Holistic & Alternative Therapy
I started suffering with M.E. symptoms after a nasty virus in October 2015, at the age of 38, which changed my life forever. I was a happy, on the go all the time, hardworking lady who worked in a school as a teaching assistant, who loved gardening and went to ice skating lessons. After three months of a physical and emotional roller coaster ride it was suggested by my General Practitioner and Human Resources that I returned to work on a phased return. After all, they all said I had post-viral fatigue and I needed to get back to normal. How was this supposed to happen? I had barely been out of the house, yet alone drive and do a day’s work! With the support from only a handful of people who understood my condition and still do, I returned to work and under a phased return.
My symptoms never left me and in that first year I struggled on. Work was a struggle; I cried most days on the drive to work; I was a mess. I was lucky to have a very understanding husband who did not understand the first thing about M.E. although he knew that it was hitting me badly. Seven months into my newly torn apart life I saw another GP who was lovely and said, “You need referring, enough is enough, this has to be M.E./CFS.” I spent that first year researching all aspects of this crippling and debilitating condition in order to improve and get my life back on some kind of path. Finally, in September 2016 I heard the words that I wanted to hear, and for a few hours my world fell apart again when I was diagnosed with M.E.
I was never under any illusion that I had anything else other than M.E. and that this roller coaster of a condition was not going to be easy to manage, but I was determined from the very beginning that M.E. was not going to beat me. Throughout all my research, holistic and alternative therapy screamed out at me. Prior to my diagnosis I had experienced some form of holistic therapy: a close family friend goes to a group meditation and uses Angel cards for guidance and I’ve been to a couple of these sessions with her when we’ve been to stay. I went in open-minded and not sure what to expect and came out feeling very relaxed and calm; the whole experience was so surreal. Did I really just experience those feelings, visions and sense of calm? Yes, I did.
For me at that point in my life, before my entire M.E. journey started, holistic and alternative therapy was something that I enjoyed and wanted to do more of but didn’t know how. I struggled to find a local group which ran workshops/courses etc. so I did my little bits here and there and was quite happy. Upon my diagnosis I decided to give the holistic and alternative therapy a try, not just playing at it any more but making it work properly for the good of me. Sink or swim? I choose to swim and ride the tide. Trust me, it’s the best thing I ever did. I now embrace all aspects of holistic and alternative therapy including:
- Massage and reflexology and Indian head massage,
- Crystal healing,
- Angelic healing, and
- Chakra balancing.
I started to find calm, relaxing music and guided meditations on YouTube, saving my favourites; charity shops were a great find for books. I soon found a whole new world opened up. Then I hit the jackpot: finally, a yoga studio opened up in the small town of Pontefract where I live, and it’s become my second home. It runs a meditation group, Reiki, crystal workshops, angelic healing etc. Everything I needed and more under one local roof.
Since embracing holistic therapies I’ve decided to professionally qualify as a therapist and am currently undertaking more courses, and in February am doing the Reiki level 1 and 2 which means I can practise on others in a professional and paid capacity. 2018 is the year for change for me. I’ve become more grounded, focused and aware of what goes on around me, calm and more in control of my life. It made me focus on what’s important and what to let go. The old me has gone; it went a long time ago when I became ill. The new me is stronger and together we can fight the M.E. battle.
Holistic and alternative therapy has become a big part of my life, and even though my husband laughs at my ‘mumbo-jumbo’ as he calls it, he can see the benefits that I gain from them. I have my ever-growing collection of books, crystals, angel cards, music and my gorgeous singing bowl which cleanses the whole house; even my husband says it sounds nice. There are many, many benefits to holistic and alternative therapy, too many to name. So here are just a few.
Reiki treatment increases your supply of life force energy and helps you heal quickly. It promotes relaxation, makes you feel at peace, and reduces your stress. You start moving toward your unique physical, mental and spiritual balance, and your body's own healing mechanisms begin to function more effectively.
Aromatherapy helps reduce anxiety, ease depression, boost energy levels, speed up the healing process, cure headaches, boost cognitive performance, induce sleep, strengthen the immune system, reduce pain, improve digestion, and increase circulation.
Reflexology can stimulate nerve function, increase energy, boost circulation, induce a deep state of relaxation, eliminate toxins, stimulate the central nervous system, prevent migraines.
Meditation supports overall health, lessens worry, anxiety and impulsivity, lessens stress, fear and depression. It enhances self-esteem and self-acceptance, improves your mood and emotions, increases mental strength and focus, improves the immune system and energy levels, improves breathing and heart rate and blood pressure. It gives you a sense of control and calmness.
Angelic healing is a beautiful, gentle and powerful spiritual healing system. It works on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels to bring balance to our entire being and can bring about a significant improvement in many aspects of our lives.
Chakra balancing. The chakra system is an ancient way of viewing the body. It is divided into seven zones, with each area having energy that must flow freely. When the chakras are balanced, the whole body works in harmony and we feel elevated, energised and whole.
Crystal Healing uses the vibrations of crystals to heal. Each crystal has a natural healing vibration and colour. These unique healing vibrations are introduced to your body and energy field to vitalise, to heal and to balance it. It works on all levels of a person. As crystals conduct light and colour, they naturally bring a 'lightness' into your being. Everyone's experience is individual, though you may experience any of these effects:
- relief from aches and pains, more energy, a detoxification, restful sleep
- relief from stress, calmness, clarity, more focus
- a release of ‘old’ emotions, a sense of well-being, balance
- a ‘lightness’ of being, more connected, more purpose.
Every M.E. journey is unique and at times can be tough. I wish everyone concerned well in the continuous journey of life, and holistic and alternative therapy might be worth a shot. It certainly changed my life for the better. To find a qualified therapist near you, please search The Federation of Holistic Therapists Directory.