Below is an email I’m re-sharing from one of my readers named Abby (not her real name). I am still so thankful to her for writing in and sharing truthfully about her healing journey, as I am to every one of you who has written to me and shared your stories.
I wanted to share it with you, because I think her letter highlights difficulties that we all face, or will face as we strive to heal ourselves. After her letter, I’m going to take you through each piece of it and point out what I see. But let’s start with her story:
“After six years of struggling with horrific migraines and GI issues I am finally getting some relief thanks to a nurse practitioner who specializes in hormonal issues. In fact, I haven’t had a migraine in months (and I was losing up to 15 days/month due to them!).
After taking Dr. Mate’s advice (via the teleconference) regarding migraines (where migraines are strictly the result of suppressed anger) I began a psychotherapy/massage therapy/visceral massage therapy/acupuncture therapy/naturopathic therapy journey that cost me thousands & thousands of dollars and gave me virtually no relief. I truly began to despair over the idea that I was “causing” my pain due to unresolved anger issues.
I then found the aforementioned nurse practitioner who put me on a hormonal therapy that keeps my hormones from fluctuating throughout the month. As a result, I finally have my life back! I no longer have migraines, joint pain, brain fog, and have considerably less GI burning pain.
At my initial consultation with the nurse practitioner I had mentioned Jini’s various protocols & also Jini’s suggestion that I might try bioidentical progesterone cream. I also told her that I had taken the progesterone cream that Jini suggested and it seemed to exacerbate my migraines and gastrointestinal issues. She promptly told me, “The last thing a migraineur should take is progesterone cream!!!!!! because it will cause migraines.
I truly feel Jini’s protocols are of the utmost benefit to many people, it just so happens my situation was unique, and therefore, couldn’t be resolved with those protocols. Time & time again I had been told by countless therapists/practitioners that I needed to avoid many foods, stress, anger, caffeine, and so forth because these were the causes of my migraines and GI issues.
Now that my hormones are no longer fluctuating, food, stress, anger, and caffeine no longer “trigger” my symptoms. As you can imagine, this has given me back a sense of control over my life. Thanks for asking why I cancelled my Wellness Circle membership, it speaks volumes for your company. I will continue to recommend Jini’s books and products, and will continue to wish you all much success!
Thanks again, Abby”
Abby’s story is a prime example of two things that I say repeatedly throughout Listen To Your Gut:
- Do not give your power and authority over your body away to anyone – not to doctors, healers, nutritionists and certainly not to me! No one knows your body better than you do. And no one can access your body’s wisdom the way you can.
- There are reasons why I refer to this process as a Healing Journey. I don’t talk about a “cure”, or say, “do this and presto, you’ll be cured.” Healing is a process, a holistic process. And the word ‘journey’ indicates that it takes time, effort, and like any journey, there are twists and turns in the road, there are setbacks and calamities. But you press on and eventually you reach your destination. And you are a changed person by the time you reach there; a bigger, deeper, wiser, more compassionate person. Sure, sometimes you can manage to resolve a symptom or effect healing with the first thing you try and it is indeed wonderful when this happens. But every healing tradition in our world points to healing as a learning process – as a method of teaching us, or forcing us to fix what’s wrong with us. This could be as simple as a mineral deficiency, or involve a complex, multi-tiered process addressing physical, emotional, mental and spiritual imbalances.
Now, regarding Abbey’s case, admittedly hindsight is 20/20, but here’s what comes to my mind after reading her letter:
Abby says that based on the belief that her migraines were caused by anger issues, “I began a psychotherapy/massage therapy/visceral massage therapy/acupuncture therapy/naturopathic therapy journey that cost me thousands & thousands of dollars and gave me virtually no relief.” Abby has listed five different therapies here. However, of the five, only one directly addresses anger issues: Psychotherapy. Or does it? I say repeatedly in Listen To Your Gut that any kind of ‘talk therapy’ (like psychotherapy) alone is not effective. You need to use therapies that integrate the mind and body; like Lazer Tapping, hypnotherapy, or somato-emotional release techniques. I also state that if you don’t see some kind of positive change after two sessions, then move on. Either the therapist is not right for you, or you need to try something else.
