort and fatigue until it takes over. And when this happens everything becomes difficult. Small daily tasks become big challenges, being able to concentrate on anything…

When we become sick our bodies are communicating, telling us to rest. The natural healing process kicks in: we take time off work, sleep more, temporarily switch off from our responsibilities, but how do you cope when you cannot even do this? When even watching mindless television becomes arduous. Trapped inside an aching body, your biggest task is to find a comfortable position, but of course there are none.

I recently looked back on something I wrote down last year when I was attempting to document the effects of this condition. It’s very powerful to read but also to look at given that my handwriting is completely different, very scruffy. I remember how hard it was to physically write down my thoughts:

Thursday 6th September 2016

“I find myself needing to write, once again to express how I’m currently feeling. In comparison to last week I am much better, although I am in so much discomfort I want to cry, or fall asleep quickly so that I can wake up feeling normal again.

“It really hurts walking up the stairs to bed, as if I’ve had a hard day at the gym, when in reality the only exercise I’m able to do is walk around the park, not even a full circuit.”

Date unknown

“I want to tell you how I’m feeling but I barely have the strength to write. I ask my partner to pass me my notebook, it takes a little while but eventually I manage to write, like a child messy and quick, my letters don’t join. I need to get the words out while my arm lets me.

I lay on the sofa with tears streaming down my face, it’s too much effort to wipe them away. I flop from one position to another, desperately trying to find comfort, but I do not.

My leg is sore, it hurts when it touches the sofa or someone presses on it. My chest is tight again, so my breaths are big and deep, I never seem to take in enough air.

I was so hot that I had to change into shorts, how can I now be freezing cold, on a hot summer’s evening? My arms ache, other parts are becoming sore too. I move onto my other side.

I need water but I dread trying to stand, I’m not sure my feet will hold me up but I must try, no one likes to be a burden. I’ll bring the water closer.

All I want to do is relax and yet I can’t, why is that? No ability to focus on anything productive and yet no ability to simply relax. The tiredness is overwhelming but if I go to bed at 8pm will it disturb my sleep?

I’ve thrown the blanket off me now as I fidget around the sofa. I’m boiling hot again. I wish someone would carry me to bed.”


I can picture myself writing those pieces, I know exactly where I was at each time. And yet the description feels so alien, like a character in a story, surely that wasn’t me? Today is a good day, I’ve managed everything so far without a rest. Fibromyalgia, the invisible illness.

I wish people could witness the other side of the condition, they only see you at your best. A friend recently said to me that I appear to be sick a lot, I tried to explain that it’s part of the Fibromyalgia, that’s why you don’t always get to see me. I don’t want to be known as someone who is constantly ill, I rarely suffer from colds or viruses. I just want people to understand, there are good days and bad days.

In fact something dawned on me last weekend when I was away in Norfolk walking through a beautiful country park. I realised how it felt to be normal, whatever that means. That day, for me normality meant going out for a long walk without the fear of not having enough energy, secretly wanting to head back to the car whilst everyone else enjoys themselves. For the first time I was able to enjoy the walk fully, to appreciate the beauty all around. I took a photograph to capture the moment, to remind me in the future. I wish I could bottle up that feeling and carry it with me through the bad days.

I’m not angry about this condition, even though there is little information or cure, I am grateful for all that it has taught me. It makes me proud of my achievements, it shows me when I need to slow down and rest, it has even forced me to read books again, when I have the time.

Most of all, from writing this I want to reach out to those who are also suffering and to raise awareness of the mysterious condition that is Fibromyalgia. I hope this gives an insight into that friend you barely see, the one who is secretly trying to stay positive, just to get through each day. I want to demonstrate to sufferers that it can get better, despite the difficult days.

I recently set up a crowdfunding page to raise funds and reduce suffering through self-development and Sound Therapy. I aim to provide a number of free healing sessions via sound baths in different locations and workshops based on anxiety and depression, offering tools and support to cope with poor physical and mental health. This process has led me to research my condition further, it is very comforting to know there many others  having a similar experience.

So what is Fibromyalgia?

It is a largely misunderstood and frequently unknown medical condition characterised by chronic pain and tenderness. Secondary symptoms include severe fatigue, problems with memory known as ‘fibro-fog’ and broken sleep, which often result in mental health issues (such as anxiety and depression) and an inability to complete normal daily tasks. Additional symptoms can include numbness, tingling, sensitivity to light, noise and temperature and restless leg syndrome. Each case is very unique and varies from person to person.

