Ten years ago life looked very different to me as I was two years into CFS/ME and barely able to leave the house; experiencing extreme fatigue, muscle weakness, sleep problems, brain fog and anxiety. Now I have been fully recovered for 7 years, enjoying developing what feels like my life work of helping people get back to health from chronic health conditions, such as ME/CFS (Chronic Fatigue/Myalgic Encephalopathy), Fibromyalgia (FMS) and MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity). In that time I have also developed my fitness to the point of running a half marathon and last year I became a mother.
ME/ CFS, FMS and MCS are all chronic illnesses that can profoundly alter ones quality of life, including symptoms that vary from mildly bothersome to completely disabling for the individual. Yet, could it be that the illness has come to teach a lesson, to guide the sufferer back to wellness and happiness, ultimately the illness as a healer…? This is the stance I take from my personal experience and guiding countless others on the recovery journey.
Actually if we delve a little deeper we find there has so often been clear trauma in ones life prior to the illness developing and/or prolonged ongoing stressors. The trauma and/or stress is impacting the nervous system of the individual to essentially cause the illness to develop. Thus the illness is ultimately the cure, the call to address one’s life stressors and history, the call to heal. Furthermore the stress about the illness perpetuates the stress cycle in the system, and thus the ongoing symptoms, and addressing this alone for many becomes the key to finding health again.
I used many tools to help people on the journey to health. First and foremost I am a coach for the Gupta programme, www.cfsrecovery.com, and highly recommend this method for overcoming CFS/ME,FMS and MCS. This method poses the amygdala, a small part in the centre of the brain that deals with fear, as being overly sensitised and the primary cause of the symptoms, and the programme includes a wonderful at home tool kit for recovery including tools from NLP, Yoga, Meditation and Mindfulness to facilitate recovery.
I personally also highly rate EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) leading me to take my EFT training to Trainer and Advanced Practitioner status, and this method generally forms the majority of my session work time. I am also trained in NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), Hypnotherapy and Coaching , which all form part of my client work. I have a background in bodywork, and working with the body, in terms of how feelings are felt in the body, the way the body remembers and learning to be in the body, is also integral to my work.
Excerpt from a couple of recent clients to show people’s experiences of change and healing, this person had FMS: “The Gupta Amygdala retraining method and meditation have been mainstays throughout my recovery process. When it came to looking into patterns that were keeping my Amygdala in a state of high-alert, over stimulating my system, the help of Frances as a coach was invaluable. With Frances’ guidance there were many occasions on which I was able to identify patterns and their origins with remarkable precision and clarity. After these sessions it was far more straight-forward to begin to dissolve stress patterns using the Amygdala retraining accelerator technique.” From another client, “Six years ago, I became completely disabled with MCS. Finally I began AR and gradually I have regained my health. During this period I have been coached by Gupta Coach Frances Goodall by phone from the UK which has been invaluable, especially using EFT. I must also mention Els Valkenburg, who was completely healed from MCS using the Gupta Programme. After reading about Els and visiting her website, I “met” her via the internet and she has provided ongoing support and encouragement to me over the past two years. Recently I took two airplane trips, one of which allowed me to attend my father’s 90th birthday party. I am also refurnishing my home. I was redecorating when I became ill and have been living with no living room or dining room furniture all these years. As well, I have reactivated my clinical social work license (psychotherapy) and am making plans to return to my professional life. I am so grateful to Ashok, Frances, Els and my physicians at home for giving me my life back!”
My main purpose here is to promote recovery, you can recover from these conditions, and ultimately in doing so generally there is a big life shift, perhaps a new career, a change in direction and most importantly a deep change in the individual leading to a happier more fulfilled life. There are many experts out there to help this process, yet ultimately they can only facilitate your own transformation, the inner cure that results in wellbeing. A big part of that for many is learning to stop, to be still, to find the center of yourself from where you can observe with compassion. Learning to drop more and more into this state of presence can regulate your nervous system with profound shifts in physical health. Explore it now by taking a moment to take a few conscious breaths, aware of the subtleties of the in and out breath experience, and a smile at your lips.