Bless me, readers, for I have sinned: it has been 6 months since my last update. I can’t believe that. Time really does fly. I thought it was about time I brought you up to date with how I’m getting on – I know many of you like to follow my story 🙂
In my last progress update here, I was feeling well, had started taking patients on again and was planning to move back to the Midlands. All was going well. Since then, the house sale fell through, partly our choice as they were messing us around and we were finding the thought of leaving Cornwall more difficult than we anticipated. So, currently we are still in our lovely seaside house, but we are still missing out on a lot of people and things, not least our new 3 month old grandson Charlie, so are trying to find ways around it. We rented a small flat near family and friends to see how we felt. And, of course, now we love both places! Not being of Trumpian (or Borisian) riches, we simply can’t afford to have two properties so a choice is going to have to be made soon, eek!
Health and stress resilience…
Health-wise, I was going great guns. Food was coming back in, I felt better than I had for years and the migraines and mouth pain were waning. SO happy about that. But then a dear friend of mine died and I learned how my stress resilience still wasn’t high enough. The day after the funeral, my jaw pain flared excruciatingly, I lost all my new foods again and felt rubbish for weeks. That was in May.
After I had stopped feeling frustrated and sorry for myself (and controlled the pain), I re-doubled my resilience-building efforts. I decided that my vagal tone needed help. The vagus nerve is one of the 12 cranial nerves, a humdinger that enervates many of our organs and helps control the fight or flight system in our bodies. If a person is so reactive to stress, it is a fair bet their vagal nerve is not optimally functioning. More on this soon for you.
Anyway, I treated myself to an Inner Balance device from Heartmath to measure my heart rate variability (HRV) – a good indicator of resilience – and followed the exercises daily to improve my score – which was lower than it should be, as expected. I also spoke to a colleague (Anne on the clinical team) who recommended a Sensate. This is a new device that uses sound to activate the vagus nerve. For years, clinicians have used electrical stimulus to activate it but I didn’t fancy that! You stick the Sensate device on your breastbone – where the vagus nerve travels – and it vibrates away in a specific sequence, and you listen to special music using an app on your phone.
Of course, being of scientific mind, I wanted to know if they were making any difference! So I measured my HRV before and after using both devices. I find both work, but I like using the Sensate and then the Heartmath straight after in a 15 minute session. Whenever I have used the Sensate, I find my HRV starts off much higher than if I don’t – in the 90s usually. That is a good sign for me that it is doing me good. I then use the Heartmath breathing exercises to keep my HRV up and train my breathing, which has always been far too shallow. The idea is that, eventually, the body will stay at a good HRV level and the vagus nerve tone will improve enough that I don’t go back down so far again with stressors. Think of it a bit like doing repetitive bicep curls with weights – you are building strength all the time.
I have also bought a Rezzimax, which uses a similar harmonics approach to the Sensate but a different mechanism. That has been used successfully to help migraine and TMJ (jaw problems) like mine. To be honest, after the last lot of pain, I’d have done anything to stop it happening again so I had one shipped over from the US! I have only used that once and started with the normal protocol. As per, that turned out to be too strong for me and set off a jaw flare – to be fair, it hadn’t quite come down enough so I think I irritated it again. The inventor is a kind man who is guiding me specifically so I have high hopes for that. Anyway, he’s given me a new protocol to try but I’ve not started that yet.
Of course, I am also keeping up with some of the mechanisms in the Healing Plan as before – I try to do meditation every other day and a ‘device’ session, plus I am doing the brain retraining constantly to tell my body it is safe again.
The results? In the past couple of weeks, I feel I have started to get back to the pre-funeral health state, which feels wonderful. I’ve got foods going back in again, I’ve only had one mini-migraine in almost 3 months (hallelujah!) and I’ve had one day of hayfever so far this Summer – which is unheard of! My mouth is not happy – I think it is worse since I had to change my reverse osmosis water filter and can’t find one that doesn’t give me some small amount of inflammation/reaction there. I’m hoping as I continue with my healing work, it will calm down more. At the moment, it does worry me; whenever the gums are swollen, it is pushing my teeth and some of them are feeling quite loose, aargh! I plan next on making myself an essential oil rub/mouthwash to help infection and inflammation there again.
Business-wise, the clinic is going well. I am enjoying the patient work immensely again, although it does mean I don’t quite have enough time as I’d like to blog, write and research. I think I have got the support offering right now – a mix between quick support calls, initial consultations, progress and protocol reviews, plus complex case reviews for those really difficult cases that are not resolving and need more research time.
Over the past three months, I have completed a practitioner-level NeuroInflammation/Brain course and one on Oral Tolerance with Datis Kharrazian, both of which were fascinating. I picked up loads of new information, not least new mechanisms I haven’t explored for those of us with multiple sensitivity. I hadn’t considered the role of brain inflammatory mechanisms in that, but I certainly will now! I also learned how to recognise people with brain inflammation (cognitive and memory loss, poor brain endurance and anxiety etc) and glial priming (triggered by head injury, psychological trauma, strokes etc causing unresolving depression, body/mind shut down (where you just have to keep stimuli to a minimum), loss of brain function etc). I shall be writing a new page in the A-Z shortly for you. It has taken me a lot of work to sort out a practical approach and Christine and I are still in the process of trying to find TGF safe supplements for those of us who need grain and dairy free versions.
So, that’s where I am! I hope that was interesting for you. It helps me to write it down and be able to look back at the record of what’s been going on. It always amazes me how much I get done/go through in 6 months!
How about you? How are you doing? Do share so it’s not just me baring my soul as per 😉