How can I help?

There is currently an online petition to increase visibility of Fibromyalgia within Parliament with the intention of it becoming a fully recognised disability. If you feel inspired to help please start by visiting Change.org and signing the petition.

Please also take a moment to watch the video on my crowdfunding campaign and share as widely as possible. All donations are very welcome no matter how small and will be put to good use to help others in 2018.

Looking for support? Fibromyalgia Awareness UK support sufferers and raise awareness of the condition through groups and events.

Together we can reduce the suffering ❤ 

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A journey with sound – Naomi’s story

Singing bowls and tibetan bell for sound therapy

I’m fairly new to all things spiritual, so when Kalie shared a post looking for case studies for sound healing, I took up the offer with no idea what to expect, but I knew it would be a safe space to try something new. Plus I had the time to commit to regular sessions, I’m open to new experiences and I like to help people to follow their dreams, so I signed myself up.

I went to Kalie’s on four separate occasions for different sound healing treatments. The sessions took place at Kalie’s dedicated spiritual room, beginning with a warm welcome. Each session started with me setting my intention and drinking some water – if anything Kalie is good at getting me to double my weekly water intake in one day – already I was healthier and that was before the sound healing had even started! It was also very positive for me to be able to focus on myself and my own intentions for a short period of time and not worry about what I was doing for everyone else.

At each session we focussed on a different instrument. The first session was drums; and I really resonated with these. I found the deep sounds extremely calming and oddly addictive. I lay on the massage table with my eyes closed as Kalie moved up and down with the various drums. By the end of the session I was much more relaxed and peaceful – which for someone who is always on the go is quite impressive!

The second session was using tuning forks; which were placed at varying distances from each ear (we were going to start with tuning forks in week one but they mysteriously could not be found which we interpreted as a sign from the spirit world to begin with the drums). The tuning forks were very good for helping me to switch off and I found myself once again extremely relaxed and feeling quite spaced out.

In the third session singing bowls of various sizes were played around me. Kalie activated them so that various deep tunes emanated into the room and deep into my body. I definitely found the deeper sounds more relaxing than the higher ones, I’ve even since been looking up apps around singing bowls as potential ways for a quick fix from time to time as sadly I can’t have Kalie follow me around everywhere.

The final session was an actual sound bath. For this I laid on the floor and Kalie used a mixture of the drums, singing bowls, tinctures and other instruments. This session was really interesting because you didn’t really know what was coming next. At the beginning of this session I was somewhat stressed as I had booked three different meetings all over London on the same day – so it did take me a little bit longer to relax – but even so Kalie worked her magic and by the time she had finished I was completely chilled and at ease.

Overall I found the experience of Sound Therapy very enlightening, it has had a sustained impact on my life. Having the regular sessions was helpful as it meant I knew I had time blocked out for myself and to concentrate on my own mind and body to receive some healing. I know I need to continue this in the future.

 

 

Romford Mind Body Soul Event

Last weekend I was blessed to be part of this very special Mind Body Soul Day in Romford, Essex.

When Jason first made contact, having spotted me at another event, I was delighted to be asked to take a stall at his spiritual fayre. From the moment I read his email I picked up on the positive energy surrounding the creation of this event. For me, energy is very important. If something doesn’t feel right it may not be the right opportunity for you, always trust your gut instinct.

On arrival Jason asked if I would assist him with a little opening blessing by playing one of my instruments. It was a little nerve-wracking as the room fell silent and all eyes were on me, but such a powerful moment as I played my 8″ crystal bowl. It was a very special and unique way to begin an event before opening the doors to the public so I am thankful for this opportunity.

During the day I met some lovely people as always and gave some well received healing treatments. I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did! I look forward to the next event and future collaborations with Jason – watch this space!

 

Animal communication: a new lease of life for Bob

Animal communication pet reading for horses

Animal communication readings are a fantastic way of getting to know what could be troubling your pet. If you’ve noticed some changes in behaviour, having a psychic pet reading could help to reconnect you, allowing your animal to express their emotions and needs in a way that they are usually unable to do. I’ve seen some fantastic results from just one reading, which is why I feel it is important to share some of these success stories. Here’s an outline of Bob’s journey…

Bob is a sensitive soul, I would have thought I was connecting with a human not an animal. He seems to have a lot going on in his mind at this moment in time, I would go as far as saying he has temporarily lost himself.

