From Fear to Redirection: My Experience with Temporary Nervous System Dysfunction
I’m no stranger to pain. (Read: Understanding Chronic Pain and Tips for Living with Chronic Pain)
I am used to not being able to do all the things I want to do, but my recent experience with nervous system dysfunction brought up more fear than anything I’ve previously experienced.
One day, I was being less-than-diligent with how I was moving my neck. I had just spent a good deal of time lying on the floor in poor posture as I petted my friend’s big fluffy dog. I got up and started walking around the house when everything started to feel strange.
Suddenly, my neck could no longer hold my head up. My head lurched forward, completely out of control. I tried to stabilize my head with my hands but I was shaking too much. My entire body felt so incredibly heavy. I stumbled to my bed as quickly as I could and collapsed in relief, surrendering into helplessness.
Stuck in Fear of Inability
For the next several hours, I stayed in bed trying to meditate and relax. Each time I tried to get up, I experienced severe difficulties. I knew I was about to lose functionality of my nervous system when I started to shake and noticed everything begin to slide away.
I could not stand or even sit upright for more than a couple minutes at a time. I could not control my facial muscles. I struggled to keep my eyes open, smile, and speak. I could not breathe full breaths. I tried to eat but I could not control my jaw or swallow.
I tried to cook but I felt my nervous system giving up soon after I began. I clumsily attempted to save barely-cooked meat, using my left arm in an effort to stabilize my right arm into completing the act. I barely got the container into the refrigerator before I had to stumble to the bedroom, praying that I would be able to make it. All my limbs gave out on me as I fell into the bed.
That evening, my mind went down a spiral of worrisome questions.
- How long will this last?
- Will I be able to safely drive myself to the chiropractor?
- Will I have to drop out of school?
- Will I be able to create art again?
- What if I’m like this permanently?
I wasn’t afraid of dying, but I was terrified of living like that. I cried myself to sleep as I wholeheartedly prayed and gave myself reiki healing.
Tuning Inwards for Answers
The next morning, everything was still a challenge. I expended most of my energy making my normal morning tea because I knew I desperately needed it. I felt called to use more nervines, which are herbs that help calm down the nervous system. I used extra fresh lemon balm from my garden. I already had two different tinctures packed full of nervines so I added those to my tea.
The nervines helped calm me down enough to the point where I could start tuning inwards in an attempt to understand what this was trying to teach me—what my soul needed to learn from this situation.
I heard that I needed to do a shamanic journey, so that’s what I did. It happened to be my most vivid journey yet. My sweet fox guide led me down into the lower world to a sacred grove of trees. I felt especially drawn to a big oak tree. I asked what this nervous system dysfunction was trying to teach me. I was told the purpose was to teach me gentleness with myself. Being more gentle would allow me to meet me exactly where I’m at right now. Rather than getting caught up in fear and pessimistic thinking, with gentleness, I could start to think of solutions of what I can do rather than what I can’t do. I was told it was an important lesson to learn now because gentleness is something I must master so that I can extend that to other people out in the world, online, and through my future work.
I was told that what I was carrying was too heavy, much like my neck struggling to hold up my heavy head. I was told that I would need to let go of what is no longer mine to carry—the things that do me no good to bring forward into the future with me. I collected all of those things and buried them in the ground.
After my journey, I firmly set my intentions to be graceful, kind, patient, and gentle with myself—to treat myself as compassionately as I aim to treat other people.
Next, I had a feeling to search “Maryam Hasnaa nervous system.” I found a podcast episode with her network spinal analysis chiropractor. This inspired me to check my local area for a chiropractor that specializes in this modality. I found one close to home and made an appointment.
I felt drawn to learn about emotional freedom technique (EFT), otherwise known as tapping. I watched several YouTube videos about it and did some tapping, which helped me feel a little bit better.
I courageously decided to attempt to leave the bed for however long it would take to make myself lunch and tea. I managed to stay up for 20 minutes. Though I was shaking, I was able to eat before collapsing back into the bed. It felt like progress.
The next morning, I went to my normal chiropractor and had an adjustment. After that, I started to feel so much better. I was able to stand up for several hours without experiencing previous symptoms.
Over the course of the next few days, I was restored back to “normal” nervous system functioning and I am so deeply grateful for that. This dysfunction has been the scariest experience of this life.
