The Northern Virginia
Support Group

EGG - 2006

Home       Email Us        Subscribe       Search      Sitemap 

Elly's Gratitude Group
for those experiencing
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, & Orthostatic Intolerance

Selections from Email Meeting Summaries 2006

December 25 and 29, Conference Calls
December 4 The Gilbert Clinic, Maryland
November 29 Conference Call
November 1 Conference Call
September Conference Call
September 21, The Gilbert Clinic, North Bethesda, MD
August Conference Call
August Woodbridge, VA, Meeting
July Conference Call
June Leesburg, VA, Meeting
April Conference Call
February Conference Call
January Fairfax, Virginia, Meeting

Some other EGG Pages
Sign A Guestbook of Gratitude (AGOG)
2005 EGG Summaries
Main EGG Page

Gratitude is a heart healing energy and one can use it to reclaim space
from anxiety, fear, grief, anger. Many times it is easier and a necessary step
to work with gratitude before one can heal the wounds surrounding love.

What is EGG?
Elly's Gratitude Group, or EGG, is a discussion group for people with CFS, FM, OI and similar conditions, eager to use attitude, mind, and spirit along with physical approaches for healing. It's a discussion group to practice acceptance and changing willingly, to use language in new ways to uplift the self and others, to bolster one another in difficult circumstances, and to sharpen the skill of finding silver linings in nasty storm clouds. We know about the conditions, so we can cut to the chase of support and encouragement.
Practical suggestions thrown in as a bonus.

Fri Dec 29, 5 p.m. EST, Conference call

Also Monday 12/25. No Summaries so far. Nice meetings!

Monday Dec 4, 4-7 p.m. EST, N. Bethesda clinic meeting and Cheesecake Factory after.

Great pre meeting lunch Pow-wow with the founder of Pain Connection. 2 great cheesecake factory meals. Toni and I really enjoyed ourselves. Lots of good, supportive discussion!

Wed Nov 29, 6 p.m. EST, Conference call

Herb Update & Nov 29 EGG Teleconference Summary

- by Elly Brosius with help from Toni Marshall

EGG (Elly's Gratitude Group) is a mind-body-spiritual discussion group meeting nationally through conference calls and in-person meetings in MD and VA for people living with CFS, FM, and OI.

By acknowledging the mind and spirit components of life and illness,
we in no way diminish the profound and often debilitating physical problems
of people with CFS, FM and OI.  Instead, we offer a new context for discussing them.

Music & Mental Processing

by Elly:
As first person on the call, I was offered some great hard-swinging big band hold music. Immediate fun and gratitude remembering big swing jazz as the music of my youth, playing saxophone in various school jazz bands, enjoying the fox trot and jitterbug in the Ballroom Dance Club.  My conditions not only sidelined my dancing and playing, my conditions forced me give up listening to all music for many years.  There were multiple reasons.  Sometimes even familiar songs were just too hard to follow, the music too much complicated stimulation.  Sometimes, I couldn't even handle simple songs as background music because they demanded so much attention, I couldn't do anything else.  Simple, familiar music prevented me from rest, talk, remembering what I was doing.  Often, the emotional pain of having given up listening to previously pleasurable melodies was too great, and so, off went the stereo, TV, radio.

Listening to music in the car isn't something I lost like so many people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), fibromyalgia, and/or orthostatic intolerance... because I never had it.  I learned to drive at 18 when I was already a veteran of many weird bacterial/viral infections and experiencing a big stress load.  I was never comfortable multitasking in the car.  If I was the driver, I wouldn't let people talk, and wouldn't even let others in the car with me most of the time.  I rarely enjoyed the car radio.

by Toni:
Singing, badly, some lines from the ethereal version of Over the Rainbow by Hawai'ian Iz Kamakawiwo'oli during last month's EGG call inspired me to download the song and describe my own musical history.  Always a singer, encouraged by mother and relatives, sang for Jimmy Dean, the country singer, when I was six, learning the new Sunday School songs from my aunt, the music director, in order to lead other children's singing, always in the school chorus, never a soloist, usually a leader, and several years of different chorale experiences as an adult.  I love music. 

But not lately.  Any music at all often causes feelings of desperation, changing channels while feeling like screaming or desperately needing to escape, feeling like there's a gremlin trying to punch its way out of my body. 

Imagine my recent shock upon awakening to Jay Leno's tv show weeks ago, wondering what in the world was the wonderful sound I was hearing.  It was the last 5 minutes of Leno's show.  "You Are Loved (Don't Give Up)" sung by Josh Groban was like heaven, a reaction to music rare for me over the last 10 years.  I isn't just Groban's voice, which is lovely, nor the words which, out of context of the music, seem too sentimental for me, the arrangement and small string orchestra I find impressive.  It is the sum of all the parts.  Somehow, I can't hear it often enough, playing it for hours, without interruption, while at my computer.  ("You are Loved" is on the CD, Awake.)

I wonder if my continuing herbal treatment is responsible for this impressive improvement in my ability to listen to music.  More on that another time.

by Elly:
One trick for relearning the ability to listen to music - if you learn a song or group of songs on a CD well enough, the brain doesn't have to work as hard to process it.  Some people may be able to hear only songs with words while others may be able to handle only instrumental music. If familiar enough, and if there is no overwhelming emotional charge attached to it, your mind and brain may handle music just fine, without producing symptoms.  There was a 2 year span in my history when I needed only one CD. I enjoyed it each and every time. I think it was a swing Christmas CD! I still like it. It can be a real money saver to need only one song or one CD!

Elly's herbal treatment update

For about two years experience of music has changed for me. Two years into a chinese herbs/counseling combo program has made it possible for me to enjoy music again.  Even loud, even as background.  Not every day, but most days.  I am still actively healing, working through old body, mind and soul issues.  During big healing days, I devote everything to healing, or it demands my attention and I may not feel as well.  When that phase is completed, I definitely see and feel progress.  I'm still taking no prescription medications, no supplements! I only take a tiny piece of OTC allergy medicine a few times a day.

Still, I've struggled with paperwork. So a funny thing happened on a good day this week - I began filing a lot of medical paperwork. And when I got to the medication claims folder, there was nothing add!  Up to and including 2004, my medications claims folder was quite full.  Now, my file of "things not covered by insurance" aka tax deduction  folder gets most of the paper.  I've submitted claims all along, but, this week, I organized medical paperwork for the first time in two years. I may not do more for awhile, but I did some!

It may be, even though you never had certain abilities, or, may have to give up some things that irritate or agitiate you (wheat, dairy, other foods, music, flickering light sources, certain crafting projects, filing, ...), it may be temporary (a year, 6 years, 10 years).  It is possible to regain or find new capabilities.  I'm living example.  I gave up wheat for 6 years, now I eat it with no problems.  I gave up music, now I can listen to it.  I gave up sitting up playing card games at a table....Thanksgiving Day, I lost 17 straight hands of Kings in the Corner. I don't care about losing.  I was sitting up, playing well, enjoying the snacks, conversation and, especially, feeling okay.

