Monday, 4 June 2012

I Am Safe: Positive Affirmations to Ease Meniere’s Dis-ease

 If you haven’t already read the following posts, you may wish to read some of them first before reading about affirmations.

If you’ve read the above posts of mine you’ll know that I’m a strong proponent of the belief that our thoughts affect our health via the Psychoneuroimmunological Route. Overtime, consistent negative thinking impacts our brain chemistry which in turn affects our immune system which makes us more susceptible to disease.

I first heard about affirmations around 2000 from my sister who had attended a self-improvement book signing in Sydney with Louise L. Hay. Louise asserted that “your thoughts create your reality” and that “disease is dis-ease in the body”. At the time I was fairly young and reasonably healthy so I thought it an interesting concept but didn’t think much more about it until a few years later when my hearing in my left ear started to go.

I had undertaken all the tests required by my ENT [an Electrocochleography (ECochG), audiogram, CT & MRI scans] to ascertain the cause of my Cochlear Hydrops (the pre-Meniere’s Disease diagnosis), however a cause for my unilateral hearing loss could not be found. It was then that I remembered my sister saying that Louise Hay had said that hearing loss can be due to not wanting to hear something, a sort of "Don't bother me, I don’t want to hear it” reaction. So I thought to myself, “Are there things in my life that I don’t want to hear?” Absolutely.

At the time of the Cochlear Hydrops diagnosis I was under a lot of work pressure. Additionally I had become a sounding board for friends & family who were venting their unhappiness. Unhappy with their work, their relationships, their bodies, their situations, and because I saw myself as a good supportive friend I took it all in.

So thinking that these negative interactions may be affecting my health, I sent out an email to all my friends & family stating my health issue and requesting that they keep their communication with me light & positive. The email was well received and the flow of negative dialogue ceased.

Within three weeks my hearing restored completely and I didn’t have any further issues for another three years.

What I didn’t grasp at the time was that being a good friend didn’t mean being a bottomless receptacle for everyone’s gripes. As a friend I needed to learn that I could offer support within limits and boundaries, and not to personally take on their challenges. I needed to care for myself first.

When the hearing loss did occur again (three years later) I had lapsed back into old habits of trying to support everyone and not setting boundaries with friends & family, but mostly I hadn’t set limits with my work or myself. I had to take responsibility for this.

I was over-extended and financially obligated work-wise, and the GFC was making its presence known. Aside from the GFC, I had manifested this stressful environment around me. This time sending out an email wouldn’t cut it because I was the main culprit. If I had been able to send an email to myself it would have read something like this:

Dear Self,

This is an intervention. You need to start looking after yourself better. Go to bed before midnight. Don’t read work emails after 6pm. Learn to relax more. Take a holiday. Eat more often and healthier. Don’t try to fix other people. Don’t hold a grudge. Avoid hyper-vigilanceHave an outlet for frustration like walking or running. Ask for help if you need it. Be kind to yourself and set boundaries. Don’t worry so much, because everything will be all right, even if things are not as perfect as you have envisioned. It’s okay to surrender. But most importantly, whatever the future holds, you will be okay.

Love always,
Me xoxo

CHANGING YOUR THOUGHTS

Everybody reacts differently to stress. Some people get bogged down with recurring negative thoughts. You may relate to some of the following:

“I feel trapped in my job”

“I’m so in debt. How will I ever be able to pay all my bills on time?”

“I just can’t seem to lose weight”

“None of the clothes I like fit me”

“There’s nobody out there worth dating”

“I’m not happy in my relationship”

“My life isn’t going in the direction it should”

“I don’t like where I live”

“My friends aren’t supportive”

“What’s the point of anything?”

Louise Hay considers positive thoughts / affirmations to be like planting a seed in the ground.

“If you think of doing your positive affirmations, it’s like planting a seed in the ground. It’s not necessarily true at the moment but it is something you want to have be true… Little miracles start to happen. Lots of little good things happen… Your thoughts create your life; and when we can get that, we can make enormous changes.” - Louise L. Hay

Baring this in mind, what thoughts then might change the brain chemistry enough for the immune system improve, so that the symptoms & progression of Meniere’s Disease can be minimised?

I have compiled about twenty-eight (28) positive affirmations from Louise’s book “You Can Heal Your Life” that may assist those afflicted with Meniere’s Disease. (See the 28 affirmations at the end of this post.) 
Here are some of my favourites:

“Miracles happen every day. I go within to dissolve the pattern that created this, and I now accept a Divine healing. And so it is!”

“I love and approve of myself and trust the process of life. I am safe.”

“I now go beyond other people's fears and limitations. I create my life.”

“My thinking is peaceful, calm, and centred.”

“I am enthusiastic about life and filled with energy and enthusiasm.”

HOW CAN I USE AFFIRMATIONS TO MANAGE MENIERE’S DISEASE

You can use affirmations to manage the symptoms of Meniere’s Disease in two ways.