Nervous system dysfunction was more terrifying than…
- being in multiple car accidents
- living in severe physical pain
- getting lost alone in a national park
- jumping out of an airplane skydiving
- watching scary movies
- experiencing frightening dreams
And still, it was a completely valid experience that ended up giving me so much…
My experience with nervous system dysfunction served as a point of redirection on my healing journey in multiple ways.
Since the experience, I have been seeing a network care chiropractor twice a week and my body is responding positively. It is continuously calming my nervous system to support all my body’s healing processes. It has made noticeable shifts in how I feel on a daily basis. I am experiencing less pain, less tension, more functionality, and better range of motion.
If not for this experience, I would not have sought out a second chiropractor. Under the care of both chiropractors—torque release and network care—I am feeling the best I have felt since before I began experiencing chronic pain.
Adding network chiropractics to my life is helping me get over my “sticking point” with my physical pain. For a long time, everything I was doing was just barely keeping me at the same point, with occasional movements slightly forward and slightly backward. Now, I can feel my health moving in a strong positive direction. I am extremely optimistic about the future of my healing processes.
Herbal Medicine: Nervines
This experience helped reaffirm my appreciation for the value of herbal medicine, especially nervines. Prior to experiencing nervous system dysfunction, I drank lemon balm tea daily, but I did not frequently use the special tinctures with all the extra nervines in them.
When I was experiencing the dysfunction, drinking the nervine tea made me feel a sense of peace and it helped calm everything down. In those moments of pain and fear, it was one of the only things that I could do.
I regularly utilize herbal medicine as a first line of defense for any health issues. Having those herbs already on-hand was truly a lifesaver. My experience with nervous system dysfunction reaffirmed why it is so important to have a wide variety of herbs in storage. It also inspired me to grow a greater quantity and a larger variety of nervines in my garden next growing season.
Being guided to do a shamanic journey was a big deal for me. Since my intro to journeying class 3 months prior, I had done very few journeys on my own. Even in the midst of nervous system dysfunction, I was able to do a journey, have a deeply profound experience, and get some answers to calm my racing thoughts. Through this experience, I feel encouraged to make shamanic journeying a more frequent practice in my life.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
I heard of EFT many times before, but had never felt compelled to try it. Since my nervous system function has restored to normal, I have not been using EFT consistently. However, I’m glad I had the experience of feeling better from using it diligently for a short period of time. In the future, I will incorporate it with affirmations while I’m doing specific inner work.
Experiencing severe nervous system dysfunction gave me a whole new perspective.
So many things quickly fall out of importance when you’re hit with something like this.
In the process of experiencing severe nervous system dysfunction and restoring to normal functionality, I was able to feel a larger spectrum of sensations. This information can help me going forward for times when I start to experience a mild dysfunction. Now I know what to do to support my nervous system when it needs it most.
This new perspective came with a much stronger sense of empathy. Going out into the world and interacting with other humans, some people can become frustrated when others do not behave as quickly or efficiently as they would like them to. Prior to experiencing nervous system dysfunction, I thought myself to be a pretty calm and empathetic person. However, this experience deepened my empathy in a whole new way.
After experiencing such struggles, I feel more capable of empathizing with other people who may be struggling. I can more easily place myself in their shoes because of my experience with temporary nervous system dysfunction. I choose to intentionally extend patience, kindness, and gentleness to other people, as I learned to extend those to myself in the process of struggling with nervous system dysfunction. I have a deeper understanding of what it’s like to live with a serious physical issue. I believe this perspective will help me in all my future pursuits where I’ll be working with others.
I never realized just how much work my body was doing to simply maintain normal functionality. I thought deeply about all the things my body could normally do that I took for granted.
I was completely humbled by nervous system dysfunction.
This experience has deepened my gratitude for having capability. Even when I am in pain, and even when I can’t do everything I want to do, I am still capable of doing so much. Experiencing nervous system dysfunction was a whole different level of in-ability and of needing help.
Going forward, I will be extending a whole lot more gratitude, compassion, and gentleness to my entire body. I’m so grateful to be alive.
Thank you for reading about my experience with temporary nervous system dysfunction. I hope you found some insights in this post. I would love to hear about your experiences with nervous system dysfunction.
This Post Has 2 Comments
Pingback: Tips for Living with Chronic Pain | Strong with Purpose | Spirituality, Healing, Intuitive Living
Pingback: Why + How to Reduce Your Sugar Intake | Strong with Purpose | Healing & Intuitive Living