Some people were under the false impression I'd finished Gilbert's herbal treatment.  Rather, I've been in treatment continuously since 3/27/04.  I don't always take herbs.  Most people take them every day.  Sometimes, I am so welcoming to  the mind - emotional - soul part of healing and don't need to push my body to heal using herbs.  Sometimes, healing keeps happening.  Prescribed herbs can accelerate healing or healing may happen on its own or from other kinds of holistic modalities. It doesn't feel like what I thought healing would feel like, though! Be open to surprises. Sometimes a healing opportunity feels like frustration! Even when I am not on herbs, I am in contact with herbalist Jonathan Gilbert to report progress and problems and receive encouragement. 

Sam Makoul has been my spiritual / stress management counselor for over 2 years.  Sam is a fantastically supportive witness to my story.  He sometimes provides elusive clues I need about the spiritual nutrition right for me.  After 13 years working with Sam as my food sensitivity and supplement guiding nutritionist, I've been able to wean myself from nutritional supplements over the last 2 years.  We cover more than physical nutrition in our sessions as much anymore. His masters in divinity helps!

Many people who report recovery from CFS or FM state they are not exactly sure what one thing helped which symptom leading to recovery.  I'm fortunate to know and feel what has helped.  Its been extraordinary, though not easy by any standard, to feel and observe the changes through my work with prescribed herbs, my work with the team of CFS/FM focused professionals herbalist Jonathan Gilbert and counselor/nutritionist Sam Makoul and, most importantly, the work I do in between appointments on my own and processing life events with friends in a new way...

EGG really helps with changing perspectives

Me (Elly), Toni, Nina, and lets call her M - all regular EGG members have progressed through seeing and talking in new ways.  The physical world offers help for what ails us:  science, logic, products, drugs, supplements.  We are all grateful for physical help we've been able to use, namely the foregoing and mattresses, sleep aids, convenience foods, meds, strategies that get us through our days and nights better. The physical world, physics, may be only the beginning.

My husband and I, both physicists, recorded a science/physics/astronomy program on TV Saturday called "96% of our Universe is Missing." They stated 96% of matter which is evident based on stars and galaxies we can see, current theories and more is missing. The missing matter has been generally assigned the name "dark matter."  The matter in black holes isn't enough to explain what's missing.  When feeling philosophical, I project this as a clue that most of what I needed to consider in my universe for real healing was missing for a long time, the physical world is only a  percentage of what is.  Working with consciousness, mind, soul, spirit, purpose, meaning certainly exists in our world, but it's tricky to see it, weigh it, measure it! I sometimes joke the word measure is about me-asure, me - assuring. I've grown comfortable with not measuring much anymore or certainly not in the same way as I did in science classes.

Recovery Stories - a new section on our website
There are people with severe CFIDS who have recovered.  Some don't know why.  Some talk about treatments that worked.  See our website for a variety. Some say recovery happened only through a deep emotional, spiritual look at themselves, through desiring change, becoming someone new, rather than remaining, returning to who they were before illness.  D. Patrick Miller wrote about his story in a free ebook.

   A Healing Journey Through Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • "Uncanny coincidences began to occur as I learned to trust both my intuition
        and the logic of the illness itself."
  • "As my desperate hold on something inside myself relaxed,
        I recognized for the first time exactly what anxiety was by its absence."
  •  "CFS taught me that I needed to develop multiple points of view on life."
  •  "I became ill in part because my mind and body needed to regain the
        spiritual energy I had known as a child." 
  •   "My recovery did not begin until I surrendered my pride, defensiveness,
         and self-image."
  • "What I was not aware of was what I now recognize as “deep stress”: the fundamental and substantial tension of maintaining and defending the personality I had built for myself by my early thirties. This personality carried a great deal of unexplored, unexpressed resentment and sadness that had been invisibly sapping my vitality for years. Those suppressed emotions showed through in my personality chiefly as a sarcastic fatalism about life. Inwardly, I was often beset by circular and repetitive worries, although my calm demeanor mostly concealed this stress from other people."   ---D. Patrick Miller

Elly continues:
I have an "extra" appointment at The Gilbert Clinic tomorrow - the kind which is scheduled when things aren't going as well.  I sometimes say it like this now, "things aren't going so well, which means they really are going well!! The problems give me so much to work with!" From about March this year, I took a break from herbs, beginning herbs again in August.  The first two jars went smoothly. I took a low dose for a week, felt some old energy move around and leave and then went up to the full dose.  In October, a slight change was made to my formula, to make it even more gentle, but, I've been having a really rough time with big reactions. This is the 3rd time I've taken two jars smoothly, has a slight change to it, and have had a big reaction. That gave me a clue, too, but it took me til long after it happened to figure it out why that was important for me.

Because of the work I've been doing with web site changes and group emails, it may not be obvious to others how difficult the last weeks have been, but I've felt it and its been tough.  People may be oblivious when you are doing worse.  Lowering the dose of herbs and honoring the difficulties of the process of release and renewal, especially some depression, is helping.  I had two periods in one month with PMS almost everyday!  I don't blame the herbs nor do I want to stop taking this batch of herbs.  My intuition tells me to continue.  Sometimes I follow my intuition to stop.  Sometimes I listen to and trust the intuition of others if theirs feels stronger and I'm feeling confused by my own.  I'm moved to thank these herbs for moving some old stuff which made me feel sicker, feel stuff I couldn't access in another way.  I have depression in my past.  Cognitive therapy helped and so did 5 HTP, something the body can convert to the amino acid tryptophan.  I haven't needed 5HTP for almost 2 years, feeling up and motivated most of the time.  I've experienced feminine problems in my past. Now is a safe time and place for me to look at these past problems with new eyes. Our support groups help create that safety and support.  It's been important I don't expect healing to be easy, fast, or convenient anymore!

And now back to the EGG Call - a place of free and freeing discussion.

One first time caller was "T" from Bishopville, MD.  She really liked the e-mail Toni sent about the non-traditional ways to spend holidays.  She was relieved to know others are enjoying holidays outside of a "normal" image.  It seems we need permission to be different. My, are we different!  Yet, we still want to fit in, feel included, by doing what "everyone else" does in ways that are expected.  As Dr. Phil would say, "How's that workin' for ya?" One thing I really enjoy about our list and our emails is that so many suggestions we offer each other are about doing things the way that work best for us individually, and about celebrating the non-conventional.
"T" talked about how very isolating CFIDS is to live with, how hard it is just to go to lunch with a friend. This led to others offering reasons why it is hard to go to lunch:
-it's hard to sit upright and still without OI symptoms or stiffness;
-it's hard to listen and pay attention and speak at only appropriate times;
-it's hard to comment on normal subjects like current events, work, sports;
-it's hard for others to comment on our roller coaster medical adventures;
-it's hard to respect our food issues
-it's hard to embarrass other people when asking the ingredients of everything;

-it's hard when you may have to cancel, leave early, arrive late, get lost;
(We gave these examples of lunch difficulties.
"T" was immediately grateful she had none of these specific difficulties.)

