How I Overcame my Own Illness and Disease

Below I share my story of how I overcame my own illness and disease and learnt about natural therapies and Energy Healing (Reiki). I know from my own experience we can heal our bodies from things which are sometimes believed to be unchangeable and we can change our life for the better. 

In my mid-teens and early 20s, a series of chronic illnesses started. And over the years more and more illness arose. I spent large amounts of time and also large amounts of money looking for answers in our current medical system. I was unable to get much help or answers from there. If you have already read the About Me page, you will have seen I originally studied Science. I was a believer in strict science and the medical industry in helping people’s health. I worked in Science Research (chemistry, biology, biochemistry) in Cancer Research and the Biotechnology Diagnostics field for many years. I first got into science because I wanted to help people and make a difference in their health and their lives. Through my 20s I saw 15+ different specialists. They all did their tests (for months or years) and then eventually sent me on to some other area of health, to be looked at by some other specialist. It took me many years to discover holistic healing. I was initially a non-believer in many holistic health concepts as a trained scientist. I would never have imagined how important changing my entire outlook on how we perceive health and our bodies would be!

What health issues and illness did I have?

In that time it felt like there was one health issue after the other (often at the same time). There were more health issues, illness, and personal circumstances, that affected my wellbeing than what I list here. Some other things also included polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a perforated eardrum, hearing loss and ear surgery, as well as liver issues (non-alcohol related). But the four main issues that affected my health the most through that time were:

A pituitary tumour

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Food allergies and intolerances, digestion and stomach issues

Depression, anxiety and panic attacks

Years of ignoring my emotions and problems had to come to an end!

What did illness teach me?

Firstly, what did these challenges teach me??

I can now look back and see that certain life experiences, lifestyle stress and an inability to emotionally deal with those situations were the root cause of all my illness. I am now grateful for all the experiences I have been through, which at the time I certainly was not. I still, of course, wouldn’t wish those challenges or illness upon anyone. But I can now see from the other side, the amazing lessons I got to learn about how important our health is, at such a young age. Preventative lifestyle changes are so important!

Rachael_Aerial Adventure course
Rachael in June 2018, completing an 18 metre (60 foot) high aerial adventure course! After experiencing Chronic Fatigue, she never would have imagined this.

I know I was lead through these challenges to discover a greater purpose in helping other people and improving their health. The start of me finding Energy Healing was another example of this. I knew nothing about Reiki. I was the kind of methodological person who would normally have to find out every little thing about everything involved before taking action. It would have normally meant reading up for hours or having healing appointments with many different Reiki Masters prior to finding the right teacher. Yet, one day I somehow came across Reiki online, and there and then booked and paid for the course one week away. I was also normally someone who needed to plan far in advance, so that was very spontaneous for me! It wasn’t a cheap course, and was also out of character for me to pay money without any knowledge of what I was paying for. But with no further research or prior knowledge of what I was going to or what was going to happen in the course, I turned up that day for my first Reiki 1 course. I hadn’t even told anyone I was going. If I had read more about what it was, my scientific mind would not have been interested. Now that is divine intervention stepping in!

Through years of serious health challenges, I did come out the other side as a healthy, happy person. I am so grateful for the life I have. I know I am incredibly lucky compared to some despite these challenges and pain in my past. We in the western world compared to countries in poverty, war-torn areas and with no access to food or water, are so lucky.  There is always so much to be grateful for, no matter what challenges you face. Finding your joy and gratitude through illness and challenges is a way out. I tell this story below not to activate that pain or difficulty again in my life, or for any sympathy, but to share with you that you can face adversity and illness and with determination find the answer you are seeking wherever that may lead.

Remember, the most important thing is to be happy and to be healthy. We sometimes forget the importance of making time in our lives to prioritise these things until they are already gone.

Our bodies can heal and change from so much if we only allow that into our beliefs and our lives. You only need to activate your bodies own natural healing capabilities. If you are interested in using Vibrational Energy Healing with me, and the varied tools I learnt in overcoming disease and illness in natural ways, then you can learn more about an appointment with me. Otherwise first read below about some of my experiences.

