ME Awareness week:
Gwyneth’s ME story part 2 – the route to recovery
Gwyneth Hopkins is one of a small percentage of people who has recovered from ME within 5 years. Here is part 2 of her story. Part 1 covers her experience of ME and can be read here.
Tackling the physical causes
I was lucky to have a District Nurse come to see me during my illness to give me iron injections for my anaemia (they were later taken off the market!!). She also gave me Reiki, a form of hands on healing. This helped calm me and reduce the stress and pain, also helped me to adapt to the fact that I was so ill and felt totally useless. She also advised me to have Vega testing because she thought I had food intolerances. She was right.
I tried acupuncture, which balanced my body thermostat and stopped me from feeling permanently freezing cold.
I was then lucky to hear of a very good Master Herbalist, Philip Weeks. He detoxed my colon, liver and kidneys. It involved taking all sorts of unpleasant mixtures, which made me feel worse while I was taking them because of the healing reaction. I always felt a lot better afterwards. I was treated for bacterial infection, organo-phosphate poisoning, radiation, heavy metal poisoning, viral infections, Geopathic stress and other things, mainly with herbal remedies, but also by some other really good complementary therapists.
I was advised by Philip to eat a vegan diet and drink 2 litres of filtered or bottled water daily. I’d already given up caffeine, alcohol, sugar and most processed foods. I kept to the strict diet. These treatments were ongoing and sometimes expensive, but worth every penny because they worked and the therapists were always very supportive and understanding.
I wanted to reduce the chemical overload on my body, which meant not only giving up chemicals in food where ever possible but also stopping the use of chemicals in the home. I use Eco-friendly products to replace sink and toilet cleaner, to wash clothes, wash up the dishes and floors etc. instead of ones without all the harmful chemicals in them.
It was pointed out to me that we absorb about 60% of the chemicals we rub into our skins which is even more worrying when you think that what’s in hair dyes, face creams etc. can easily be absorbed into the brain, damaging our nervous system. There are lots of good alternatives on the market today – usually found in health food shops or online. For people in good health these substances may not cause a big problem, but with ME you have little energy to support your detoxing organs like liver and kidneys, and the substances can build up like poisons in your body. Your liver is a major filter and it just gets blocked.
I have replaced perfumes with aroma therapy oils, they not only smell nice but they have therapeutic uses as well.
In December 2001 I had my amalgam fillings out by a top Harley Street Specialist because I was told it would help with my mercury overload. Within days my brain function returned to almost normal. All my concentration levels, bad memory and fuzzy heads improved dramatically within days. Removal of fillings must be done by an expert, otherwise you could swallow or inhale more mercury and become worse! It is unusual to react so quickly it was expected to take months.
Facing up to emotional stressors
I also found it was no good just treating physical symptoms, we need to treat the emotional side at the same time.
In my opinion the factors that can lead to ME include stress, caused by everyday things – pressures of work, exams, bereavement, divorce, abuse or physical injury, – can lower our immune system, which is probably already under-functioning – on top of stresses like organophosphate poisoning, vaccines and viruses. This can occur gradually over years (or a lifetime).
Once the immune system is low we also become more vulnerable to picking up viruses. Our body filters, like our liver and kidneys become weaker and less able to eliminate substances like organo-phosphates and other chemicals. Once the body is out of balance we can develop other problems like candida and a leaky gut, then we are unable to absorb the food we eat properly leaving us deficient in essential nutrients. Left untreated we just become weaker and weaker.
I found it necessary to go back over any emotional problems in my life and ‘release them’ either with the help of complementary therapies, or by talking – discussing them with a knowledgeable friend, in my case the District Nurse. This helped me release any feelings of resentment, grief, guilt or anger etc. I believe that we hold emotions at a cellular level and until we have dealt with and released them they can cause us physical problems.
If you didn’t have many emotional issues to start with, suffering from a serious illness for years often leaves you feeling grief for your past life, and guilty that it is affecting all the people you love, as they worry and care for you. You can have too much time to ponder on all the negatives!
When I got well enough to hold a book I also found reading about Inner Child work and Psychotherapy helped me to understand how we hold onto and how to release emotions. Reiki, Bach Flower Remedies and Em-Power Therapy helped a great deal with balancing and releasing emotional trauma.
There isn’t only the past trauma to deal with, there are all the stresses of living with a serious illness that still isn’t understood by, or in some cases believed by, the general public and even some doctors. That is so very hurtful!
It leaves you feeling isolated and guilty that you’re ruining the life of others around you.
To sum up
This is just a brief account of how I recovered, it was hard work and I was lucky to have had the support of my family and an excellent District Nurse. I believe that some of the methods I used could help most ME sufferers but we are all individuals and need to make our own choices.
I have learnt a lot about complementary medicine, healthy diet and lifestyle during my illness. It took me years to collect my information and I’m still searching to find ways I can help people and myself to improve good health and reach my positive potential in life.
I think you have to take responsibility for your own health. Follow your own path and do what feels right for you. Trust your intuition.
If you would like to discuss any of this with me, or find out more about my long road to recovery, call me on 01554 891551 or email email@example.com I’m happy to share my experiences or just listen to yours.
Gwyneth Hopkins, South West Wales