Thursday, 31 January 2013

Day 3

Day 3 has been mostly.... doing, doing and more doing. It's 10pm and I am sat in my room in the Orchid Park Plaza Tel Aviv (great hotel by the way) exhausted and glad for the day to be over!

Although I actually feel really good - a little less pain in the jaw after only one treatment - I am really tired and have really bad headaches most of the time. I am used to this, it is all part of the treatment so I expect it. But today we had a busy day. We had a meeting with the hotel we'll be staying at for the wedding in June, then we went to see family in Netanya (25 minutes north of Tel Aviv).

When I lived here when I was 19 when I first had IPEC Therapy, I stayed with my aunt and uncle, and we went to visit this aunt today which was quite hard as she has cancer. I was happy to see her though, and my cousin who was like my sister growing up and has a new baby.

We then went on to visit another cousin and her baby, before making our way back to Tel Aviv at 9pm. Suffice it to say I'm knackered! I have just put on my PJ's and made myself a hot water bottle (hurricanes and cold weather STILL going on)and I am about to get into bed!

Let's hope mum can manage one night before waking me up!


Love and light xxx

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Day 2

Well as you know from yesterdays post, the 25 hours after the treatment I was only allowed to eat organic food. It's pretty amazing when you follow the journey that life takes you, where you can find yourself.

We looked up some organic restaurants in Tel Aviv and chose one for dinner last night and one for breakfast today. We went to 'Taste of Life' last night, which upon entry didn't come anywhere close to resembling what we might call a fine dining experience. Mum laughed as we looked at everything on the menu that my fiance would describe as 'pigeon food'; bean burgers, veggie burgers, juices and salads.

There was a buffet, so we walked over to that and a man with what sounded like an American accent, even when he spoke in Hebrew, explained that Tuesdays are buffet day. Then an older, large lady walked in with plates full of food from the kitchen and started speaking to him in English with a strong American accent.

We sat down at the bar, ordered food and drinks and asked one of them where they were from.

It turns out they are the Black Hebrew Israelites, a group of people mostly of Black African ancestry situated mainly in the United States who believe they are descendants of the ancient Israelites. Many of them moved over to Israel just after the civil rights movement in the States and have continued their migration ever since. They are given permanent residence, not citizenship, but some of them even serve in the Israeli army and are then given citizenship. They speak English amongst themselves with strong Chigaco accents but speak fluent Hebrew and integrate into society aside from their education.

They like to educate their own children and live in a kind of Kibbutz lifestyle. All their businesses are owned by the community, not by one person, and they all have shifts to help out in different businesses and others look after the children or do chores in their community. They live in their own kind of kibbutz.

They say it is more of a lifestyle than a religion, which I identify with so much, and their main ethos is TO LIVE! Everything about life is what they love and what they do. They don't eat anything which has lived or come from something living, so they are all vegans and eat only organic. They wear only cotton and fabrics that are good for the body and don't harm the environment and generally live a bit like Buddhists I guess.

I was so intrigued by this community that I had never heard of that I kept asking question after question and hoped that I wasn't annoying them. But what I learnt is that no matter where life takes you, if you just follow it, you get led to the most interesting things and people, and you learn lessons you never would have learnt.

This morning we ate breakfast at an organic cafe by the market in Tel Aviv and experienced the real boho lifestyle of tel aviv. The whole cafe was filled with bohemian musicians, artists, writers and other such creative people and I felt right at home. I have been loving the organic food and luckily in Tel Aviv it is easy to find.

My 25 hours were up at 1pm when we met with the wedding planner and had some other wedding related meetings but I am excited to see what the next treatment throws at me!

The side affects this time were not awful, I kept getting a pounding headache every few hours and I feel tired, as always after treatment but I had a rest this afternoon and am now preparing to go for dinner with a friend.

Let's see what tomorrow brings!

Love and light xx

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

IPEC Therapy, Day 1

I am writing this from the bed in my hotel room in Israel, as I stare out the large balcony doors at the sea - not too shabby!

I am in Israel for a month, having the treatment that I had nine years ago when my arthritis was at its worst - IPEC Therapy. It stands for Integrated Physical Emotional Clearing. Very complex and hard to describe but it basically uses a mix of 7 different types of complementary therapies and integrates them into one; psychology, homeopathy, reflexology, acupuncture, kinesiology, bio-energy and chiropractic. It forces toxins and allergies out of your system to make you healthy, but you would be surprised how many allergies we have without even knowing about it.

Through a technique called muscle testing, your sub-conscious tells the doctor (and yes, he is a real doctor who has studied medicine!) what allergy it wants to work on that day.

In past treatments I have worked on metal, wood, dairy, wheat, sugar, certain fruits and vegetables, atmospheric changes and even air! For 25 hours after the treatment you cannot exert yourself physically and you have to stay away from the thing you worked on. For example when we worked on wheat, I couldn't eat wheat for 25 hours - easy. But try staying away from metal (door handles, elevators etc etc!)

Today we worked on chemicals such as pesticides, insecticides, chlorine and many other man made chemicals that exist in our every day lives. So for the next 25 hours I have to eat only organic - completely organic! I had to find an organic food shop and buy some things that I could eat for lunch, and we looked up some organic food restaurants so we have chosen one for dinner and one for breakfast. It is sometimes hard but I always know that after my treatments I will have to stay away from certain things so the body can fully get rid of it.