Rachael Ann xx

Some of my Health Challenges:

A pituitary tumour

Pituitary Hormones and illnessWhen I was 21, it was discovered I had a pituitary tumour. I had this at least since my mid-teens based on symptoms. This played havoc with my hormones and many other body systems. It wasn’t growing (i.e. cancer), so the answer I was given was to take a tablet every day for the rest of my life. This was an attempt to balance the dis-regulation of hormones my body was overproducing. The pituitary gland is often called the “master gland’. This is because its hormones control the other parts of the body which make all the other hormones – thyroid, adrenal glands, ovaries (in females), testes (in males). I was advised to take this medication for the rest of my life, every single day. No checkup or follow-ups were recommended at any time. As a scientist, and for most people, that makes no sense. Why wouldn’t you check the hormone levels or have further tests to see what is happening over time? I believe now I really did seem to find the worst of the medical industry, and the worst of doctors and specialists, so that I would be led to a path of natural medicine. I know there are many great doctors out there only wishing for the best health for everyone. I have since stopped this medication many years ago, and I do not have problems with my pituitary now. I never had another brain scan to determine if a tumour is still present. I learnt to naturally manage the overproduction of certain hormones and control the symptoms, just as the medication the pharmaceutical industry had given me would, but without the side effects.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

carrot chop

While I was never officially diagnosed with chronic fatigue, due to not having the required symptoms for longer than 6 months (luckily), I certainly had the symptoms of chronic fatigue for 4-5 months. At the worst, I remember a time where I was trying to make a basic vegetable soup and was chopping vegetables to put into boiling water. I continually had to keep laying down to rest (for up to 15-30 minutes) between cutting the different vegetables. I got up to try to cut one carrot, but was unable to even finish cutting the carrot and had to just sit on the kitchen floor in frustration and exhaustion.

I also had a lot of issues with concentration and memory loss during this time. I remember times where I could see people talking to me, and I was nodding, but couldn’t process what they were saying. I responded something, but there was a disconnect and I had no idea what I had said, although they walked off happy. I could not even “hear” what the conversation was about. I could only see it taking place. I could see myself talking but could not hear or know what I was saying. It was complete brain fog. Whatever I was saying seemed to be the right response to what people expected. I was on autopilot, but completely disconnected. I have now gone back to my often incredibly almost photographic (if I am paying enough attention) good memory I had as a young teenager and child.

Food allergies and intolerances, digestion and stomach issues

For me, mentally, this was one of the most difficult health issues. Food plays a very social aspect in our society, and I lost many friends and social opportunities from this. It led to me feeling isolated and disconnected from others. In my teens, I had IBS symptoms and lactose intolerance. This would come and go and would depend on monthly cycles, stress levels and other factors. These often (unfortunately) common issues turned much more serious when I was 24. Serious food allergies and intolerances arose progressively over a year or two. My immune system was in overdrive, and other autoimmune issues were present too.

At one point the only things I could eat was chicken and white rice. Just those two items. All vegetables resulted in severe bloating, pain or a rush to the bathroom. A lot of other foods resulted in nausea, vomiting and hives. At that point, any fish caused an anaphylactic response, and other meats gave me hives and rashes. I was given acids to try to help me digest food. At this time I lost an incredible amount of weight. My body was starving and malnourished, because I was unable to eat food or digest the nutrients of what I was consuming. I lost nearly 20kg (44 pounds) in 3-4 months. Ironically, instead of most people being concerned for my wellbeing of losing so much weight so quickly, I was actually told how good I looked. I got more attention and smiles from strangers being this thin, sick version. I was previously overweight from my hormonal problems. “Interesting” how our society works isn’t it? Within 6-8 months, and as I was able to start eating a few more foods, I had put that weight (plus much more) back on due to the hormones and the pituitary playing havoc. At one point I weighed nearly 90kg (200 pounds).

market food and allergiesI saw several dieticians, nutritionists and gastroenterologists over the years who were of little to no help. One, in fact, told me I “had to” drink milk for the calcium… This was despite I was allergic to milk (with tests showing this), and it resulted in me feeling nauseous and vomiting. This was before the majority of food allergies and intolerances became more known by the average person, and so common among children and adults. It was also before leaky gut was acknowledged by the mainstream medical industry. At the time it was considered something only naturopaths and other natural health care workers “believed” and was “woo-woo”. It is now well acknowledged by medicine! This was only about 10 years ago. Outlooks do change.

With the help of one dietician who was using integrative medicine, I was able to slowly start eating more food. This was my introduction to the idea of natural therapies. For many years into my 30s, I still had a list of over 20 foods I was either intolerant to or severely allergic to. These included the common foods of wheat, dairy, corn, soy, eggs and some nuts and also a lot of fruits and also vegetables. My diet for many years consisted only of very high quantities of meat, and things like lettuce, tomato or cucumber which required little digestion (no fibre). I was unable to tolerate many vegetables or fruit. I learnt over the years to manage and maintain this. A great naturopath also helped me in those years.

