"Alternative therapies and my recovery"

About: Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust / Adult mental health (inpatient)

(as a service user),

If you had told me in September that the next 6 months of my life were going to be like, I would have laughed (or screamed) in your face.

My story began on in mid October 2010 when I was admitted to ‘B2’, Bassetlaw Hospital’s Acute Psychiatric Ward. I was sitting in a room without windows and looking at the strange hippy like posters on the wall. I was listening to ‘K’, one of the nurses; she was talking to me and asking me a lot of questions. I wasn’t talking much; I was frightened and very confused. I remember asking about the posters of chackras. ‘K’ said that they belonged to ‘P’ and she would ask her to talk to me about them.

Later in the week I was approached by a woman with a shock of spiky blonde hair and not dressed in the ward uniforms I was accustomed to. ‘P’ introduced herself to me and we went to talk about the therapies that she offered. Before I go any further, I should point out that at this point in my life I was a’ dyed in the wool’ alternative therapy sceptic. I was very much of the opinion that Indian Head massage was for ‘for ladies that do lunch’ with too much time and money on their hands. ‘P’ suggested that I should put my head in the lion’s mouth “I know” said ‘P’ “It’s a terrible title for a really good therapy, perhaps we could make up a better name for it”.

So I was primed and ready for my first session of ‘Emo Trance’, what on earth had I let myself in for? I sat on the soft pale blue therapy chair and ‘P’ began. This first session was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I could physically feel the emotional pain in my left shoulder. With ‘P’s guidance I was able to soften the pain and move it from my body. At the end of this session, I was physically and mentally drained. I slept deeply for several hours (something I have not done for weeks).

I worked through the therapy over the next week or so. Towards the end of the second week I realised that I was sleeping through the nights without additional medication. ‘P’ had given me some books and I read them avidly. I could feel that I was getting better, I read about Emotional Freedom Techniques. I then used tapping to help me especially with my anxiety.

So why did I suddenly start not only believing in, but using alternative therapies? Well for me, I understood that acupuncture was accepted as a remedy that worked for all ailments, both physical and mental. Both the therapies I was using were based on the meridians that were used in acupuncture. I also really felt that I was being empowered to harness the power of my brain to heal myself. In addition to the therapies the ward also had sessions in Tai Chi. I really enjoyed these. The instructor talked about the spiritual side of Tai Chi, this resonated with me. I feel that my journey from the ward to recovery has been a spiritual one.

I have now been out of the ward for over 10 weeks. I am going back to my work as a Head of Department in a large secondary school. I feel that I have not only made a speedy recovery, but I am equipped with the tools that I need to listen to what my mind and body are saying to me. I have stayed motivated, I use the gym every day, I have also made several visits to work and have also been actively involved in DIY jobs in my new house.

I am utterly convinced that I will make a full recovery and will be drug free.

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Response from Involvement Team , Involvement & Experience, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

Thank you for your posting. Your story of recovery and progress is inspirational.It is great to receive positive comments about the work on B2..

I will forward it onto the staff who will appreciate you taking the time to share your story.

Best Wishes for the future.