Friday, July 25, 2008

Hope and Healing

Fairy-Godmother’s Wand
It was December, the hospital was festive, decorated with a huge Christmas tree adorned with shiny red ornaments and elegant red velvet bows. Pots of Poinsettias decorated the counters. Outside it was snowing. I fought back my anxiety, felt my racing pulse and the lump inside my heart as I walked through the corridor toward the elevators to visit my husband who was critically ill. He had coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, and was fighting to recover from surgery for kidney cancer. The surgeon had hoped to remove the cancer from the kidney, but because of the cancer mass, had to remove the kidney. Now, my husband was on dialysis.
Wanting to do absolutely anything I could do to cheer my husband, I held my battery operated fairy-godmother’s wand in my hand. I had bought it at a costume shop for Halloween. I figured everyone could use a fairy godmother’s wand, especially one with twinkling lights. I prefer angels, but it is hard to find angels. Then, in front of me was a tall gorgeous young woman with long flowing blond hair, dressed in white clothing, resembling an angel, but without wings. As we stepped inside the elevator, I sensed her sadness and gently asked, “Do you need a fairy-godmother’s wand?” as I waved the blinking wand toward her.
Tears rolled down her cheeks as she nodded in the affirmative. As we stepped off the elevator I reached out to comfort her and listen. She had two small children and was going through a traumatic divorce. Her mother was in the hospital for kidney failure and had been waiting for a transplant for five years, this was just one of her many crisis visits to the hospital. “My mother is tired of fighting for her life. She wants to give up—go off dialysis—and die, but she just turned fifty. My father is dead—I don’t want to lose my mother. I feel so hopeless.”
I put my arms around her as she sobbed, then she wiped her tears with a tissue. “Would you like to take my fairy-godmother’s wand?” I asked. “You can return it to my husband’s room later this evening.”
Several hours later my husband was delighted and surprised to see a beautiful “angel” with long blond hair tumbling down her shoulders, all dressed in white, walk into his room. She was carrying a flashing fairy-god-mother’s wand. After greeting my husband, she asked how he was feeling. “This was wonderful,” she said, as she handed me the wand. “Mother loved the wand. She even laughed. We took turns waving it around the room and granting wishes for the nurses who were coming in and out. She granted me wishes—I waved wishes over her head, and we giggled. Mother now has hope and the will to live.”

from my book "Defeating Depression & Beating the Blues."

Friday, July 18, 2008

Healing Your Spirit

When I was ill with Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia, my life was so out of control I thought I might die and knew I could if I stopped fighting to get well and just stayed in bed. I was depressed and life seemed hopeless. I felt useless.

One day I ran into an old friend I hadn’t seen in several years. She didn’t recognize me at first. “It’s Patty,” I reminded her.
“Patty? What has happened to you? Your aura—your light is gone.”
I had worked with her when I was an enthusiastic, energetic coordinator of a women’s education resource center where I counseled and taught self-sufficiency skills. Now, I had CFIDS and was only a shell of what I once was. Prolonged stress has a way of zapping your immune system. Several hundred women went through our program and many came into the program as little ducklings, filled with fear and afraid to go into the water and face their future. I tried to instill them with hope and direction. I knew they could do it because I had been a single parent of seven children who returned to school and completed my bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

Why did I choose a web site ( on healing your spirit or soul?

I believe that your spirit, your soul, your chi-whatever you want to call it--is grieved when you are so ill. It's as if your spirit is saying, "I'm not comfortable here--I want to be in a peaceful, happy place (or body).

In Chinese culture, Chi is known as a universal l force energy. Everything in creation is made up of electromagnetic energy vibrating at different frequencies that correspond to sound, light and color. The existence of electromagnetic fields around every object in the world, known as an Aura, is a scientifically proven fact. The Chinese refer to this energy as 'Chi' (pronounced Chee), the vital life force energy of the Universe, present within every living thing. Western medical science is now beginning to take a serious look at ancient Far Eastern traditions that focus on Chi - the life force energy which flows through the pathways of all living forms - in order to maintain health and wellness, mentally, physically and emotionally.
Chi is a Chinese word meaning aliveness, life force energy or life breath - also known as Ki, Qi or Prana.
"Theories of traditional Chinese medicine assert that the body has natural patterns of qi associated with it that circulate in channels called meridians in English. Symptoms of various illnesses are often seen as the product of disrupted or unbalanced qi movement through such channels (including blockages), deficiencies or imbalances of qi, in the various organs. Traditional Chinese Medicine seeks to relieve these imbalances by adjusting the flow of qi in the body using a variety of therapeutic techniques."