The first thing that comes to me is a strong feeling of missing someone, a male energy, someone that used to be around the stables regularly. He seems to be quietly morning the loss of a friend, a person that laughed with him and fed him sneaky snacks.

Bob used to be a confident lad. He loved being the centre of attention, lapping up the admiration of on looking eyes at shows. But now he is shy and nervous, something has knocked his confidence. I feel a sense of making a mistake, missing a jump, not wanting to ‘show off’ anymore.

He describes himself as an old man, making me very aware that he is getting older. I think he feels older than he is. He’s going to need lots of love, strokes and patience as you slowly build his confidence back up. It will take time but I feel it will happen.

He’s getting agitated in his stable. Everyone is watching him. Sometimes he just wants to break free and get outside in a big open space, a bit like people that suffer with claustrophobia. If he’s in a single stable I feel he would be best moved to a group stable with other horses and more space. This could get worse in time but giving him lots of attention at the moment will help to calm him down.

He’s like a nosy neighbour, always alert, always watching. His humorous personality is coming out strong now, the real Bob.

He tells me he needs a timeout, a change of scenery. Is it possible to take horses on holiday? He desires being outdoors, he loves nature and the freedom it brings. He would love to go on a long country walk where he feels truly free, I feel he would really benefit from this.

He’s certainly in touch with his feminine side, I feel a pampering session coming on.

I’m starting to get glimpses of his real personality now, the happy fun side. He does want to be happy, he has just lost his way recently.

I feel him smiling again, now that he has expressed himself. Like he’s finally breaking free, opening up and coming alive. He wants to be listened to and I feel that now he has you will see some improvements in his behaviour. He has kept things inside for too long, hopefully now these have been released.

Overall I feel that it’s important for you both to take time out together to bond and reconnect with each other before trying any more shows. He is definitely a special soul. With lots of patience and TLC he could come a long way.

“Thank you Kalie for communicating with my horse Bob. You managed to pick up on the dual personality he seems to be suffering with at the moment. He already appears to be calmer and with your help and lots of love I feel he will get through this uneasy time we are experiencing. Thank you again and we are looking forward to the future Xx”   Bev

Following the initial reading and testimonial from his owner Bev, I received amazing news reporting that Bob had indeed made incredible progress. I will leave you with these beautiful inspiring words:

“Yesterday I woke up and felt different, like a change had happened somehow! Got to the stables and Bob felt much more relaxed. We went on a short hack with friends and he was almost his old self! I’m also feeling a connection with him again that we had temporarily lost. I’m feeling so much happier and think he is too. Thank you so much for your help, I do believe it has helped us both xx”  Bev 

Lovefit Festival

July 2017 saw the arrival of the UK’s premier food, fitness and music festival. I was privileged to offer two of my unique self-development workshops within the beautiful forest at St Clere’s Estate in Kent.

Fitness enthusiasts powered through the mud to enjoy a range of classes provided by top teachers and well known brands across the industry; from Yoga and SUP to HIIT and Spin, even Mr Motivator made an appearance.

On Saturday morning among the tall trees I offered Meditation and Drumming to the early risers which was an absolute dream in such a beautiful location. On Sunday afternoon I introduced sound baths to a whole new audience, just when everyone needed a spot of total relaxation after a weekend of high intensity workshops.

Lovefit 2017 was a brilliant success, I would highly recommend giving this festival a try next year when it is expected to become even bigger and better. Check out a summary of pictures below, visit my Facebook page for more pictures.

A Journey with Sound: Andrea’s Story

Tuning fork sound healing treatment with Andrea

How I discovered Sound Therapy

I’ve known Kalie for a number of years, and she is rather well versed on my chronic health conditions, which over the last four years have reached an entire new level in both impact on my life and the level of pain associated with them.

I suffer with deep infiltrating endometriosis, for which I have had eight surgeries. This disease unfortunately, is incurable. Also, I suffer with degeneration of the lower discs in my spin, which have prolapsed and degenerated past the point of reversal. Both have chronic pain associated with them. In the last four years, I have had to change my career and my entire approach to my life. Part of this approach is looking into alternative therapies to aid in my rehabilitation; to both my physical and emotional wellbeing.

Kalie approached me when she was beginning her training for sound healing, as she thought that I could really feel the benefits of it. I was indeed very eager to try something away from medication. Previously I have had reiki sessions with Kalie, which was a very profound experience. I was able to reach an entire different state of meditation and felt a great sense of calm. Visually it was an amazing experience, seeing different shapes and images of energy. All realigning in my body. Because of the success I had had with Kalie in the past, it was an easy decision to make to embark on Sound Healing.

