How To Take Control Of Your Migraines With Deep Belly Breathing

Did you know that breathing is the new Botox in the migraine world? Yes, it’s true.

Something as simple as a bodily function has the power to mitigate depression, anxiety and stress, all of which are commonly a result of suffering with chronic migraines and in turn only make suffering with migraines so much worse.

Meditation using diaphragmatic breathing has also been shown to even improve cell health, balance hormones levels and even reduce blood pressure and it’s something that we all have the power to access, we just have to learn how.

 

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How Can This Help My Migraines Then?

In order to explain to you how this can help you, I need to delve into the science behind it first but trust me it’s actually super interesting. So here we go.

Our nervous system is broken down into several different parts but what we are going to focus on today is two areas:

  1. The Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS)
  2. The Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS)

The sympathetic nervous system is connected with our ‘flight or fight’ response which I am sure you have heard of before. This was initially installed in us to protect us from that lion that was trying to eat us millions of years ago. However, our body is also designed to ‘rest and digest’, activating our parasympathetic nervous system after the threat has disappeared and the lion is no longer present.

Unfortunately nowadays, relaxation doesn’t happen anymore and we are all running around in panic mode and chronically stressed, either waiting for that lion (or in our case that migraine) that’s lurking around the corner. Now I know from personal experience, when my migraines were at their worst I spent all of my time in the SNS, ‘fight or flight’ mode’, on edge, living in constant fear of another attack.

However when I started to meditate and just breathe through my migraines and the pain, the miraculous used to happen. They would calm, my pain would begin to lessen and without question the duration of the migraine would reduce and until this day I never really knew the reason why this happened, but now I do. I was switching my body from ‘flight or fight’ to my ‘rest and digest’ system without even knowing it. God I wish someone had told me how powerful meditation using deep belly breathing was when I was super sick but hey, now I’m telling you so that’s all that matters.

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So Why Is Being In The ‘Rest and Digest’ System So Important?

Without returning to the ‘rest and digest’ system, with the extended release of stress hormones in your body it lowers your immunity, makes you more susceptible to illness (more migraines) and means that your body is never able to heal, restore and repair. Deep belly breathing can also reduce tension in the neck and the shoulders which again, I am sure most people can relate to when suffering from a migraine.

How Do I Practice This Then? 

Right, so find a comfortable, quiet space where you will not be disturbed, ideally sitting upright on a chair or a bed. My top tip is do not lie down otherwise there is a very high chance you will fall asleep. Happens to me every time!

Place your hands on your belly, thumbs touching on the navel and connecting your index fingers together so that you are making a heart shape with your hands.

On the inhale your belly will expand as you fill your diaphragm with air which will push your hands outwards and away from your body. Try to do this slowly and to the count of five in your head, hold for a second at the top and then exhale contracting your diaphragm and releasing the air out through the mouth and the hands should fall back towards your body again.

Simple, right? 

Personally I find doing this whilst listening to some calming music such as the sound of waves washing up onto the shore makes this even more powerful.

Now check you out! You’re now a qualified mindfulness and meditation guru!

I honestly don’t believe I would be here today, over 4 months migraine free without learning to breathe and by finding some calm in my pain. This was a game changer for me and I know it can be for you too.

#DeepBreathing #Mindfulness #Health #Meditation #Healing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five Positive Ways In Which My Chronic Illness Changed Me For The Better

 

This week has been a funny old week, and for some reason I have spent a lot of time reflecting on the past few years of my life. Looking back, I could never make sense of what happened to me. How illness ripped me of my dream job, my life and my world as I knew it. That is until now. The past few years have taught me so very much about myself, who I am as a person, how to look after my body, what balance looks like and how strong I can be when needed. As I now plan to launch Hope Health Coaching services in the future specialising in migraines and headaches, it has dawned on me that my experience over the past few years was meant to lead up to this moment. All the books I read, workshops I partook, treatments I tried, specialists I visited, diets I experimented with, were all leading me to this point. It’s almost as if the last few years of my life have been like a big jigsaw puzzle with all the pieces scattered chaotically everywhere, never fitting together or making sense. And now finally, one by one, the pieces are slotting back in to place and I can now stand back and see the bigger picture.

Upon reflection, I realised that I have learnt so very much along my journey and I wanted to share with you the positive lessons I have gained after suffering with a chronic illness. I believe it actually changes you as a person, your outlook on life and makes your future richer in so many ways and these are the reasons why.

  1. Gratitude

Before my illness I would have said I was a grateful person. I would always make sure I always said thank you and was appreciative of others kindness. However it was only when I got sick that I discovered what gratitude actually is! Gratitude is being grateful for everything you have in your life, no matter how small you think it may be. It’s about being content with what you already have. This change happened for me after reading the book “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne. It was the cornerstone in my recovery and when my life slowly started to turn around. As hard as it was, I learnt the art of gratitude during my darkest days. I began with something as small as “thank you for the cold water I have to drink” and I worked up from there. As my recovery has continued, these things became bigger things and nowadays I find myself saying thank you in my mind for all kinds of things as I go about my daily routine. A coffee with a friend, the birds chirping in our garden, the beautiful fresh fruit available in the supermarket, a FaceTime chat with my Mum or simply just being able to go for a walk in the beautiful fresh air. This valuable lesson I believe has made me a kinder, more thoughtful, more positive and more content person and for the rest of my life I am going to try my best to incorporate gratitude into my future. It’s a beautiful way to live.

2. Living In The Present

Now raise your hand if you are a worrier? Hands up, come on! I admit it, I used to be an absolute nightmare. I could worry about pretty much anything. “Will I be able to swap my flights around next month?” or even something stupid like “What if my hairdresser doesn’t do my hair how I like it!” Really? I spent so much time worrying about the future I don’t think I ever really enjoyed the now. However through studying mindfulness and meditation I have learnt a whole new meaning to living in the present. Now I try to take each day as it comes and especially in regards to migraines, as the more I worry and stress about getting a migraine in the future the more likely it is that I probably will! I’ve learnt you can do many things to bring yourself back in to the present but my favourite is simply closing my eyes and taking five deep breaths, just listening to the inhale and exhale taking place in my body. Works like a charm.