Overcoming the food allergies and related illness

I “worked” very hard for years on overcoming my digestive issues, learning many natural therapies for myself and discovering the best and most healthy way I could live. I converted to a solely organic diet – and removed all chemical additives such as food colouring, preservatives and high level pesticides from my diet. I was also actually eating what was a fairly “Paleo” based diet before I had even heard about what a Paleo diet was. This was what my body had required at the time, and I had naturally found to work for me. Although I did eat potato, and could not eat nuts, or tolerate the large amounts of coconut oil that diet often suggests.

In my early 30s I finally decided that I needed to leave a job and life I was so very unhappy with, and decided to travel through Europe and northern Africa. It was through this time of travel, upon visiting sacred healing sites, and with the help of other healers in these places that I was able to overcome all my food issues for good. Going organic, eating really good food – it helped me “maintain” where I was, but it was a change in life outlook that I really needed to heal fully. These places and people activated who I really was, and what I carry within me. That healing ability. It also brought happiness back into my life. I allowed myself to reduce the stress, and let go of many emotional issues of the past. I could eat wheat, dairy and everything else again. It was a new lease on life! Today I still eat any food I like. It was incredibly miraculous – from years of being unable to eat these foods and being so limited, to within a few weeks eating everything again!

I still choose to eat only organic at home, I minimise what chemical additives are in my food (and cleaning and personal products) and avoid anything highly processed. I occasionally eat out at restaurants or at friends and family’s homes which is non-organic food and enjoy life. I now again choose to minimise wheat and dairy in my diet as it is an inflammatory food for me. I occasionally eat wheat and dairy, and enjoy it when I do choose, but never as a staple in my diet. I reduce the amount of meat I eat, always organic/biodynamic where the animals have lived a more humane life. I know where my food comes from. I eat vegetarian or vegan meals through the week, and also eat meat dishes. The amount of water and vegetables (and fruit) you intake is really the key to a healthy diet in my opinion. Unless you already have digestive issues and health challenges in this area, a balanced diet of many types of foods is the best. If you have issues in this area then a modified diet is needed until you can re-balance things. It is also important to look at the QUALITY of the food you eat. In my opinion, there is no one “diet” or recommendation that can ever really suit everyone at all times. We must each find what suits our own bodies at the time, and understand that this too may change at different stages in our lives.

Depression, anxiety and panic attacks

hope or despairThrough all this, there was also depression, anxiety and panic attacks. Likely, I probably had depression from my very early teens. Again, there was little education about mental illness at the time, nor did I ever seek help. It was in my mid-20s that anxiety and panic attacks also became a common occurrence for me. It has been shown in studies that an imbalance in your gut bacteria plays a role in these diseases. So it would also make sense that malnutrition and gut imbalance in my 20s played a role chemically in my brain’s processing at the time too. But you can also not overlook lifestyle factors. In my early 20s, in my first professional job in science, I was working 10-15 hour days. I came from a background where I was taught to “work hard”. I was also being “bullied” at work by my direct manager. Around this time I also ended a 5-year relationship with the partner I was living with, and my grandmother had a stroke and months later passed away, which put a great strain on the family situation. Lifestyle stress is a huge factor in how we can cope with the circumstances we face. There was also a lot of loneliness, and I will be honest that there were many times when I thought it would be much easier to leave the planet. I began to have a lot of financial stress too, as medical bills and appointments and surgery costs started to add up.

Years of ignoring my emotions and problems had to come to an end!

My health would simply not allow that lifestyle to continue. I believe if we ignore the subtle signs the universe sends us, it will often send them louder and louder until we take action. And extreme illness is often one of these things which cannot be ignored. Many years later, I finally learnt to deal with emotions from both the past and in the present. And to face issues instead of “sweeping them under the rug” as we often do.

Our mental and emotional aspects all play a role in how we perceive our circumstances, and what we create in our lives. My travels allowed me to truly have a passion for life again and also see the synchronicities of how amazing life really is.

If you face health challenges or any other challenges in your life at the moment, I hope you know that there is guidance there for you. It may come in many different forms, but it IS always there for you. Ask and it is given. I promise this. Maybe not in the time frame you want, but it will come. May you travel forward in your life with positivity and joy in as many moments as you can find!

With great love to you.

Rachael Ann xx