I went in for another treatment about a week ago. I hadn't been there in a while, due to expenses. But I knew my body needed it.
He taught me another technique to do on my abdomen. Now, I have been having folks work on my abdomen for....at least a decade now? A natorupath said it was literally "hard as rock". Massage therapists freaked out. Doctors would reason that so long as they're hearing sounds of things moving, it must be fine.
My osteopath specializing in manual treatment knew better.
Symptoms I experience directly related to my abdomen:
I list these for you because they're starting to go away.
- Extreme menstrual cramps, including nausea, vomiting, loss of bowel control, weakness, and pain rated at a "10", even with narcotic pain medication maxed out. Said by witnesses to be "worse than childbirth".
- Severe G.I. episodes, separate from cramps. Often sent me to the ER. Many of the above same symptoms. I started a thread on them here a long time ago, and ceased updating it once I moved to the streets, where the episodes returned.
- When hungry, if I don't eat soon my abdomen gets so tight it's very painful, and I get super nauseous and feel like I'm gonna pass out. Used to think this was due to low blood sugar; it's not. Eating anything immediately relieves it.
- Random abdominal pain that makes me feel like the above, except it can happen even when I'm full. When it happens at work I fear I'll collapse and need to go home early. Lasts 10-30minutes.
- Pain upon sexual activities, that doctors have been unable to find a reason for, often forcing me to stop.
- Lots of food sensitivities and intolerances
- Cannot comfortably lay flat on my back due to abdomen too tight
- Cannot comfortably sleep on right side due to abdominal discomfort
- Waking up too early in the morning unable to fall back asleep because my abdomen is feeling terribly tight
- Routinely severe bloating, especially when attempting to sleep at night. It would constantly force me to sit up in bed and "vomit air" as I called it....nonstop belching for 15 seconds or longer. Often forced to unbutton and unzip jeans when driving due to the bloating and discomfort.
The first couple days I was using the technique on my abdomen, I was frustrated because it was hard. It requires a lot of mental focus. And if you go at it too hard, like normal massage, your body rightly rejects it. But then I started to get it right, and the feeling of relief was immediate.
It felt as though I had been flexing a muscle in my stomach continuously for over a decade, and finally relaxed it.
I could not begin to describe the immense relief.
After two days of this, I excitedly asked my fiance to feel my abdomen. We've been together for over two years, and he has often worked on my abdomen in an effort to alleviate crisis. He placed his hands on it and immediately exclaimed, "WOAH."
I'm like "Yeah!"
He said: "It's soft! Like a normal abdomen!" He couldn't believe it.
I'm like "I KNOW!!! Isn't it amazing??"
Now, these sorts of monumental shifts always come with some downsides to work through. Nerves that have been compressed for a long time are finally getting the oxygen and space they need, and they take a while to recover and are cranky in the meantime. It's very similar to when your foot falls asleep, and then circulation is restored. It feels worse before it gets better, even though you KNOW it's the right direction to go in.
So predictably, I lost all endurance to do anything that engages my core, like standing or walking or working. I completely lost any sense of hunger or appetite, with a side of constant low-level nausea. The first bowel movement I had after everything softened up primarily consisted of undigested food, which has only happened once before and that was during severe abdominal crisis. I've also been unusually oversensitive to touch--affection I used to enjoy from my fiance is now met with "that doesn't feel good to me." All over my body is cranky regarding touch in general.
I'm learning how to breathe differently. I'm able to sleep on all sides, and lay flat comfortably. I'm able to put myself back to sleep by working on my abdomen when I wake up too early. No more bloating or "vomiting air". Today was the first time at work I had no episodes with the abdominal pain and feeling like I'm gonna pass out.....even if the last 3 hours my body was screaming at me to lay down. Even my singing voice has drastically changed, and I love it!
Remember how in my last post I was sharing about shifting in my ribcage? The day I wrote that, and since, I can no longer wear standard bras. I actually had to go buy bra alternatives and even size up so they're less tight against my ribcage. This sort of thing often happens with shifts, where the body becomes less tolerant of pressure where it's trying to move something structurally. It's temporary, but can last several months or even a year or more. And now instead of meditating on not holding myself together, I'm now meditating on letting myself experience emotion deeply, which seems to be the next step. Now instead of huge yawns, it's massive arched-back stretches that my body ends up doing alongside ridiculously deep breaths. My ribcage seems to want to catch up to my abdomen to feel better!
Recently I read a post insinuating that when people experience improvement from alternative treatments, it's just the placebo effect. That offends me. This treatment feels like building a sandcastle one GRAIN of sand at a time--it does NOT happen by accident. And life stresses can be like a wave that comes and destroys part of it, and I then get to work at rebuilding the part that was washed away.
This process got me from bedridden to working part-time. And I'm still doing it because not only do I anticipate further recovery, but also simply because it alleviates symptoms. Up until last week I was desperately working to stop my menstrual cycle entirely after I lost over $150 in earnings in a single day from the cramps. Now, I think I have a good shot at relieving the severity of them without such measures.
Not to mention the benefit of just plain feeling better.
Thanks for reading.
Another breakthrough to document
Blog entry posted by Dainty, Sep 1, 2017.
About the Author
Dainty became ill as a teenager and spent 7 years mostly bedridden from ME/CFS, life-threatening MCS reactions, extreme food allergies/sensitivities, cognitive impairment, fibromyalgia, episodes of temporary paralysis and various unexplained emergencies. The past 5 years she has experienced profound improvement from various treatment approaches. With homelessness and PTSD presenting as significant obstacles, she continues to pursue healing full time and find incorrigible opportunities to enjoy life.