3. The Power Of Friends and Family

Before this illness I had no idea just how lucky I was to have such incredible family and friends. My support network stuck to me like glue and were there for me every step of the way. My Mum was an absolute saint accompanying me to appointments, driving me to different clinics and simply sitting by my bedside when she knew I was in pain. I honestly don’t know how I would have got through it all without the incredible support of my amazing husband (who really is one in a billion), parents, step parents and friends. It’s true what they say though, hard times really do reveal who your true friends are. Moving into the future, I now have a whole new level of gratitude and appreciation for the people I love in my life. It has also taught me that I don’t need negative energy and negative people around me and now I only give my time to the people who love me and appreciate me for who I am.

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This is me and my incredibly supportive husband!  

 

4. The Law Of Attraction 

So before my illness I had never ever heard of the Law of Attraction. To be fair, why would I? It was only as I delved deeper and discovered a spiritual side of myself that the law became apparent to me. If you don’t know what the LOA is then is basically you get back what you give out. So for me the more I focused on my pain and what I didn’t have, the more of it I got, but as soon as I tried to turn my attention on positive things it was reflected back to me and therefore my health slowly began to improve. Hard I know when you are feeling depressed by constant pain but I suggest doing some research into to it and giving it a try. It hugely helped me change my outlook on the way I thought about my illness and also my outlook on life now in general.

5. Nothing In Life Is A Given 

Do you remember when you were a teenager and you felt invincible! Like nothing in life could go wrong. You never thought about your safety or your health, not for one moment. And I can be the first to admit that I thought that you only tend to get seriously sick when you got old. I’m ashamed to admit it but it’s the truth. Boy did I have a reality check! Nowadays my view is totally different. I have learnt that self-care is a must and no one is invincible. Symptoms are only the result of an underlying issue that we need to address. In my case I kept pushing and pushing my body until it couldn’t take anymore and my symptoms just got worse and worse. My attitude nowadays is one of who knows what will happen? Not meaning this in a negative way and expecting the worst, but more in terms of just enjoy today as our health or life as we know it could change in an instant. We never know what’s around the corner and we certainly are not invincible, no matter what age we are. So really, what I’m trying to say is live for today!

So there we have it. Some pretty amazing lessons and ones I would never had learnt if it hadn’t been for my illness. Sure, I went to hell and back and it was not an experience I would EVER like to repeat but it happened and it really has changed me as a person. And do you know what? I think I like this person even better than the old Christie Jane. This new Christie Jane is more caring, more positive, more thoughtful and without a doubt more grateful for all in my life. You can’t change the past but you can learn and change your future…

#Gratitude #ChronicIllness #Healing #MyJourney #Reflection #Health

The Inside Scoop On Dr Joe Dispenza’s Progressive Workshop

My god, where on earth do I start? I have to be honest, I’ve almost been dreading writing this blog which is not like me at all. I have felt such pressure to do Dr Joe justice in explaining the content of his work and how incredibly inspiring his workshop was, it’s so hard to put the experience into words, which isn’t exactly helpful when trying to write a blog!

Anyway, before I talk about the workshop I need to give you a little bit of background information regarding Dr Joe and my history with his meditations.

So in very, very, very, very basic terms, by combining the latest neuroscience and quantum physics, Dr Joe Dispenza teaches you how you can rewire your brain and re-condition your body to heal from illness and live a more fulfilled and happy life through the power of daily meditations. If you want to know more I suggest you purchase a copy of his latest book “You Are The Placebo” as it is impossible to even touch the surface on the incredible work he does. Trust me, you will not be disappointed!

So re-winding slightly, me and Dr Joe used to be friends, no, in actual fact when we first met we were the BEST of friends and totally inseparable (metaphorically speaking of course!). He used to come with me everywhere and I would listen to his hour long meditations sometimes up to two or even three times a day when I was at my worst. The more I saw results the more I took the time out every day to create a new migraine free future for myself.

Dr Joe gave me oodles of confidence and my health hugely improved, so much so that he made me believe I could do absolutely ANYTHING! So I decided to take his word for it and travel to the other side of the world to celebrate my 30th birthday with the girls in the City that never sleeps. Yep, you guessed it… Las Vegas! To make a long story short my trip was a total and utter disaster and I remained bound to our hotel room for the entire time as I bounced from a migraine, to tension headache, and back to a migraine again. From that point onwards me and Dr Joe had a falling out, quite a big one in fact, and we stopped talking for a while. So that’s why I took a break from his meditations as unfortunately I lost my belief in the process.

Looking back now I think I might have been just a tad over ambitious in going half way around the world to the 40 degree heat, with a twelve-hour time difference with nights of drinking and partying planned. I know, I know, one step at a time right. #Lessonlearnt! So my aim for the workshop was to rediscover my belief in Dr Joe and his work, and to leave at the end of the two days filled with the passion and enthusiasm that I had when I originally started his meditations.

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So the event was held over two days in London. Well actually it was two and a half days fit into two days so lets just say we started early and finished late on both days. As we arrived at the hotel I felt this wash of excitement sweep over my body in anticipation for what was about to come. My Mum and I found ourselves some seats, made a few new friends and took a couple of moments to soak up the electric atmosphere that filled the room. There was something very special about being surrounded by 700 like-minded, positive, open, spiritual people who had either healed themselves through meditation or believed that healing WAS possible. I really felt this lovely sense of belonging there.

