M.E etc..and natural wellness buddies
I just wanted to share with you some of the remedies, therapies and resources I used to facilitate my recovery from M.E, fibromyalgia, I.B.S, endometriosis, candida, PTSD and severe anxiety disorder. I call them wellness buddies, and I can’t claim that these things will cure you, but they can give you relief, comfort and a helping hand while you are getting to the root of things. 😊
I've already said in another post what I think 'HUMAN HEALING IS.' The arty part takes a bit of individualised creative thinking. The sciency bit is of course a bit more factual, however there can still be a unique response even to the quantifiable element. This is going to be a long post so if you have severe M.E or are not having not such a good day, with reading or being on the computer because of your cognitive function or how the EMR is affecting your nervous system, just print it off and read through it in sections when you feel up to it.
Before I start with my list I need to tell you something. I personally had to back off completely from the medical establishment, as I, like many had a few not so great experiences, to say the least. The final nail in the coffin for me was when I was admitted to the PRI in 2011 and it was then that I had to deal with a REALLY BAD set of circumstances. Those set of circumstances which accumulated to 9 terrible acts of unprofessionalism to say the least could have been avoided by people who are allegedly suppose to have a certain standard of "Duty of care" no matter what system they are working with! I left that admissions ward much worst than when I arrived, and the horrible position they had me and other patients in gave me anxiety and panic attacks like I'd never had before, which took me years to recover from. The atrocities that happened that night were nothing short of a complete and utter disgrace! It put me off seeing any doctor or nurse thereafter for a long time, which put me in danger as each time I had a horrible symptom that I thought I'd have to go back into the hospital for, it was compounded by the anxiety I felt about seeking medical help for years thereafter. This turned into one big vicious circle for me ~ my husband and best friend at that time had to continually comfort me and tell me I wasn't in any danger, to help calm my system down. I do say the word 'suffered' here instead of the usual 'dealing with' word I'd use when referring to illness, as those horrific panic attacks had my system spinning way out of control, sometimes in a continual loop for 13 hours at a time. Often mine would happen in the middle of the night too, so I'd be woken up with it all, with no apparent rhyme or reason that I could use as my foundation for exploring a way of 'dealing' with it! Having said all of that, through time and EFT practice I became enlightened as to why I was given those particular sets of circumstances to 'deal with. Which eventually gave me some sort of anchor. With time, patience and perseverance I did find out about my anxiety enemies and was able to transmute them into my anxiety wellness buddies. So while there may not be the rhyme there will at some point always be the reason.
Anyway my point here is that I struggled with trusting medical professions for a long time and I'm still apprehensive with that, but I do recognise that it is very difficult for them within a system that is being abused in so many ways, so I definitely don't tar them all with the same stick, as there are those who still care and do go above and beyond the call fo duty. So I am not advocating that anyone do what I did and go it alone in most ways for the best part, but that you find support buddies (real compassionate people) who will give you a helping hand and support you in the best way possible when you need it, but also allow you the freedom to spread your wings and explore your own unique healing abilities, which is very empowering.
I personally made many mistakes along the way. I lost count of how many times I got up to the top of the mountain only to be kicked right back down to the bottom in a spectacularly brutal manner. But in the end when the chips are down these times are actually your defining moments, those moments when you are lying there at the bottom of that mountain all crumpled up, bruised and battered saying 'what the fuck!' It's then where it's even more crucial for you to tune in to your mind, body and spirit ask it questions like "What's troubling you? " "What is it that you need?" "Is there anything I can do to help you?" And your mind, body and spirit will give you those answers, for sure, 'maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but sometimes soon...as it is your friend and not your enemy, the body and mind is miraculous network of complexities...but it is not designed to attack itself!
Natural remedies to alleviate symptoms offer a great deal of comfort whilst supporting and assisting the healing process, which can only ever be a combination of mind, body and spiritual practices (holistic). One without the other won't work in the long term, there is no such thing as a quick fix. Below I will list a summarised version of various remedies and this post will be one of these that will need further and more in depth explanation within some of these areas on other posts. Please always consult with your doctor to assess if you need tests to rule out other conditions that can have similar symptoms and crucially if you have new symptoms come along, don't just assume It's just another 'unexplained M.E symptom.' Also it's advisable to check with your health care provider whether any complimentary therapy would have a negative effect with your conventional therapies if you are taking any etc... Dr. Google can sometimes be a scary place to go for some and doesn't always have the most accurate and up to date guidance! And some of us just really need to get back to that place where the quote "Trust me I'm a doctor" is a fact of life and really resonates with us.
