Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Day 220 - Reiki I Attunement

“Being attuned to Reiki gives one the ability to easily access the Reiki (Universal Life Force) energy, for the purpose of healing a person or situation. Attunements can be given only by a Reiki master during an attunement process. This process opens the crown, heart, and palm chakras and creates a special link between the student and the Reiki source.

The attunement procedure is a ceremony of spirit. In this ceremony the Reiki master uses the Reiki symbols and other gestures in a prescribed way. This ceremony creates an energy pattern around the recipient of the attunement which entrains (or attunes) their energy field to the energies represented by the symbols.

The Reiki attunement can start a cleansing process that affects the physical body as well as the mind and emotions. Toxins that have been stored in the body may be released along with feelings and thought patterns that are no longer useful.”*


I had my reiki attunement today. I spent a whole day with Andy, Reiki master and now my Reiki coach, learning how to attune my energy field to do Reiki on myself - I now have healing hands!

The procedure is rather spiritual - incense and candles are lit, all mobile phones, computers and any other electrical appliances are turned off, thereby creating an atmosphere and aura of spirituality, and of complete peace.

During the attunement I could feel my hands warming, a tingling feeling taking hold of the very centre of my palms, as if I had placed my hand on top of a candle. I found this sensation more pronounced in my left hand than in my right.

Andy taught me how to use my newly acquired ability to heal myself, by showing me at which chakra points (the centres of spiritual power in the human body) to place my hands thereby enabling the life force energy to flow, thus restoring harmony and giving me a sense of well-being.

After an attunement there is a twenty-one day cleansing cycle that consists of three cycles of the seven chakras - practising Reiki every day during these three weeks helps remove the negativities accumulated by the body over our lifetime. Each chakra takes roughly three days, hence the 21 days.

My homework is to do Reiki for one hour every day for the next twenty-one days, after which I am told I will start to feel a lot more comfortable and at peace with my inner self.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Day 219 - Hemicrania Continua

“Hemicrania continua is a rare type of chronic daily headache where the pain occurs on one side of the head. Although the pain will vary in intensity, it never completely disappears and tends to be mild to moderate with occasional periods of intense pain.
The following diagnostic criteria are given for hemicrania continua; headache for more than 3 months fulfilling all of the following characteristics:

* Unilateral pain without side-shift
* Daily and continuous, without pain-free periods
* Moderate intensity, but with exacerbations of severe pain

The condition exists in two forms known as continuous and remitting. In the continuous form, headaches occur daily with little or no respite, often for years. In the remitting form, headaches may occur regularly over 1 to 6 months, separated by pain free periods of several weeks to months. Pain may occur as short jabbing jolts alongside the persistent daily headache. As with migraine headaches, there are more females than males with hemicrania continua.

The cause of hemicrania continua is unknown. When the symptoms of hemicrania continua are present, it's considered "diagnostic" if the patient responds completely to indomethacin, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Triptans and other abortive medications do not affect hemicrania continua.”*


The kinesiologist sent me an email today asking me if I had read about hemicrania continua. I cannot believe that after all my research on the internet, and my various appointments with the ‘best neurologists in the UK’ I hadn’t even heard of it. How is it possible that no one has spoken to me about it? What are all these headache specialists doing with their time? Virtually none of the medical websites I looked at mention the condition - they just list cluster/chronic/ice-pick headaches and migraines with aura, and without aura (if it is mentioned, it is just en passant under the chronic headache category).

More despair and anger at doctors, their misdiagnosing, their ignorance on their ‘subjects of expertise’.

The symptoms described above could not be any more similar to mine. When trying to explain what my headache boils down to, I always highlight the fact that it is a constant 24/7 headache which has not left me once in seven months and which varies in intensity, according to its whim (to which I am usually asked: so do you have it now? At which point I wonder which part they didn’t understand: 24/7 or constant?). This is so far the most frustrating and (worryingly) the most recurring question I have been asked.

On top of the persistent right hand side headache, I sometimes feel jolts on top of the constant pain. I may not have hemicrania continua as far as I know. I just read about it and have yet to see someone who deals with this condition (my only doubt is that I do not think I have any of the following, which is a required autonomic feature during exacerbations: conjunctival injection and/or lacrimation, nasal congestion and/or rhinorrhea, or ptosis and/or miosis).

But what is most worrying is that no one even mentioned to me the possibility of having it. I stumbled across a study conducted in Italy on hemicrania continua which found that innumerable patients with the condition have been misdiagnosed:

According to the website, “on average, the patients had tried 3-4 different classes of drugs, most of which were, of course, ineffective. 36% had undergone ineffective invasive treatments as well!”* How worrying is this, I ask?


Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Day 213 - Small Intestine

“The small intestine is around five metres long, making it the longest section of the digestive tract. Although it is longer than the large intestine it has a smaller diameter. This is why it's called the small intestine.