Secondly, the fact that Abby is seeing four other practitioners that deal with physical healing shows that in her gut, perhaps she doesn’t actually believe that her migraines are just about anger and she is still looking for other solutions. This is great – she is listening to her gut! – and this search is probably what led her to the nurse practitioner.
I also must take a moment here to clarify: At no point have I recommended natural progesterone cream as a migraine treatment. I recommend it as something to try if you suspect estrogen-dominance. This is often due to pregnancy, pre-menopause, or drugs that can imbalance your hormones. For myself, I will sometimes get headaches just before I menstruate, but if I take some progesterone earlier in my cycle, or even right on the day – the headache disappears. Okay, let’s move on.
From Abby’s letter, I get the impression she feels the thousands of dollars spent with the five different practitioners was a waste of money. And this is the part that makes me sad, because…was it really?
I bet she eats better than she did before, I bet she has a much greater understanding of how her mind/body interacts, I bet her musco-skeletal-visceral systems are a whole lot better – more fluid and healthier – after all that massage therapy and visceral work. And I suspect her organs in general are functioning better after acupuncture treatment. Just because a treatment isn’t the ‘magic bullet’, does that mean it was wasted?
I know when we’re so fixated on one outcome, it can seem that everything else is meaningless, or “didn’t work”. But again, if you look at the body holistically, where all the parts of yourself need care, love and support, then the myriad components of a Healing Journey are never wasted. They all confer benefits and healing of some sort. So we don’t need to beat up on ourselves, or castigate ourselves for wasting time or money.
We will all have much greater peace and success in our healing journeys if we view them as pieces of a puzzle, rather than one specific endpoint. Again, as a metaphor that pervades all areas of human existence: the journey is the point. The journey is more important than the destination.
Let’s get back to another piece of Abby’s letter – and thank you so much Abby for sharing your experience, so that we can all learn from it. Abby feels that the sole cause of her migraines was a hormonal imbalance and that single solution has solved her problem.
Maybe it is. Maybe it did. Or maybe it goes deeper that that.
Maybe the hormone balancing was simply the final piece of the puzzle. Maybe if she hadn’t already dealt with the musco-skeletal and visceral imbalances that were putting pressure on nerves, or restricting blood flow in key areas and she hadn’t balanced the flow of chi in her body via acupuncture, then the hormone therapy would have had a positive effect, but wouldn’t have eliminated the migraines.
But let’s just say the hormone therapy is indeed the one, singular solution to Abby’s migraines. It may still not get to root of the imbalance. To be certain of that, we have to ask this key question: What caused Abby’s hormones to go out of balance so drastically in the first place?
If Abby doesn’t find the answer to that question, and heal the root cause(s), she may have to stay on hormone therapy the rest of her life. So, to that end, perhaps we may end up coming full circle back to the anger issues – or some other issue. In my experience, hormones go out of balance due to extreme or chronic stress of any kind; physical, emotional, mental or spiritual – and often a few of those combined!
As a concrete example, sleep deprivation is something that will cause hormonal imbalance in just about anyone. So you can take hormone supplements to give yourself relief and improve your functioning, but if you don’t figure out how to get deep, restorative sleep, your root problem is not solved.
Abby may take hormone supplements to prevent migraine headaches, but if the root cause of her hormonal imbalance is anger, or unhealthy expression of anger, then she still has not actually solved the problem. Then, her body will just give her another symptom to deliver the same message that something is still not right in Abby’s world and she needs to fix it.
If, however, the root cause of her hormonal imbalance was pregnancy and sleep deprivation – which are no longer present in her life – then once she has rebalanced her hormones using the supplements, she will continue to be fine. She will also not have to take hormone supplements for the rest of her life – because she has resolved the root and also fixed the resulting problem.