She told us of the frustration of having two young children and the youngest one not getting the same active Mom as the older one got. And then she told us some special silly time in bed on sleeping-in days with the youngest one. That's really special.  We all celebrated that!

Nina offered a poem to "T" and the group. She heard it from a friend with severe CFIDS, now living in acceptance and peace. Nina wrote it up for us later, "My CFIDS friend in Baltimore & her husband read this poem each Saturday night.  They arrange the food beautifully on the plates and have flowers, if available.  And she takes pictures of everything as another way to celebrate that moment."

The clouds above us join and separate.
The breeze in out courtyard leaves and returns.

Life is like that so why not relax?
Who can stop us from celebrating?

---Lu Yu, chinese poet
(Known as The Sage of Tea; wrote books on Tea and Fine Water)
(Found one reference, this poem was in Tao of Pooh, by Benjamin Hoff)

Nina sent us these nested meditations from Katrina Meditations in Spirituality & Health Magazine Sept/Oct 2006.  She found them surprising and very powerful:

  How can this suffering be?
  How can this suffering be a gift?
  How can this suffering be a gift? Rip it open.
  How can this suffering be a gift? Rip it open, and the heart floods with compassion.


  We are all one.
  We are all one step from the edge.
  We are all one step from the edge of the annihilation.
  We are all one step from the edge of the annihilation of all hatred.

More in Spirituality and Health magazine in The Practice of Nested Meditations
(These require free account login).

A new positive voice

"M" told us she'd had a really rough day.  A real big stress hit her.  Instead of letting it play over and over in her mind, she was able to take action and find out the information she needed to move through it.  This 'take action' is new, easily paralyzed by symptoms, fear and stress before, and she credits her practicing a new attitude and approach to living.  She also gave us a specific list, grateful for:

- having a voice in her head that stops and neutralizes the negative thoughts!! 
    Didn't used to have that;

- the yellow pages listing attorneys that give 30 minutes free consultations;
- taking action leading to learning a problem she feared would happen imminently
    wasn't going to happen.

- having parents to live near,
   having discovered a mutual need for each other at this point in time.

- having the feeling of looking forward to moving near her parents.

"M: also talked about her efforts to "live from the heart" more.  Interesting, after several months of that, she now has new heart/circulatory symptoms. She had 3 episodes, each lasting a long 4 days. The last time with palpitations and a tight chest, she was convinced she was having a heart attack. In the ER, she was told it was mitral valve prolapse syndrome/ dysautonomia.  I welcomed her to the MVPS club - she has already been in the POTS/CFS club. I offered, while these may feel like new symptoms, and it may be she had big enough to notice symptoms because she's been trying to listen to her heart more and let her heart express itself more.  Opening oneself  to one's own heart may allow that which was buried inside to surface.  "M's" new practice of gratitude has led to a positive, encouraging voice in her head that may be interfering with worrisome thoughts as her heart feels safe to express itself. Palpitations and chest tightness feel scary, so having them checked out is prudent.

You have chest tightness, too?

The phrase chest tightness brought some discussion. In a call of 9 people, two more people experience a tight chest feeling and both described it as feeling like an elephant on their chest. One said the elephant was sitting there, the other said it felt like the elephant was standing on all 4 trunk feet.  I never felt it as an external pressure. I usually just felt like my lungs, my ability to move air was only strong enough for one breath, then my chest, ribs, lungs would feel like sinking in on themselves again.  Not feeling satisfied with the breath we get is another description. Does this sound familiar to you?

"I in Hawaii" expressed gratitude for being awarded her SSDI and for the help she got from Elly, Toni, and our website articles on the topic!  She won her SSDI benefits on the first try!  That's the second person this week who's won SSDI benefits on the first application. Congratulations!  She also expressed gratitude for all the public awareness campaigning for CFS and astonishment that 80% of the people with CFS still don't have a diagnosis.

"MC" from southeast VA made it to her first EGG meeting. She and I have been emailing, too. I've condensed some of our back and forth from the call and emails here:

From MC:
Anyone have any tips on a mattress for Back, hip and knee pain?  We have bought  3 this year and none seem to help.  Even the tempurpedic.  UGH

It was nice just to listen in on the Conference.  To hear people who understand, talking.    As opposed to those  "who don't get it." I have to watch my minutes on my cell phone. Look forward to joining in again,
Anything you can pass along to help with "Insomnia." I do relaxation excercises throughout the day. I've been told my "Auto Immune system"  is at full throttle!!!

I have pretty much cut out caffeine.   Of course Diet coke, which I have been told the [acesulfame] Potassium causes bone brittleness, as well as the Aspartame is used as a bug killer in Candada!!!   Wow!! So it's green tea for me now. Yes, the green tea has caffeine.   I'm slowly trying to get rid of all caffeine.   But need something to get me moving in the am.

My husband is recently back from deployment. We have a child. Today's  a gorgeous day here. Hope to move back to quiet Newport RI.   Its noisy here.  We live on a descending [aircraft] path.

I can't really drive anymore when I'm "exhausted. " The other day  I rolled/tapped  the person  in front of me at a red light.  "Brain fog"  NO damage to him, 2 dings to my bumper. So we both went on our way!!

I'm trying to work through the loss of being a "Career Women"  let alone now a fininacial as well as physical burden.   I did some volunteer work over the holiday weekend.  But even just a couple of hours. Left me exhausted.   I helped out at homeless shelter at the first aid station.   As I am an RN nurse.

I also have questions about  helpful things for "Insomnia"  and night pain. Also night sweats. Nutrition for CFS. 

Have a good day, -MC

Elly wrote back:

My gut reaction to the way you wrote about mattresses is... If 3 don't help, including the tempur-pedic, then your body is really, really trying to get your attention! Now. It doesn't want you to wait to figure things out, but I give another mattress link later, just in case. Some ways to listen to a body:

Knees can be about issues of flexibility and moving forward.
           Also they can be about only bending one way.

Back issues can be about support, standing up in structure.
Hips can be about balance, left (female) and right (male) balance.

Mattresses are about a safe place, a soft place to be.

Pain is often talked about as having to do with guilt and self-punishment.

