The Challenge of running a support group, restoring my passion

I left the Fatty Liver Disease Support Group I created 6 years ago on Monday after 2 senior administrators left and deleted me from their Facebook. I have known both for 3 or more years and i was friends with their family as well. I was told the drama in the group was my fault for not standing up for them clearly. That I am too lenient and I am too often allowing people to come to the right answers for themselves once they have been advised on things like not using supplements. That I am the reason for the dysfunction that happens in there

I want to be clear that I understand their viewpoint. When you are on the edge waiting for a transplant or you have had one there is a desperate need to demand that everyone else NEVER get to their stage of this disease. I agree completely with this, but my confidence has come from the fact that I am unaware of a single member who came in to the group with early stage fatty liver who has actually gotten worse with the advice given in here about eating natural foods and stopping the processed foods as much as possible. You are looking for a ratio of 90% natural and 10% processed.

I did a lot of soul searching on Monday and cried a ton of tears. I was blamed for drama on the weekend that i was not a part of, i did not witness but that i received 10 emails from angry members about how things happened with deletions and how it was handled.

The issue on the weekend was actually about a celebrity who is extremely controversial that some members wanted to see as a spokesperson and other members were dead set against him.

This had NOTHING to do with the disease and the group at the end of the day. Having someone famous talk about the disease would be helpful but they should be a little less offensive to a large portion of population.

I came to a decision that i would stop running the group if i was truly damaging it by being to kind. I even started accepting that after 6 years pouring my heart and soul into this group that maybe it was time to back away.

I received a large number of emails of support from within the group Monday and I am forever thankful to those that took the time to check in on me.

Tuesday morning I believe God intervened.

1.A local city politician asked to meet with me and have me help him because he has just been diagnosed with fatty liver disease. He respects this is a business for me and wants to pay me to teach his family how to read labels, how to determine what is a gmo veggie and which are not. How to start a small garden and how to conveniently start making meals from scratch.

Once i spoke to him i was energized with my passion for this disease and helping people again. The negative messaging about whether i am doing a good job or not seemed less important.

2. In the afternoon I received a tweet asking me what i wanted to ask for funding for from a group that helps create campaigns for crowd sourcing. I told them about my visions for raising awareness on fatty liver and they see it as a very worthwhile cause and they will help me get this going.

I rejoined my group on Tuesday I was clearly receiving messages from the universe that told me this is too important to back away from.

On Wednesday I was asked to speak at a women in progress lunch on avoiding fatty liver disease at the end of April and I will also be on a talk radio show in Toronto talking about fatty liver as well.

So while i am still quite hurt by the events of this, i lost a large number of friends because i try to look at all sides of a story before i make a decision. Each one who left and deleted me thought i was supporting the other side, when in fact i saw that they all had a point.

If you have gotten worse while you are in my group please let me know. If this is a common event I will reconsider my position again. I want to help not hurt people.

Please be kind to each other and please be even kinder to your liver

A Fatty Liver Disease Story – Don’t let this be YOU!

So your doctor has indicated that you have a fatty liver and that you should go home to diet and exercise.  You trust your doctor they have taken care of you for years. You don’t pay much attention to what he said about diet and exercise. If this was serious he would have been more concerned.  You go on with your life, wings and beer with your friends, ice cream and soda pop with your kids. Life is fun and you don’t feel sick. Exercise is walking the dog 2 times a day you make a point of using diet pop and low fat products at home so you know that you are going to lose weight someday.

A year later and you start to notice that you are having a lot of stomach aches that make you remove spicy wings from your diet.  This doesn’t seem to help so you keep eliminating foods you think might be causing them… You start to notice that on the walk with the dog you are getting tired much faster. You promise yourself you will start to go to bed earlier at night that should help.  Overall you feel off but your life is stressful and you are aging so it all makes sense.