Firstly, positive affirmations can be used on a daily basis to help put the brakes on the progression Meniere’s Disease. However, like a train that is traveling at speed, Meniere’s Disease will not likely disappear after a week of positive thinking. It will take time, maybe many months, before you notice Meniere’s symptoms abating and feel the full benefit. It is like planting a seed in the ground. Initially you won’t likely see any results, however over time things will improve. (Note: Affirmations should be part of your Meniere's management plan and should not be used instead of medication and/or other prescribed therapies.)

Secondly, I have found it most helpful to mentally recite one particular affirmation at the onset of or during a Meniere’s attack. “I am safe”.

Having a Meniere’s attack is a frightening experience. Usually the longer it lasts, the more frightening it becomes as your body’s Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) kicks in, layering more horrible elements to the experience.

The Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) consists of two parts: the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) which is the “fight or flight” component and the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) which promotes “rest & digestion”.

You may have noticed when having an acute Meniere’s attack (one which go on for hours), some or all of the following SNS or PNS sensations:

-       Heart palpitations
-       Cold, clammy hands and tingling sensations in your feet and toes
-       Feelings of warmth and cold
-       Increased sweating
-       A dry mouth
-       Diarrhea
-       Deep or shallow breathing, which may cause tightness in the chest or further dizziness or light-headedness
-       A sense of derealisation – a feeling of confusion or un-reality.

One of the best affirmations I have found to ease a Meniere’s attack and stop the ANS from going into overdrive is the following phrase:
“I am safe.”

 It’s simple, effective and easy to remember. When you next feel an attack coming on, relax and try to re-direct your mind to this one thought - “I am safe”. Keep steadily saying it in your mind like a quiet mantra. “I am safe”

Meniere attacks are horrible and it’s very easy to let it push your anxiety levels way up, but if you are in a safe place (lying on your bed or even on the floor out of harm’s way), know this. Even the worst Meniere’s attack will come to an end and you will be okay. Surrender to this knowledge and let the attack wash over you. Take your medication (anti-nausea & Valium), keep a bucket or motion sickness bag handy with a sipping water bottle, lay very still and concentrate on breathing steadily with the affirmation “I am safe”.

DO YOU HAVE AN AFFIRMATION THAT HELPS YOU MANAGE YOUR MENIERE’S DISEASE? Share your affirmation in the comment area below.

The following 3mins & 54secs could change your life. Watch the trailer to:
You Can Heal Your Life: The Movie


POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS TO EASE MENIERE'S DISEASE



For more on Louise L Hay & affirmations go to:
http://www.louisehay.com/

Rent "You Can Heal Your Life: The Movie"

Buy “You Can Heal Your Life” the Book & DVD Box Set

8 comments:

  1. This is a great comprehensive post! I have also found it very helpful to have an "emotional management plan" for attacks that involve addressing the extreme panic and out of control feelings that arise as it's happening. A book I found very helpful when I was first diagnosed is "When the Body Says No". It sounds like the kind of resource you might find interesting too. I'm glad to have found your website and I'm looking forward to reading your other posts.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Maya,

      Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I’m glad that you’ve enjoyed the post.

      Even though Meniere’s Disease is a very real chronic illness, there are things we can do to minimise its impact on our lives. Our senses may be the input for our perception of the world, but it is our minds that interpret this information. We can override some of the damaged information being sent to our brain by using our thoughts to affirm that what we perceive isn’t real, even though it feels very real.

      The sensation a person with a healthy vestibular has watching an IMAX or 3D movie is sort of what we experience most days with Meniere’s, when visual input overrides vestibular & proprioception input. After decades of being healthy, we with Meniere’s have to retrain our brains to learn that this is the new reality and not to fear it. It’s a tough call & takes time to adjust. Affirmations and positive thinking help with this adjustment.

      Thanks for recommending the book:
      "When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress" (2004) by Gabor Maté, M.D.
      (Published in the USA as "When the Body Says No: Understanding the Stress-Disease Connection" 2003 by Gabor Maté, M.D.)

      According to Dr Maté’s website, the book “explores the role of the mind-body link in conditions and diseases such as arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, IBS, and multiple sclerosis”. It also includes “The Seven A’s of Healing: principles of healing and the prevention of illness from hidden stress. Acceptance, Awareness, Anger, Autonomy, Attachment, Assertion, & Affirmation.”

      Inside Cover: “Can a person literally die of loneliness? Is there a connection between inhibited emotion and Alzheimer’s disease? Is there a "cancer personality"? Questions such as these are emerging as scientific findings throw new light on the controversy that surrounds the mind-body connection in illness and health. Modern research is confirming the age-old wisdom that emotions profoundly affect our physiology. Repressed emotions frequently bring on stress–– which, in turn, can lead to disease.”

      It sounds like a great read.

