By Kyle Davies
Co-Developer & Director of Mickel Therapy 2003 -2011
In conversation with a sufferer of M.E. and Fibromyalgia earlier this week, I was asked a series of questions that I think are common in the minds of sufferers looking for a way out…
“But how is this going to help me, how can you help me, you’re a psychologist; are you saying this is all in my mind? If there was an answer to my CFS and Fibro, don’t you think my doctor would have told me? I’m so debilitated, I’m lost in these symptoms, I just can’t see a way forward”.
So what are the answers to these questions, and what do both the questions and answers reveal about the road to recovery? Let’s look at the issues and how they can help you move forward.
1) Is It All in the Mind?
The mind and body are intimately connected, so the notion of ‘all in the mind’ is simply an antiquated idea. Science tells us that we that we have neurons and receptors in our heart and our digestive system, so there is a complex flow of intelligent activity that takes place throughout the body and brain. This alone supports the idea that we are one undulating and flowing system, not two separate entities of mind and body.
The first important step towards recovery is opening up to a new way of seeing symptoms. Rather than believing and embracing a medical mindset of externalizing and ‘pathologizing’ – seeing symptoms as some external enemy that is attacking you, allow yourself to see symptoms as feedback from a mind-body system that is trying desperately to get your attention. They are a process you are going through and one which you can take control of.
2) Why Doesn’t My Doctor Have The Answers If They Are Out There?
We are witnessing an epidemic of chronic health conditions in the western world, from cancer and heart disease to autoimmune conditions, rheumatoid arthritis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia, to depression and anxiety. We can see that conventional medicine is brilliant at treating acute conditions where symptoms need to be managed, but it seems to fall short when it comes to these chronic conditions.
We know more about the workings of the human body that ever in history, we spend more money on healthcare than ever in history, yet we are sicker than ever before. We need a significant shift and expansion in theory and understanding – especially within mainstream healthcare. This is taking place on the fringes where there are many fantastic researchers and practitioners looking to pioneer, push back the boundaries, test and investigate new ways of understanding and viewing health and wellness. These ideas and practices are slowly filtering through, but it takes time. It is these ideas and practices that will become mainstream thinking and practice as we move into the future.
3) My M.E., My Fibro…
One of the most powerful influencers on our behaviour is our unconscious sense of identity. So we tend to align our words and actions to that sense of identity, even when we know this may not be useful for us. Many sufferers hold their condition as part of their identity, part of who they are, and this can prevent them from taking those first incredibly important steps on the pathway back to health.
There’s a tendency to put one’s life on hold when you suffer from ME and Fibro, but this reinforces one’s identity as a sufferer. Those who have been unwell for significant periods of time can lose all sight of their passions and purposes in life, yet these are vital components to embrace on the journey back to health.
Your job as a human being is to experience yourself, to be the full expression of you. Please remember that you are not your ME, you are not your Fibro, these are experiences that you can and will move beyond.
For more details about Kyle Davies and his work with ME/ CFS and Fibromyalgia visit http://kyledavies.net
Very many thanks to Kyle for writing for the Mickel Therapy Blog in this most important week M.E. Awareness Week. Also for his contribution to Mickel Therapy from 2003 -2011 http://www.mickeltherapy.com/