The first and most important wellness buddy is food. Which could either be your best friend or worst enemy. And that’s not just for a condition like M.E. Hippocrates said ‘Let food be thy medicine and let medicine be thy food, ‘ as what you fuel your body with makes the world of difference. Real food will be covered in a topic of its own coming soon...
Not too long after I first became ill 19 years ago I remember using nux Vom and sepia as my homeopathic remedies. I also used aerobic oxygen drops (stabilised molecules of oxygen) to give my cells a boost, help fight infection, help muscles, and it helped with brain fog, that and aloe Vera helped my stomach. Noni juice at that time was packed full of vital vitamins and minerals too as often if I had no carers about and I was too unwell to make something to eat. At times I also used zinc, magnesium, vitamin C and vitamin B supplements, fish oil too along with milk thistle and kelp for a while. It’s advisable to work with a naturopath to find a good balance of your unique requirements at various times when introducing supplements, herbal remedies etc...
Carrier oil - 100mls grapeseed or almond oil with 6 drops of eucalyptus oil, 4 drops of black pepper, 6 drops of lavender and 4 drops of rosemary. This is a 1% dilution which is what I use to begin with chronic conditions, and especially with M.E as we can be very sensitive to strong aromas, even those that are natural. You can rub this on your muscles three times a day but not too near bed time for your last application because of the stimulating properties of three of these oils. You wouldn't want to use Eucalyptus oil if you were taking homeopathic remedies or rosemary if you had epilepsy. You also wouldn't use lavender in the first three months of pregnancy or if you had a history of miscarriage. You can use this for two weeks then have a break as eucalyptus oil shouldn't be used continuously for long periods of times, but the great news is many oils have similar properties so you don't need to, and if it works for you like it did for me then the analgesic and anti inflammatory properties work really quickly, there is also the benefit here of having the anti viral aspect and a good balance of calming and stimulating properties in this blend for the mind too. Bathing in a warm bath with a cup of epsom salts 2-3 times a week before you put the oil on helps too, the extra magnesium helps with muscle pain, headaches, lowering of blood pressure and reducing the effects of stress. Magnesium oil is also good for muscle pain if you are unable to get or make your own aromatherapy blends. Warning: Please remember that magnesium supplementation is not recommended for those with kidney diseases or kidney health issues. If that’s you, then please talk with your doctor prior to using any products with magnesium. Healthy kidneys can excrete excess magnesium, but compromised kidneys will struggle with it. Reflexology works really well as it can assist the healing process and remove blockages without touching the muscles, which can sometime make matters worst as it stimulates the muscles and can be really difficult and painful if you have severe M.E. Muscle pain can also respond well to changes and diet and carefully planned exercise, when the time is right.
This blend is very similar to the one above but just substitute the black pepper for ginger oil (although not if you are taking meds like warfarin or other meds that thin the blood) There is a balm I do for joint pain which I feel is slightly better than an oil for this purpose. I've not had that assessed by a cosmetic chemist yet to sell in my shop but I can make it for those I have a consultation with and I will write this recipe up on a post I am going to do specifically on various aspects of joint care, including foods that help reduce inflammation which also help with joint and muscle pain.
Other wellness buddies for muscle pain, neck pain and restless legs : The nerve and muscle pain in my neck and back of the head was a nightmare for me not only because of the M.E but because of a few head and neck strains and injuries I sustained. I used a transdermal application of magnesium oil, and I still have to do that now and then, as I found the essential oils blend just made my hair all greasy, although if this does happen you can always use arrowroot powder on your hair to soak up the oil. Magnesium oil isn’t actually an oil though it's basically magnesium chloride in distilled water. It's easy to make but if you aren't well enough it's widely available online or from the health shops, just follow the advice on the bottle. I have sensitive skin so I use the 15% dilution type. I found it very good for neck pain, muscle pain, cramps, tremors, and restless legs...Another great remedy for restless legs is to have an orgasm. I know who would have thought...but yes it's true, and there will be science behind it I'm sure with all those hormones that get released! Don't over do it with the magnesium oil in terms of if you are having epsom salts baths spraying on many parts of your body etc...The general rule is to start with six sprays and you can work your way up gradually over the days to 20. But to be honest I've never really had to go up much past 10, and I rarely did but if I ever had to use the spray over and above the baths on the same day I'd just leave quite a few hours in between. *Check with your GP or pharmacist before adding magnesium to your health routine as it can interact with certain medications. * Please remember balance with everything...Slow and steady wins the race with M.E!