      Gabor Maté is a Hungarian born professor who is based in Canada.
      Here are a few links for people who want to learn more about this book & its author.
      http://drgabormate.com/

      http://www.amazon.com/When-Body-Says-Understanding-Stress-Disease/dp/0471219827

      Dr Gabor Maté discusses the stress disease connection.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycpETpqxYq0

      The Seven A’s of Healing
      http://timroy.ca/?p=120

      Thanks for sharing Maya! :-)

      Cheers,

      Beatrice

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    2. Beatrice, I must post anonymously as I work in the public eye and my vocation would be jeopardized if anyone found out who I am/what I do. I was recently diagnosed with Meniere's Syndrome and have found your blog to be beautifully written, inspiring and hopeful. I will keep you in my prayers. Stay safe.

      -a gentleman from Nebraska

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  2. Years ago--about 20-- I had a nervous "breakdown"
    One of the most helpful things I found once I could eat a bite of bland elimination diet food and hold my head upright ,was a book from Louise Hay.I still believe in the power of affirmations,and use them but My worst case scenario is always the Lord's prayer, playing like a record in my brain, it comforts me and calms me and takes my mind off my suffering. Guess that's a different approach but them people are different and each must live his/her own life and travails. However, I also find that visualisation of oneself as a player in a pleasant experience --ie visualising as if one's on stage and acting out the role--helps greatly with a calming effect.
    I don't have the awful Menieres attacks like I used to---having progrssed through the stages but been lucky enough to complete a long professioal career without the worst of the bleeding disease interfering more than an occasional four hour attack of loss of balance and a head full of spinning screaming strobe lights--as I had a grommet I my affected ear for 6 months at when it was placed, the specialist injected a low dose of gentamycin.He says I could be free of attacks or I could regress, and no medical person can tell me for sure, but he said throw away the useless tablets and rely on core balance, low salt, and decaf tea, so that's what I do,and I've n been documenting my recipes and will soon send them to menieres Ai ustralia inc ase they can use them to help somone else.. Thank God that with the low salt diet has worked wonders for me for four years,and I now walk 2kms aday unless it's very hot as then I do know I have a bad ear,and go lie down!. Mind you I fought back from depression and inactivity and dependence when i couldn't stand alone or walk without a walker, and had to have my sister cook my evening meal every day for 6 mths, beginning my balance exercises at about a minute a time till I could balance on the ball and lift my legs,even close my eyes, the ultimate challenge,but only after the operation.. The resulting strength of my core has helped me enormously so now I am a fan of exercise when one is well enough to do even the tiniest amount. BTW I'm 77 now so I thank God for the reasonable health I'm enjoying and your site reminds me again not to become complacent!Guess I'll break out that ball again and revisit Louise as I have a grand nephew of 16 who is sadly laid low with panic attacks and I reckon she would help him
    God Bless and Cheers' Val

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    1. Hi Val,

      Firstly I’m sorry to read of your breakdown, but glad to see you have come out the other side.

      As you mentioned, the Lord’s Prayer is a good affirmation. I too have found visualisation very helpful, particularly during Intratympanic Dexamethasone Injections & MRI scans.

      I’m glad to hear that you find core balance, low salt & decaf tea helpful. I’m sure Meniere’s Australia’s members would appreciate your recipe contribution.

      It’s fantastic that you are doing daily 2km walks at 77yrs of age. Good for you!:-) I’m lucky if I do one walk a week (must work on improving that).

      Your grand nephew is lucky to have someone like you to introduce him to affirmations & visualisations. It should be taught in high schools to help young people deal with the pressures of adult life.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

      Cheers,

      Beatrice

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  3. Well in my search online for useful info for Vertigo, I found your site. What a wealth of information. You are a godsend. I will use these and Louise Hay's positive affirmations every day because I do understand that I don't want to hear so many negative things lately. Peace unto you my dear, and once more thank you.

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  4. thank you v much

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  5. maggie.danhakl@healthline.com19 July 2014 11:33

    Hi Beatrice,

    Healthline just published a visualization of your daily value of sodium. In the chart, you can see what half of your DV of salt looks like for 30 foods: http://www.healthline.com/health/high-blood-pressure-hypertension/daily-value-sodium

    This is very valuable content as it puts nutrition information into perspective and helps a person understand how much sodium is actually in their food. I thought this would be of interest to your audience and wanted to see if you would include this as a resource on your page: http://menieresjourney.blogspot.com/2012/06/i-am-safe-positive-affirmations-to-ease.html

    If you do not believe this would be a good fit for a resource on your site, even sharing this on your social communities would be a great alternativeto help get the word out.

    Thanks for your time reviewing. Please let me know your thoughts and if there are any questions I can answer.

    All the best,
    Maggie Danhakl • Assistant Marketing Manager
    p: 415-281-3124 f: 415-281-3199

    Healthline • The Power of Intelligent Health
    660 Third Street, San Francisco, CA 94107
    www.healthline.com | @Healthline | @HealthlineCorp

    About Us: corp.healthline.com

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