You get the kids to walk the dog. You know you can’t give him the exercise he needs so you give that up. You mention to your family that you aren’t feeling well and they laugh it off and tell you to stop eating chips!  You start to notice that you are incredibly itchy. You are sure something isn’t right so you go to the doctor.  The doctor gives you a steroid cream to help with the itching and suggests ant acids for the stomach aches. As for the general malaise he suggests a multivitamin and asks you to come back in 3 months to see how things are.

You come down with colds and flus and you can’t seem to fight them off anymore. You load up on Vitamin C and make a note to talk to your doctor about that. You are so tired but when you lie down to sleep you are awake with the pain in your stomach. You are taking so many ant acid tablets but they don’t seem to help. The itching seems to move all over your body, there is not enough steroid cream to cover your whole body. You get aggravated easily and your memory seems to be failing your family is getting tired of your constant whining and complaining.

When you go back to your doctor you tell him that you are fed up with feeling awful. He decides to run another blood test and refer you to a gastroentologist. The appointment for the gastroentologist is in 3 months.  Your doctor doesn’t call back regarding the blood test so you wait for the gastroentologist appointment.

The specialist looks over all your reports. He isn’t sure if this is a gallbladder, or pancreas issue or possibly a liver issue. He orders an ultrasound to see what is happening in your stomach. He sits you down and tells you that based on what he sees your liver is in trouble.  The specialist schedules you for a biopsy and tells you that you have NASH. The biopsy will be scheduled as soon as possible.

After the biopsy you learn that you have NASH and it’s leading to Cirrhosis.  WHAT?? How would I get Cirrhosis? I don’t drink that much I am not an alcoholic!  You have Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.  It’s a shame you didn’t catch this before the damage was done. We will monitor you closely but you are headed for a transplant.

Please do not be him, when the doctor tells you that you have Fatty liver disease pay attention and change your lifestyle before it’s too late.

Marina’s Story – 14 Year old NAFLD patient

I met and started talking to Darlene who is Marina’s grandmother after she found my blogs about my daughter Megan. I have asked her to share the story of her grand daughter Marina.

It was Nov 1. 2012. Marina woke up for school and said her stomach hurt her. She generally never gets up at 5 am and for her to wake me up that early, I knew it must hurt her very badly because she is not a complainer.
She showed me where it hurt and it was like the top right side of her abdomen. She started getting ready for school and she was still in a lot of pain..so much so that I took her to the urgent care clinic instead of waiting to call her family doctor’s office. At the clinic ,they took Marina right back and drew blood, after examining her and with her being in so much pain, they reviewed the blood work wnich showed her (* white blood count was way off) they actually called an ambulance to transport her to Children’s Hospital.

When we got to the hospital…they hooked up an IV…started drawing blood and she was in so much pain she was crying. They did a CT scan and a Sonogram and took her right to the ICU. Her blood pressure sky rocketed..her blood count was way off…and she couldn’t stop crying about the pain. I was trying to act calm on the outside to keep Marina calm, but I was so worried …thinking…let this be her appendix so it will be solved quickly!

That would have been to good to be true. They call in the Gastroentologist and we were told the scan results were in and she had pancreaticitis. Marina just had to stay for a few days in the hospital …keeping a good eye on her in the ICU. No food to give her pancreas a rest with just an IV and lots of pain medication. So, I could breath again… she stopped crying cause the pain medications were working.They brought a portable toilet for her to pee in because she was hooked up to monitors.She was dealing with nausea but didn’t throw up…her blood pressure was high but they said it was due to the pain. To me, she looked so uncomfortable from the pain the whole thing,then she goes pee and what the heck her urine was brown like coffee. I almost passed out but I am still acting calm on the outside..she was groggy and I calmly asked the nurse why is her urine that color? Oh that’s ok, its just that her pancreas is inflamed and it needs to rest. Ok they are the medical experts… so for the next 24 hrs..she continued to feel nausea she was still getting the iv so she could let her pancreas rest, still urinating brown ,blood pressure high but a little lower with drugs,she did not sleep much and I didn’t sleep at all.

