Chronic Debilitating Pain
It was October 30th, 1993, when I finally spoke with a doctor about my on-going headache. I started with the nurse, telling her I needed help; I was in great pain. She asked me to document my headaches and she would set up an appointment for me in two weeks. I explained to her that I had been documenting my headaches and they had moved from their usual seven to ten day adventures to even longer periods of time. I had officially begun counting the days as of October 1st, so the headache I was experiencing had been tormenting me for at least thirty consecutive days. The nurse gave me the doctor to speak to. I saw her two days later.
Headaches ran in the family so I naturally thought they were simply a part of life rather than my body telling me there was something wrong. I had experienced long stints of headaches since I was thirteen with regular frequency. I remember a pattern of weeklong headaches with a two-week break throughout my tenth grade year, increasing to ten days of a headache with a one-week break between. I had spoken to doctors, but headaches were simply a part of my history and my family's history as was a high threshold of pain, and I was tough.
Of course, the type of headache I had was diagnosed as a stress headache because my neck muscles were so tight they felt like they could replace any stringed instrument. The handfuls of aspirin and ibuprofen I had been self-medicating with were useless.
I was put through eight weeks of biofeedback to document the fact that I was able to relax myself even though my headache raged on. I spent at least six months in physical therapy, which gave me a sense of reduced pain, lasting, if I was lucky, about thirty minutes after each session. I was given a bottle of something that I could literally freeze my neck with to numb the pain as I did stretching exercises. Unfortunately, my headache continued.
The general practitioner had referred me to a neurologist who had prescribed the physical therapy as well as a variety of medications. One of these drugs, I had to shoot myself in the leg with. It didn't help much and it raced my heart. I remember painfully sitting up in the living room one night so that I could be around another human being who would be able to call 911 in case I suffered a heart attack. My heart was beating so fast and hard that I was terrified.
Finally, I was prescribed a very scary, highly addictive drug. I took the maximum dosage I could take without any relief. When this did not succeed, I had my last appointment with my neurologist where she informed me that I had received all the help that could be offered in the field of traditional western medicine. She could continue looking for a drug that would mask my pain, but the cause of my headaches was unknown. I was unhelpa-ble.
Fortunately, I became angry about this diagnosis of futility. I knew I was not going to live such an unbearable life of pain. I had already decided exactly what I would do if I ran out of hope, but until then, I would pursue every avenue of possibility out there. Since traditional western medicine could not help me, I would find help elsewhere. I began my journey into the field of alternative health.
I read a book by Deepak Chopra and called a man I
found on a reference list in the back of this book who worked in St. Paul. He was also a chiropractor. He looked at my x-rays and told me that my pain made perfect sense. I practiced some Maharishi Ayurveda and was gently adjusted by this kind-hearted chiropractor. I was finally able to experience my first totally pain free moment over the course of an entire year, after receiving a chiropractic adjustment. After these adjustments I would be headache free for the remainder of the day and sometimes even part of the following day. I was scheduled for two appointments per week.
During the next few months, my headaches had changed from one continuous headache to daily bouts lasting approximately five hours. However, the rest of my body was acting up, and it was with great difficulty that I was able to walk. It seemed as though my whole spinal structure was in revolt as were all the muscles that were attached to it. I began seeing a massage therapist twice a week as well. I was in such pain; I shuffled like an old lady when I walked.
It was an arduous task bringing my students down the hall to the lunchroom or to other classes. My hand shook as though I had epilepsy when I held up flash cards in math. I feared the intense pain that would hit me every day at one o,clock, starting the next marathon headache. My quality of life was nonexistent. Every ounce of energy I had was going into surviving the pain. I was utterly exhausted. I finally hit the wall in December of 1994 and had to take a medical leave of absence from my teaching position.
I saw the state's doctor who examined me and recommended that I receive unemployment compensation. I was also examined by an independent orthopedic doctor and licensed chiropractor who thoroughly examined me and wrote a five page paper explaining all my body's impediments and diagnosed me with fibromyalgia tendencies. In fact, one of my appointments with this man was on my thirtieth birthday. I was in unexplainable pain. It took a tremendous amount of effort to endure it.
My occipital area of my head was actually inflamed. The doctor was acutely aware of the type of pain I must be experiencing. He offered to take a very long needle and insert some medication to numb the pain by going under and up into my skull. He was thoroughly shocked when I declined this assistance which he offered three or four times.
