A few days ago I received another e-mail from a guy who read my book and is on his way to recovery from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The symptoms seem to have changed somewhat after he started to pay more attention to his bodily sensations (something I recommended to do in my previous e-mail). Awareness is the main tool for loosening the grip of CFS because it will eventually shed light on the mechanisms of this illness. Ideally, you will gain insights into the pattern of your symptoms, what kind of emotional states are causing flare-ups, and what are the underlying messages the bodymind is trying to communicate to you through symptoms. Things may seem to get worse when you start feeling your symptoms more fully. This seems to be the case in this case as well:
“I’ve been continuing with the “feeling into it stuff.” For the last 3 or 4 days I’m getting nothing. I just feel numb and flat and I don’t seem to be getting anything out of feeling into it. The heavy sensations haven’t been there this week, yet I’m still quite ill.
It’s hard to explain. At first I would feel into the body and there were plenty of heavy sensations to feel into. Now there is not that heaviness, but more of a numbness. I think i would rather the heaviness. Has this happened to you?”
Here’s my reply:
Numbness certainly sounds familiar to me.
The point is not to just feel into your stuff, but also try to “understand” why your symptoms are there. There must be a reason for them so you want to uncover their causes, their underlying messages. While you are feeling into stuff, your symptoms and body sensations can take many forms. The symptoms of CFS can be very annoying and extremely unpleasant, but you have to find a way to co-operate with them. I really don’t know how you are feeling exactly, but I can tell you what I would do if I were you.
Here are some suggestions:
1. Do TAT on the whole thing. 1# “Everything that led up to this numbness happened” 2# “it happened, it’s over, it’s no longer causing this numbness, I’m OK and I can relax now.” and then rest of steps. You could also target it in a different way (or use both pairs or several pairs of statements in a single session). For example 1# “I don’t know/understand/want to know why I have those symptoms” 2# “I am totally open to receiving, understanding and absorbing all of the underlying messages behind the symptoms.” You can do the setup statements as many times as you like (1#, 2#, then again 1# and 2# with a different wording etc) and then go on with the rest of steps. If you feel discomfort or fear related to “opening up” your symptoms, you could do TAT or EFT on that, too. A TAT session in this case could begin with setup statements like these: 1# “Everything that led me up to resonating, identifying and connecting with this fear/resistance to feeling/understanding/seeing (choose your own words) all of the underlying messages happened.” 2# “It all happened, it’s over, I no longer resonate, identify or connect with any of those fears/obstacles and I am totally open to receiving, listening, and understanding what my body is trying to communicate with the symptoms… I’m OK and I can relax now”
Long statements, I know. Change the wording according to your case. You can also use EFT for this purpose. There are some sample statements for EFT in my book.
2. Pray for understanding the condition or for gaining strength to overcome it – “I am ready to learn what I must learn” rather than “lord, please take this away from me.”
3. Don’t have too many expectations for outcomes of doing your healing. Your main purpose should be observation and “listening” to your symptoms, and trying to act in accordance to what they seem to be “saying.” The outcomes will come when you’ve understood and acted upon the messages.
4. You can also use TAT in a different, a more indirect way. You can target the problem with the following statements: 1# “The biggest event/factor that led to those symptoms happened.” 2# “It happened, it’s over, it’s no longer causing those symptoms, I’m OK and I can relax now.” The good thing about TAT is that you don’t have to know what those events or factors are – just do the sessions. You can also do “second most important event/factor” and “third most important event or cause” in the same session. Also, you can do TAT or EFT on your life’s biggest traumas. Write them down and start clearing your stuff even if there seems to be no clear connection to your symptoms. Lightening your burden is always a good idea and it may facilitate recovery.
5. If you find yourself lost, contact a professional TAT practitioner. The list can be found on the tatlife.com website. I can also offer sessions via Skype.
Overcoming Chronic Fatigue Syndrome using mind-body healing techniques is not an easy path, but it’s the only one I know. You will likely encounter an enormous amount of unpleasant feelings, so it’s good to have tools to deal with them. My preference is TAT and I have written about it a lot in this blog.
Have a pleasant journey back to health!