So 24 hrs go by and the doctors came in to make their rounds. I asked all kinds of questions…like what caused this what can be done why is her blood pressure so high…why is her urine so brown…they answered all my questions and said her pancreas got infected…they don’t know how…these things happen… no med for it just no food to rest it and the pee is brown because the pancreas and liver work together and the red blood cells are coming out in her urine because the liver is not working correctly because of the pancreas being swollen…its fine.

So two more days went by and she still was on pain medications but it was hurting less everyday…her blood pressure was returning to normal and her pee was a light brown….so they moved her to a regular room and had her start in liquids… they gave her soda POP…with sugar in it…coke, pepsi,ginger ale, they gave her pudding, ice cream, jello and these are medically trained doctors?. So I not knowing they were poisoning her liver, I was so happy Marina was holding it down. So after a day of sugar galore, her face started turning red,then purplish. Again I was calm on the outside falling apart on the inside. I Go and tell the nurse and they see her blood pressure rocket, her pain was coming back. They rush her back to the ICU. What’ going on?? I go to an empty room to call my daughter long distance to tell her help!. I was so weak inside my daughter (marinas aunt) and my son in law and my daughters best friend get on their computers they are searching reading, looking, talking, trying to save Marina.

I am sitting in marinas ICU room when a nurse…now this is extremely important to remember..THIS NURSE who was taking care of marina that shift…commented to me…who by the way NOT ONE DR. OR SPECIALIST SAID A WORD ABOUT to me…her liver enzymes are so high. So I freak out inside what? her liver enzymes are so high I am thinking no doctor or specialist said that to me!!! As far as they were concerned it was all only about her pancreas So now back home they start thinking maybe its not her pancreas maybe her liver is causing her pancreas to be sick!

Now keep that comment from my daughter’s friend in your mind along with what the nurse said about marinas enzymes
So I see my precious grand daughter is getting so sick again after she started getting better!

I go to the room where marina can’t hear the desperation in my voice and tell my daughter listen to this a nurse just said to me wow her liver enzymes are so high. I said why would she be concerned about that,all along the doctors and other nurses were saying to me…no its her pancreas, the other organs are just helping with her pancreas. So my daughter says mom let me talk to her doctor. And I took my phone and went and found Marina’s doctor and told her to please explain to my daughter about marinas health… 20 min the doctor hands me back the phone and my daughter says to me MOM..WHY ARE YOU TELLING US COMMENTS MADE BY A NURSE…GETTING EVERYONE WORRIED THAT MARINAS SO SICK..HER DOCTOR SAID HER LIVER IS FINE she just needs to rest her pancreas everything is fine!

so I am numb am half happy, half thinking no she is back in the ICU, I am in a mind set of total confusion. I’m thinking about what the nurse said and I have marinas mom stay with her and I went to a computer, typed in liver and Fructose in Google searched fructose, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, every thing I typed in about liver..dark urine pain. I start seeing all this about children…fructose ,liver, dark urine and I’m like what??. So I send all these links to to my family. My son-in-law said get Marina out of that hospital something is not right!

marina was so sick when she came here they didn’t put anything in her body meaning no sugar because they wanted her pancreas to rest and it was working her blood pressure went down her blood count was getting better her urine was lightening with every pee. Then since she was getting better they took her out of ICU and gave her all liquids and soft food high fructose pudding high sugar jello, sugar in chocolate milk The comment stood out in my mind….maybe its her liver that’s making her pancreas sick I said I am taking her home…The doctors said you can’t, no said marinas mom! I said OH YES I CAN I AM HER LEGAL GUARDIAN I took her home and put her on a strict no sugar diet and my family and I read everything about fructose sugar liver and by the next week when they did blood work…wow….was her body getting better not much pain at all pee turning yellow not brown no nausea, sleeping good Since then we have been very on top of marina walking for exercise..every day she has to walk… he set her up with drinking watered down cider vinegar every other day….and on the other days she drinks a spice with water… turmeric. Every label is now read for hidden ways of saying sugar!

