I am taking a break this semester from graduate school in Boulder, Colorado, in order to focus on myself so that I may gain some perspective on what makes me happy and what makes me grow, produce, create and live. I have decided to relocate and return to upstate New York, where love, friendship and family-ship all happily await me. I believe now that in order to really let myself be happy, I need to first (finally) let myself enjoy the fruits of my labor (10 years of higher education, amongst a million other things) alongside people who make me feel like the competent, diligent, intelligent, beautiful person that I know I am. If I could bring all those people from NY out here to my beloved Boulder or carry along all the dear friends I have made in CO with me out here, I would! However, I am more confident now knowing that I have made such good decisions with relationships in the past years that all those that I love are always with me, no matter where I am.
Two things that have allowed me to really sit back and take a look at my life like this are the wise words and amazing energy medicine sessions that have been shared with Madeline Angelus and the revelations I have had in colon hydrotherapy with James Allred at Arts for Vibrant Health (AVH) and Advanced Colonic Techniques School and Clinic (ACTSC).
After my great friend Daniel at the School of Natural Medicine at Boulder, CO, convinced me to contact Madeline about the colonics that would "rock my world," I finally made an appointment the seven-year colon hydrotherapist. In October of 2012, I went in with a pale, acne-ridden complexion, low energy, and shots nerves, all the while still bleeding from a Crohn's disease flare-up that began in July. (Yes, you can bleed for three months and still survive, believe it or not. The body is a wondrous--and miraculous--thing!) From summer up to that point in time, I had been experimenting with diet, exercise, essential oils, etc. in hopes of treating my flare-up naturally. I should make it know that no doctor had ever suggested this to me; this was a personal decision that I made after many years of unnecessary suffering. Although I did manage to keep myself alive, I obviously wanted assistance from an individual who understood my pain and struggling, and who had healthy, realist solutions that would help me get through this difficult time and would help me look forward to a long, fruitful future, WITH my beloved Colon Powell (with whom I refuse to part!).
When I arrived to AVH/ACTSC, Madeline went through their protocol of sitting with me as she looked over my intake form and discussing my past and current experiences. She wanted to know what had brought me there, what I was expecting and hoping for, as well as share with me some of the truth, myths, and lies about colonics and Crohn's disease. For the first time since my doctor's visit in 2006 (where the MD said that rectal bleeding was "just from traveling"), sigmoidoscopy (where my mother and I were told I may have cancer), colonoscopy (before and after which I felt like dying, from shitting laxatives the day prior to extreme nausea following the surgery) and diagnosis soon after (stating that i had Crohn's disease and that I should be prescribed Asacol (R) (Yes, a brilliant name), a real human being with real experience and knowledge, Madeline, listened to me with concerned ears. I am guessing that it was close to obvious that I was desperate for an alternative method of treating these symptoms, as the 9-pills-a-day solution that had been prescribed to me for the past six years were making me feel nothing less than confused, less than energetic, bloated, unstable in weight, etc. Madline was the first to tell me that I will not only get better, but hinted to me that I may find along my journey a way to live a life in which I do not suffer from this condition. These words were the beginning of my path towards self-awareness and healing.
I explained to Madeline that I was still experiencing symptoms of Crohn's disease, which then included rectal bleeding, diarrhea and bloating. When Madeline then told me that she could unfortunately not do a colonic on me because of the symptoms, I was so disappointed. I thought for a second that I would never get to where I want to be and that my life would be quite miserable because of it. However, she told me that she wanted me to speak with her partner, James, who had approximately thirty-five years of experience with colon hydrotherapy and individuals with similar experiences. She was so honest and confident about her and James' abilities that I gained a sense of hope once again. She then told me about her current studies and that she was obtaining certification in Eden Energy Medicine in addition to her other studies. I wondered to myself what energy medicine was, but something wonderful about her made me say that I would most absolutely try it out that day. She was so happy for me and spread that happiness to me!
Madeline began by testing my muscles and my energy. Having originated on the scary East Coast in upstate New York, I felt like I had truly began to see the depths of the hippy in Boulder with the energy medicine. As Madeline went on the testing, I found myself laughing out loud... for the first time in months! The laugh came from the fact that this was so different from anything I imagined I would do in order to treat my symptoms, let alone be doing that very day. The experiences I underwent during the energy session were amazing: my body's responses to both my and Madeline's movements brought me to tears. At the end of the session, we spoke about how I felt about my experience and she encouraged me once again that I will get better... I will get better. I never once heard these words from a previous medical doctor or gastroenterologist: not in New York, not in Germany, not in Spain, and not from my previous medical doctor in Boulder (who prescribed me Asacol when "technically" gastroenterologists are supposed to do so). Six years of feeling uncomfortable, ill, ashamed, embarrassed, depressed, out of and at loss of control, and being treated inhumanly… all down the drain with four words: I will get better.