After food is churned up in the stomach, a sphincter muscle at the end of the stomach opens to squirt small amounts of food into the top of the small intestine. This first section of the small intestine is called the duodenum.

The pancreas releases digestive juices through a duct into your duodenum. This fluid is rich in enzymes that break down fats, proteins and carbohydrates. It also contains sodium bicarbonate which neutralises acid produced in your stomach. The gall bladder squeezes out bile down a duct into the duodenum. Bile helps break down fats in your food.

Most of the nutrients in food pass through the lining of the small intestine into the blood. The lining of the small intestine is covered in tiny microvilli. These are microscopic, finger-like protrusions which give the lining of the small intestine a massive surface area for absorption of nutrients to occur across.

Each microvillus contains a minute blood capillary. When nutrients are absorbed into a microvillus, they enter its blood capillary. This is how nutrients from the food enter the blood. By the time food leaves the small intestine all the nutrients in the food will have entered the bloodstream. All that remains is indigestible food which is passed from the small intestine to the large intestine for further processing.”*


“I just got back from a four day sun dance." “What’s a sun dance?” I asked inquisitively. “It’s when you dance for four days.. after that I was hung from a tree. I now have holes everywhere” he explained to me. “O-kay....” I said under my breath, rather puzzled. “It’s a ritual, it represents the continuity of life. I often go and live with tribes, I just got back from South America... to see and learn about their forms of natural healing”. This was the first slither of conversation I had with the acupuncturist before having needles stuck into my feet and hands.

I know acupuncture is not meant to hurt, although this time it really felt quite uncomfortable. Luck would also have it that half way through I had a really itchy leg but couldn’t move because of all the needles.

Anyhow, the good news is that the acupuncturist (also a doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine) believes that my headache is related to the small intestine, the gallbladder and partly also the liver. He is now the third person (along with the kinesiologist and the nutritionist) who believes that the problem is internally related, and more specifically gut/liver related. The needles were placed in my gall bladder, liver and small intestine acupuncture points located in my hands and feet.

The doctor wanted to give me some Chinese herbs to detox, although I explained I am currently undergoing a programme with the kinesiologist and want to finish with that first. I am, however, keen on continuing with regular acupuncture sessions. Unfortunately though, he is only in the country once a month as the rest of his time is spent travelling and studying herbal remedies. It’s nice to see someone so interested in learning about alternative medicine, which no doubt reflects his knowledge on diagnosing health problems.

The acupuncturist also strongly recommending regularly doing some relaxation techniques in order to relieve the pain.

Day 212 - Dandelion Coffee (Taraxacum officinale)

“Dandelion is a common meadow herb of the Asteraceae or sunflower family, closely related to chicory. Its name is a corruption of the French "dents de lion", meaning "teeth of the lion." The generic name derives from the Greek words taraxos, meaning disorder, and akos, meaning remedy.
Dandelion leaves and roots have been used for centuries to treat liver, gall bladder, kidney, and joint problems. In some countries, Dandelion is considered a blood purifier and is used for ailments such as eczema and cancer.

Dandelion has also been used to treat poor digestion, water retention, and diseases of the liver such as hepatitis. It is a general stimulant to the system, especially to the urinary organs, and is primarily used in kidney and liver disorders.

The bitter compounds in the leaves and root help stimulate digestion and are mild laxatives. They also increase bile production in the gall bladder and bile flow from the liver. This makes Dandelion a great tonic for people with sluggish liver function due to alcohol abuse or poor diet.”*


Lately I have been indulging in dandelion coffee which tastes a lot nicer than it looks (the roasted coffee beans look like guinea pig food). On the nutritionist’s recommendation, I have been drinking various cups a day (it’s caffeine free), and have really taken a liking to it. Dandelion is meant to aid digestion and help the liver eliminate toxins.

I spoke to the nutritionist today and finally got my liver test results. Apparently my liver is not functioning to its full capacity - she suggested taking some supplements to rectify the problem. The majority are the same as those the kinesiologist has given me - it's reassuring to see that both the nutritionist and the kinesiologist share the same viewpoint.

In the meantime, I am waiting for the nutritionist to email me my results in more detail to see exactly where the problem lies.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Day 211 - Lipoic Acid

“Discovered in 1951, alpha lipoic acid is an important antioxidant that performs many functions in the body.

Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is a fatty acid that is naturally found inside every cell in the body. It is necessary to produce energy for the body’s everyday functions as it converts glucose into energy. ALA is also an antioxidant that works in both water and fat, unlike some other antioxidants.

It can also recycle antioxidants such as vitamin C and glutathione after they have been used up by the body. Glutathione is an important antioxidant and ALA increases the formation of glutathione. It also enhances the antioxidant functions of vitamins C and E.

ALA directly supports detoxification within the liver. It can prevent cell damage, regulate blood sugar levels, chelate toxic metals from the blood, and enhance mental function and muscular energy production.

