Getting the ‘story’ is the key.
Getting your ‘story’ is your task.
All health problems, symptoms, illnesses, or diseases have a beginning when they first start.
And most illnesses fluctuate from day to day or week to week or even hour to hour. They have new beginnings.
We can learn a lot by considering what is going on around the times when symptoms begin or when they get worse. The simplest way to illustrate this is by returning to the examples provided earlier. There are many examples in Brian Broom’s books.
A 32 year old woman has had chronic headaches for 10 years. She says that she first got headaches at age 14 when her father died of cancer. They lasted about 6 months at that time. When she was aged 18 her boyfriend dumped her and the headaches began again, lasting for 6 months. At age 21 she got pregnant and the father abandoned her without warning heading overseas.
We concluded that her headaches had something to do with being rejected or abandoned by significant males.
Note the three new beginnings to her headaches.
A 47 year old woman has two diseases: hives (an itchy rash) and Crohn’s disease (an inflammation of the bowel). She says that they come on in September each year. When we examine this closely we find that the illnesses originally began as she became increasingly frustrated with her husband, a workaholic engineer who was too busy to meet either her intimacy, recreation, or sexual hopes and needs.
But each year she would feel hope revived around Christmas time when the family were around, and her illnesses would improve. She would begin the New Year believing the year would be different. But gradually as the year went on hope would subside and the symptoms would reappear.
Note she has two illnesses, both of which emerge when her level of hopefulness lowers.
A fit young woman who did a lot of sport and outdoor recreation has an extraordinary 6 year history of tendon ruptures and stress fractures unable to be explained by many specialists on the basis of her activities. Her life becomes severely curtailed.
Eventually the story is uncovered. At age 6 her family breaks up and there is a threat of being adopted out. At age 9 her mother marries again and another 9 year old comes into the family. The new girl falls off a horse and breaks a leg. Our patient feels that she loses her mother to the new girl. Three weeks later she falls off her bicycle and breaks an arm and gets mother back again, so to speak. Nothing more happens until she meets a young man and marries and sets her heart on children. But he wants nothing of this—it would spoil their outdoor recreation lifestyle. She does not want to challenge this for fear of losing him, but she starts to get injured. It is pointed out that the injuries may be ‘code’ for resistance to him.
She and he have a joint session together and within a month she was back doing the usual activities. She became pregnant. Three years later she continued to be injury-free.
Note that even injuries may relate to important meanings, and may have their beginnings in apparently unrelated life events.
A man develops sinusitis in August each year and lasts until Xmas. It originally began when his wife gave birth to the first child and he felt competition for her attentions. He had had it for 15 years.
Many investigations and treatments failed to help. It finally disappeared entirely when we noticed that each year in early August he would feel a dread coming on—“it will be here again soon” and within 10 days he would be sick. Confronting this dread resolved the problem permanently.
Note that dread and expectations can play a part in symptoms beginning all over again.