Marina is an honor role student and is doing very well since we took her health into our own hands! Doctors are not taught enough about this disease and they don’t look for it and assume its other things. We blindly trust doctors with our lives and sometimes you just need to listen to common sense. If the sugar brought all symptoms back then there is something to consider getting rid of for your body!

This disease is hitting kids as young as 2.

Do not ignore it, if 1 in 3 north Americans has liver disease someone you love is dealing with it before it starts showing nasty symptoms like this.

Join our group on facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/fattyliversupport/

Follow us on Twitter @fattyliverhelp

And join our website with patients helping patients at http://www.reversefattyliverdisease.com/

Fatty Liver Disease and Sleep issues

Many members of my support group on facebook complain of insomnia. it is clearly a symptom and can also be a cause of Fatty liver disease. The sad truth is that our livers heal over night. So if we are not getting to the REM level of sleep then the liver is not healing.

Fatty Liver Disease

There are two types of fatty liver disease, nonalcoholic and alcohol-induced. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is a condition where there is an accumulation of fat in the liver even if you do not drink alcohol or drink only a little. This type of fatty liver disease is common, and often has no complications or symptoms. However, it can cause scarring and inflammation in your liver. Alcohol-induced fatty liver is also an accumulation of too much fat in the liver. It is the most common type of alcohol-induced liver disorder. This causes your liver to enlarge, which may lead to discomfort on the upper right side of your abdomen.

Sleep disturbances like insomnia are common among people with liver disease. However, excessive sleeping, called hypersomnia, is also common for liver disease patients. Often, people alternate between insomnia and hypersomnia, which contributes to general fatigue. The exact reason for these sleep disturbances is unclear. It is possible that liver disease causes alterations in how the body makes melatonin, which is a substance that helps you sleep. Smoking, drinking alcohol or caffeinated beverages can contribute to sleeping problems too, as can some medications. Prednisone, interferon, ribavirin and propanolol are all associated with insomnia.

Cirrhosis

Cirrhosis is a diseased liver that is severely scarred. One of the causes of cirrhosis is nonalcoholic steatohepatits, which is the more severe type of nonalcoholic fatty liver diseases. Other causes include chronic hepatitis B or C and longstanding abuse of alcohol. The liver damage from cirrhosis can can disrupt the brain’s chemical pathways, which alters sleep patterns. “The American Journal of Gastroenterology” reported in May 2008 that the antihistamine hydroxyzine restored normal sleep patterns in a study involving cirrhosis patients suffering from insomnia.

Sleep Apnea

Another sleep issue that fatty liver sufferers can have is obstructive sleep apnea. Many people with obstructive sleep apnea are obese, which puts them at risk for fatty liver. Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition where your breathing stops and starts repeatedly while sleeping. Both insomnia and hypersomnia are signs of obstructive sleep apnea. A study in “Hepatology” journal published in June 2005 found that of the 163 patients with obstructive sleep apnea in the study, there was a significantly higher percentage of fatty liver disease in the most severe cases.

Insomnia is characterized by difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. If you have insomnia, then you likely do not feel refreshed when you wake up in the morning. This is common among people with fatty liver disease. Insomnia can have many causes, from anxiety to poor sleeping habits, but fatty liver disease is also a possible cause.

Sleep is as important to your health as a healthy diet and regular exercise are. Whatever your reason for sleep loss, insomnia affects people both mentally and physically. The impact can be cumulative, with chronic insomnia likely to precede depression, anxiety, internal organ or chronic pain disorders. Additionally, lack of sleep slows your problem-solving skills and may cause someone to take unnecessary risks.

Variations on sleeplessness include problems falling asleep, maintaining sleep or experiencing non-restorative sleep. Because sleep rejuvenates the psyche and immune system, insomnia affects energy level, mood and overall health. The result of poor sleep is fatigue, which always perpetuates chronic illness. Long-term sleep deprivation increases the severity of chronic disease, including all kinds of liver disease.