Throughout the workshop we covered everything I had previously learnt through reading his books and watching his YouTube videos but in a hell of a lot more detail. And I mean A LOT more detail. If you hadn’t done your homework then you would have been left behind in a flash wondering what on earth he was going on about.

Dr Joe delved deeper in to the science behind the meditative states such as alpha, beta and theta and explained in detail the brain scan results of students that had participated in his workshops and how their daily meditations had literally changed their brains and consequently their lives. He talked so passionately about how the thoughts you think produce the same pharmacy of chemicals, which then produce the same feelings which then signal the same genes to create over and over. So in order to change our future we need to think greater than we feel. Does that make sense? You have to get beyond your body and go to no place, in no time, in nowhere, where you are nothing so that you can start over from scratch and create the new you that you dream of. If I’m now talking absolute gibberish then you will have to read his book as it will make a lot more sense. I’ve always struggled with this area previously but the workshop hugely help me to understand it on a much deeper level.

We also partook in numerous meditations which normally lasted around an hour. These ranged from teaching us how to bless our energy centres to how to change the beliefs and perceptions that no longer serve us. He even demonstrated to us how to bring your mind up and out of the body which is an experience I will never forget.

His warm friendly character shone throughout and in-between all the science talk he managed to include references to his family and children that he was obviously so proud of. He came across as such a genuinely lovely guy, as well as being an absolute frickin’ genius! To keep our energy up throughout the day we would return from breaks to see Dr Joe and his assistant onstage dancing to an array of feel good songs. Being in the middle of 700 hundred dancing souls lost in the music was a feeling I shall never forget.

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At the end of the weekend I can honestly say I left feeling truly inspired by Dr Joe himself, his work and most of all his passion to help others heal from illness and create the life they dream of. I couldn’t wait to get home and start my meditations again as I knew there would be no stopping me this time. Thank you Dr Joe for giving me hope when I thought all was lost and for continuing to do the incredible work you do.

One day it will be me standing up at workshop explaining how I no longer suffer from migraines and they are just a thing of the past.

#DrJoeDispenza #ProgressiveWorkshop #Healing #Mind #Body #Meditation

 

 

A Positively Colourful Two Weeks!

Now let’s see, where did I leave off from my last blog? Ah yes, I was taking everything back to basics after becoming completely confused as what to do for the best anymore. Enough was enough, it was time to take what I had learnt over the past few years and use what had worked and disregard what hadn’t. I needed to stop getting consumed by sudden “miracle cures” and follow what I knew worked deep down. And funnily enough, after all this searching it tended to be the simple things in life.

As I began my week I sought out my trusty gratitude journal and set out to make an entry every morning to start my day off with a grateful heart. In the end, after having a few busy days I would just say it out loud in my head when going about my morning routine. I realised I had recently spent so much time looking over the fence at what I didn’t have in my life, that I had totally forgotten just how many beautiful blessings I do have. Ok, it may not be perfect right now but really, whose life is? Sometimes I think Facebook has a lot to answer for as we all parade our lives only at their best and never at their worst. You very rarely hear about how you are distraught from your latest argument with your boyfriend that you don’t trust or how you hate your job and will each day to be over. Don’t worry, I’m guilty of this too, but for that reason I’ve tried to cut down on my Facebook time these past two weeks to try to become more grounded with reality.

I finally managed to get back to some gentle yoga classes that did me the world of good. My body needed to stretch and feel alive again whilst my mind really appreciated the hour of calm and serenity I experienced. Unfortunately I think some of the classes led me to visit my trusty friend the Chiropractor due to some muscle tension I was experiencing, but the doctor explained that initially I will experience some pain when I exercise again as my neck muscles are so weak. However she did give me some exercises I could do to work on this.

I also managed to get back to doing some volunteering work for the charity Feline Friends. They host monthly adoption days in which we try and find our furry friends a forever home. It felt so good to socialise with the other crazy cat ladies after missing out on the last few adoption days. In addition to this, (to my husbands delight), I volunteered to be an emergency fosterer to a kitty that had been picked up off the streets and desperately needed a temporary home. Now how could you say no to this face?

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Well exactly, I couldn’t, so little Maria made herself at home in our spare bedroom. After all, they do say that cats are therapeutic. So in effect it’s a form of healing I would say. Well that’s what I told my husband anyway!

After being angry at Dr Joe Dispenza for not delivering me the perfect America trip, let’s just say we weren’t on speaking terms. I know this is silly as it was a HUGE ask, but Dr Joe had made me believe that anything was possible. Ok, it didn’t go so well but before my holiday his meditations had really given me such a boost in confidence, so much so that I started to believe that my life could be pain free again, and it was actually happening. After reflecting on this, I decided to start doing his meditations again and I am pleased to say they have really helped. Suddenly I am beginning to feel like I hold the power again to my recovery, which has felt wonderful.

The biggest change I’ve made was to my diet. Here is an example of what I have been eating;

Wake up – No more tea for me and instead a lovely glass of either cucumber or celery juice!

Breakfast – A smoothie normally consisting of a banana, apple, almonds, chia seeds, spinach and water.

Morning snack – Homemade banana and walnut bread, an apple with some almond butter or an egg.

Lunch – A large salad full of spinach, cucumber, tomatoes, beetroot, seeds and quinoa, nuts along with a variations of pomegranates, mango, apricots or apple.

Afternoon snack – Another fruit and spinach smoothie or some homemade quinoa and chia seed bread.

Dinner – On the days my husband is away I’ll eat completely vegan and when he returns we vary from meals with meat and fish. He has also enjoyed a couple of my Vegan dinners, which is surprising, considering he is South African!

After dinner snack – If I’m still hungry I’ll have some yogurt with some more nut butter or raw honey.