Foggy head and cognitive function:
First thing here is to eliminate neurotoxins like fluoride in toothpaste and use natural toothpaste and paraffin free dental floss. Don't use any pots and pans or cooking instruments with aluminium or teflon, instead use cast iron, stainless steel, ceramic, glass. Instead of buying things like tomatoes etc in tins buy them in glass bottles or cartons. Keep a check on your consumption of high mercury fish, there is a table you can print off online with advice on what sustainable fish have high levels, medium levels and low levels of mercury. The great debate still rages on about amalgam fillings. Personally it worried me sick for a time as I have loads of them in big continuous lines that I got pretty much all at the same time when I was a child. I've spoken to many people about this including a cardiologist who's had M.E for over 30 years, and spent all his life savings going to Switzerland to get teeth removed by a specialist, only to find out it didn't make a blind bit of difference to his symptoms. I am of the school of thought that once they are in place they must be pretty inert. It seems to be causing people problems when the vapours go into their system when they are not at that inert stage. If I need to get any removed or new ones I'd go for the ceramic version. In the meantime I do oil pulling each day and regularly use coriander, parsley, dulce seaweed flakes, spinach, kale, barley grass which all help with detoxing and eliminating the build up of heavy metals like mercury in your body. Food wise to help with cognitive function it's good using ghee some days for cooking as it also supports the brain and nervous system, walnuts, turmeric, eggs, avocado, rosemary, raw cacao powder, omega 3 oils like cold pressed olive oil for drizzling and low temperature cooking or hemp oil, butter and coconut oil for higher temperature cooking. I tend to mix it around a bit and just instinctively find the right balance with what suits the foods I'm preparing. Putting a couple of drops of rosemary oil on a hanky and inhaling the vapour every now and then, or in some hot water and doing a steam inhalation is also really good, again not if you have epilepsy or if you are at a stage where you have a lot of over activity with your adrenal gland (when you are feeling hyper etc) as this can just over stimulate things further. Another great option is to put 3 drops of rosemary oil and 3 drops of lemon oil in a diffuser or oil burner, best to avoid scented candles, as they have paraffin, some have lead wicks, and they have the most highly concentrated artificial scents. I have searched far and wide and never found a pure and natural candle scent, and essential oils are highly volatile so they don't fair well with the high temperature needed to burn a candle, even with a fixative oil. I have wasted quite a bit of my precious oils experimenting with this one albeit to no avail. So i just stick with making my plain eco soya candles or beeswax and put the oil in the burner or diffuser. Avoid...Caffeine, alcohol, sugar, gluten, refined carbs and artificial sweeteners, not just for brain fog but for many other reasons that will become apparent. More about toxins in another post...