I believe you can help heal the spirit.soul or chi) by filling your heart with love, forgiving, getting rid of negative emotions, expressing gratitude, using Tai Chi, and/or by connecting to a higher power. For me that means God or Jesus Christ. For others it may mean something or someone else.

While attending a convention of workshop presentations for therapists, psychologists, and marriage counselors, I watched in amazement as about 75 professionals learned the following technique.
Some displayed symptoms of being stressed, anxious, overwhelmed, or other negative emotions or feelings. All lowered their stress level tremendously by doing the following seven steps. Some overcame anxiety. Repeating this exercise over and over as needed, changes the negative neural patterns in the brain. It leads to more effective communication, lowers blood pressure, improves decision making, helps panic and obsessive compulsive tendencies, and helps in solving problems. It helps get rid of negative thought patterns and replaces them with positive feelings.
Take a short emotional vacation by using the Freeze Frame Technique explained below. Positive emotions can help you replace negative, stressful thought patterns and feelings with more positive perceptions and emotions in the moment you need them most. It is so easy to do.
When you are feeling stressed or ill, or are facing a problem, describe your feeling in one word. Examples could be ill, weak, anxious, fearful, afraid, confused, angry, frustrated, sad, disgusted, enraged, overwhelmed, lonely, victimized or depressed.
2. Now, shift your attention to the area around your heart. Imagine yourself breathing in through your heart—breathe in to the count of five, breathe out to the count of five. Continue doing this for several minutes.
3. Think of a positive feeling—the love you have for a child, spouse, or grandchild. Try to
experience that positive feeling and send that positive feeling or love out to
someone else. You may want to think of a positive experience or place where
you have felt serenity, peace or laughter. Work on recapturing that
feeling right now.
4. Go back to step number two and again breathe in through your heart to the count
of five and then breathe out to the count of five through your solar plexus while
still experiencing the positive feelings.

5. Ask yourself what would be good answer to your problem or a helpful attitude to
balance and de-stress your mind and body. If possible, write it down. Heart perceptions and intuitions are often subtle. They gently suggest effective
solutions for you and all concerned with the problem.
6. Sense any change to your original stress as noted in step number one. Write it
down and sustain the positive feeling as long as you can. Listen to answers.

7. Repeat these steps as often as needed.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Chronic Fatigue/ FMS and an alkaline diet.

An alkaline diet may be the answer for some who suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, a debilitating disease that sometimes makes you feel like you’re going to die. More than 800,000 people in the US suffer from this disease.
Candida is a major player in fatigue. When our body is alkaline, candida, fungus, yeast, mold, parasites, viruses, and bacteria do not thrive. According to Dr. Robert Young, author of The pH Miracle, microforms are the major players in chronic fatigue syndrome. If your body is acidic, it is likely you have microforms. How do you know if your body is alkaline or acidic? Dr. Robert Young, suggests you use litmus paper (you can buy it a health food store) and get an indication of where the pH of the urine is by testing the first morning urine. Take a strip of the pH paper and wet it. If the paper does not change color, that indicates a highly acidic body. Urine should be 6.8 to 7.2 (medium green), if it too much color (dark blue) that also indicates highly acidic.
As I have researched and talked to people who have overcome Chronic Fatigue with an alkaline diet, I have been amazed at some of the results.
Carol, had chronic fatigue for 16 years and tried everything. At one time she was taking 55 capsules a day. “I had a fisherman’s tackle box to organize my supplements,” she told me. Although her health had started to improve three years ago, she claims it was the alkaline diet and SuperGreens that “pushed me over the edge to good health.”
SuperGreens is a powdered green drink, but you can juice your own greens. I have a vita mixer and blend spinach, celery, kale, a small carrot, cucumber, a thin slice of ginger (natural antiseptic properties), parsley, a little red onion, favorite spices (I use Zip) and a cup of distilled water.
What are alkaline foods? Cucumbers, while not the most nutrient dense food, is one of the most alkaline foods you can eat. Include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, avacodoes, jicima, lemon, limes, grapefruit and other alkaline foods in your diet.
Foods to avoid include all dairy, meat, most processed foods, soft drinks, sugar, most sweetners (except Stevia), and white flour.
Ihave found that most people who green, alkaline foods in the morning have almost double the energy of those on the Standard American Diet, (SAD)