I have to say eating mostly Vegan has been a lot easier than I thought. However I presumed that by eating no wheat, no grains, no carbs and a small amount of dairy that the pounds would of drop off me, but no, quite the opposite in fact. I don’t own scales but my jeans definitely don’t lie, that’s for sure! It puzzled me for a while as to why but I suddenly realised that I was eating alot of nuts. And I mean ALOT of nuts. I then read somewhere that you should only consume five almonds in one day! Ops, well considering most days my husband has found me with my head in the fridge eating almond butter out of the jar I think I might have found the culprit. Let alone also having nuts in my smoothies, snacks and sprinkled on lunch. Ok I admit it! “My name is Christie and I have an addiction to almond butter!” Now its time to step away from the nuts for a while I think.

Ok, so i’ve put on a few pounds which of course never makes a girl feel good about herself but the funny thing is, that for the first time in a long time i’ve had two weeks majority headache and migraine free! So whats better? A few extra pounds with this new  diet and no pain? Or being a size 10 but still suffering? For now i’m just happy that I’m feeling good and thats the most important thing. I’d love to get back to the skinny old me “pre illness  e” that would fit three body attack classes in a week and had real defined abs that I could see. But that’s not me anymore and it also doesn’t represent the journey I have been through. You know how when mothers give birth and their scars represent the bravery, courage and pain they have endured to bring a beautiful life in to the world? Well I look at it the same in a funny sort of way. All that I am now is because of what I have been through and I should be proud of that instead of being embarrassed by the fact my bikini body isn’t exactly perfect.

Another exciting aspect to the two weeks has been that I started my life coaching course which has been great. It’s given me a new focus thats something other than my head and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed studying and learning something completely new. It’s going so well that I even got an A on my first assignment!

So I can say right now i’m in a good place being grateful for all that I have in my life, grateful for my body getting me to this point in my journey and grateful for every healthy day I am blessed with. Life is suddenly starting to look so very beautiful again…

#Health #Nutrition #Simplethings #Meditation #Yoga #Voluntering #Vegan #BodyProud

Dubai to Las Vegas! What the hell was I thinking?

So after the fantastic results I had experienced from Dr Joe Dispenza’s meditations, I found that my confidence was at an all time high and I felt as if I was able to conquer what ever challenge may arise. It’s no wonder really, as after experiencing very few migraines (and the one’s I did have were so incredibly mild), I finally began to feel like I was the one in control again, and I was no longer the puppet in this never-ending game.

That said, me and the girls I went to college with who I have remained friends with after all these years, had been planning a trip to Las Vegas to celebrate all of our 30th birthdays together. For a long time during the lead up I didn’t think it would be possible for me to attend, but since starting Dr Joe’s meditations I had this new-found confidence that assured me that I could do this. I felt empowered and like I could conquer absolutely anything I set my mind to so as long as I kept my meditations up and I didn’t lose focus. From then on most of my meditations were concentrated around picturing myself with the girls in Vegas enjoying every single second like a “normal” person would. I saw us out in packed clubs dancing the night away to Calvin Harris, in uncontrollable fits of laughter as we usually are and sunning ourselves with a cocktail in hand at various pool parties. Oh unfortunately how wrong I would be…

My journey started in Dubai in what would be one hell of a journey. It didn’t really hit me until I gazed at my onboard screen that I was literally flying half way around the world! With 15 hours 20 minutes minuets as the flight time, I settled into my seat and took the journey in my stride. After three-hour long meditations, several naps and way too much aeroplane food later, I arrived in Los Angeles completely headache free! I couldn’t believe it! Feeling proud of myself and full of confidence for the week ahead I waited in the hustle and bustle of the busy LAX airport for my lovely friend Sarah to pick me up.

Considering there was an eleven hour time difference I actually managed to get a full nights sleep on the first night which I believed would greatly set me up for the day ahead. As we headed into LA and cruised around viewing the sights, I started to feel that ominous feeling come over me, that feeling that I truly dread. Yes, it was my worst fear coming to fruition. A migraine! That evening as I lay tucked up in bed, the tears uncontrollably ran down my face as all I could feel was disappointment throughout my body. With Vegas just three days away it suddenly dawned on me that maybe this wouldn’t be the trip I had played out in my meditations over and over again.

For the next few days I’ll be honest, I really struggled. I don’t know if it’s just me or if other migraineurs can relate to this, but when I am in an attack I feel I just want to be at home in my safe cocoon of a house with all the comforting essentials necessary to see me through the pain. I didn’t deal with the situation very well and I feel I put my family and husband through a lot of stress worrying about me. I am really going to try in future to deal with situations better on my own as it’s not fair on them. However my friends were there to look after me and nothing was too much trouble for them. It’s times like that you really know who your true friends are.

So the day had arrived. Las Vegas here we come! Feeling as if I was now in the post migraine stage I felt positive as we left for the airport. At just an hours flight down the road surely this was going to be pretty straight forward and headache free? However by the time we arrived and had battled the TSA cue’s and I had navigated finding my friend after arriving in different terminals, we finally arrived (in what weirdly felt like a long day) at the beautiful Palazzo hotel in the heart of the strip. The energy and buzz felt exactly how I remembered it from all those years ago of endless trips here from my flying days as cabin crew for Virgin Atlantic. What amazing memories I had made over the years! As the evening approached and we sat on our beds gossiping and catching up, it started to dawn on me that there was no way I would be able to go out tonight with the girls. The pain started to worsen and the pulsing in my head just reaffirmed to myself that it was going to be a night in for one! Disappointed of course, I donned my PJs’ as I heard the girls discussing their outfit choices and shoe options as I tried to drift off to sleep, whilst feeling as though I had failed once again.

