«I was always running to the toilet and always tired. It is pretty cool to see how you can improve your life this way»

Me a couple of months ago: I am signing my resignation from work because of a long-lasting sickness. I appreciate the economic support I get from the Norwegian welfare system, but time is running out.

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Woman in her 30s

Rock bottom

I am only able to eat beef, and only specific cuts and from one particular producer, cooked in a specified manner, in a section of the kitchen which is dedicated to kitchen equipment that may be used only by me to prepare my food. This meat is the only thing I eat. My food must be eaten at once after it is cooked, otherwise I get unwell. If anybody in my family wants to bake they have to go outdoors to mix the ingredients. If they want to shake cinnamon on their porridge or seasoning on their food, then I will go out. All I ever drink is water. I wash my hair and body in pure water and use absolutely  no hygiene products. I brush my teeth in water with some dissolved grains of salt.

I have health issues connected with being indoors, outdoors and in cars, and also with physical activities, sleeping, reading, using a PC etc. My social life is non-existent.

My social life is non-existent

Movement of air, whether hot or cold, results in acute sinusitis and long-term, strong headaches. This represents a challenge when staying indoors, outdoors and in cars. My vision is blurred and I see double, although the optician tells me there is nothing wrong with my eyes. My body is itchy, I am constantly running (RUNNING!) to the toilet, always tired. I can just forget about doing physical activities, reading or using a PC.

I was diagnosed with excess candida and SIBO (small intestinal bacteria overgrowth) about 10 years ago, and I’ve tested positive for most food intolerances. This took place at the Balder clinic, whereas the St. Olav hospital does not recognise these diagnoses. However, over the past couple of years, the hospital has diagnosed me with chronic inflammation of the oesophagus and the stomach. This gastritis is supposedly caused by some kind of autoimmune condition. They monitor my pancreas for chronic pancreatitis and my liver for benign tumors. Several of my blood samples are strange and inexplicable, and no supplements have been able to cure a severe vitamin deficiency. They have also located a hernia in my oesophagus.

How did I end up like this?

As far as I can remember I have always felt some sort sense of bodily restlessness. Not nervousness, anxiety or stress, but unrest.  I have had problems with my digestion ever since I was born. Shortly after I was born, I underwent an operation which may have been an ordeal but that is not the whole explanation. Several other members of my family have grown up with similar health issues, and none of them had this type of operation.

I also know that my condition deteriorated signifantly following a couple of treatments with antibiotics. I felt worse following a period in my teenage years when I worked out a lot, and I got worse after I had my babies and no longer got as much sleep as I used to. Stress at work has definitely been a factor in recent years. Other than that I do not think that there has been anything extraordinary in my life that would make me more exposed to poor health than anybody else. I had a good and safe childhood and I enjoyed school.

I’ve tried it all

I am 43 years old, and I have  tried just about every diet and alternative treatment, including the Lightening Process. I have worked a lot with breathing excercises, I have been practicing gratitude for months and also meditation on and off for the past ten years. I have always believed I would get well again some time in the future, but until this autumn I did not experience any improvements to my state of health.  

I had already spoken for a long time about what I call my physical response team. It has been quite overzealous in its duty.

I had already spoken for a long time about what I call my physical response team. It has been quite overzealous in its duty. Getting stomach cramps simply from smelling toothpaste simply made no sense. Neither did getting hot flushes and days of headaches simply from washing my hair with shampoo, or that home made zinc suncream would cause nightmares and lead to water retention all over my body. It seemed perfectly insane, but since I was already living such a rigorous life I was able to see the connections clearly. It was like my body was constantly screaming «danger!» at any innocent little thing, and I had no idea how to calm it down. 

The solution

I decided to do an online course in the autumn of 2019 after I saw an ad on Facebook. A couple of searches on Google confirmed that the course teacher, Maria, believes in the same things that I do. Her method is based on research into e.g. stress management and neuro-plasticity. To be honest, I actually I felt a little sceptical when I looked into her English webpage, as it seemed to promise the world and total healing in just a couple of days. I am forever grateful that I gave it a go anyhow.

