All chronic conditions have patterns. Through some simple explorations we can begin to reveal pieces of those patterns, which will then bring up more explorations, which will then reveal more patterns, and so on and so forth.
Often when things are stirred up and pieces begin to surface, they can trigger physical, emotional, or mental issues in response. As these things come up, supports can be brought in. These can be any supports that you find to be helpful, including herbal medicines, flower essence therapy, or a good old massage.
What I have found to be true in regards to myself and to my clients, is that things start to loosen, unravel, and pieces begin to form a bigger picture. It feels a lot of times like the picture is starting to form, yet it is a bit out of focus, even after we feel like we have all of the pieces together. How I visualize it is like a jigsaw puzzle, in which all of the pieces are laid out in front of you, mostly in their right location, some fit, some do, and the whole thing is a bit fuzzy. You cant quite make out if you are looking at a landscape, a home garden, or at a conglomeration of shelves with things on them. At some point there can be a clicking together, and suddenly it all comes into view. It has the feeling of a lightbulb above one’s head in a comic strip. One of my teachers used to call this the “Ah-ha moment”. Except I will say it often goes like “Ah-ha…..there is it! I KNEW THAT! How did I not see it before?!”
The journey is in the exploration and allowing pieces to come forward, which they will, when they are ready. And something aside from the level of our mind seems to determine when that is. It has always felt a little bit like a mystery game……like Clue or maybe a Scooby Doo cartoon (I still love those old Scooby Doo episodes!), where you collect things bit by bit, and as you do, you collect the important ones. Some of them that seemed super important in the moment, will fall away as the bigger picture emerges. They really weren’t that important and seem like their role was to get you to the next bigger piece.
It also can be a life time of work…..always revealing a little bit more….the picture always changing more into focus to bring clarity when we are equipped, across all aspects of self, to reconvene with it.
I will share some helpful questions that may help to open to clarity in patterns. These are by no means complete, and there is always more to add. I hope that it can serve as a bit of a guide to you.
When looking for patterns in chronic conditions……..
When did the condition begin?
What was going on in your life at that time? What changed? What significant things happened just prior to the first time you noticed the onset? (Relationship changes, moving locations, changing jobs, a death, a birth, a new endeavor, an accident of some sort, etc.)
Depending on what answers come up here, you can go further into depth on each one. For example, depending upon the change that occurred, we would then pose questions about that. IF it were a new job, for example, we would look at the physical environment such as lighting, air quality,....also location - how hard/easy is it to get there? What is the schedule now like? Who are the coworkers? What is different about this job? What do you LIKE about this job? What do you NOT LIKE about this job? Does what you dont like remind you of jobs in the past? What emotions does it bring up to you? And so on……..
Is there a time of year that your symptoms seem intensified/worse?
What does that time of year historically mean for you? (IE what significant things occurred around that time of year throughout your life, especially in childhood.)
I will use an example here….often people seem to have chronic flare ups in the fall. September appears to be a popular time of year for things to flare up. We would look at what occurs in September? If you are an adult with children, your children probably go back to school……..AND it also reminds us that this was the time that as children, we went to school. What was that experience like for us? When did it shift? What are the details of that shift? What parts of yourself do you feel got wounded around that time? And so on……
Is there a day of the week that your symptoms seem intensified/worse?
What is different about this day (or the day before it) from other days of the week? What are your routine activities around this day? Who are you in the company of? What environment are you in?
I will use the example of migraines here. It is very common that migraines begin on a Monday or on a Friday/Saturday for people. Mondays people usually begin their work week, so we would begin exploring more in depth around the job looking at environment, people, etc and then begin to go deeper. On Friday/Saturday most people end their work week. This means they are going home to their families or perhaps to be by themselves (if they live alone). This would open up explorations to look at stress in the family environment/structure or with solitude.
If you can notice flare ups in your condition - when do these seem to occur? What precedes them (as in the day or two before)?
Here I look to what choices were made with diet, or activity…….and most importantly, what is the emotional state? Was there an argument that preceded the flare up? Was there bad news? I also look to the moon cycles as many people have flare ups during a full moon.
Where in the body do you have symptom expressions? (this is where I would refer to the map of the body, which I use in my work)
Where in the body are these expressions worse? Where in the body do they begin and where to they travel to? If they tend to be in one location of the body, I would then look to a history of physical issues in that area, all the way back to childhood, including injuries. This would then bring in the emotional pieces.
With regards to symptoms - do they feel hot or cold in nature? Do they feel soft or hard? Do they have a texture to them? Are they irritated? Weepy? Inflamed?
These questions give clues to the tissue types and also to the emotional aspects. Inflamed is usualy relating to anger. Irritated can be frustration, irritation, or even resentment. Weepy is usually grief. And so on……
Also, pay attention to the choice of words that are used in describing physical symptoms. They reveal a LOT of information. Someone that repeatedly uses the expression “pissed off” that has chronic UTIs or interstitial cystitis….well…..you see a pretty direct relation there.
Basically, we start with simple questions that open up pathways, which bring in information. The more information that comes in, the more pathways seem to open, and those pieces start to step forward and the patterns slowly begin to emerge. Sometimes a question will set off that lightbulb Ah-ha moment. And sometimes, things can really shift in an instant. For the most part though, this is an exploratory process, with each question bringing us a bit deeper in seeing our patterns.
And everyone is different. Every client I see, even those dealing with the same issues, will have a different pattern that makes them up. This is why there is no one herb, one medication, one pathway that fits everyone. Every person is unique and that uniqueness will shift and change and grow as we journey along our paths.
I realize in choosing the subject of Patterns, how huge of a subject it is. I also realize that I cannot thoroughly go into depth in a way that I had opened I would be able to, with a few blog posts and videos. With that said, I do hope that I am able to provide some foundations and plant some seeds that may be helpful. Please….ask questions! I love sharing and talking about this stuff. And to go more in depth in your own personal journey and have my support, please reach out!