I have also had many sessions of acupuncture, to aid in the pain reduction of my back. The effects of this however, had not been long lasting and not always successful. So I wanted something where the effects were greater and longer lasting.

Going into my first session, we decided on key areas to focus on which was threefold; pain reduction (mainly in my abdomen and back), improvement in my sleep (which was very sporadic) and to help clear my mind from my stresses and worries. Having these goals allowed us to tailor the treatment to what I was personally looking for.

My first session

I went into the first session with a complete open mind, open to all possibilities, I didn’t know what to expect at all. From the very first strike of the Tingsha (two small cymbals joined together), I was able to feel the vibrations and allowed them to flow through my body. I had a great sense of the sound vibrations travelling through parts of my body seamlessly. However, at points the flow was disrupted by the “blockages” in certain places. The first being my abdomen. I felt a distinctive push as the vibrations had to work to clear the blockage. This flow happened with the push three times, by the fourth, the flow was seamless. I knew then that this had the potential to work wonders!

I chose the tuning forks for my first session. I loved that I was completely immersed in the sound as they are held to your ears. I was able to go to such a deep level of meditation that I had never experienced before. It was incredibly intense. I was able to see the energy in this first session as a clear mist, entering my body and filling me with energy.

As the session wore on, I had a feeling of an internal set of eyelids closing. This was a great significance that showed that I had reached a much deeper sense of meditation and clearness of mind.

Every sound healing session left me feeling more at ease with myself. Much more aligned and in tune with myself. And with this came a greater sense of self-acceptance of who I am. This was a great turning point for me, being one who has always tried to change who she was for others. This was a very new feeling indeed.

As the sessions continued, and my mind was becoming clearer, this allowed for other things to enter. I used to be a writer and spend time being creative. However, with the concerns about ill health and other worries, this left little space or indeed time to focus on this. Since the beginning of the sessions I have been able to spend more time on me. Writing. I bought a new journal to symbolise the beginning of the new journey of me. And I have been writing in it ever since. It has been most refreshing.

My favourite instruments/sessions

I have a kindred sense towards the tuning forks as they were the first instruments that I tried and the one that showed me the way. I felt drawn to them in my first session, and have used them again since, each experience is uniquely different, which brings different results. But it is one I am always drawn to.

The drum, used on session three; was a very powerful instrument. The vibrations are stronger, and impact in a more powerful way. I would not choose this for the first session you experience, I think it is something to work up to, however, the results you get from this can be very strong indeed. Visually, this was a cleansing sessions. Seeing the clear blue sky and soaring above the clouds, also in a clear blue lagoon surrounded by beauty.

With the change to the second drum, visually everything became orange, warming and healing. Seeing the energy as a big orange glow, and I was drawing energy from this, rejuvenating myself. With the drums I experienced flashes of the situations during the week which had caused me stress and I could see them all melt away. This was symbolic of my mind clearing the away too. By session three, I was going under much quicker and reaching a stage of inner calm much easier than the previous two. This allowed for the healing to happen over a longer period of time.

What I have achieved through Sound Healing

My progress has been vast, in numerous areas. The biggest progress I have made has been with the reduction of my medication. I take numerous pills each day to manage my health conditions and I desperately wanted to reduce them down. As the sessions were making me more relaxed and my pain was lessened, I wanted to try to see if I could reduce anything. After the first session I reduced my OxyContin, by 10mg twice a day, then the third week, I dropped it by another 10mg. By the end of the sessions I had dropped my OxyContin down by a total of 60mg in one day. Which is a huge reduction of such medication. And I have been able to keep it that way ever since.

The effects of these sessions are long lasting and life changing. My sleep by the end of the treatment was improved. I had been able to get myself into a routine that was working, and since then I have been able to improve on this further. I am now happily sleeping for eight hours each night. I haven’t been able to do this since I was a child, it’s fantastic! The extra sleep itself is improving my motivation, my energy and focus and is improving my health.

Recommending Sound Therapy

This treatment is so versatile and able to help in vast areas of your life. There were weeks when I just needed to relax and recharge and I was able to obtain that, other weeks we would focus on certain ailments to aid healing in those areas. So it has shown me how this kind of treatment can be used for a general relaxation, or more specific use. It has been one of the best things I’ve done in my life, for my physical and emotional wellbeing. I was looking for something with longer lasting effects, and this is definitely it. As each session progresses the effects of it, last longer and longer.

