I have two birthdays. One in April of 1980, the day I was born from my mother, and one in November of 2012, the day I started having pelvic pain. A day that my life was immeasurably changed and I was born again as a woman with endometriosis.
Previously, I never had any issues with my lady parts, but those days of not really noticing what was happening in my cycle were long gone. I can’t even remember what they were like. I went for countless tests and did a lot of googling of my symptoms. When I found information about endometriosis, I instantly knew. About five months after my pain started I had a laparoscopy to see what was going on. I was right, it was endometriosis. This became a good thing, because I had a diagnosis, and a bad thing, because now what do I do? For about a week after my surgery I only had post-op pain and I was hopeful that I would be pain free. Then I began feeling those familiar twinges and I knew it was back, or hadn’t ever gone in the first place.
It was on to plan b, then c, then d, and on and on. I tried gluten-free, tons of supplements, and countless other things. I became a fighter, wanting to push against endometriosis and not let it win. On my first “endo birthday” I got a tattoo to mark the occasion on the inside of my upper right arm. It was the first letter of each word in the phrase that perfectly describes my journey, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
I work in a restaurant and one night a customer asked me what my tattoos said. I told them the quote and then also explained that I have chronic pain and it helps me get through bad days. She told me that her aunt had a bladder disease and used reiki to heal herself after losing faith in traditional medicine. I had heard of reiki and I was intrigued. She put us in touch and we set up a session for May 2014. I didn’t really know what to expect, but as soon as she put her hands on me I knew reiki was going to be an important part of my life.
Reiki is a Japanese bodywork modality that involves the light placement of hands on the body and creates space for healing. I started having sessions regularly and in September of 2014 I started classes to learn how to practice reiki at The Reiki School & Clinic in Philadelphia. My self practice has become a wonderful part of every day. It has taught me to care for myself in a way that I never have before, and allows me time every day to reflect.
Reiki has changed the way I look at everything in my life, but especially endometriosis. It is no longer something that I am fighting against. It is a part of me, and I have come to the realization that fighting against myself is counter-productive. I don’t always like it, but I always love it. Endometriosis still causes me to have daily pain, and some days are better than others, but it also causes me to have intense gratitude for the positive changes that it has brought to my life.
I hope to be able to help other women manage their endometriosis with reiki and have just taken some big steps towards setting up a professional practice. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or would like to set up a session. I offer in-person sessions in the Philadelphia area and distance sessions as well.
Follow me on instagram @chronicallygrateful to accompany me on this journey.
I was inspired by Rachel and her path to reiki from the moment we met. Thank you for sharing your light! We are planning to dig deeper into how reiki can help endometriosis and chronic pain later this summer. Stay tuned for more information!