As it turned out it did not take me long to see that Maria is actually able to apply all these theories that I had already researched. She keeps things simple and comprehensible, and has a mild, gentle, beautifully sweet and credible personality. The exercises she teaches are almost ridiculously easy and actually not new to me. The difference is probably due to the fact that somebody has taken the trouble to figure out what to focus on and how much you have to work on the various techniques. This method also highlights how to find the‘good feeling’.  Besides the fact that it evidently works, it also makes the whole thing so much more enjoyable and human, and less technical.

I started doing the excercises right away, and kept doing them more or less continuously throughout the day. After one week I tried to lick a tiny slice of apple, ever so carefully. Massive physical responses – clearly not ready quite yet.

Progress

Three weeks in, I started performing the breathing excercises in the programme several times daily. I found it had an immediate effect on my bowels. These breathing excercises also didn’t cause any side effects like the ones I had tried previously.

After four weeks, I began to experiment with eating tiny quantities of vegetables and rice, with success.

After six weeks I felt relaxed most of the time. I could eat vegetables, fish, fruit and gluten-free bread for the first time in over 13 years. I joined the family at our country cottage and went for walks in the woods in all kinds of weather. I brushed my teeth with a tiny dollop of toothpaste dissolved in water. After a few days I was able to brush my teeth using toothpaste as usual, without having to dilute it.

Having spent four days at our cottage with most of the time spent outdoors, I was able to read several pages of a book, and still see the letters clearly. The next day, I attended a birthday party, my hair freshly shampooed and conditioned. I sat in front of the heater eating hot ogs and cake together with everyone. I could never even have dreamt of doing any of this just a couple of months earlier.

Two months after enlisting on the web course, the blood samples came back from the hospital showing practically normal values, and that the tumours in my liver had shrunk. 

Two months after enlisting on the web course, the blood samples came back from the hospital showing practically normal values

What have I learnt?

First of all it has been confirmed, yet again, that a poor ability to deal with negative and positive stress factors is the root of almost all evil. I have learnt that it is ‘simple, but not easy’ to practice new habits and calm the body. What I mean is that it is uncomplicated, but requires motivation and a dedicated focus.

It is obviously not true that the road leads straight to the target without any disappointments and difficulties along the way. The state of health is complex, and when one issue has been resolved, I become aware of another one (or some old forgotten ones) that I will have to deal with. The method I use, can in principle be used for most things. When you are satisfied with your physical health, you can indulge in  other forms of self-developement, using the same techniques.  It is pretty cool to see how you can improve your life in this way.

It is pretty cool to see how you can improve your life in this way.

There are still many symptoms and issues that I will be working on going forward. It feels fantastic to know that I have found a method that works.

The tools

The method I practice is called Free to Heal. As far as I understand it is partially based on Annie Hoppers “Dynamic Neural Retraining System” (DNRS). The creator behind ‘my’ method has spent a few years to develop a simplified and improved version, based on her own experiences with chronic illness. I do not know the DNRS, so I cannot say what and how much has been changed.

I have also watched the documentary with Thomas Overvik on the webpages of Recovery Norge. From what I can see, the Lightening Process seems to be based on much the same mechanisms as the method that I have used. Maybe I was unlucky with my practitioner or perhaps I was not yet ready to understand the message at the time that I tried the LP. Anyway, I feel that the method that I am currently using is more developed and uniform overall. Another thing I’ve really appreciated is the wonderful follow-up and regular webcasts from the practitioner after the course was over. And the prices for the courses are not even comparable.


For those that want to learn more without buying a course

There are other relevant names related to the method that I’ve employed, such as Bruce Lipton and Eckart Tolle, as well as books and audiobooks on neuroplasticity. The psychologist Rick Hanson is just one example of an author that explains things in a simple way and describes practices you can easily do yourself.

A central element for me has been a breathing excercise as taught by a dutchman called ‘Iceman’ Wim Hof. I have only used a ‘kind’ version of his most basic breathing excercise.

AdultsFemaleIrritable bowel syndrome (IBS)Stress managementOther methods

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