IBS and endometriosis pain:
For the pain for both of these conditions I used the same blend of essential oils - Grapeseed oil 100mls with 20 drops of camomile and 20 drops of mandarin oil , mandarin oil is photo-toxic and shouldn't be used if you are going to be in the sun for the next 24 hours, and camomile oil shouldn't be used in the first trimester of pregnancy or with a history of miscarriage. This blend of oils have analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties in them. I'd use about a ten pence size and rub it all round my stomach area in a clockwise direction three times a day if need be, and then a warm hot water bottle on my stomach. This method always got rid of the pain in between 5 and 10 minutes, whereas pain killers which caused me more problems would take one and a half hours. Camomile, rooibos tea and peppermint tea are all really good. With the endometriosis I had to watch and not eat too many foods that were oestrogen dominant. For the heartburn that can come with IBS I would use 1 teaspoon of organic apple cider vinegar (from the mother) in a 8oz glass of my filtered water. Diet and IBS is a bigger subject and one that needs covering on a post of it's own, which I will cover soon. Use ecoleaf toilet roll the doesn't contain chlorine or dioxin which can make endometriosis worst. Endometriosis still continues for me and it is an extremely painful condition, but I manage it very well for those few days mid month when I am ovulating with these oils, if I have stress it makes it worst, the better I manage my stress the better it is. Piles sometimes can happen when you have IBS, and sometimes people don't like to talk about piles, and that's perfectly understandable, piles probably don't even exist anyway, doctors just like to tell us we have piles to embarrass us, Right! This happens when you are straining a lot with constipation, and a good diet and some gentle exercise can help. A good way to soothe piles and help that area to heal is to put coconut oil on every time you go to the loo, and that means all areas where you feel the pain, discomfort or itch, if you know what I mean, don't be shy! It may be advisable in some cases to get the cream from the doctor to shrink them slightly but the steroids in it can affect your immune system, so unless it is absolutely necessary...For IBS Some medical professionals have been advising people to cut out fibre, PLEASE don't cut out fibre!!! Even when you do have the diarrhoea bothering you there ARE ways to alleviate this by keeping a check on mind, body, spirit balance, making sure you have a healthy electrolyte balance, eating the right type of fibre to support your bodies natural elimination process, choosing anti inflammatory foods, cutting out inflammatory foods. All of these things assist the healing process. Both conditions respond very well to meditation and other stress reduction techniques. My doctor made sure I had a scan to check that the endometriosis was nothing more sinister.
Candida and thrush:
This can be a problem for us and this didn't happen to me until a number of years ago, it happened after I had to go on a three day course of antibiotics from my dentist, I then struggled with it off and on for the best part of a year, thereafter I worked out a better way to treat any gum problems. For thrush I used organic natural yogurt inside my vagina a few time a day and rubbed it around the vulva, labia and clitoris too, this helped to calm things down immediately. I'd leave it on for an hour then rinse and apply coconut oil, as I also did each time I went to the loo. Live organic yogurt helps to balance the PH levels and provide good bacteria in the form of probiotics, and coconut oil with it's anti bacterial and anti fungal properties also helps to soothe and heal. You can also use coconut oil as a soap substitute. Wear cotton underwear washed in a very mild washing powder or wash nuts as I use, and use eco-eaf toilet roll which doesn't contain bleach or dioxin. I also use natura care sanitary towels which are made from organic cotton and are bleach free, we REALLY don't need those irritating chemicals near our most sensitive areas. I gave up sugar as this not only feeds the candida but causes inflammation in the body. I cut right down on my fruits for a few months and other natural sugars and yeast containing foods too. For the inside - Talking a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (with the mother) in a 8 oz glass of water 2-3 times a day is also beneficial, Biona do a good organic version which is unpasteurised and has the important beneficial bacteria that help to restore the PH balance. Probiotics such as natural yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi or kefir are also a good idea for the inside. I found I got a really irritable bladder too at this time and did eventually have to go for a endoscopy to check there wasn't anything more sinister going on. Instead of the tablets they gave me to stop me urinating so much I used Biona pure organic cranberry juice diluted in water, and this settled the bladder wall down. This can be a tricky one to get rid of and working alongside a naturopath like me can help with this as there are many great ways to balance things nutritionally and natural alternatives that can eliminate this once and for all.