One suggestion is to take a piece of paper and for each place of pain, write the most detailed description of the pain - where it is, the first time you felt it, who were you or are you with when it emerges, does it come and go? is it worse in cold?, where were living when first started, the effects of each product tried, drugs or supplements.  Then, gently thank that part of your body for storing so much information.  Ask for the symptoms to subside some since you've written them all down, giving them importance. Express the difficulties getting help with such severe symptoms. If you experience relief, honor the deliberate communication with your body with gratitude.

For physical relief, perhaps the  CuddleEwe Mattresses and Pillows could help:

For night sweats, taking a regular or baby aspirin before bed has helped others and it worked for me on occasion.  However, I wouldn't do it long term because of the possible side effects.

For insomnia, in my book, nothing beats slowly increasing Chelated Calcium and Magnesium Supplements - but must be taken at least 4 times a day - When you feel stressed, you body dumps them again real fast and they are water soluble. They don't hang around like fat soluble substances.  Source Naturals brand is good for finding them individually rather than in combination. I never had much success taking them as a combo! And they kind of do different things, both being calming to the nervous system. The phrase / rule of thumb I've heard used and which worked for me is "More calium helps you fall asleep, more magnesium helps you stay asleep (if waking up often and fall back asleep again.)."

When I took 250 mg Calcium (as an individual thing, not part of any multi, 4 times a day, and 100mg Magnesium chelated 7 times a day, I could fall asleep and stay asleep. There was a little extra of each in my multi-vitamin.  Magnesium lets you know when you get too much because you get loose bowels - A clue to cut the dose a little. One lady in our group had to take 1350 mg Magnesium a day before she could sleep, another took 1,100 mg per day before she was able to relieve constipation.  Magesium also helps relaxation which relieves the pain of being so tense.  If you decide to try Calcium and Magnesium, I recommend potassium, too, one with each meal and immediately upon waking up as a start.  I am not a nutritionist. You'll have to assume the risk and responsibility of following these suggestions. and our Amazon Associaties store carry these. The prices given are for 12/11/06:

Source Naturals Magnesium 100 mg, 250 Tabs - Amino Acid Chelate, $7.13
Source Naturals Calcium 200 mg, 250 Tabs - Amino Acid Chelate, $11.06 
Source Naturals Potassium 99 mg, 250 Tabs - Amino Acid Chelate, $7.64

Also known as, sncatalog prices are:
Magnesium - $7.13
Calcium - $7.52
Potassium - $7.64

Smaller bottles of each are available! The potassium is potentially helpful with anxiety, heart skipping and double beating, muscle cramps and spasms, regulating blood pressure. Very helpful for people taking herbs (licorice) and drugs (florinef) that promote potassium loss. Small amounts, more often a good approach for it, too.

Mary's going to order a Cuddle Ewe mattress. She hopes it will help her husband's back pain, too.


Relaxation, learning to relax, practicing relaxing for months before it started to work was a topic.  "M" reminded us there are many techniques and reasons why relaxation is so valuable for people with CFS and FM in the June 2006 book

Fibromyalgia and CFS: 7 Proven Steps for Less Pain and More Energy
by Fred Friedberg, PhD.
Fred has CFS and is a CFS and FM researcher and clinician. He's a psychologist and has also written about emotional healing with EMDR, eye-movement desensitization. He will be speaking about Lifestyle Balance for Less Pain and More Enegy on April 5, 2007, in Bethesda, MD, at a co-spondered event by us, The NoVA CFS/FMS Support Group, and Pain Connection.

There are 2 book reviews, including one by me at Amazon. You can vote if you think it helpful or not. Add your own review if you are working with the book. There was a favorable review in Oct 2006 The Townsend Letter: Here's an excerpt:

"...In this cogent book, Friedberg has successfully erased the line separating mind and body.  His advice can open avenues for health improvement for anyone suffering with CFS/FM, especially for those who have previously rejected any treatment involving the psychological aspects of these illnesses."
----Katherine Duff, author of a CFS classic, "The Alchemy of Illness"

"M" has been practicing active relaxation. Its taken her 6 months, but she can really feel a difference now. Its helping.

Contributions from our other Callers

There was so much other stuff on the call. I want to mention a little from each caller. 

Celia wrote us - "It was good to connect on the EGG call yesterday!  I was pleasantly surprised that you were all still there when I called in about 7:15 pm.  I ended up hanging up w/o saying goodbye - bodily functions calling - you understand, I know. I hope to make it to some part of Monday's EGG activities."

Yup, I heard Toni and "I in Hawaii" were still on the phone at 9 PM!!!!

Bethany gave us a tip for making the computer screen easier to look at. Make the background dark brown and make the letters beige. She changes it for outgoing emails and printing but it makes it easier on her eyes the rest of the time.

Bethany also expressed gratitude for and help by allowing her sleep pattern to just be what it needs to be. Not having to get up for someone else's schedule is quite the blessing.

Toni expressed gratitude for her 7 years after bankruptcy expiring this month. Just in time to buy a needed car.  And we learned about Toni's future son-in-law's father, whom she's never met, heard news reports about the gov't's backing CFS research, finding it important enough to leave his son a message about it.  The public awareness campaign is working!

Someone asked about the amino acid testing and therapy program from Minnesota by Marty Hinz, MD, described at   (877) 626-2220. The rest of us had never heard of it. Has anyone tried it successfully? She has been on it a couple of months and feels it is helping some. She'll keep us informed. Here are a few web pages that mention Dr. Hinz.

Another view, from pro-amino acid therapy author of The Mood Cure & The Diet Cure
in The Townsend Letter Oct 2006, Fibromyalgia: Too Tired to Go to the Ball

Urinary Neurotransmitter Testing: Problems and Alternatives

by Julia Ross, MA, MFT
Based on her own clinical practice and reports from other clinics, this author concludes that urine testing for neurotransmitter levels is often off-base, leading to incorrect assumptions regarding amino acid formulations and, consequently, unsatisfactory treatment. She surveys the problems she sees with urinary neurotransmitter testing and offers viable solutions.

Just before the meeting, I discovered there are many, many songs with the title "Thank You."  I thought there was only that Wayne Newton song, Danke Shoen!  I found a song entitled "Thank You" by a person with CFS and MCS,  Susan Abod (  It is recorded on her CD "In the Moment." (Amazon). Susan also created a CFS documentary film, “Funny, You Don’t Look Sick: Autobiography of an Illness.”   She sings a song called "Say a Prayer" by B. Rose, Rhianon, and P Weinstein, on her CD. These words from it moved both me and Toni:

Some have called you crazy
And some have hurt your pride
Not one voice embracing
The song you hold inside
Sing out in the dark
Reach out for a spark that's getting
Ready to flame
Make your claim to the morning
The hush of early dawn
Is waiting (right there) for your song when you
Say a prayer
Out in the open air
Just when that old despair comes into view
You just say a little prayer for you

No one says it quite like you
So say a little prayer just for you

Read about Susan at Immune Support:
Living In the Moment:
One Creative Woman’s Journey with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and MCS

And finally, the Heartmath Quote from 11/29/06 was by 
Jacques Maritain, in
Reflections on America (1958)

"Gratitude is the most exquisite form of courtesy."