The next morning to my dismay, the pain was still there. Not sure whether this was the normal post migraine neck and shoulder tension, I set off to try to find a cheap massage somewhere nearby. With the temperature outside at 45 degree’s, the smoky packed casino’s surrounding me and what felt like a mile walk to remotely get some kind of food that wouldn’t cause me another migraine, I started to panic that maybe Las Vegas wasn’t the right place for me. I had come to realise, only through taking this trip on that there are certain things I still need to maintain my health. For example, the ability to cook my migraine free food and avoid takeaways, a full eight hours of sleep a night, time to meditate and a space to myself so I can take time-out when I need it. Suddenly with the pain worsening and feeling so far away from home, I wondered what the hell I had been thinking? I guess if I hadn’t tried it I would have always been wondering “what if”? I have learnt over the past few years that sometimes you need to take a leap in to the unknown and step outside of your comfort zone, but unfortunately this was a few steps too far.

After the weekend in Vegas my confidence was at it lowest possible. I felt I had completely failed and the trip that I played over in my mind couldn’t have been further away from reality I endured. I even found myself feeling angry at Dr Joe as I felt he installed this unwavering belief in me that anything was possible, but in reality it wasn’t. I felt like he had lied to me. From then on I really struggled to do my meditations and even now I am finding hard to connect in them. I am hoping I will get this back overtime when I start to see some improvement in my health again. As other migraineurs will understand, after a bad period it takes time to build your confidence up again and that’s exactly how I feel now. Will I be able to get back to the great place I was in before I left? I’m honestly not sure right now, but I hope so. I am trying each day to get there but I am still suffering so it’s hard to stay positive sometimes.

Despite this, I did my best to enjoy the moments that I could and simply laugh with the girls. On the last night we had a birthday party in our room and decorated the place with streamers and balloons. As I helped the girls get ready for the night ahead I found myself smiling to myself and thinking just how lucky I am to have such incredibly supportive friends and family that love me no matter what. Headache or no headache! They love me for me.

 

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It’s in tough times that you learn who your true friends are!

Love you all Britter’s and happy 30th birthday to us! We missed you Ione, Danielle and Lauren. Here’s to another 10 years of friendship together!

#MyJourney #Travel #Migraine #LasVegas #UpsAndDowns #Friends #LosAngeles

My incredible results after 8 weeks of Dr Joe Dispenza’s meditations

I cannot believe it’s been eight weeks already since I read “You are the Placebo” and began Dr Joe’s daily healing meditations. Previously when I have tried new therapies my enthusiasm has tended to dwindle over time and I’ve lost interest when I haven’t seen results, but this time it has been completely different! No word of a lie, I have stuck to it religiously and I’m actually really proud of myself for that. There was only one day in the eight weeks in which I couldn’t fit in two meditations as recommended by the book. Apart from that I always managed to do both meditations daily and sometimes I have even fitted in a sneaky third! It didn’t matter whether I was on a plane, a train, at home, or away, I always made sure I plugged my headphones in, donned my eye mask and committed myself to Dr Joe’s meditations.

I have witnessed some amazing changes in myself over the past eight weeks so I thought it would be beneficial if I were to summarise these for you!

  1. Dramatically less Chiropractor visits

During the month of March I visited the chiropractor five times due to the tightening up of my neck and shoulder muscles, which is the usual result of a migraine. In April I began Dr Joe’s meditations and since then I have had only one visit to the chiropractor per month! Just one! I couldn’t believe it myself. I knew that it had become a belief of mine that I MUST see a Chiropractor after every migraine as otherwise my neck and shoulder muscles would remain tight and result in a daily headache. However by using my meditations I have started to challenge this belief and visualize myself post migraine without needing this treatment and recovering fully, completely chiropractor free! You could say that this therapy had become my kind of comfort blanket and a quick fix to my problem, but this has proved to me that maybe this had become a habit, which ultimately had evolved in to a belief! So seeing the Chiropractor once a month is totally acceptable in my mind as “normal people” still get aches and pains don’t they? The second reason why my visits have decreased is due to the fact the intensity of my migraines have weakened, resulting in less neck and shoulder pain, hence far fewer visits to the Chiropractor.

2. Reduced Anxiety

Most people who suffer with migraines will agree that anxiety plays a huge part in your day-to-day life. It’s easy enough to say “try not to worry about a migraine coming on” but that’s easier said than done. On reflection anxiety and negative self talk is really just you worrying and imagining the worst case scenario coming true, but what I have found is by doing my meditations I am programming my brain only to see the best case scenario. Which in turn, has hugely reduced my daily anxiety and has given me more confidence in myself, which leads me on to my next point very nicely.

3. A new-found confidence

As Dr Joe suggests, do your first meditation soon after you wake, that way you have a strong foundation for the day ahead. I have found by doing this it fills me with confidence to tackle whatever the day should present to me. Sometimes in my meditations I picture myself several years in the future, but most of the time my morning meditation tends to focus on the challenges I may face in the upcoming day or week ahead. By playing the situation I consider challenging over in my meditation and by tackling it in my visualization with ease, this then fills me with a sense of confidence that I’ve never felt before. Previously my day may began with anxiety and apprehension, however now my morning meditation sets me up with a sense of optimism and positivity.

     4. Migraine intensity weakened

Over the past two years as my recovery has progressed, I have noticed the overall intensity of my migraines slowly decreasing. During my darkest days the pain was unbearable, but over time this has started to lessen. An average migraine intensity before starting Dr Joe’s meditations would have been maybe a 5/10 on the pain scale, and the migraine would last usually 3-4 days. However since beginning my meditations in April, I can honestly say my pain could only be possibly classed as just a 2/10! No word of a lie! This is incredible for me and is probably the biggest change I have noticed in the last eight weeks. So much so that the migraines I have had have lasted just 1-2 days. Hard to believe I know! I have come to the conclusion that by doing my meditations and by picturing and feeling myself in the future completely migraine free, this helps the relaxations response in my body which aids the heeling process. Also before discovering Dr Joe’s meditations I realised that the more I meditate during a migraine the quicker it disappears. So I usually up Dr Joe’s meditations to three times daily during a migraine (equivalent to nearly three hours of meditation), which surely has such a positive effect on my body.