PTSD and anxiety:
Post traumatic stress disorder can be a very serious condition that often needs specialised care. I was able to use a lot of resources and eventually had a great source of personal support that enabled me to over come this condition. I worked diligently through the EFT personal peace procedure, every day a few times a day for a full year (there was a lot of trauma) and sought the help of an EFT mentor, a couple of times who had PTSD experience amongst other relevant healing modalities. I was on ani anxiety medication (chlopromazine) for a couple of years and it was a God send I have to say but it did give me horrific dreams for a while and also it also took me a good while to have the confidence to wean myself off of it. The natural remedies I used thereafter were rhodiola Rosea for the first few months as it helps boost cognition, relieves stress and strengthens the immune and nervous system, it is also a good boost for your energy levels. It is an adaptogen which can help support your adrenal function, and in turn help to manage your bodies response to stress. To help with the anxiety I'd also use a topical application of 100 mls of grapeseed oil with 15 drops of camomile, 15 drops of mandarin (mandarin oil is photo-toxic and shouldn't be used if you are going to be in the sun for the next 24 hours, and camomile shouldn't be used in the first trimester of pregnancy or with a history of miscarriage) 5 drops of sandalwood and 5 drops of frankincense, and apply some to my chest area when I needed it up to four times a day. Teas to help are camomile, passion flower and lemon verbena and avoiding stimulants such as alcohol, caffeine, sugar, liquorice root, too much computer or blue screens and dramatic television etc...Using mindfulness, meditation, yoga and chakra balancing works very well too. Rescue remedy flower essence is good for stress and nervousness and I also at some points took Star of Bethlehem for grief, shock and trauma. My doctor again made sure with a test that the problems I was having with my heart and blood pressure wasn't anything more sinister.
My oat aloe and Manuka honey nurture butter is great for this and so is having a colloidal oatmeal bath (basically a cup of oat flour in a warm bath). Working from the inside out is crucial too. I had to eliminate anything that had sodium laurel sulphate or sodium laureth sulphate in it such as toothpaste, bubble bath, soap, washing powder, shampoo or anything else that used this as a surfactant...as it was having a histamine affect, no rash just that horrible itchy feeling going through my muscles and capillaries and making my eyes itch like crazy (I put cucumber or cold unbleached camomile teabags on them, which is also good for dry eyes). This is one of the the reasons I chose to make my own organic 100 % natural products. When I got rid of these and many other toxic chemicals from the products, including make up etc... I got rid of that horrible itchy skin that had plagued me for nearly a year which I'd previously had to take antihistamines for. Remember around 60-70% of what you put on your skin enters your blood stream. Itchy skin can also happen when there are food allergies, hormonal changes and when you are too wired or over tired. Keeping a food diary is helpful, stress reduction techniques all help here to calm things down.
This happened to me in cycles and wasn't as a result of sleeping too much during the day, as some medical professionals had me believing for a while. Once I started listening to my own body rather than to people that made assumptions I was able to work out how to respond to my needs effectively. Sleeping a lot happened in large chunks of continued days and nights and insomnia also happened in blocks of time like that, they didn't intermingle. I believe they were as a result of adrenal dysfunction (wired and tired effect). Ways of helping your adrenal gland to heal will be in another slightly longer post. But in the meantime if you you experience periods of not getting to sleep or waking up in the night it can really affect your physical and mental health.
Don't eat after 6pm.
Have a mug of camomile tea before bed
Don't look at television screens, phones tablets for the last two hours before bed, and don't be tempted to look in the night if you wake up.
Cherries are good natural source of melatonin which is responsible for the regulation of the body's sleep wake cycle. Montmorency are the best type, if they are not in season you can buy the juice or supplements in the health food store.
Put lavender or camomile in your oil burner or a couple of drops on a hanky beside your pillow, or use the blend I have recommended for anxiety, alternatively I have room sprays in my Etsy shop.
Make or get someone to make you a sleep pillow with lavender and hops in it, and place it on your pillow...These worked really well for me and others I made them for.
Have a wind down routine before bed, epsom baths help to lower stress levels and promote a good nights sleep (just check with your GP or pharmacist before adding magnesium supplements as they can interact with certain medications). Avoid really dramatic or emotionally charged T.V or reading materials until this phase has settled.
Eat low G.I foods until things have settled (will cover this in the adrenal balancing post).
Meditate or doing EFT both help tremendously, it's so important not to get uptight and worried when you can't sleep, it will settle down.
Having a Himalayan salt lamp in the room will help as it emits negative ions that counteract the positive ones.
Try Listening to the evening theta meditation video below from the lovely Jason who owns synergy studios in Ayrshire. Jason has a beautiful way of being and sharing his gifts, knowledge and experience ~ his many meditation videos, delivery and soothing voice are just fantastic.