Wed Nov 1, 5 p.m. EST, Conference call

This call included singing and live playing of sample of song on iTunes. Everyone remembered to announce the end time so people could hang up with closure. The call went longer with several people and then a couple more hung on after Toni hung up. Elly had to miss this call with an emergency trip to the veterinarian for Tazz' eyes.

Fri Sep 29, 3:30 p.m., Conference call

This was a small call, but still lots of fun. There were problems with the Yahoo reminders going out. All 4 attempts were blocked! We do list meetings on our Events page and the main EGG page, for just such a problem, and for those who are not CFSupport e-group members.

Thurs Sept 21, 2-4 and 5-6:30 p.m., N. Bethesda clinic meeting and Cheesecake Factory

World Gratitude Day!!

Summary - There were 7 of us total, including Toni and Elly. It was the 1st EGG - Elly's Gratitude Group - meeting where both of us present in person! There was a wardrobe malfunction, rental car need, difficulty finding the elevator, and other odd experiences, and yet it all worked out. There were smiles, tears, and surprises. New friendships were made and important information and support was exchanged.

We met for the first session in the conference room and the second session in the lobby in the comfortable cushioned sofa and chairs. The clinic personnel made us feel welcome and left us alone to our conversation. We learned if you stay at that location until after 7pm, you don't have to pay for garage parking.

JC told us of the nearby organic store called My Organic Market (MOM's). Turn left onto Rockville Pike, Right on Nicholson and its on the right, well after the mall. She suggested people go there before or after our meetings at the clinic.

Sitting in The Gilbert Clinic, it did feel strange to be discussing the merits and the ups and downs of their program and many others programs people were interested in talking about, (Teitelbaum, F&FC). I pointed out that being able to ask the tough questions,
without fear, of ourselves and why things are the way they are, is a major point of the EGG group and healing in general. We have Gilbert Clinic's team's support in that. They made themselves scarce to give us the freedom to speak openly. Asking hard questions  surrounded by people seeking the graces of gratitude often leads to finding new answers, or at least a new twist in thinking.

The regular handouts about CFS, FM, symptoms, disability applications, a few CFIDS Chroncles and FM Frontiers were made available. Some attendees have never been to one of our regular meetings and they were pleased to get the written materials. The conversation wandered around, but kept returning to the bigger context, not just CFS or FM, but whole life.

EGG is a whole life discussion group for people with CFS, FM and OI, framed in appreciation of what is going well, even if that is something so small as to be knowing what an egg is. We acknowledge losses, begin to notice the gains, begin to find balance again.

Tues Aug 29, 7:30 p.m., EGG Conference Call Summary, by Toni Marshall

Traveling Up Hills,
Feeling Better Than Hoped For After Longer than Expected Journeys...

...two themes of Elly's Gratitude Group (EGG) meeting by teleconference Tuesday, Aug 29th. We didn't plan it, the stories just turned out that way.

Hikers were full of stories of their recent conquests of hills. Each person mentioned they'd gone far enough to have been too exhausted, but, nevertheless recovered faster than they'd expected.  Each expressed the joy they experienced being out, being physical for a change. They described little and big rests needed along the way, and taking plenty of fluids to care for themselves. A hiker described going horseback riding as part of an extended adventure with a friend.

A biker told of traveling 25 miles, on flat terrain, without working up to it, just like she used to, yet biking farther than she'd planned to go. She was pleased to be feeling ok three days later. She drank Gookinaid to replenish water and electrolytes the next day.

I told the story of my mother carrying water up a mountain every day in the 1980's to please her idiot husband who wanted to live on the land until she'd had enough. One told of giving up his social climbing of the past and his recent story of climbing out of the worst of his illness to a place of more gratitude and hope.  Three of us discussed suicidal thoughts when we were first diagnosed, wondering what we were good for, and I had similar thoughts later, too, when feeling regret for hurtful behaviors toward others in the past, all three of us recovering from those feelings of worthlessness and despair.

For those of us with vivid imaginations, the travelers in the group described wonderful hills, waterfalls, woods, flora and fauna on their journeys.  Our caller from Hawaii said views from windows in her home are lovely on the days she is up to letting the outdoors in.  I live 9 miles from the Chesapeake Bay, visiting there with my daughter on a gorgeous, cool day in April, feeding ducks and attracting little children who were chasing the ducks, to our great delight. 

One caller from Oregon said she also wanted to join the July teleconference call but had to pack in case she needed to evacuate from the raging fires near her home which destroyed many homes in her area while her neighborhood was spared, for which we are all grateful. We introduced her to another person from Oregon on the call and listened while they discussed neighborhoods they knew in common!

Elly Brosius discussed her climb out from under a mountain of symptoms with the help of Jonathan Gilbert's herbal treatment, a pastoral counselor, Sam Makoul, and her preparatory work learning to incorporate gratitude in her life. She even has gratitude for symptoms as metaphors to be understood spiritually.  I discussed major improvements working with Gilbert and his herbal treatment, too. 

I remember well Gilbert's presentation about our society's stresses. For example, the average New Yorker witnesses thousands of ads and commercials every day which work very hard to convince people their lives are no good until they've attained the products being sold. We discussed the example of toothpaste and an experiment showing how little, if any, toothpaste is needed for a clean feeling and healthy mouth by the author of The Tightwad Gazette.  (Brushing and flossing were shown to be more important for health than toothpaste. The author used thread for floss, very inexpensive and money-saving!). Ads are designed to make you feel unlovable, undesirable, unacceptable unless you buy the presented product. This part of Gilbert's presentation reflects his understanding of the super stress sensitivity of CFS/OI/FMS patients.

One caller remembered my comment from last month that I rarely bathe anymore because it causes so many symptoms.  She found it helpful to know others are in a similar boat.  We discussed ways to take showers to minimize symptoms.  These  include leaving the bathroom door open for steam to escape providing more oxygen in the shower, turning down the temperature of the shower before getting out, shower quickly, shower or bathe at night so that symptoms are mitigated by going to bed afterwards. 

There's an intimacy created when conversing by phone from one's living room difficult to attain outside of our own homes. I don't remember ever discussing my bathing habits at face to face meetings.  Maybe that's too much information for some people, but it's a relief for me and the person who remembered it from last month to know we're not alone and that it helps prevent symptoms to bathe less.  I never discussed such a thing until some brave, anonymous person wrote of their bathing habits in the CFIDS Chronicle a couple of years ago.  It was such a relief - one less thing for which to feel bad about myself.