I will be having treatments twice a week. They are very intensive and most people have them only every fortnight or once a month in most cases but because I don't have that sort of time to stay here, I will have 2 a week. I've done it before and it is draining, exhausting and challenging - mentally and physically, as it draws all the toxins out of you so you can have a number of reactions. Some can be emotional and some can be physical.

Aside from all the things I can't eat or do, and how it affects me, I have had this treatment before and it worked. It made me better when I was at my worst so I am confident it can do the same for me now and I will be on top form for my wedding in 4 months. I am determined to get better again as I will not succumb to an illness I do not want or accept that that is my life. I accept the things it has taught me and I accept that I have it, but it will not take over my life.

I'll be writing daily blogs to keep you all updated on my progress and how I'm coming along with the treatments as well as all the side effects and anything else worth mentioning.

For more information about IPEC visit

Love and light xx

Friday, 11 January 2013

Get Thicker Skin! No thanks, I'm fine In My Own :)

So much for a written documentary, it's been three weeks since I last wrote a blog so I'm not doing very well at documenting my illness... I guess it is because I have been feeling a little better, and life has been a little easier to get on with.

Isn't it funny how when we're sad we become so much more creative? I tend to write and create more when things aren't so good, because when they're good, I'm busy again. So I guess every cloud does has a silver lining.

I read a book recently called 'The Highly Sensitive Person - How To Survive When The World Overwhelms You'. I instantly knew the book was right for me because the minute I was given it by my mum and I read the title, I was offended. You know you are highly sensitive if you get offended by the title of a book given to you! - Ironic! But then I started to read it and it has had such a profound effect on me that I thought I would share it.

It turns out that about 10-15% of the population are Highly Sensitive People, or HSP's, and although non-sensitive people can get annoyed with us telling us things like 'Stop being so emotional', or 'It's just a film' or 'Get thicker skin', the world would not function without us as it is likely that if you are a highly sensitive person you are more aware of other peoples feelings and emotions. It is people like us who sense the need to help, say, elderly people crossing the road with heavy shopping bags, or in a group of siblings, the most sensitive one would be the one most likely to visit an elderly relative in a care home more often than the others. We are more sensitive to the pain of others, including animals and usually, highly sensitive people are more aware of our environments, therefore being more involved with helping others, the environment and animals and being more involved in charities, trying to do our bit. We also try and keep our own bodies and minds as healthy as possible, so more HSP's are likely to be healthy eaters, veggies and regular meditators! We are more likely also to be in therapy...

This is because non-HSP's aren't as bothered about the little things as much as we are and yes, they will get annoyed sometimes with our actions as they don't understand. This is because they aren't sensitive enough themselves to have the same feeling and emotions as us, - our nervous systems are literally made differently and function differently to non-HSPs - so our constant need to 'save the world' can make non-HSP's label us as Hippies.

But that's ok because the world needs both. World leaders and CEO's of large corporate companies need to be thick skinned, they could not survive in what they do if they were not. But on the flip side, you will then find that the majority of artists, writers, actors, musicians and all kinds of artists are HSP's. That is because we are so emotional, constantly full of emotion, that this doesn't work in normal every day jobs and we need creative outlets. Sometimes this can border on genius or even sometimes psychotic, because our minds cannot keep up with the constant thoughts. This is why we find so many of the greatest artists have committed suicide or died young or have been labelled 'mad' - (Picasso, Leonardo DaVinci, Jim Morrison, Tupac Shakur, Amy Winehouse.... the list is endless)

I could go on forever explaining the great things that this book has taught me but what I took away from it was that you can be an HSP because you have been brought up in a highly sensitive, artistic family (and even then, it is likely that only one of the offspring will be made up like this), because you have been born like this (because our nervous systems are built differently, we feel more, emotionally and physically and this is why things like bright or flashing lights affect us and why we are more sensitive to alcohol) or because you have grown up with an illness and this has made you acutely aware of other peoples pain as well as your own. (and again, not all people with illnesses will end up as HSP's, you still have to have been born like that to an extent anyway, but it could explain people like Stephen Hawking.)

So I started to wonder if I am so sensitive because of my illness, or was I born that way? Or is it a culmination of the two? I guess I'll never know but I do know that my sensitivity - although sometimes a hindrance in my own life - means that other people are helped and cared for and it gives me creativity; imagination and inquisitiveness, the need to always know and learn more and a desire to create and inspire.. (unfortunately this also comes from HSP's constant need to be liked!)

To end, I hope that some of you (probably only the HSP's) have found this interesting. It was so profound for me because I don't think it's ever been considered a 'thing' before. Being too sensitive has always been a negative and people tell you to 'get over things', 'move on' and 'stop watching films if you're going to cry every time'. But it's never been acknowledged that we make up a very interesting part of the population and being highly sensitive helps the world. Now that I know this, I will not stop being who I am, and when people tell me to 'get thicker skin' when watching the news, or seeing a homeless person, I will not, because it's not how I am made and I can now accept that. Instead I will turn off the news, and go and give the homeless man some money - and that is how it now is for.

Love and Light

Lauren x