The dream itself didn’t seem unusual. But I woke up that day in July 2009, really struck by it. It had an insistent quality to it like someone knocking hard on a door to get your attention.
Have you ever had a physical? In my experience, it looks like any other doctor’s appointment. The doctor asks a few questions, orders a few tests. In Hollywood movies however, they seem to involve the patient on a treadmill, hooked up by wires to monitors that are observed by a technician. My dream looked rather like a physical in a Hollywood movie.
I was at my computer before I had a chance to analyze my thoughts. Where would I go for an extensive, in-depth physical? After a lot of Google searches, I eventually found executive physicals at Stanford Hospital and at California Pacific Medical Center. They appeared to match my intellectual interpretation of my dream but they didn’t feel right. I saved them anyway. “Let’s see what happens,” I thought to myself.
A few nights afterwards, my slowly improving sleep crashed and burned, leaving me awake in bed for hours. I returned to my old coping tactics by pulling my iPod out from under my pillow and listening to a podcast which turned out to be an interview of Lee Gerdes, the founder of Brain State Technologies.
Gerdes pioneered a kind of advanced neurofeedback technique that he described as having helped war veterans resolve PTSD issues. It involves sounds that are played into the ears while the brain waves are monitored, and aims to balance the left and right hemispheres, in addition to normalizing the distribution of brain waves.
I was so impressed with the interview that when I got out of bed that Saturday morning, I located and called a local practitioner. To my surprise, Ann, whose office was about five minutes from my home, picked up. When I described Chronic Fatigue as a “walking coma,” she told me how she’d been able to help her sister come out of an actual coma.
Within a few days, I was in Ann’s office for my first session. I asked her to take a picture of me as we came to a close because I thought it was all so cool! When I looked at the picture on my phone, I gasped.
“What is it?!” Ann asked startled.
“My dream! It’s my dream!!” I exclaimed.
It was all there. The electrodes on my head, the wires connecting me to a computer. I looked around the room and there was the monitor where Ann had been observing my brain waves.
Ann told me that my brain wave patterns were unusual. I had the largest amounts of alpha waves she’d ever personally observed. She said that people meditate all their lives to achieve the levels of alpha waves that I had naturally. But she also said that I had unusual amounts of beta waves in all the wrong places which reflected a lot of trauma and meant that I couldn’t enjoy the benefits of my alpha wave levels. “You can’t sleep or meditate with this kind of brain pattern,” she commented.
She was right. Not only was sleep hard to come by, I had given up meditating since Chronic Fatigue. Every time I tried, it felt like my head was going to explode.
Over the next nine months or so, I had three sets of ten sessions with Ann. I believe I was her first client to ever need more than two sets of sessions. Even two sets was unusual. I went through many changes during this time, some of them unpleasant. For instance, at one point I began to have horrible, all out migraines. The light sensitive, brain pumping, run-to-the-bathroom-and-throw-up kind.
“Has this ever happened to you before?” Ann asked.
“Yes,” I replied. There was a period of time in the months after my parents split up, when I went through the exact same symptoms. I was nine or ten.
I was mystified and skeptical, and had completely forgotten about this statement by the time I returned home. A week later, I was at my next brain training session.
“Your brain! The trauma patterns are gone. I can’t believe it! I was starting to think it wasn’t possible for you,” Ann said. If I remember correctly, Ann actually had me come back for one more session free of charge, just to be absolutely sure. At some point in the middle of all this, I recalled Zeeq’s statement. Was this what he had meant?
Everything seemed to go to a different level after that. For instance, I began to sleep five, six even seven hours at a time rather than struggling to get two rounds of two or three hours sleep a night.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll tell you what else I did with my sleep, hormones, immune system, nutrition and exercise, to get to that point. I think it applies in general to maximizing one’s health and vitality, even if you’re not dealing with CFS/FMS. Wheeeeee!