We discussed towelettes and lotions for washing up, using a towel or bib to catch drips when eating in a recliner and for brushing teeth.  I brush my teeth in a recliner without toothpaste to avoid creating all that messy foam, then I use a teensy bit before rinsing the brush in the bathroom.  One person reports having found an adult bib which is black and attractive rather than child-like and ugly by googling adult bibs. She was interested in saving the extra expense of replacing stained clothes by finding a reasonably adult bib.  Eating and brushing teeth while reclining saves OI patients from symptoms, saving upright time for more important things, like paying bills and filing taxes, microwaving dinner, shopping and more.

Hilary found tremendous help attaining a spiritual sense of gratitude and purpose as well as a new level of healing reading 'CFS is a Call for Soulwork' by Gretchen Brooks Nassar.  She describes the author's idea of CFS as a gift, which seems antithetical on its face, but, there is wonderful insight here for dealing with such a difficult chronic condition. 

This led to discussion of the value of recognizing all aspects of ourselves, accepting the good as well as those things we'd rather not face about ourselves.  For instance, Elly said I was a cranky b____ while going through the disability process 1998-2000, pointing out how happy I am today, even though I can tell you I can still be a cranky b____.  

Elly discussed making peace with her inner meanness. She's discovered things she's told people which seemed mean at the time actually helped them. After beating herself up about stuff for months or years, she would get feedback like, "thank you for saying that so bluntly", "you saved my life by shaking me out of my denial," "you saved my disability",  and "God, that was hard to hear, but that was really helpful."  Meaningful meanness?  What a concept!

Accepting ourselves as we are, sweet-tempered and petty, refreshingly honest and mean, angry and happy, able and disabled and the many more things we all are all at once is harrrrrd, but valuable work and the greatest uphill journey/ascension of all.  

Participants of the August teleconference called from Hawaii, Maine, Long Island, NY, Northern Virginia, Annapolis Maryland, 2 from Waynesboro Virginia, and 2 from Oregon.  It takes a few comments from each person and asking each others' names a few times before we recognize each other, but we're getting to know each other in spite of conducting our meeting from our recliners in our homes.

We giggled at Elly's very creative gratitude idea that day:  "I am grateful I don't have to melt sand to pour panes of glass to make my own windows."  Elly suggested we make a special place to write 'off the wall', out of the ordinary gratitudes. Feel free to post yours on EGG's A Guestbook of Gratitude page, AGOG , or in a new Gratitude Forum on CFSTalk called Unusual Gratitude Journal Entries. Feel free to start a new topic there to continue discussion from the calls or our meeting summaries.

Can you believe it? People with long time CFS and FMS finding joy and ability for biking and hiking! Discussion of money saving tips around personal hygiene, de-stressing, glass pouring, adult bibs, self-acceptance!

Tues August 29, 1:30  p.m., Woodbridge, VA, Ikea's restaurant

There were six of us, 2 new people - 1st meeting ever, a mother and son both with CFS who drove up from Fredericksburg, and someone who hadn't made it to a meeting in a long time, and me, Elly. 3 of us ate. Yummy. And there was hugging, compassion, comiserating, and finding the funny.

Afterward, I bought IKEA's mascot - the big stuffed heart with the hands that welcome's you to return stuff so they can make things right. I've been having fun with it ever since. Lots of references to having a big heart. : )

I was great to have a meeting so far south and to be able to drive that far, drive home, and then do the conference call in the evening all in the same day! See next entry up.

Sat July 29, 7-8:45 p.m., Conference call

Summary in Progress. A great time!

Sunday June 25, 2-4 p.m., Loudoun Co. Rust/Ida Lee Library, Leesburg, VA.
EGG Meeting Summary

The June EGG CFS/FM/etc meeting took place at the Rust / Ida Lee Library in Loudoun County, VA, in a country town called Leesburg. Leesburg is growing fast... but it still feels like 'the country' to me. D gave me a lift for the half hour ride from our homes on the edge of western Fairfax County. We had a good talk on the way there.  We missed our turn, stayed calm, figured it out, and found our way.

I knew D from the group years ago. As she told us at the meeting... she disappeared from the support group scene for quite awhile, to raise twin girls.  Her girls went off to college within the past couple of years. While struggling with her health and the family responsibilities, D gave up most outside interests and activities. She had hoped that once some of the busy-ness of home life calmed down and she could focus on her health with the girls away at college, she would somehow just improve. Her symptoms remained, the relief and progress was not what she expected or hoped for. She came back to the groups to learn what was new. She has been delighted to find out about the Gratitude Group and The Gilbert Clinic.

There were 6 of us at the meeting and a reporter and photographer. We all told more of our individual stories than usual. We went around the room, telling a little bit about ourselves and a little about what we're interested in at this point in our illness. The reporter asked good questions, wanting to get a sense of peoples lives, and we were pleased to fill her in. One of the photographer's photos of M that day was featured in the newspaper article, One Woman's CFS Journey.

One person, in 70s now, had been sick since the 1980s. 
Twenty + years ago $16,000.00 (sixteen thousand!) was spent for only the first year of CFS treatment. Her doctor was the most talked about/popular CFS doctor in the late 80s/90s for the DC area when I joinged the group. Three of us immediately remembered who she was talking about.... and the stories that went with that doctor. (He's no longer in practice.)

The person had come to the EGG meeting because there had never been a CFS support group meeting in the area. The announcement in the paper told of the special opportunity to come talk about CFS, since telling friends about it is not an option. Her family knows so much already, helping  by having built special chairs, a special keyboard holder and computer stands for keeping busy while also reclining. We were encouraged to all keep going, to seek things to do that can be done successfully. This attendee was looking for support and not new treatments at this point, preferring to enjoy stability.

I was silently grateful to my improving health for keeping my new traveling group going, extending its reach to Leesburg. There was a sense from most of the Loudoun County people that they would never venture inside the Capital Beltway, Route 495, for our regular meetings - even if the speaker was most excellent. Ever. I can relate. I wouldn't drive to Maryland or DC, I couldn't cross over the bridge so to speak, for most of the time I've lived in VA (16 years). I think I did it for work twice in 1990 and it was an awful struggle for me. I'm pretty excited I drive to MD now. I am going to have my first meeting in Maryland in September!!!!!  Its a big deal -  I am only newly able to drive that far more consistently.

Another attendee was a man who lives in Sterling. He was younger, newer to the scene... not quite sure of his FM diagnosis. He described some of his been through some sleep study nightmares. He needed lots of support to know he is not alone and there are things that do help....  there are doctors and lawyers who help. He told us of difficulties with old and new work, difficulties getting help at the department of vocational services, how he struggles to help out at home, too. We gave him information, suggestions, and a lawyer contact. He has had a good meeting with that lawyer. He has joined our e-mail list. He has told me of some inspiring guided imagery and relaxation tapes.