Only Abby can go within her body and spirit and determine what originally caused (and/or is still causing) her hormone imbalance and hence, her migraines. And the answer to that question will be different for everyone.
I know migraine sufferers who have been “cured” through acupuncture alone, or through just craniosacral and visceral work. I know others who have been cured by quitting, or changing, their job and following their gut urging to live a bigger, more meaningful life. I know others who have been healed solely by acupressure tapping, and yet others by magnesium. My point here is that the migraine is just the message. It is the message from the body that something is wrong and you need to address it, as I outline in my blog post I Get the Message and the Symptom Disappears!
Magnesium for Migraines
My friend Dr. Carolyn Dean MD ND has been promoting the importance of magnesium for years. Here’s what she wrote about why you should try magnesium first if you suffer from migraines:
Every day I receive amazing testimonials like this one from a client of mine who said:
“My girlfriend frequently suffers from migraine headaches. About a month ago, she told me she had a migraine for days and that she nearly overdosed on acetaminophen (Tylenol) trying to get rid it. I scolded her for taking dangerous amounts of acetaminophen and offered her angstrom-sized magnesium solution in a tall glass of orange juice. Within about 10-15 minutes, her migraine was completely gone. About six hours later, her headache returned. Again, I gave her a moderate dose of the solution, and within 10-minutes, her headache was gone! Although she hasn’t taken any liquid magnesium since, she really hasn’t had any major headaches. But I’m still going to get her on a daily regimen. I just now ordered four bottles of it, one for her, one for me, one for the receptionist at my work who has to wear migraine sunglasses indoors, and on to keep on hand.”
In my Magnesium Miracle book I introduce my hero in migraine therapy, Dr. Alexander Mauskop, the founder and director of the New York Headache Center. His latest paper is called “Why All Migraine Patients Should Be Treated with Magnesium.”
Dr. Mauskop says: “This article will attempt to convince the reader that all migraine sufferers should receive a therapeutic trial of magnesium supplementation.” He further explains that “A multitude of studies have proven the presence of magnesium deficiency in migraine patients. Double-blind, placebo-controlled trials have produced mixed results, most likely because both magnesium deficient and non-deficient patients were included in these trials.”
It’s obvious that when researchers don’t test for magnesium deficiency before treating a migraine patient to prove if magnesium deficiency is the cause of migraine, makes for a seriously flawed study. The same could be said for any magnesium treatment study.
Dr. Mauskop agrees with me that Serum Magnesium levels are entirely inaccurate. He does say that the Magnesium RBC test is more reliable. I recommend that everyone get their Magnesium RBC levels measured. The test is available to the public without a doctor’s prescription at a very reasonable cost of $49.00. Aim to for an optimum level of 6.0-6.5mg/d:
Unlike other research papers that hem and haw when it comes to conclusions, the good doctor says: “Considering that up to 50 % of patients with migraines could potentially benefit from this extremely safe and very inexpensive treatment, it should be recommended to all migraine patients.”
So rather than pay a few hundred dollars for botox injections, take an angstrom-sized form of magnesium that clients say is equivalent to IV magnesium. Add it to help detoxify from all the medications you’ve taken to deal with chronic pain. Hydration is very important when it comes to headaches. Drink half your weight (in pounds) in ounces of water to which you add ¼ tsp of sea salt. Minerals that readily enter cells pull fluid behind them and hydrate the cells.
And at the end of the day, no matter how long it took you, or how much it cost, isn’t it worth it? Would I pay thousands of dollars to get rid of migraines that had been crippling me for years? Hell yes! In a heartbeat.
As my former assistant, Nicole Paull said, “This disease was both the worst thing and the best thing that ever happened to me.” Ah, that is someone who has learned to value (and perhaps even enjoy) the journey.
Original post March 2009. Most recently updated October 2020.