Trying to heal my PMDD, chronic menstrual and pelvic pain, migraines, and fibromyalgia has been my life’s work. It has consumed my time, resources, energy, and finances. The more research that I do, the harder it is to ignore the stigma, gaslighting, and disparity that women dealing with chronic pain have to endure. According to the International Association for the Study of Pain, women’s pain issues lack awareness and even recognition in the medical field. Chronic pain affects a higher proportion of women than men around the world; however, women are less likely to receive treatment. This study also found that women experience more recurring, severe, and longer-lasting pain than men — so then why aren’t there more studies and treatment options available for women?
In addition, women’s pain isn’t taken as seriously in the workplace. Envision this; a man walks into his manager’s office complaining of a stomach ache, migraine, exhaustion, and nausea. Most chances are that the man would receive sympathy and be sent home on sick leave. Imagine a woman trying to take a day or two off due to cramps, migraines, and nausea. I can tell you how differently that conversation goes from experience. After working in a corporate environment for almost 15 years, I still shudder when I think of the pain, shame, and embarrassment I went through having to have those awkward conversations with both male and female bosses.
Women have become so accustomed to living with pain that we underplay our symptoms and often do not seek medical treatment. This happened to me recently when I came down with severe shingles. I had been living with intense pain in my shoulder and right arm for weeks before I thought of getting medical attention. I thought it was just my fibromyalgia acting up. It took me hiding and sobbing on the kitchen floor and my boyfriend repeatedly urging me to call my doctor for me to take action. Luckily, I have a fantastic doctor in my extended family who swooped in right away. I am still healing and know that it wouldn’t have been such a severe case if I hadn’t waited and suffered in silence for so long.
So many women are awaiting hysterectomies that have been delayed and deemed non-essential due to the pandemic. One of these women says she feels like she's giving birth without an epidural every single day and yet had her surgery postponed for over 5 months. As my condition worsens with age, I decided to consult with another gynaecologist this March about having a hysterectomy. After kindly explaining the benefits vs risks of the procedure, I was put on a waiting list and am still waiting for a surgery date. As much as I am suffering, I see this period of waiting as a blessing, because I’m not convinced that having this surgery is the right thing for me and is worth all of the possible complications and side effects.
Lately, my intuition has been screaming at me to look into energy healing. I believe that a lot of my pain and dis-ease stems from unresolved past life trauma and energy blocks. In her book, Electric Body, Electric Health, Eileen Day McKusick (creator of the sound therapy method Biofield Tuning), explains how she’s worked with thousands of people suffering from various diseases and chronic pain. She asserts these diseases are characterized by low voltage or low battery in our energetic field due to "too much resistance blocking the natural, healthy flow of energy in the system."
McKusick has dedicated her life to researching a new paradigm that suggests humans are “fundamentally electromagnetic and vibrational”. As I read her book, I deeply resonate with her belief that we are made of light, sound, waveforms, and electromagnetic energy — vibrating at different frequencies. I am learning to deconstruct the subconscious programming, old stories, and limiting beliefs (feeling unworthiness, guilt, and not enough) that create blocks, static, and distortion in my energy field. After all, everything is energy!
Healing and reading energy called to me so much that I signed up for an intensive certification program, called Soul Teacher, to learn these intuitive and ancient healing methods. Receiving Shamanic mentorship from Nikki Novo and other spiritual teachers, I am learning how to read chakras, offer energetic healings, access the Akashic Records and past lives, and develop my own intuitive abilities.
Since starting this course, I have met some powerful and inspiring women from across the world called to this work. This experience has been a transformative and incredibly healing journey. My goal is to learn how to heal myself to help other women achieve what McKusick calls "harmonic perfection". I am also taking an in-person Reiki Master course this year to become a Canadian Reiki Association-certified Reiki practitioner. I feel like I have finally found my calling — that my 20-year journey with pain and illness has led me here to this exact moment in time to find my voice and end my suffering.