There’s nothing really wrong physically except that I'm greedy for more energy. Life is exhausting after 20 years of the day-to-day responsibility of a husband, three children and work. Nowadays I have
to wind myself up sometimes to get things done. I've had a persistent dry cough for years although I don't smoke. So I just want to spring out of bed instead of crawling out.
A friend suggested I consult Mr Tom Marshall-Manifold at the Wimbledon Clinic. He practises bio-energetic medicine, which combines the principles of acupuncture and homoeopathy. Basically, he says, illness can't appear from nowhere. You don't suddenly wake up and find you have heart disease or cancer or asthma. First there is a weakness in the system or a prolonged energy disturbance that may cause illness, sometimes years later.
In my first Tom explained that energy lines, called meridians, run throughout our body; each associated with a different organ. On each line are acupuncture points which hold an electrical or 'energetic'- charge that can be measured with an electronic machine. When you're well, all the measurements should be about the same.
He used a contact probe to measure electrical impulses on one hand and one foot It didn't hurt, although he pushed various points quite hard. He says he can pinpoint trouble spots by seeing where the impulse varies from the norm. He immediately picked up a recurrent intestinal infection I'd had since the summer.
Everything that happens in your body comes from signals in the brain so he also did a brain frequency scan. (He put a cap on my head. rather like the helmets people wear in science fiction films.) It was fascinating. He tested 15 functions including deep sleep and concentration, hormones and uro-chemistry stress and muscle tension. The results suggested stress (not surprising) and possible muscle fatigue. Also, my adrenal glands and circulation were low.
It was amazingly thorough. A body scan showed low energy in my head and my digestive tract. I've had neck problems recently so he also looked at my spine alignment, which showed more energy blockages. He sent me for a conventional blood test too, in which again indicated an infection but reassuringly, showed my liver was in good shape.
So what does it all mean? Tom said there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with me - but its a good time to stop and make some small adjustments that will restore balance.
He prescribed some homoeopathic drops for my cough and the intestinal bug, slow-release vitamin C and bioflavonoids to help clear up the remains of infection, and some herbal capsules called ME1 to work on the immune system, circulation and energy production. He explained that these are quite general remedies until he sees how my body reacts. The thought of finding out exactly what is going on in my body is encouraging and I feel quite optimistic.
No particular change. I still feel positive but I'm not sure I feel better except I do have slightly more energy in the evenings. The stomach bug has still not disappeared but I know homoeopathic remedies don't work overnight and I certainly don't feel worse.
Tom says fatigue is the most common complaint among his patents, often going back at least two years, to events such as pregnancy, flu and foreign travel.
Amazing! I do feel better, definitely livelier. I can go downstairs and iron after the Nine O’Clock News instead of collapsing, exhausted. (But is this really what I want to do?) Tom repeated most of the tests and everything was much better. Sixty is the
ideal for each test: my lymph was 80, is now 68; colon and circulation whizzed to an ideal 60, allergy 55, which is a bit low, but my heart is fine. I appear to have a slight kidney infection because my kidney has dropped to 40 from 60 last week. He gave me a new round of homoeopathic prescriptions specifically targeted to my weak spots.
Even my stress levels have improved. Blood tests showed a B12/folic acid deficiency and, although my overall cholesterol is slightly high, the ratio of good cholesterol to bad is fine and I don't have iron deficiency anaemia.
To be told how your body is functioning and to know there is nothing much wrong is very reassuring. In this country there are only a handful of similar practitioners but Tom says that in France, Switzerland and Germany this type of medicine is more common. To me, it makes sense that our bodies get out of balance and therefore the energy becomes blocked.
Even though we've had far too many late nights this week, I'm not getting that overwhelming tiredness that made me want to crawl back into bed in the afternoons. And I'm not getting that 'I don't think I can do this' feeling. I expect it's partly placebo but I have a greater sense of wellbeing and my concentration has definitely improved. Going to Tom has helped me realise I was a bit worn out. However, I don't think I have given him enough time yet particularly to sort out my cough, so I am going to continue with the treatment and the six-monthly assessments. I do sometimes find myself springing out of bed in the morning nowadays. It has been a very positive experience.
Michele Brown talked to Hilary Boyd