When it comes to liver disease, the following are popular culprits for insomnia:

· Stress or Anxiety – Concerns about your health may keep your mind overly active, making relaxation and therefore a restful sleep difficult.

· Sleep Apnea – Affecting over 12 million Americans, obstructive sleep apnea interrupts the sleep cycle, resulting in poor quality sleep and fatigue. Additionally, French researchers have discovered that sleep apnea is a significant risk factor for fatty liver disease.

· Interferon Treatment – Interferon medication is the favored medical treatment for viral Hepatitis B and C. Although temporary, insomnia is a common side effect of interferon therapy.

· Cirrhosis – In people who have cirrhosis of the liver, histamine levels in the brain are often altered. In the brain, histamine regulates the sleep-wake cycle, so if levels of this chemical get out of balance, so do the person’s sleep patterns.

· Related Illnesses – Patients with liver disease often suffer from other related illnesses, including type-2 diabetes, obesity and hypertension – all of which can have insomnia as a symptom.

If a person’s sleep cycle is interrupted, the deepest, most restorative stages of sleep are never reached and the person will feel fatigued. By controlling the stages of sleep in your brain, some chemicals slow down brain waves, helping you fall asleep, while others stimulate brain waves, causing you to dream and wake. Alcohol disrupts these normal actions, ultimately hindering the quality of your sleep.

Conquering Insomnia : here are seven suggestions to encourage sound sleep:

1. Establish a sleep routine, retiring and rising at the same time each day.

2. Maintain an environment conducive to sleep by keeping your bedroom dark, quiet and cool.

3. Avoid caffeine, alcohol and big meals in the evening.

4. Try relaxing before bedtime with a warm bath or other soothing evening ritual.

5. Because fatigue typically causes restless sleep, break an unhealthy sleep cycle. Proven to increase energy levels by up to 40 percent without stimulants, try supplementing with to ensure adequate energy levels during the day for exercise and then restful sleep at night.

6. Do not have a visible bedroom clock. “Clock watching” often intensifies insomnia. Turn the clock face away from you or put it in a drawer.

Follow us on Twitter @Fattyliverhelp.

Join our private support group on facebook where you can discuss openly without others on your friends list seeing it

http://www.facebook.fattyliversupport.com

Visit our Website where patients help patients! .

http://www.reversefattyliverdisease.com/

Depression and a New Focus

I have been depressed. Absolutely without a doubt It started a few weeks ago when we learned that Megan’s foot is not healing and continued as I realized that in order to face the rest of 2013 I will have to back out of my passions in 2012.

My intentions with Jamie Oliver Food Revolution was to spread the word about eating whole foods and making sure our kids are healthier in the future by stopping the craziness now!

I got asked to become a volunteer in April 2012 and I accepted that challenge with excitement, I focussed a ton of my energy and support into creating a wonderful event in May 2012, I got lots of media coverage and the event was an amazing success.

My intentions with Ignite Health Ontario was to take the food revolution a step further and focus on the whole body experience, we need mental balance, spiritual balance, exercise, we need to eat balanced. Any of these factors being out of balance can cause illness and we always need to remember that.

I was inspired by Ignite London and additionally the creation of Ignite Culture where a full night of topics was related to arts and culture. If that could be done why couldn’t we create a night of health related topics. I was geared up and excited. I shared the idea in an ignite london talk and I had a number of great people come to me afte that to tell me to get in touch with them about this event.

We ran this event in October 2012 and it was a great success. I am very proud of both of these events and the work I did for them.

What I stopped paying attention too was the fact it was impacting my own stress levels, my ability to focus on work and now that we have no way to predict when Megan will be able to walk again I have to raise my hands and scream UNCLE!!