The Bleeding, sore and swollen gums I had my dentist and I worked out were due to immune system problems. When it was bad and to avoid infection I'd make up a saline solution with 5% dilution of Himalayan or sea salt to filtered water, then I'd swish it around my mouth twice a day, normally it helped to calm things right down within 1-2 days at the most. When I started doing the Ayurvedic practice of oil pulling my dentist was astonished by the difference in my gums, he said he had never seen anything quite like it! The swelling and bleeding went and the receding gums completely repaired themselves! Oil pulling is where you swish 1-2 tsps of coconut oil around your mouth and through your teeth for twenty minutes each morning you then rinse twice with cold water and spit in the loo, thereafter brushing your teeth. It is said to help remove toxins, bacteria, viruses and heavy metals from the body ~ no scientific evidence as far as I know ~ all I know is that it works very well indeed and it has the added bonus of whitening your teeth...So what's not to like!
*Do always see your dentist with this to make sure it is not a sign of anything else*
Headaches: Get your blood pressure checked. Most of the time my blood pressure was really quite low, but I went through a stage of it being extremely high, which needed meds for a while. Meditation and visualisation works very well. I used to imagine that there was the little healing hands of fairies inside my skull massaging all sore areas with a beautiful warming or cooling healing elixir. Again epsom salts baths help. A roller ball aroma pulse point with lavender or camomile oil rubbed on the back of your neck helps. Also make sure you are well hydrated as when your adrenal gland is over working you seem to need slightly more fluids. Peppermint tea is good for this and also for the nausea.
Vitamin D: We are being advised by some doctors in Scotland to take a Vitamin D supplements as we have such little sun. Vitamin D is crucial for the proper absorption of calcium. I take 800iu each day of the liquid form in winter and I get it in other ways from the fish, cheese, yogurt and eggs I eat, unfortunately I do not like liver at all but that is another source for those who do. I don't usually take vitamin D in the summer nowadays when I can get out in the sun every day it’s here for enough time. This is different for everyone, as it depends on how fair or dark skinned you are. I have darker skin so it takes much longer for my skin to burn that fairer skinned people, which means I can sometimes get away with up to a couple of hours or more without applying sunscreen, but this all depends on the intensity of the sun. From what I’ve read it is said you should get enough vitamin D each day for your requirements if you stay out in full sunlight, shining on most of your body for half the time it takes for your skin to turn pink before applying sunscreen. More info here ~ https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/
I take it my vitamin D with green juice which always has some sort of magnesium and fat like avocados, flaxseeds or coconut oil in it to help the fat soluble vitamins to absorb. It's good to have your vitamin D levels checked when you are house/bed bound as the sun is our main source of vitamin D. I remember finally when my cardiovascular and inflammatory disease consultant decided to check it mine were extremely low and this had probably been making my muscle weakness, bone pain, fatigue, depressive symptoms, wound healing abilities, and cardiovascular system symptoms worst. It also plays an important role in cell and thyroid function and preserving a strong nervous and immune system system. Magnesium helps your body to use vitamins and other minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium and vitamin D, and unfortunately our soils that the vegetables grow in are becoming more depleted of this valuable mineral because of the pesticides used, that's one of the reasons why I suggest the epsom salts baths, spray, and magnesium rich foods.
Fatigue of body or/and mind. Rest your mind and your body! Keep well hydrated around 8 X 8oz glasses of water or herbal tea a day. Get at least some fresh air even if it is only ten minutes by the window. Beetroot juice is good for fatigue. If you are taking meds check them, some like propranolol can make fatigue worst and to be honest they did not work for my palpitations, this is an individual choice of course. Fatigue again is a bigger topic which I'll write about soon which covers detox methods, pacing, diet, lifestyle etc...All the info I'll put up should be of some help but if you are still struggling it may be that you need extra support and to work one to one with someone, as always it is best worked through with an experienced and empathic practitioner. Choose wisely!
*Please remember although essential oils and are natural and vitamins and minerals can be helpful you can still over do it, as with anything. Everything in moderation and seeking guidance for you as an individual is always best for your own holistic wellness.*
I want to do quite a number more posts before I put this blog out more on the radar but for now if anyone is reading this and would like to share their experience, do leave a comment. There will be a follow up to this with posts about nurturing the immune, digestive, endocrine and nervous systems and also about toxins and how they can impede your progress...If you'd like me to expand on anything here but don't want to leave a comment email me at email@example.com. If you would like to make an appointment with me you know how to get hold of me.
Lots of love and wellness blessings xoxo