5. A NO medication migraine!

At the beginning of this journey if you had told me that in eight weeks time you will be able to get through a migraine with absolutely no pain killers, no Triptans and no use of Cefaly, I wouldn’t have believed you. But it actually happened! As the migraine came on I did my usual routine of meditating and remaining as calm and relaxed as possible. As the day passed it dawned on me that I hadn’t needed my usual remedies! Bed time approached and my mind started to race and I started to question whether or not I should just take a Triptan, as that’s what I am used to doing, but I decided not. I had never experienced a migraine as mild as this before, so for some reason I decided to trust myself and my body and see what would happen if I were not to take anything. The very next day the feeling slowly subsided! I honestly couldn’t believe it! Now if that’s all the power the migraine’s have behind them anymore then I am definitely winning this fight!

So to anyone out there struggling with some sort of illness, disease or pain that you have been told is “incurable” or “you just have to live with”, I ask you to open your mind to another form of medicine and purchase a copy of Dr Joe Dispenza’s book “You are the Placebo”. Don’t get me wrong, you have to make the time to do the meditations and commit to it, but the rewards I have seen have been worth every single second of the time I have devoted! Thank you Dr Joe for the incredible changes I have witnessed over the last eight weeks!

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#Healing #Meditation #DrJoeDispenza #Change #SelfHealing #Mindset #MyJourney

“Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me!”

After writing my latest blog “Is a belief only true because you believe it so”? I had a wave of negative comments stating that “migraine is a neurological disease” and it simply cannot be cured or wished away. I am so used to hearing this now, but I’m sorry, I’m not going to accept this because I am living proof that there IS another way! Dr Joe Dispenza has hundreds of testimonials of people who have healed themselves using his meditation practice from all forms of cancer, chronic pain disorders and even paralysis! So if they can heal themselves then why can’t I?

I wish that the people who criticise my blogs could see that I am just a normal girl who is trying to help others, as I know how bad it feels to be lost in that world of pain with what seems like no way out. I am not trying to make you feel bad for the pain you are suffering, exactly the opposite actually. I have lived that life and it’s a very dark place to be. Surely by expressing my story and how this has dramatically changed my life in just eight weeks is a good thing? and could inspire someone suffering that there is hope! Would it hurt to open your mind to a possibility of another form of treatment? After all, what have you got to lose?

This week I have made huge progress watching my health improve day by day, which again just goes to prove that this IS possible and I AM bettering my health! Disease or not! (My next blog will document all the changes I have seen in the last 8 weeks so watch this space!) Whilst scrolling through the internet today this song “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten popped up and it brought me to tears! It was almost as if I had written the words myself and I could not help but sing along to the words with passion, determination and a sense of “I will prove you wrong”.

Just as the song quotes “And I don’t really care if nobody else believes, ‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me…”

Click here for the link to play the song

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Like a small boat
On the ocean
Sending big waves
Into motion
Like how a single word
Can make a heart open
I might only have one match
But I can make an explosion

And all those things I didn’t say
Wrecking balls inside my brain
I will scream them loud tonight
Can you hear my voice this time?

This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I’m alright song
My power’s turned on
Starting right now I’ll be strong
I’ll play my fight song
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes
‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me

Losing friends and I’m chasing sleep
Everybody’s worried about me
In too deep
Say I’m in too deep (in too deep)
And it’s been two years
I miss my home
But there’s a fire burning in my bones
Still believe
Yeah, I still believe

And all those things I didn’t say
Wrecking balls inside my brain
I will scream them loud tonight
Can you hear my voice this time?

This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I’m alright song
My power’s turned on
Starting right now I’ll be strong
I’ll play my fight song
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes
‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me

A lot of fight left in me

Like a small boat
On the ocean
Sending big waves
Into motion
Like how a single word
Can make a heart open
I might only have one match
But I can make an explosion

This is my fight song (Hey!)
Take back my life song (Hey!)
Prove I’m alright song (Hey!)
My power’s turned on
Starting right now I’ll be strong (I’ll be strong)
I’ll play my fight song
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes
‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me

No I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me!

#Determination #Strength #Belief #Mind #Dedication #Fight #Health #MyJourney

Is a belief only true because you believe it so?

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After spending a lot of time recently pondering about our beliefs and how they form our life and our world, I stumbled across this quote which left me intrigued to delve deeper into the subject. Gandhi has hit the nail on the head with this one!  Until recent months, in which I have nearly read all of Dr Joe Dispenza’s books, I had never really examined what beliefs I held and how they were affecting my world. As Gandhi explains, the beliefs you hold only go on to affect your actions, which then become your habits which ultimately become your destiny! All through a silly little belief that may or may not be true anymore? After all, how are beliefs formed in the first place? Through our thoughts? If so then maybe we should be more aware of what we are thinking from day to day? Maybe it’s time we all sat down and examine what beliefs we hold true.

I’ll start you off. For me this was easy. I have a list as long as my arm that I could write down but I won’t bore you so here is just a few that I have created over the period of my illness:

  • I HAVE weak neck and shoulders muscles which means I am prone to tension headaches
  • Without less than eight hours sleep I get a very very bad “tired headache” which means I HAVE to go back to bed, suffer all day long until I have a good sleep the following night
  • I HAVE to avoid alcoholic drinks
  • When my neck and shoulder muscles get tight I HAVE to see a chiropractor as otherwise my headache will remain
  • I am unable to sit in the sun anymore and HAVE to sit in the shade or else I will get a headache
  • I HAVE to avoid cooking foods in any type of oils

I understand that during the darkest days of my illness that most of these beliefs would have been formed through pain I experienced, regular migraine patterns and food triggers, however have you ever thought that overtime illness is held in the body by thought alone and by the beliefs you have formed? Maybe your illness has actually already disappeared underneath but it’s your belief thats holding it inside of you? What would happen to your body if you were to change your beliefs? Would this in turn change your physical body? Well this is exactly what is happening to me right now. My so called “tired headache” no longer exists in my mind after numerous meditations focusing on me having little sleep and then going about my day as a completely normal person headache free. It was a like light bulb moment! As my mind was strong enough to defy the belief, guess what… my body followed. It was almost like my belief had tricked my body into thinking this pain was a real “thing”. Then my mind became powerful and overturned it, and I believed there was no such “thing”. My body had no choice but to surrender and agree that this belief was a lie! After this experience it then made me question what other beliefs I was holding true and it gave me the power and confidence to try and change other beliefs I had.