You see, this by far, was not the first time I had experienced this kind of intense pain. It was simply the only time a doctor had actually seen me in the throws of it. I had dealt with this pain on my own without help many, many times. Anyway, this doctor's recommendation was that I should be placed on permanent state assistance for the remainder of my life because he saw the severity of my condition and knew of no means in which to correct it. Again, I was only thirty years old.
I was at a plateau and so I looked for more help. A dear friend of mine recommended me to a network chiropractor named Carol Jillian. She was truly an answer to prayer. You see, I was thousands of dollars in debt to family members because my insurance did not cover massage or continuous chiropractic adjustments. Doctor Jillian charged a flat fee. I could see her as many times a week as I wanted. I saw her four times a week for the first two to three years.
I had gone back to working full time the following school year despite the orthopedic/chiropractic doctor's recommendation. The students were very compassionate, and I gave them all my energy. I was in horrendous pain in the evening and prayed each morning that I would make it through the day. It was by sheer determination and heavenly assistance that I made it through this period of time in my life.
Fortunately. my body was responding to this new healing modality offered by Dr. Jillian and my intense pain decreased over the years. I was given strategies and new understandings on how to live life and assist my body with its healing, but I wanted even more. I asked Dr. Jillian if she knew this man named Chunyi Lin who was offering Qigong classes at Anoka-Ramsey. She gave him high praise and encouraged me to go.
I was already open to Chinese healing because I had also seen a Chinese herbalist who told me that my history of ailments in my life were easily explained by the philosophy of Chinese medicine. What I had been through and was dealing with currently made sense. I was not a mystery case or a lost cause, but rather a pretty classic case through the eyes of Chinese medicine. I responded well to the medicinal herbs and recommendations. I avoided gall bladder surgery, and I wasn't quite so exhausted all the time. I was still in a pretty big mess though, when I attended my first class with Master Lin in August of 1997, but I had actually made a long, exhausting advancement in my health to get there. He gave me hope and I was so utterly needy. My heart ached ... my soul ached. I wanted a better quality of life. When I was in high school, my friends use to tease me about the fact that I smiled all the time. I had a bubbly, positive attitude, and I loved to hand out hugs. This part of me had disappeared completely. I was so beaten down with pain; I
found it difficult to look into people's eyes. I felt as though I were in a very deep, dark pit, trying to climb my way out of it.
I hungrily gobbled up what Master Lin taught. It was new to me, but this Chinese philosophy of life made sense. I could easily apply it to my life experiences. I felt stronger and happier. I could even make the pain I would wake up writhing with in the middle of the night go away using one of the exercises taught in his Level One class. I listened to and practiced the Small Universe lying down in bed because sitting up was too hard. I felt like a horrible student, but I did a lot more than I gave myself credit for at the time. I realize now that my kidney energy was so depleted that concentrating on the Small Universe meditation as I did was perfect for me.
I immediately signed up for Level Two. During this time, my mom was dealing with breast cancer. She elected to have a double mastectomy, but was extremely fearful of all of this because she had not yet recovered from a very traumatic kidney surgery. My mom had donated a kidney to my sister and it did not go well for my mom. Three years later, she was still experiencing a lot of painful discomfort. She did not know how she could possibly deal with this pain along with the pain of her upcoming surgery. My mom had always been healthy so the last couple years had been very difficult for her.
I was so concerned about my mom that I was compelled to heal her with Qigong. I worked on her every night a week before the surgery. During this time, the pain she usually felt and had felt over the last couple years had completely disappeared. This comforted her greatly. She went into surgery much more relaxed. I worked on her every day in the hospital and also did some long distance healing when she chose to stay with my aunt a week after she returned home from the hospital. My mom became my greatest ally of Spring Forest Qigong. I was given the opportunity to put into practice what I had learned about healing others and to see the results for myself. It truly was amazing.
Some of my family thought I was absolutely weird and teased me about this Voodoo stuff I did. I simply smiled. I knew what I knew. I had been through the ringer and found a healing path that would and has changed my life dramatically. With my lack of concern for converting my siblings to my way of thinking and my mom exclaiming her miraculous experiences, my family opened themselves to alternative possibilities, and I continued learning.