D had a lot to say about how she got sick, what things made it worse, the kinds of thoughts she had along the way, and strategies she developed to raise twins while sick. She also said she felt now was the time to reconnect with the group and me. She felt ready and drawn to try something new, treatment-wise. She discussed her decision making process about whether or not to sign up for The Gilbert Clinic's herbs- medical- counseling program for FM and CFS and whether or not her family would be supportive of her decision. D has since begun the Gilbert Clinic's program and is feeling a bit better and stronger already.  Yet, she knows healing may be an up and down thing. She is quite pleased with the effect of the herbs and how her commitment to a mind-body-spirit approach is already facilitating big changes.  D has offered me a ride to the IKEA meeting on Aug 29 if you want to meet her. Isn't it funny how just as I am able to drive further, people offer me rides?

D has also told me she has been silently grateful for the good driving directions to The Gilbert Clinic I put on our group's web page about Gilbert and the herbs. It helped her get there with calm and ease, much clearer to read than the internet generated map directions. She really liked the intro workshops held there. She also got lost on the way home, but something was different. She was able to stay calm.

M, the star of the newspaper piece listed above, came ready to talk about how the gratitude group started at just the right time for her. A friend, diagnosed with a very scary, perhaps terminal thing, had started sending her beautiful inspiring, positive attitude letters when M was stuck in her anger and frustration about her CFS symptoms, her migraines, her life. It blew her away this woman could send such amazing, uplifting stuff while dealing with such a scary medical situation. She felt shaken up enough to find a way to let go some of her own anger and negativity. She may still have CFS in the end, but she realized she didn't have to be so miserable. She wanted to find a way to express more uplifting things... perhaps to encourage others.  M's changes in thinking about her struggles occurred around July 2005, the same month I started the Gratitude Group. M has been in it from the beginning.... and inspiring me with her enthusiasm for reclaiming more joy for herself.... and her effort to notice more of the positive. We talk more than we used to, and now I notice she always has a story for me, something fun to talk about. Part of the gratitude group's mission is to allow us to see and feel more fun inside, and to be more able to spread it around.

She showed us a little book of daily meditations she began using to help her remember to focus on something positive every day. Now finding/looking for the uplifting has become a habit for her and she doesn't need the book on a daily basis.... an encouragement to us all.  She shared with us a powerful thing from the book. And we had a coincidence, a syncronicity right there on the spot about it. I was going to read to the group 'The 9 ways to make yourself miserable' if you have CFS - from Fred Friedberg's book. I showed it to M first.  The first of Friedberg's miserable ways is to ask "Why me?" as often as possible. M's book excerpt discusses "why me?"  We smiled, throwing up our hands with a, "Do you believe that?" We both brought different examples of a "why me" thing! M's selection was an Arthur Ashe quote which flips the "why me?" question around by daring to suggest asking "why me" when things are good, better or wonderful.  

I don't remember the author or title of her book, but I do remember the quote she read being included on the May 11th page of the book... maybe because May 11th is the eve of CFS/CFIDS/FM Awareness Day.

The quote by Arthur Ashe included specific examples of good things for consideration of "why me?" which I no longer remember, so I made up a few of my own:

I had a really good day today. Why me?
I have some pleasant and reliable friends. Why me?
I am smart enough to enjoy irony, sarcasm, and a really clever joke. Why me?
I live in America in the 21st century. Why me?
Not all of my body hurts. The parts that do hurt do not hurt all the time. I do not feel pain in my sleep. Why me?
Most food I encounter is relatively safe to eat. Why me?

Isn't that a powerful mind exercise? Kind of reaches beyond mind into soul for me.  I've been talking about it ever since. Its like an added step to 'notice the positive' for your gratitude journal.   I really do enjoy considering the whys of things these days and am pleasantly surprised with the added bonus of synchronicities.

S, our nutritionist and pastoral counselor friend, was also at the meeting. He's spoken to the main CFS/FM Support group about Heart Math exercises. He said he realizes his CFS patients have turned out to be some of his best friends.  He cares and thinks about them in his off hours...because their life and illness stories are so life-encompassing. The stories of our lives affect him deeply.  He said his patients, give him inspiration just by continuing in the face of so much struggle. On his way to a gratitude meeting, focusing on gratitude, he discovered things he hadn't put together about working with CFS and FM patients.  Over the years, he's changed the way he puts together a program and helps people find not only physical but spiritual nourishment because of all the things they courageously share with him.

The reporter, SS, of the Loudoun Times-Mirror, thanked us.  She honored us for our sharing with appreciation, saying she  understands CFS in a deeper way, now. She admitted she was dismissive of the illness until very recently because of the terrible name. She was shocked by much of what she's learned about CFS. Her July 11th articles in the Loudoun Times-Mirror show how much she wants others to appreciate the seriousness of the effects of CFS, its effects on lives and families. The front page article is Chronic fatigue syndrome - a lot more than being tired.

We talked about interrupting as a symptom. Becoming so afraid to forget an important or slightly urgent idea, you blurt out whatever's on your mind. You cannot wait 'til the appropriate time to speak in a conversation for fear you'll go blank by then. Some people who interrupt frequently have been reprimanded so often, they become so self- conscious, they avoid conversations altogether. D talked about how interruptions had affected conversations in her family. M said she'd been reluctant to join one of our conference calls because the urge to blurt at any moment caused her to fear becoming a distraction for others.

In our gratitude group, CFS and MVPS/D group meetings, blurting is okay. In fact, we might look at our meetings as a series of interruptions based upon a main theme. It's okay to do it around me.  Sometimes talking about why we do it and how to compensate for it may be helpful for everyone in hearing distance.  If the situation doesn't allow you to discuss it in the moment, it's always good to have a little notebook to jot a note about it for later. Noticing you tend to interrupt in conversations is step one. It may be good to let other people know you're aware you're doing it, you know it's annoying, and you wish to be different but it's the only way your brain works right now. Our friends and families may help us by spotting that look in our eyes, remembering what they were saying to comment later, allowing the interruption. Others may adopt an easy-going attitude, too. Learning to be easy going ourselves, letting go our fear of losing our place, feeling lost and missing an opportunity serves as a model for different behavior from others.

After the gratitude meeting, although we were tired and starting to ramble and babble, D, M, and I went to Panera Bread in Leesburg.  We talked another couple hours, going into more depth about life and healing and philosophy and self-acceptance. We agreed it's funny to see when it's time to let some object, say, a piece of clothing go out of your life, you're finally ready to move on, and letting it go is easy all of a sudden. We don't have to beat ourselves up for all the clutter. The experience of holding onto something long enough to experience easily letting it go is important, too.