Lipoic acid not only has dietary benefits, but can help people with vision issues, diabetes, chronic migraines, and many other health-related problems.”*


In the past two weeks the headache has been at its best so far. As a result, I have been feeling much happier and full of life - I can nearly bring myself to imagine what it would be like to finally not have a headache anymore.

Unfortunately though, I had a bit of a relapse over the weekend. Sunday was the worst - I tried to think back at what I had eaten or what I did differently in the past few days but once again I could not think of any contributing factors.

I went to see the kinesiologist again today. Having muscle tested me, he advised to keep on taking the same supplements, although this time he also gave me lipoic acid tablets.

He reinforced his conviction that there are problems with my gut, and this time more specifically with my small intestine. The liver as well does not seem to be functioning very well, and I am hopeful that the supplements will rectify this.

There has certainly (finally!) been a change lately - I just hope to be able to see more of it.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Day 205 - Flower Remedies

“In the 1920s and 30s, a noted homeopath called Dr Edward Bach discovered a system of flower remedies that can help us rediscover the positive side of ourselves. He believed, as many doctors do today, that attitude of mind plays a vital role in maintaining health and recovering from illness.

When he died in 1936 he had developed a complete system of 38 flower remedies, each prepared from the flowers of wild plants, trees and bushes. They work by treating the individual rather than the disease or its symptoms.

The remedies contain a very small amount of flower material in a 50:50 solution of water and brandy. Because the remedies are extremely dilute they do not have a characteristic scent or taste of the plant.

The flower remedies are made from wild plants, trees and bushes. They work by treating the individual rather than the disease or its symptoms and are a gentle way to manage one’s emotions and rediscover the positive side of oneself.”*


The radionics practitioner suggested taking some flower remedies to help address and balance my emotional state, thereby contributing to my general well-being. She explained that flower remedies can remove the emotional barriers to health and recovery.

The remedy she recommended taking is made of a number of plants, including foxglove (pictured above), which is "calming to the emotions that emerge in relationship trauma: shock, grief, sense of loss, anger, confusion, anxiety, humiliation, rejection vulnerability - a heart protector to help us realise where our personal boundaries really lie."*

The first time I took the drops I had the impression of feeling more relaxed and at ease with those around me - I was in the park with my (much) younger siblings; the two of them were having a bit of an argument as seven and nine year olds tend to do. I summoned them over and explained what the flower remedies were for. I knew their innate curiosity would push them to discover more.

I placed a few drops on my tongue, and then on theirs. Thereafter, the three of us felt a lot more empathy towards one another and much enjoyed spending the rest of the day in each other’s company.

The ritual of halting previous activities and thereafter jointly taking the drops may well have also contributed towards our subsequent feelings of calm and serenity.

I am now taking the flower remedy drops four times a day.


Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Day 199 - Crystals

“Crystals are natural formations formed in the earth and have been used since time began to heal and balance the human energy field. Long before modern medicine came to be, mankind was very familiar with the natural healing power of crystals. These were used to reduce swelling and kill infection. Some would calm ailments in certain organs while others energised. They were also natural painkillers.

Crystals are holistic healers, that is they work on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level of being. Today, we live in an environment that is full of electromagnetic smog. No home or place of work is free from the presence of numerous electrical appliances and for a lot of us, spending hours in front of a computer every day is the norm.

Every electrical appliance regardless of how high specification and environmentally friendly it is emits levels of radiation, which our bodies absorb. This electromagnetic smog wreaks havoc on our systems, disturbs the natural balance of our energy field and is the cause of much geopathic stress, which can cause illness and is even related to certain cancers.

Crystals help to protect us from this potential danger by absorbing the harmful rays. The simple act of putting a clear quartz or smoky quartz crystal on the desk between you and your computer could make a world of difference to your overall health.

Crystals can be used throughout the house balancing and harmonising the energy within, bringing a calming effect to all.”*

I am suddenly feeling surprisingly better. My headache was pretty bad last week but it now seems to have improved.

I decided to take a short holiday to try and forget about London, my headache, and to try and relax a bit. And it seems to have worked.

Whether the improvement is due to the fresh air and some time spent at the sea, or as a consequence of the radionics treatment, or indeed as a result of the supplements the kinesiologist has given me, I do not know.

The important thing to me is that it is improving. I have more energy and I now feel like getting up in the morning and enjoying the day ahead.

I am certainly feeling optimistic about my radionics treatment. This morning I spoke to the practitioner who thinks the pain could be related to my spine: she explained there may be tiny little fractures in my vertebrae, which she is now working on.

She also believes my headache may be related to harmful radiation emitted from computers and television screens. Come to think about, my previous job required me to sit in front of the computer for more than ten hours a day.

The practitioner also suggested buying a clear quartz crystal. She explained that crystals are good at detracting rays from PCs and TVs, which may contribute towards improving my headache.