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Today’s letter for the A to Z Challenge is A …

A is for ALTERNATIVES and A is for ACTION SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WORDS…

So, I am setting out here in A to Z format, day by day, what I might DO to look after myself better and provoke better health. As before, unless otherwise stated, links open in a new window to the first google search results page, to provide a resource of information available to the reader about that topic.

In drafting these posts I am outlining some simple steps I can try taking for myself, fairly easily, cheaply – or for no money at all – to hopefully assist myself to develop a better self-help for health management system that I can ‘easily’ incorporate into my daily routine (at some point!). I shouldn’t really be needing to remind myself BUT I do need to remind myself…!

A is for ACCEPTANCE and ACKNOWLEDGEMENT, together being the first step toward healing and recovery – full recovery may be unlikely but ANY recovery IS better than none and could be better than I might ever hope possible …

So. That’s not acceptance as in resigning myself to accept “I am ill” – although I am! And I do have a LOT of trouble accepting and acknowledging how ill I am most days. That’s accepting the ADJUSTMENTS and ADAPTATIONS I need to make in my everyday life based on how things are at the moment (that is the last few months/years). Having suffered a relapse and reaching a new low level, it won’t change or go away for ignoring it nor for trying to believe anything other than the reality of my disabling illness while ACTIVATING ABILITY, by whatever available means necessary.

AUTOGENIC TRAINING appears an accessible form of relaxation involving bodily awareness. It can be done while sitting, or laying down. Do you need to be taught / told how to focus on warmth or heaviness in parts of the body? Time to do max 15-20 minutes 3x daily (I couldn’t go to a class or therapist! RDGtAM*-p47 to 49, discusses technique and shows positions and focus of each of six excercises, but not exactly how-to do each exercise…heaviness; warmth; heartbeat; breathing; warmth of stomach; coolness of forehead. NET RESEARCH needed! BUT three times a day I’ll be practising relaxation in the laying down position – as unable to sit – and finding out if I can learn this method myself! –or at least practising the rest and relaxation and getting into the habit of keeping those times for that in-activity.)

*RDGtAM is the Readers Digest Family Guide to Alternative Medicine published in 1991, ISBN: 0 276 42010 1

ACUPRESSURE to stimulate energy / relieve symptoms: I have in my home a couple of very good books about acupressure that I bought for my daughter. I’ll have to raid her bookshelf! (RDGtAM* suggests the meridian point ‘stomach 36’ about 3in below the knee on the outer leg is considered one of the great energy balancers and to massage deeply with your thumb for five to ten minutes. For me, deep massage is too painful and five to ten minutes self-massage impossible! Self-massage can be difficult and posture can affect meridian/energy flow, but it’s not impossible to use acupressure for self-help. For instance, pressing the fleshy part between your thumb and forefinger (known as the point ‘Large Intestine 4’) can help relieve headache, toothache and facial pain as well as constipation or menstrual cramps! So, I’m going to explore acupressure self-help techniques… it’s important not to over-stimulate the massage points, or lymph nodes, and to know things like to always massage toward the heart…

… and to check with your doctor before trying most things … only my doctor’s not worried by anything he should be worried by symptom-wise and has nothing to say or do about anything other than accepting a doctor’s salary while working like a public-service-computer-clerk.with nothing to offer other than keyword input and drop-down menu selection! Annoying NHS with no healthcare nor medicine to offer. (Accident & Emergency excepting, so APPRECIATION for that fact.)

AVOIDING AVOIDANCE: (That’s also the title of my acrostic poem for the letter A at my poetry blog). I’ve tried the ‘not facing the facts of my chronic illness’ and it hasn’t been helping. I tried, while I had credit facilities, throwing money at the problem. It ACTUALLY DID help to contribute to Holland and Barrett’s profits (I got excellent offer price deals most of my purchases) but while ACQUIRING health support through nutritional supplements would show results within a few weeks / months, they’re not a complete cure, I’d be less exhausted but still easily exhausted. I’d still be ill, just not as ill. I’ve a credit debt to pay off as a result of previous health improvement strategies and can’t afford most types of essential spending never mind nutritional supplements however medicinally effective they are. So, medicine’s not an option, for reasons of cost. Shame the NHS don’t provide medicine for my medical condition such as those things that DO help but aren’t considered medicinal – strange situation – for me, the medicines that NHS might offer are not remedial and cause me problems so I don’t consider them medicine. Products I could buy over the counter ARE remedial so in my opinion should be considered to be medicine. I have to try and ‘get better’ without the medicinal / nutritional support I need. (Not having it won’t kill me and I just have to try!) Not supposed to be here writing ARGUMENT…

ALLEVIATE ANGST and ANXIETY with ART and ALL types of ALTERNATIVE ACTIVITY whenever APPROPRIATE and ACCESSIBLE…

AND so on…

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I know these posts are too long and no-one will reach this far down the page, especially with no pictures, but there we are … #amwriting!

Back tomorrow with B is for…

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