I guess our beliefs can been formed through many ways. For example our experiences, reading material, cultures, past events, our environment; and have you even considered through medical practitioners and their diagnoses? There are a ridiculous amount of placebo studies out there that show that if the patient believes in the doctor treating them and the so called treatment they think they are receiving, then they are very likely to be feel relief from their illness. Well, maybe the same works when in reverse? Maybe if a doctor gives a diagnosis of “Chronic Migraines” whereby there is so called “no medical cure” right now, then potentially isn’t that almost doing the opposite to the placebo and giving you a diagnosis of suffering, pain and no hope? Could the doctors be helping create a negative belief inside of you? I read such an interesting book recently “Mind over Medicine” by Dr Lissa Rankin. She was working as a GP but felt unfulfilled by western medicine and decided to delve deeper into finding what really makes people healthy after witnessing many of her patients self healing themselves from disease. She gave up her job and dedicated her life to truly finding the answer which in all cases meant examining her patients relationships, jobs, partners, diet, lifestyle, where they lived, creative outlets, sexual relationships and their stress levels. After reading Lissa’s own story of self healing she then helps you write your own diagnosis and create your personalised prescription to cure your illness. This is such a fantastic read and I can’t recommend it highly enough! Check it out!

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What I found most interesting about this book though was the way she compared a doctor’s diagnosis to a traditional voodoo curse! She explains that when doctors give a diagnosis for say a terminal illness, due to the belief in the medical practitioner most of the time the patient will surrender to this and believe it so. She explains that what if the doctor was instead to give a diagnosis that confirmed your illness but instead filled you with hope instead of fear? For example:

“Unfortunately you do have signs of cancerous cells however we are very positive you can and will beat this disease. We have seen an incredible number of people survive this and we know you can too. We are all here to support you on this journey and we have every faith in your body to be fully healed”

How would you feel? Positive? Strong? Like you can beat it? That then becomes a new belief of yours. If you heard this diagnosis it would make you believe that you could be healed! After all, our beliefs seem to be so strong that they shape our lives, our future and our destiny. Can you now see how medical practitioners and a diagnosis sometimes are maybe doing us more harm than good, as we just surrender to this as gospel due to our beliefs in western medicine? Food for thought hey?

#DrLissaRankin #Beliefs #Mind #Healyourself #Whatdoyoubelieve? #MindOverMedicine

Holiday VS Headaches

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After my incredible recent experience in which I managed to stop a migraine dead in its tracks during one of Dr Joe Dispenza’s meditations, suddenly I had this new found confidence which made me question just what my mind was potentially capable of. It was only a few weeks ago that I discovered the book “You are the Placebo” and since then I truly feel like I am transforming as a person every single day. In fact I know I am, as the results so far have been truly remarkable.

This meant with my 30th birthday fast approaching (mild panic and slight chest palpitations!), I was so looking forward to a week of complete and utter relaxation on the beautiful island of Mauritius with my husband. Zen time here we come…
Now I don’t know how other migraineurs have faired with flying, but I have previously struggled with this. Perhaps it’s the dehydration or sitting in one position for a prolonged period of time that tenses up my neck and shoulders muscles. So for a while I used to dread getting on an airplane. This is quite ironic considering my husband is a pilot, I used to be cabin crew and we now live in Dubai! Anyhow, things were completely different this time around. Before we commenced our trip I had visualised our journey to Mauritius so many times over and over in my meditations, only imagining a day headache free, and would you believe it… it was exactly that! Even despite only having four hours sleep the night before due to what we will just call a case of “Delhi Belly”! (I have no idea where I got that from!) Anyhow, I have always found that any kind of upset to my sleep pattern that gives me less than my required eight hours a night, has previously meant that I I would have no option but to crawl back in to bed and write the day off as what I would call a “tired head” kind of day. Despite all of this, we arrived in Mauritius after a very long day completely and utterly headache free! Well my husband not so much, however I think that might have had something to do with his red wine consumption perhaps? Now if that isn’t a sign that my meditations are working and I’m changing my brain then I have no idea what is!

So we arrived in Paradise!