I decided that I need to shelve or back out of both Ignite Health Ontario and the Jamie Oliver food revolution for at least 2013. Making that decision broke my heart I am dousing the flames of passion with my tears. So over the last 3 -4 weeks I have been sleeping a ton, I have had a number of migraines and flus hit me. My Chronic Skin picking (dermatilomania) is at a level that I am struggling to get back under some control.

I have open sores on my arms. hands, chest, face and scalp. They are sore and begging me to stop. I am having so much anxiety around what I do with my life now. How do I translate that passion to taking care of my own health needs when I have never taken care of myself. Where do I start? How do I learn at 44 how to love myself when my entire life has been focussed on helping others. How do I get passionate about work again. There are quiet times that I need to fill with projects and I need to get excited about that and just do it. How do I keep the man beside me who has come into my life as a blessing and I can barely see with the challenges of working full time and being full time caretaker to Megan and the dog too.
I have been crying a ton and finally hit my breaking point last week . I made a doctors appointment to get Megan some more Tylenol 3 for pain and at the same time I asked to have my antidepressant Effexor increased from 75 MG to 150 MG.

I do feel lighter in my thoughts, I am not crying as frequently and do not feel as emotionally lost. I am now having insomnia instead of sleeping too much, I am having cold sweats but I assume thats related to upping my dose of Effexor and it won’t last long.

I have decided that I will focus on work, my health, my daughter, my boyfriend and I will refocus some of my energy to provide direction to Fatty Liver Disease support again. There are some demons that I will need to address in some counselling sessions and its time I took that step to take care of myself again.

I am not out of the woods but I will not hide the fact that yes I am dealing with depression again. I am also taking steps to fight back against its control on me. So 2013 will look very different for me but I hope to have some positive news for you all soon.

Hugs

Michelle

Guest Post – Heather Von St. James – Wife and Survivor of Mesothelioma

Heather asked if I could share her story and I am more than happy to!!

Heather Von St. James
Courageous Mother, Wife and Survivor of Mesothelioma

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.”
-Mark Twain

I hear it often from people, how brave I am and how much courage I have. Sometimes I just have to laugh, because, going through what I’ve been through with my mesothelioma battle, I don’t feel very brave. At times, the fear was so overwhelming, all I could do was cry out to God to help me. I would love to say that through the last 7 years, I’ve learned to conquer my fears. After all, Lungleavin Day, our celebration of the anniversary of my extrapleural pneumonectomy surgery, is all about overcoming fears. But I still have my moments, more often than I would like to admit. I have the usual fears creep in, my “scanxiety” I’ve blogged about before, little pangs of fear before I fly, but the biggest fear I struggle with is the fear of something happening to my daughter. This is something that has plagued me since she was born.

I’ve always had what I jokingly call puke-aphobia and, with having a kid, you know it something you have to deal with. This year has been particularly brutal on the gastroenteritis front for my poor Lily. Three times she has been sick this year in as many months. When she got sick the third time, the fear reared its ugly head in a big bad way. So much that I took her to the doctor and insisted he do a battery of tests to rule out anything. The thing I was most afraid of? Yep, cancer. Having dealt with cancer myself, and knowing so many others, my hypochondriac mind went right to the worst-case scenario. My husband, bless his heart, is always able to bring me back around to reasonable thinking. Although he understands why I go to the worst-case scenario, he doesn’t indulge it, and his voice of sound reason helps so much to calm me. Except in this case. I could not shake the feeling that something was seriously wrong. Turns out he was right. She is a perfectly healthy 7-year-old little girl. Every single test came back as normal as normal as could be and, for some reason, she has just gotten sick a lot this year.