It was a good time. Driving home, everyone got caught in a severe thunderstorm. It was wet and wild. We knew we'd be wiped the next day, especially M, but sometimes that's okay.   Some things are worth mini-relapse, especially if you can remember it was worth it while recovering from a nice time. M was bummed about how bad she felt the next day until she experienced being bummed while catching an ad for the musical 'Annie' at Wolf Trap, hearing, 'The sun will come up, tomorrow...,' and, 'Its only a day away.'  The message in the music kept her going with a smile. She indeed felt better the next day.

April 2006 EGG Conference Call

From Thursday  //  April 27, 2006  //  3 - 4:15 PM

There was laughter, caring, understanding, and shared tips on how to chase ants out of your house (cinnamon), what are some features to look for in a recliner, and different ways of keeping gratitude lists. There was surprise and intrigue about developing new attitudes about body symptoms and mind-body-spirit-emotional healing. There were 8 of us.

We got talking about plants. Indoor and outdoor. How through neglect or because we're not doing well, we accidently rake over them, break off leaves starve or dehydrate them. This can be really upsetting. When it happens, one has a choice about what to say to self about it.  "I'm such a bad person, a plant killer, or an evil plant Mommy/Daddy" doesn't bring the plant back to life and probably drains one's energy. "I did the best I could given how I feel" and "Its okay to focus on taking care of myself right now" are other valid choices. Having been so particular about plants before starting a big deal healing program, I recently had some plants die and it was a frustrating. For me, these plants dying have come to symbolize how the old thoughts / ways / symptoms need to die off, making room for new plants, new ideas and a new level of wellness.

During the call, I mentioned 5 possible things I am grateful for about the CFSAC
(CFS Advisory Committee to the Secretary of Health):

    It exists, so when things are ready to move productively - the structure is there.
    Several of the people on it are wonderfully dedicated advocates/doctors/researchers and
        the meetings give them an opportunity to meet and know each other and attendees and
        form plans/alliances outside the committee.
    Patients / others have a regular means of getting CFS information into the Federal Registry.
    CFS is the only illness to have such a Committee at all.
    We can use the committee's progress or lack there and what happens there
        as part of our Lobby Day and other advocacy efforts.

Toni talked about a new symptom and welcoming it instead of being afraid of it. She is monitoring her new high blood pressure medically, but also viewing it more as a way her body is releasing something emotional, and that it may be temporary. There was talk about what Louise Hay says in "Heal Your Body" about high and low blood pressure. We took her ideas and applied them to OI, NMH and POTS. Thursday's EGG call inspired Toni to write a forthcoming email about the side effects of appreciation. The conference call was a good time. It ended with a multi-voice chorus of "This was fun!"

Further encourangement: Great article by Daily Om: "Finding the Gift in Bad Days"

February 2006 EGG Conference Call

The gratitude conference call 2/27 was a good, encouraging time. There were ~ 9 people, from 4 states. But since 5 were new people - it was more like a regular support group meeting than a gratitude group. There was Q&A questions about symptoms, disability, and treatment. That was okay, and probably shows the great need for a phone support group for our illnesses. If anyone wants to start one, I'll help you!

We all found the call inspiring... and tiring, as it went for 2 hours!  Listening takes energy, more than you might first guess. Thinking does, too! If you call in but want to limit your time to half an hour, that is fine.  You don't have to ask permission or say good-bye to hang up if you are feeling a need to go. It is okay. I've  scheduled another conference call at the end of April. I skipped a month because of taxes. Let's get together again and talk about what's working, what's going right, and new ways of viewing the illness experience.

Did you see that PBS show called The New Medicine? It was incredibly good. It emphasized the science being done to show how thoughts and states of stress affect things like wound healing and recovery from trauma and quality of life with chronic illness. It shows western doctors who treat people as a whole person and not a collection of symptoms and parts. It showed a beautiful blending of high tech medicine with personal attention, use of guided imagery, acupuncture, yoga, food, & more. 5 great PDF articles about choosing an integrative medical practitioner and knowing your patient rights and more and several interviews are online:

To order the DVD for $24.95 + $5.95 shipping, call Twin Cities Public TV, (800) 229-8575.
Margaret Chesney, PhD, was interviewed. She is the deputy director of NIH's National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) and was our group speaker for Nov 2003! The Kernan Hospital's Center for Integrative Medicine in Baltimore was shown.

My aim with the gratitude group is to keep bringing focus back to how truly powerful the view we take of our lives and the things that happen to us is. Thoughts, intent, expectations influence and transform the experience of health, either up or down. Negative self talk (my body is failing me, if only this happened I'd be fine, I am so stupid) seems to come naturally or easily learned from others. It can drain you and often the people listening to you. Let us instead help each other shift to uplifting self-talk. Use re-phrasing and noticing what is going well to lower pain perception, feel less hyper, feel less overwhelmed, and to expand the safe space around us and within us to deal with difficult challenges.

January 2006 Meeting - Fairfax VA California Pizza Kitchen - Summary Excerpt

M and I met for a nice afternoon lunch. I had the Waldorf salad and she had the Original Chopped Salad. She had been at a CA Pizza Kitchen a really long time ago, remembered the name of what she ordered and that she liked it, opened the 3 page menu, and her eyes went right to it. She didn't have to face the array of choices and do the reading, everything seemed to fall in place and go easier. This is what I have found since practicing more and more gratitude so it was fun to see her experience it.

One of the things talked about in the movie What the Bleep do we Know? and the books The Celestine Prophecy by Redfield and The Holographic Universe by Talbot is when you start on the "gratitude and we experience things for a purpose" path, you might start to have more and more coincidences or syncronicities. Jung gave us the latter term.

M was so excited as she had just had a big coincidence that related to gratitude involving something she wrote in her journal being repeated on the Today show within 5 minutes! It felt very important and like encouragement for her. She didn't contain herself and had to tell me before we ordered food. I was so excited to share it with her. The we ate and had a good conversation as we discussed many difficult things about life and life with illness and how viewpoint and attitude and the past affect your experience of them now.

For those interested in syncronicities, here's a book:

Consider The Butterfly, Transforming your Life Through Meaningful Coincidence
by Carol Lynn Pearson
"At some point in our lives, we have all experienced synchronicities, those amazing coincidences that offer short glimpses into the backstage of life, the hidden order of things. Carol Lynn Pearson has for years kept track of the coincidences in her days, looking at them with a poet's eye for metaphor and meaning: a pan of "mama's cinnamon rolls" appears in the first shot of a movie just minutes after she and her sister reminisce on that favorite childhood food; a smiley face pops up on the computer screen during the writing of her daughter's funeral service; eight butterflies appear within an hour, not on the wing but in the word, bringing a message of transformation and hope. Learning the language of synchronicity can help each of us to more frequently access and recognize the wisdom of the divine. After reading Consider the Butterfly, you will never again see the events in your daily life as just events. You will start to see your name on messages sent special delivery, giving helpful clues on your own personal journey."

Home       Email Us        Subscribe        Search       Sitemap
Updated January 25, 2007