EPA Newsletter June 2017
Welcome to the International EPA Newsletter, our Global platform for EPA members.
In this edition, we take a close look at Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and its underlying causes. CFS is a wide-reaching and debilitating condition which is not widely understood within the community.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A ‘Mysterious’ Ailment or is it?
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) is a multi-symptomatic and severely debilitating condition affecting men and women, particularly women in their 40s and 50s. The main underlying symptom is the feeling of overwhelming fatigue, one in which sleep does not refresh, accompanied by a susceptibility to frequent colds and viruses.
To some, CFS is a mystery illness with no known cause, however stress is a common denominator; current research shows there is a link between CFS and auto-immune disorder. [i]
The link between CFS and auto-immune actually makes sense – in auto-immune conditions, it is the body attacking itself. In CFS sufferers, there is often a tendency to ‘attack’ oneself - to be hard on oneself in some way – expecting too much of ourselves, putting others first, or blaming ourselves for a trauma or incident.
Underlying the CFS symptoms is often a long-standing pattern of behaviour to dismiss the care that the body is calling out for in favour of overriding and pushing through to do what we think is expected of us.
After a prolonged assault on oneself, the body eventually can’t take anymore and goes into shutdown – a ‘functioning coma’.
So, is CFS such a mysterious illness after all?
Sandra Dallimore, who experienced CFS in her late 30s, now reflects over her life and comments on not being at all surprised that she had the condition. She can see the connection between her childhood and adult experiences, the illnesses she experienced and the complete ‘stop’ graced to her by her soul through this condition. Sandra doesn’t see it as a mysterious illness at all as the signs of stress and all not being well were there for many years prior to getting CFS. In addition to these warning signs, Sandra experienced Glandular Fever (Epstein Barr virus) at the age of 18; the connection between Glandular Fever sufferers going on to develop CFS is more widely being recognised. [ii]
A personal account of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Interview: Sandra Dallimore openly shares on her experience of
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Sandra has always been keenly interested in health and wellbeing and has integrated both
traditional and complementary medicine as part of her health care. Prior to the CFS diagnosis
in 2004, she was a regular client of complementary therapists, as well as being one herself.
Sandra exercised and practiced yoga regularly, ate organic food, drank alcohol in
moderation and considered herself to be very fit and healthy at age 38. However, despite
ticking all the right boxes for ‘good health’, Sandra asked herself ‘How can I have a
diagnosis of CFS when I am seemingly so fit and healthy?’.
During an intense emotional period in her life where her body felt ‘ravaged’ on the inside
from the constant emotional rollercoaster of the choices she was making, Sandra started to
feel the continuous nervous tension she lived in and the internal raciness that had become
her ‘normal’. With a reliance on reiki, kinesiology and reflexology as well as other modalities,
she found temporary relief but no lasting change from these sessions, and therefore, despite
ticking all of the so called ‘right boxes’, Sandra began to see the pattern of looking for the
next thing to make her feel better; the next course, the next self-help book, modality
Around 2002, Sandra started to experience frequent colds and viruses and had a long history of problematic symptoms in her menstrual cycle. There were times in her life where she felt she wasn’t coping well but didn’t know where to turn other than to the modalities she had become reliant upon, and yet, the patterns of behaviour that she thought she had addressed in sessions were all still playing out. It was at this time, Sandra started to experience insomnia, her mind was so racy, replaying conversations and situations which led to her feeling anxious about whether she would feel well enough to work the next day because of lack of sleep and the constant exhaustion.
In 2004, following 12 months of being unwell, Sandra was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. She was unable to function normally, having to take a nap at lunchtime and leave work early, due to exhaustion, to get through the day. At its worst, a 30-min walk would take days to recover from. She was unable to think clearly or perform simple tasks such as paying bills. Her glands were swollen and she had frequent body rashes, intolerance to foods and substances, insomnia and abnormal blood results that changed frequently to the bewilderment of her GP - it was a very frightening time as her blood tests were showing very significant abnormalities. At this stage, her weekends were spent sleeping and recovering from the week. Sandra stopped working for a few months to give her body the rest that was desperately needed.
Sandra felt the longing desire to be ‘normal’ again but after several months, she started to accept that perhaps she would not go back to feeling truly well and vital again. This was a significant turning point in her healing. She began a humbling process of surrendering, the letting go of ‘getting back to normal’, and in this, the victim mentality started to dissipate and an acceptance was felt of why her body was experiencing what it was.
From this point onwards, Sandra started to get insights as to what would support her wellbeing. She began to sense the depth of care and nurturing her body actually needed to support her sensitivity. She began to listen intently to what her body needed such as going to bed earlier as well as assessing what food was affecting her. This is when things really started to turn around, knowing that she had to address the patterns of behaviour creating the emotional roller coaster that was taking its toll on her body.
With some lifestyle changes, by 2006 Sandra returned to full-time work and a life that by society’s standards would be considered ‘functional’ or ‘normal’. However, it was only through very careful management of what she did that gave her this level of functionality.
In 2007, Sandra borrowed a book from a friend called ‘The Way It Is’ written by Serge Benhayon; she was blown away by what was presented and felt she had found something deeply profound. Within a matter of days, she went to a Universal Medicine presentation on emotional and physical health and wellbeing – Heart Chakra 1 and 2 (now known as Livingness 1 and 2) – and went on to have regular healing sessions with Universal Medicine trained practitioners.
Sandra had always known that our emotional wellbeing affects our physical health, but all the books and modalities she came across prior to Universal Medicine kept her in the ‘emotional’ loop. It was such a breakthrough for Sandra to realise that emotions are a reaction to what we feel, and can do more damage than the foods we eat.
The way Sandra is now living is a far cry from how she used to live - she is living her life and not simply functioning within it. There is a deep care and love for herself that influences her choices in life. It is through the ever-developing connection with herself that she is no longer a victim of the emotional rollercoaster ride she was on for the first 41 years of her life.
Sandra now does not compromise herself and has a deep respect for the delicacy of her body and no longer puts what she does as being of greater importance than who she is.
Interestingly, at age 52, Sandra reveals that she now lives with a vitality and joy for life that she had not experienced in her adult life or even considered was possible. She feels that the quality of her life and everything in it has changed; she has a sparkle in her eyes and a zest for life that you can’t help but notice.
Letters/Emails to the Editor
We would love to hear from you about your experience and observations on any topic that is relevant to health, wellbeing and building supportive relationships both from a professional and general perspective.
Please email your submissions to the editorial team at firstname.lastname@example.org