The fear is crippling. The anxiety it causes makes my life miserable and those around me even more so. It is something that I have vowed to work on this year to not let the fear get out of control. Someone told me once that the word “FEAR” is an acronym for “False Evidence Appearing Real”, and when you think about it? It is TRUE!! The fear is almost always worse than what I’ve imagined and blown out of proportion in my mind. I did something this time that was not easy for me to do. I asked for help from people who I trust and admire, and their guidance and prayer really helped me overcome this obstacle. They gave me some tools to use to stop the cycle and basically send that fear packing. Frankly, God is the one who gives me tremendous peace. I find that prayer and reading His word, writing scriptures that speak to me, and keeping them in a little notebook for my use is a way for me to keep grounded.

With Lungleavin Day coming up, the opportunity is here to write our fears on a plate and smash them into the fire, I’m going to once again take control of my emotions and overcome. I know I have the power to do it; sometimes it is just making the choice to do so.

I hope you too will do something on February 2nd to overcome your fears in the spirit of Lungleavin Day. If breaking a plate is over the top, I find that a paper plate works great, and burning it, or tearing it into hundreds of pieces. If you struggle with fear, no matter what it is, taking control, finding the root of it, and addressing it helps takes it away. I also find humor is a great way to conquer fear, hence “LUNGLEAVIN DAY” It was born out of the desire to make something funny out of something tragic. It is the day my lung left my body.

For this, my 7th Annual Lungleavin Day, I’m conquering fear by surrounding myself with amazing people and sharing our night with anyone who wants to join in. I hope you can join us. Go to my Facebook fan page to join the Lungleavin Day Event and we will be live webcasting on the night of February 2nd, 2013 6:00 pm to whenever the last plate is broken (Central time).

I hope you, too, find something healing about the day just like we do. Together, we will make 2013 fabulous.

Read more: http://www.mesothelioma.com/blog/authors/heather/fear.htm#ixzz2J0nHx1ru

What is Shamanic Healing – Guest Post Wanda Davis

What is Shamanic Healing?

 

Shamanic healing is connecting with the spiritual dimension of reality for healing and guidance.  It is a contemporary practice that anyone can learn.  Many are familiar with what an indigenous shaman would do for his/her tribe: healing, divination, ceremony, etc.  Michael Harner, an American anthropologist, has studied indigenous tribes throughout the world and realized there are many core, universal shamanic techniques that are used worldwide, whether it is in Australia, Siberia, Peru, the Amazon or here in the Americas.  He has brought these universal techniques to the Western World and has continued to teach them.  These key elements can be incorporated into daily life similar to teachings in yoga or meditation.

 

Animism is the way of perceiving the world by believing that all created things (humans, animals, plants, elements, seasons, etc.) have intelligent, communicative life force or spirit and their own energy.  One can build a relationship with these life forces for wisdom, insight and healing.  This practice of direct revelation and learning directly from the source brings awe and wonder to every journey.  A shamanic journey is the art using rhythm and intention to enter an altered state, the theta state, of consciousness to connect with the spiritual dimension of reality.  Anyone can be taught how to journey for him or herself.  A shamanic practitioner journeys for another person to determine what healing is needed and then proceeds to act as the conduit for the healing. 

 

Each of us has allies that help us.  Everyone has at least one power animal that brings us power and protection.  You may already feel a connection to a particular animal only to find out how they may help you.  Teachers may come in any form (think of possible trees or planets).  Teachers in human form could include an ancestor, indigenous teacher, person from a story, a saint, ascended master, etc.  You may have different teachers for different purposes in life.  

 

There are three major methods of shamanic healing: power animal retrieval, soul retrieval and extraction healing.  Power animal retrieval brings an animal whose power may be needed for a particular purpose at that time.  In a time of trauma, a person may have lost connection with a part of their energetic soul and retrieval helps him/her feel more whole again and able to move forward in his/her life.  Extraction healing helps remove any energy blockages in the energy body that may prevent the energy from flowing properly. 

 

Shamanic healing can be very powerful and can shift the energy balance towards healing.  A person need only trust the process to gain tremendous wisdom, insights and healing. 

 

Wanda Davis

Shamanic Practitioner, Reiki Master/Teacher

www.wandadavis.ca

wanda@wandadavis.ca