It has been two months since Heather Thomas taught me the Lightning Process and utterly transformed my life. Over the course of the three days of seminars I went from having severe ME to feeling completely healthy. I know it sounds too good to be true, and sometimes I can hardly believe it myself, but I just have to look in my diary to see all the amazing things I’ve been doing for the evidence. Before attending the Lightning Process seminars I had had fairly severe ME for over eight years and had been virtually housebound for the whole of that time. I needed a lot of help around the house, only had the energy to shower once every 2 or 3 days and only went out once or twice a month. I had to pace all my activities, having long rest periods in bed during the day, to avoid exacerbating my symptoms which were primarily a flu-like post-exertional malaise, aching glands, muscle pains and weakness. I also had a major problem with standing: my blood pressure would drop and I would feel very ill after standing for more than a few seconds. My illness had begun on 8 March 1999 – I know the exact date as I had a very acute onset following a glandular fever type virus in the February of that year. I went on holiday to Spain when still unrecovered from the virus and overdid things both physically (walking miles every day, not eating or sleeping enough) and mentally (being in a foreign country unable to speak the language and constantly being alert) which put a great strain on my nervous/immune systems. A few months before this I had had a tetanus and polio immunisation at the same time which I reacted badly to and which I believe had also stressed my immune system. I had read about the Lightning Process in the mainstream press and AfME journals and although I didn’t dismiss it completely I was very sceptical. In fact I was actually upset that something that appeared to be a ‘mind over matter’ instant ‘cure’ was getting so much publicity as I knew my ME was a very physical illness. I had tried so hard over the years to do everything and anything I could to get over my illness and had always been so positive but I had remained as ill as ever. Also it was rather expensive and as I didn’t know of any practitioners local to me the thought of travelling up to London put me off – how would I get there and once there how would I get to and from the clinic from the B&B?? But then a friend called to tell me that someone I’d known through my local ME support group had done it and was a ‘new woman’ – and when it is someone you know it seems different. I thought I would investigate a bit more and was soon talking to Heather. She sounded very sane and intelligent and had herself been severely affected by ME for many years and had recovered her health using the Lightning Process just the year before. The venue was much more ME-friendly – a big farmhouse set in quiet countryside that I could get to without putting people out too much, the training room had sofas and I could stay overnight in the same building and use the kitchen. The next thing I knew I was booked on the course for the following week. I was still slightly sceptical but there was a lot I had read in the book (‘An Introduction to the Lightning Process’) that had made sense to me so I was optimistic and excited. I have to say that at the end of the first day of the three-day course I was very worried that it wasn’t going to work for me – so much so that I got virtually no sleep and was very close to getting my Mum to come to collect me the next morning – but doing the first bit of the process we had been taught did seem to be helping a tiny bit and in the morning I got up and had a shower standing up for the first time in years with only minimal symptoms so (thank goodness!!) I stayed.
By the middle of day two I actually managed to get my symptoms to lessen as I was standing being talked through the process so I knew something was happening and by the end of the day I was standing in comfort for quite long periods. As that had been one of my major problems I knew if I could overcome that I could do anything. All day I had been worrying about going out for a meal with my fellow trainees as Heather had suggested the night before because I’d have done two days of intensive training on practically no sleep, but when the session ended I was actually the first to mention it. Heather drove us to a restaurant in Rickmansworth and I coped pretty well during the meal doing the process in my head. Afterwards I surprised myself by suggesting we went for a walk! We just walked round the block back to the car but it was the furthest I’d walked at a normal pace in 8 years and I only had one pain which I was able to quickly banish. Back at the farmhouse that night I was standing comfortably chatting to a group of people and my confidence was growing by the minute. Even though I still didn’t sleep much and had to do the process a lot, by day three I was free from ME symptoms for the whole day. I was worried about the drive home as I usually had to lie down in the back seat of the car but I coped really well sitting in the front and only had to do the process once during the hour-long journey.
The day after I got home I got up early and did a 20 minute walk and continued to go out for walks and drives every day, visiting family and friends, shopping and actually enjoying doing exercise like step aerobics. After three weeks I had the confidence to drive 1.5 hours round the busy M25 to visit a friend and then took trains and tubes into London to see the Verve at O2 Arena. I was dancing all night and on the way home had no problem (apart from sore feet!) standing on the packed train for almost an hour. Over the Christmas period I got a nasty virus but recovered from it in about a week – the same time a healthy person would – and I still managed some Highland dancing on New Year’s Eve! This week I went to my first Tai Chi and Qi Gong class, followed by a run; the next day I went up to London ice skating and shopping in the sales and yesterday I did a yoga class. I’m getting my fitness back and it is amazing how quickly my badly atrophied muscles are building up.
I am completely confident that I will continue as it is totally in my power and if I ever do get any ME symptoms or tiredness I just use the process and like magic they’re gone. In fact I am determined to achieve better health than I ever had. My only problem now is what to do with the rest of my life knowing that I can do anything!
UPDATE ON FIONA’S LIFE July 2008
It’s now eight months since I did the Lightning Process training programme with Heather and I’d like to report that things are still going unbelievably well. I can do as much exercise as I like with no ME symptoms whatsoever and I have as much (if not more) energy than anyone I know. I’m still in the process of coming off my sleep medications and sometimes sleep doesn’t come that easily, and I very occasionally have one of my old ME muscle-pains, but I know why and 99.99% of the time I am totally ME free.
The last few months I’ve been busy travelling – in March I went to Lewis, an island off the northwest coast of Scotland, for a cousin’s housewarming party where I had the most amazing time. It was so fantastic going back to the place I’d spent a lot of my childhood for the first time in 10 years, seeing all my relatives and walking over a big hill to a beach I never thought I’d see again. In April I was off to America for three weeks, first to visit my sister in Chicago then to New York. In both cities I walked for miles every day, sightseeing and shopping, and went out every night. Last month I went to the Isle of Wight Festival where I out-walked my ex boyfriend (he kept having to go back to the tent early complaining of sore feet and aching legs but I could stay up dancing till the last band had come off stage!) and one day after getting back from there, having driven through the night from Southampton, I was off to Lewis again, this time for even more hill walking as my fitness (and the weather!) was improved.
I’m now concentrating my energies on what I’m going to do career-wise and am seriously considering becoming a Lightning Process practitioner. It is such an amazingly powerful tool I know I could help a lot of people get better as I have – and I can’t think of anything more exciting and rewarding than that. Watch this space for the next instalement of life after ME…
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