by Lexine Phillips
Fibromyalgia (FM) is a very painful form of arthritis and has recently been added to the list of autoimmune diseases. Most doctors believe that FM and Chronic Fatigue Immunodeficiency Disease (CFIDS) are the same disease. However, not everyone with CFIDS has FM.
When the immune system fails, a person becomes more susceptible to other illness. For example, my problems began with when I developed allergies and asthma; then bronchitis and pneumonia set in. A short while later, my liver began to fail because I contracted Hepatitis B and CMV (Cytomegalovirus) at the same time. Finally at this point, I found a doctor who correctly diagnosed me with FM. Previously, no one knew what was wrong with me. I was treated for depression and considered to be a hypochondriac—very frustrating. Unfortunately, this is what happens to most people with FM until they find the right doctor.
For the past seven years, I have used Reiki for my FM pain relief. It is an amazing tool for me. After years of pain, my body cannot handle a regular massage or any kind of deep tissue work; it makes the pain worse. Reiki is perfect because it is gentle and feels good. During each treatment, I can feel the pain moving out. Reiki also helps me to sleep better; something that is made difficult by the unceasing pain of FM. With FM, the brain can not attain Level 4 sleep which is the deep sleep that rests and heals the body; consequently, this lack of regenerative sleep results in extreme day time fatigue.
Sometimes while practicing Reiki in bed before I go to sleep, I fall asleep during the session. It is at these times that I get a really good night’s sleep and feel refreshed in the morning. I try to do this every night depending on what is going on in my body. I’m happy to say that I’m successful at least 80% of the time.
Unfortunately, I have a tendency to injure myself frequently. I have very weak ankles and balance problems. When I sprain an ankle or pull a ligament, I use Reiki to help with the swelling and pain. I believe it helps me to heal faster and it definitely helps alleviate the pain.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is also a problem for those with FM. I find that doing REIKI on the abdomen at least twice a day when it is active really helps to get and keep IBS under control.
People with FM often have Migraines. I frequently have these headaches, sometimes compounded with the added pain from he degenerative discs in my neck. As if that was not enough, these migraines are often accompanied by the problems I suffer due to TMJD (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder) a painful jaw disorder. Reiki is like a miracle worker for these issues. I apply an ice pack, do some Reiki, then rest. I continue to rotate this treatment and can rid myself of these symptoms in a morning or a day.
Seizures can be another problem for FM sufferers, especially if we fail to keep our pain under control. My doctor calls them pseudo-seizures because I do not have Epilepsy and I am awake during the seizure, otherwise, they are exactly like Epileptic seizures. Occasionally, during a pseudo-seizure, I have to go to the Emergency Room . Quite often, following an pseudo-seizure, I will have a severe asthma attack. Although I take seizure medication every day, I believe the addition of Reiki into my daily health routine has reduced the FM effects on my nervous system.
The last time I suffered a pseudo-seizure was due to a traumatic experience; my reaction to the death of an eleven-year-old girl I knew, that was February 2004. At the time, I was in a presentation with other practitioners. They immediately began giving me Reiki and successfully stopped the seizure. I rested for about a half-an-hour and was able to go out to lunch with them and eventually drive home. (Normally, after a seizure, I would not be able to drive for at least two weeks, due to a severe worsening of my vision.) I have not had a seizure since then. I really believe that Reiki is a phenomenal healing tool and people with FM and CFIDS should consider receiving Reiki training so they can at least work on themselves.
I would love to see a Reiki FM group working on each other in Boulder. It would truly be uplifting and so beneficial to everyone’s body, mind and spirit. I am hoping to be able to create this group over time.
This is an excerpt from an article in the Winter 2005 of Reiki News Magazine.