After the session, I looked at the expenses of visiting Madeline (and later James) as much as I would like to visit with them (which was once to every two weeks). I then made a decision that was an enlightening one: Why not feel great about financially investing in my Self instead of in all of these things that worsen my symptoms and actually hinder me from enjoying my life? Some people may think that this would be a given, but for some fifteen years prior to that moment, I had become someone that had been sucked in by the many things that American society smothers one with. I was a coffee-chugging, alcohol-dependent, cigarette-smoking, party animal and workaholic who washed Saturday (and Sunday, and other day) hangovers away with unhealthy food and drink in between vomiting and slowly nursing myself back to consciousness in order to get work done and pull myself together so that no one saw what was truly happening with me. Between summer and that moment, I realized that it was time to let go of these horrendous things that were not only bogging me down and keeping me from thinking clearly, but killing me from the inside and keeping me from becoming the central agent in my own life.
The energy medicine sessions I had from October to today (which occurred anywhere from once to twice a month) only increased this feeling of investing in body, mind and spirit in order to really lead a healthy life and to really get the healing process rolling. During these months, I shed many tears as I opened up to the innumerable experiences that had to do with my self-destructive behavior. By the end of each of the sessions, though, these things became less and less a burden on my shoulders and more experiences that made me an incredibly strong, open-minded, and thoughtful person that wants to pay attention and be aware to these truths.
In November, Madeline reiterated her belief of the benefits of colon hydrotherapy for individuals with symptoms like that of Crohn's Disease and the like. I was so nervous up to that point and really hesitant to have colon hydrotherapy done to me, since I could not help but be scared that something would go wrong during the session. If anyone were to do it, I had really wanted Madeline to do so, since I had begun to form a relationship of trust with her. I couldn't help but imagine that James, a stranger at that point, wouldn't know how to make me feel comfortable and I would therefore not be able to relax and benefit from the session. I held images in my head of all the worse possible things that could happen with tube insertion, water flow, devices, etc. Ah!
But, one day, after having really begun to heal with the energy medicine, I felt absolutely different about getting a colonic done with James. I let him know, and he got me in immediately. Like with my first visit with Madeline, James sat with me in the waiting room and spoke with me. He explained in detail how he would run the session, and the importance in communicating during it. I was ready, so we got the session started. Everything went smoothly, but, in all honesty, I was a bit disappointed that my world had not been "rocked" as Daniel told me it would be months prior.
James assured me that the first colonic is the most awkward. To test out his theory, I challenged it to a second round a couple of weeks later. Indeed, the second one flowed so much more smoothly, and I was quite taken aback by how relaxed I felt. I was so proud of myself for letting myself go so that the water could flow smoothly. It was pretty cool to see everything working. For example, when I breathed the way that James suggested (full, equal inhales and exhales through the mouth), I heard and felt a rumbling from my stomach-area heading down my digestive track. Soon after, I new that I was going to have a bowl movement. I found in many sessions with him that by breathing correctly, material passed with ease through my system. There was no need to push anymore, which Colon Powell really appreciates! It was a truly enlightening experience!
Like in the energy medicine sessions, colon hydrotherapy has allowed me time to relax and to consider what is happening inside of my own body. I realized that I had spent the past 10+ years living inside of my head and totally forgetting about the rest of me. Getting water inside of my colon has somehow refreshed my senses, and awakened them to a point where I can live independently again, but in the most aware state. How awesome. As I become more conscientious of my own Self, I also realize how much I had experienced in the past years. I found that I had let healthy and unhealthy relationships (with friends, family and boyfriends), experiences traveling, eating, drinking, studying, exercising, etc., form how I manage my stress, my interactions with people, and my approach to work and to life. The large amount of time I spent living up to other people's standards, expectations and demands put an overwhelming sense of responsibility on me and had built up to an extreme point by the time I had arrived to the colonic and energy medicine. I have been awakened to the fact that the "community" and society that surrounds me conflict with the environment in which I actually grow, flourish, produce and create most, and in which I am most content and confident. I have learned with these sessions that, because of this awareness, I want to work on building boundaries for myself that allow me to function and be happy in any environment: that way, I can learn how to live (in a way that I could have never imagined before).
From the beginning of my journey with colon hydrotherapy and energy medicine up to today, I love myself and those around me more profoundly than before. My insight on the food I eat, the investments (financial, relationships, etc.) I make, the work I produce and create, and the living I do is fuller and richer now. Like all things in life, the people I love and who love me have changed. I am not holding onto nightmares or being bogged down by the past, but appreciating that I am aware enough to have made great memories with people who, at one time or another, enjoyed that memory just as much. The independence I have gained has made me stronger, wiser and more confident to continue in a direction that includes not only these two methods, but also meditation, prayer, yoga, cooking, laughing, playing, and expressing myself intimately, emotionally, and spiritually.
Medical doctors and gastroenterologists prior to meeting Madeline and James told me that I would not get better, considering that the symptoms I had of Crohn's Disease were chronic ones. I did not get better. In fact, although flare-up induced bleeding stopped temporarily, the Asacol and inhumane treatment from these individuals made me feel worse.
Madeline told me that I would get better. I got better. James told me I would get better. I got even better. I am proud to say that as of today, January 13, 2012, I have not experienced any rectal bleeding in just under one month. And, for the first time in two years (since getting off of poisonous birth control pills that had been prescribed to me since I was 16), my facial complexion has cleared up dramatically! Although there are visible marks (just as I assume there are along my poor Colon Powell), I can finally see my Self, my face! I cannot express what a gift that is to see after so many years of struggle. I am so excited to continue this journey full of abundance of health and love, healing, and living!