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It didn’t take long for us to navigate to the nearest sun bed, open a good book and switch into relax mode. Exactly what we both needed! At the beginning of the week I felt on cloud nine. For so long I have lived with this anxiety and fear of a migraine coming on, which I now know keeps you in that cycle, however by doing my daily meditations leading up to the holiday it had removed any doubts or worries I had. My new found confidence that I had discovered in the previous weeks led me to create new memories, have new experiences and as Dr Joe says “create a new me”! So that’s exactly what happened. These may be small things to other people but to me they were huge. I found myself trying the foods I “believe” cause me migraines, being able to sit directly in the sun for several hours at a time, spending full days outside and sampling an alcoholic drink or two which I had almost become scared of! As I lay on my sun bed looking around at the other couples enjoying their holidays, it suddenly dawned on me that I was what I call “a normal person” again! I was one of them!
I continued to do my daily meditations, normally back in our room after breakfast and in the afternoon when the weather tended to cloud over. Some hit the spot and others not so much but I am learning that you’re not always going to have an amazing meditation and that’s ok! A few days into our holiday as I was on such a roll, I even made a visit to the gym! You heard me right, the gym! Knowing I should take it easy as this was my first visit in god knows how long I attempted a little cycle, a brisk walk on the treadmill and then a few yoga moves just to keep my muscles loose. Unfortunately the following day I was paying for my little visit in the form of tight neck and shoulder muscles. Why oh why does the gym seem to hate me so much? Well being realistic I’ve been through this before and I’ve realised that Yoga and Pilates are best and only form of exercise for me at the moment, so I think it’s best to stick to that.
After dwelling on this for a while I decided I needed to get myself back on track. My meditations then focused around seeing my neck muscles relaxed, laughing and enjoying my holiday again with my husband and seeing us without a care in the world. The old me would have “believed” that nothing could have cured this other than a trip to the Chiropractor, given up on the week and accepted the pain but no, not the new me! That belief no longer exists in my mind and it’s quite incredible that after a few days I was back to exactly where I was before! Feeling like a “normal person” again and able to enjoy the rest of our holiday to the fullest. Don’t get me wrong, by no means was my health perfect that week, but I am learning all the time on this journey and every day is another step forward. I know those changes may look like small victories to you, but to me this is changing my beliefs, which in turn is changing my life right before my very eyes… Thanks once again Dr Joe!

 #Holiday #Mauritius #Believe #Meditation #Healing #Journey #HopeVsHeadaches

 

 

How on earth did that just happen Dr Dispenza?

As you all probably know by now, I have committed myself to doing Dr Joe Dispenza’s daily healing meditations for what’s been nearly a month now. He recommends doing the meditations twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening however on days when I have had the time I have been fitting in a sneaky third meditation on top. I figure why not? The more I can do the better, right? As surely it’s only going to speed up the healing process and propel me towards my goal even faster. I have done this religiously, not missing a single session. Initially I wondered how this would work around my day, but I’ve learnt if you want something bad enough, you will always make the time.

So I have to tell you about an experience I had the other day during one of my meditations. I’ll do my very best to explain what happened in words, but the truth is I cant explain what happened myself! I’d love to be able to pick up the phone and give Dr Joe Dispenza a call to pick his brain on my incredible meditation experience. I guess I’ll have to wait until October to ask him in person!!! Yes, I am actually going to meet Dr Joe himself as my Mum and I decided to booked on to his two and a half day progressive workshop in October right here in London. By that time; I worked out; I would have done his meditation over 370 times! I watch his workshops video’s on YouTube all the time and I can’t believe I am actually going to be participating in one! Of course I will blog the whole thing for you all to follow.

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Anyway, back to what happened the other day. As I mentioned before there are three parts to his meditations:

  • First comes the relaxation section whereby your brain waves enter the Alpha state to allow better access to your subconscious mind.
  • You are then guided to enter a state where by you are no body, no thing, in no time and no place (You are just simply energy floating in space! Well that’s how I picture it).
  • Finally you are asked to change a belief about yourself and are guided through the emotion you would feel if your belief weren’t true anymore.

Now I have to explain at the time of this meditation I had a migraine, don’t get me wrong it wasn’t the worst one i’ve ever had, but it was still a migraine. During the meditation I found myself really struggling with the first two sections. We all know by now that meditation is good for migraines, for prevention and during an attack, despite this it’s actually a very uncomfortable and hard place to be when meditating with a full-blown migraine. You know when you feel unwell in someway, and just for a few moments you become totally absorbed into say a TV programme and suddenly your pain seems to just totally disappear for those moments. But as soon as your focus comes away from the distraction, your symptoms come back! I find distraction during a migraine can be highly effective but during meditation you are doing completely the opposite of this and you are alone with every aspect of the pain you are feeling. It’s just you, your breath and the throb of the migraine.

The feeling was becoming hard to bear, so much so that I thought about ending the meditation on several occasions to go in search for a migraine tablet, as my pain only seemed to be getting so much worse. My god I am SO glad I didn’t! As I emerged into the final section of the meditation, the belief I had chosen to change was “I will always suffer with migraines”. From that point onwards my response to this was particularly emotional, perhaps it was because I was actually in a migraine at the time so seeing my life completely migraine free struck a cord with me more than usual. Suddenly I became lost in such an intense visualisation, picturing myself full of vitality and life travelling the world with my husband, crossing the finish line to a marathon, starting my own business and finally, the one that hit me the most, starting a family with my husband. I saw us there with our little boy so in love with him and life that the tears of joy were streaming down my face. (My husbands family are very boy heavy!) I was so lost in the scene that I could feel the sunshine on my back, hear the laughter from our son and I felt eternally grateful for regaining my health. Finally I saw myself at Dr Joe’s workshop in October in floods of emotion thanking him over and over again for changing my life . This was my most powerful meditation yet and as the recording came to an end I was completely astounded by what was to follow…

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I cleared the tears from my face and took a second to search for the pain but it was totally and utterly GONE!!! No word of a lie, that uncomfortable, weird, painful migraine sensation had completely vanished! It was like someone had turned a switch off inside of me! I couldn’t believe it and proceeded to sit on my bed for a while longer just triple checking that the pain wasn’t still there! How could this be possible? There is no migraine medication in the world that can stop a migraine dead in it’s tracks! What had I just done?

After thinking about this over and over again the only way I can explain what happened is that I lifted myself out of my current circumstances and environment so much so that my body actually started to follow my mind, which was basking in the delight of the future. I was so there in mind and spirit but my body had no choice but to follow where and what I had become! That’s why when Dr Joe explains that we are all just energy and he gets you to become nothing in no time and no space, this then allows you to come back and create the life you want to live which simply is just a different type of energy. You have the power to create your life and your future! Isn’t that pretty incredible! Think of the possibilities that may await you…

#Mind #Body #Spirit #Visulisation #Power #Meditation #DrJoeDispenza #Myjourney