Without this treatment I could not have reached the level of self-acceptance that I now have and I certainly would not have being in a place where my pain had been lessened enough to reduce my medication.

This truly has been a life changing process and I cannot express enough just how thankful for it I am.   Andrea

 

 

Animal Reiki for Billy and Daisy

Animal reiki healing with Billy

I recently had one of the most magical experiences I have had with an animal, two animals in this case. 

I was away in Norfolk staying with a friend, hoping to catch the last of the bank holiday sunshine. I managed to catch a few rays on day one, before the heavy rain kicked in. On the second night we were treated to a storm, quite an impressive one actually although not so much for animals. If you own a dog you’ll know they either sleep or cry through a heavy storm. Daisy was the latter. I doubt I can convey how special this experience was through words but I will give it a try.

I had only met Billy and Daisy once before and unusually for me, there wasn’t an instant bond. I love animals, especially dogs, but these two have a very independent streak, no cuddles. They also have a very unique walk, due to a rare condition, so it came as quite a shock when Daisy came up to me, mid-storm, and gave me the puppy dog eyes. From nowhere she appeared in front of me by the sofa and stared insistently, almost begging to be lifted up onto my lap. It threw me for a minute so I asked my partner to lift her up and put her between us. It was very clear that she was distressed but it was more than that, I could feel her asking to be with me, asking for healing.

She was shaking like a leaf, I’ve never seen a dog so scared. In the end I realised I had to put my hands on her. Within five minutes of receiving healing there was a noticeable change. The shaking slowed down almost immediately and within fifteen minutes she was in a deep sleep, so much so that she was no longer phased by the roaring thunderstorm outside. It was beautiful, and didn’t go unnoticed by the others in the room, including her owner Carol who couldn’t believe what she saw. Daisy laid there for the rest of the evening blissfully relaxed until she went to bed, she had an air of calmness that stayed with her until the following day.

And then it was Billy’s turn. I’m not sure why but I was drawn to Billy whilst he lay quietly in his bed. Due to his condition I had noticed his ability to walk was suffering and I wanted to see if I could help him in some way. I’m not under the impression that his condition could be cured with a couple of Reiki sessions, but I felt that he needed healing for himself, to aid relaxation and to ease the pressure he puts on himself from frequent falls. So I put my hands on his back legs – where the problem persists – and let the energy flow.

Once again it was magical. I instantly felt a connection with Billy that was missing when we had first met. He took to the reiki so well, just like Daisy. He didn’t attempt to get up and move at all as some dogs do. Whilst he soaked up the healing energy I thought it was the perfect time to practice some animal communication. I wanted to see what he was feeling and talk to him. It can be so hard watching him struggle, steadying himself after a fall, but at least I could get him to relax and let go of his anxiety for a while.

As the heat from my hands increased, I began sending out thoughts to Billy to talk to me, which isn’t the easiest task when an animal is face to face, usually this kind of communication works best via distance, with the absence of emotion. But he did talk to me. More so, he gave me a message. I felt that what he was trying to tell me was that he felt stupid. My heart instantly melted as tears streamed down my face. I started to wonder what everyone around me would be thinking. But it was so emotional and overwhelming, I just had to continue.

My hands moved towards his front, I placed one on his head and held his paw with the other. I told him that he wasn’t stupid and that he was very loved. He looked up at me in the most endearing way, attempting to move his head but was so relaxed that he just flopped back down again

I can’t communicate how special this was, it really was one of those ‘you have to be there moments’. I started the session with the intention of helping Billy to relax and not overthink the walking, however, I ended the session just sending him love, and trying to make him feel less silly. When I finally opened my eyes I realised that the level of emotion involved with the treatment was clear, once again I had managed to shock those around me. Unsurprisingly Billy dog remained in his bed for quite some time – I did worry that he’d be so sleepy he would miss out on the nice beach walk ahead!

Working with animals is fascinating, the way they don’t question what you are doing, they just trust and receive the healing. The thing that intrigues me most about this story is how Daisy knew to come to me during the thunderstorm when she could have gone to her owners. It’s no secret that animals are more intelligent than humans, but this is the icing on the cake!

I will leave you with a few words from Carol:

“Billy has always been a skittish dog but after five minutes with Kalie he relaxed completely and remained calm for most of the day.  It was amazing to watch.”