I’m penning my Lightning Process story so that what I share may become an inspiration to anyone traveling a similar path. My name is Susan H and I dodged an opioid addiction, a life full of drugged nothingness and life robbing chronic pain. The Lightning Process (LP) played an integral part in my path to drug free wellness.
The portion of my life story that benefitted from LP began with a hand injury that after months of debilitating pain was diagnosed as Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). My research of CRPS provided the following prognosis: “crippling, irreversible changes in spite of appropriate treatment”, “no cure” and “no officially recognized specific treatment”. I was overwhelmed and, at first, blindly followed the advice of my medical team. That prescribed path sent me into a rapid downward spiral. Medication and physical therapy didn’t touch the excruciating pain and I foresaw a long dark tunnel of never ending medication, invasive procedures and pain.
By the grace of God, I was given enough mental clarity to ditch the brain-fogging medication and seek out alternative approaches to my health and well-being. I continued physical therapy, utilized local chiropractic care, acupuncture, massage therapy, prayer, meditation and my Al-anon support group. This was exhausting but kept me from sliding too far down the rabbit hole of nothingness. These resources lessened, but did not take away, the chronic pain or the distorted thinking that accompanies it. At one point, I verbalized to my husband, “just cut the hand off”. Who talks like that? My life continued to spiral downward in spite of my best efforts and resources.
Another, by the grace of God, moment happened when a relative had heard about and suggested I check out the Neurological Relief Center (NRC) in AR. I did my research, traveled 6 hours from my home and lived near the NRC for 14 weeks to seek a whole body approach to healing my CRPS. It is here that I was introduced to the Lightning Process. I was two weeks into a very intense, physically and mentally taxing, set of wellness protocols. I didn’t think I could manage to do another ‘thing’ to get better. Something (another God moment) told me I needed to get my mind aligned with my other treatments. I was taking fear of physical discomfort into one of my protocols and that fear was preventing me from making the progress I needed to make. The NRC protocols were slowly working to change the way my nervous system addressed my chronic pain but my mind was definitely not on board. I was a skeptic of the process and begrudged the time and money commitment on top of the already mammoth financial burden of my CRPS treatment. After all, I am an intelligent, educated, professional woman that has successfully navigated many life-trials through both my Christian prayer life and my Al-anon support group. But I went.
During the Lightning Process training and participation, I quickly realized the power my thinking had over my physical comfort and mental well-being. I already knew this in theory, but I didn’t have the right tools to put it into practice in my own body. Listening, participating and watching other group members practice the Lightning Process was a powerful training delivery. Being taught how to switch off negative pathways to my brain (chronic pain) and switch on positive pathways (state of wellness) created positive changes during the training. The physical movement aligned with the steps of the process helped solidify the process in my memory. I learned to key in on the power of language and to mind my self-language. I learned to catch phrases and thoughts that lead me to a negative state and to stop and redirect them. I was reminded of the power of acknowledging the difference between what is mine to change or control and what is not. I was reminded that I have choices regarding how I see myself on my path to wellness. I wanted a life in which I could flourish and have a positive impact on others by example. Setting LP goals prior to the training allowed me to better visualize myself in that state.
I completed my 14 week NRC treatment and utilized the Lightning Process multiple times a day to keep my mind in a positive state and aligned with the other whole body treatments I was receiving. Practicing LP warded off pain flares triggered by emotional stressors and fears of intense physical therapy. I left NRC free of CRPS pain. I continue some physical protocols and the Lightning Process to maintain my state of wellness.
If I were to sum up the Lightning Process in a single word it would be ‘empowering’.
Though I was dubious, the Lightning Process training did not counter my Christian faith nor my Al-anon beliefs, instead, adding LP provided me with a trilogy of support that continues to empower me to flourish in my life as God intended.