One of the first bits of feedback I ever received when healing someone else was from my nephew, Jacob. He was approximately nine years old at the time. We were spending the day together, but unfortunately, Jacob had a headache. He did have some water with him, so I passed some energy into the water with a message to relieve him of his headache. I had him drink some of the water and then close his eyes and relax. As he was resting, I concentrated on breaking up the blockages in his head. I was trying to heal him without him realizing that I was doing something different when his eyes popped open, and he whipped his head to the left to face me. He said it was gone and asked with great conviction what I had done to make it go away. I was just beginning my training with Spring Forest Qigong so I was as surprised as my nephew was. It was evident, however, what I was learning truly worked.
After that, I had the confidence, desire, and opportuni ty to heal my mom as I shared earlier. So I continued training and practicing Spring Forest Qigong and was working with the concept of psychic surgery when I received a tearful phone call from my mom who had just learned that her only brother was diagnosed with tumors on his adrenal glands. There was great concern that the tumors were cancerous and the cancer was spreading throughout the body. The other concern was that the surgery was rather precarious because if the adrenal gland was cut into, chemicals could be released in the body and that could be very damaging to my uncle.
Both of my mom's parents had died from cancer so my mom was terrified for my uncle. She was panicked and grief stricken when she called. My reaction, however, was calm, and I had a feeling of empowerment because I knew exactly how I could help my uncle. So I told my mom what I would do and encouraged her to do her own healing meditation for my uncle as well. I emphasized that meditation was much more powerful than tears and how she would truly be helping her brother if she chose this course of action instead. She calmed down and asked me to call her sister and tell her the same thing, so I did. Then, I meditated.
In my healing meditation, I pictured my uncle's adrenal glands with the tumor on top of them which I pictured encapsulating into a ball with a skin around it so the doctors who were doing surgery could easily see that the tumor had in no way spread beyond the adrenal glands. Then I asked the universe to place some fatty tissue between the tumor and the adrenal glands so that removing the tumor would be easy for the doctors. My third request was for a spiritual healing prompting my uncle to take this experience as an omen and retire from
Darcie Gustine Grim his job a year early rather than going back to a stressful situation. When I finished my meditation, I was completely at peace and felt confident that my uncle would be absolutely fine. I went on my vacation. Every time I checked in on my uncle in meditation, I received the same feeling that he was fine.
When I returned from my vacation, my mom called to let me know that my uncle was indeed doing well, the surgery had been a breeze, but it had been very unusual. When the doctors had opened him up, they found the tumors in nice round packages with a sort of skin around them, which was surprising. Even more so, however, was the nice bit of fatty tissue connecting each tumor to its corresponding adrenal gland so that there was no concern of damaging the glands in any way when the tumors were removed.
Then my mom said that my uncle had decided to take this whole experience as an omen and chose to retire from his job a year early. Wow! Everything I had asked for and pictured in my healing meditation came to fruition. I was so blown away by this that it took me three months to share this story with my friends, and I still have never spoken to my uncle about it. I had never worked with energy healing before learning Spring Forest Qigong, and I didn't feel like any kind of a guru or expert when this healing took place, so I am certain that anyone can do this kind of healing work if they come from a place of love.
I really enjoy helping people. I have been given several opportunities to work with others and have seen wonderful results. I have helped several people with headaches. One person I worked with had been suffering from headaches over the past seventeen years. After two recently grueling surgeries, which were deemed unsuc cessful, I worked with him for a period of time. His headaches stopped.
Other healings I've assisted with, however, were more in regards to the spirit of the heart. I have witnessed a kind of personality change where life is taken in and lived with a greater ease or balance. This is also true of my own life.
I have been studying Spring Forest Qigong since 1997. I am virtually pain free through the practice of the active exercises and meditation. I have a very deep belief that Spring Forest Qigong works and have witnessed the healing of others that I've worked with. I am very thankful for what I've learned from the pain I experienced. I think, feel, and act much differently than I use to.
Now, when I look at my own behavior and actions I look to see if they reflect a healer's heart of love, kindness, and forgiveness. Needless to say, my actions have been noticeably different to those around me and to myself as well. Spring Forest Qigong has healed me physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I like myself and feel much more at peace. People tell me I radiate an inner enthusiasm for Spring Forest Qigong and contentment of life.
This is true. My joy and smile have returned.
Michael Hackett Eden Prairie, MN
Continue reading here: Depression and Balance
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