I’ve been through quite an ordeal the last three months – since 12 May 2014 to be exact. I remember this date because it coincided with a location-specific discussion I had with my BFF (Best Friends Forever) Pearly Phua one week after.
You see… I’ve been battling hives nightly since May 2014, with the exception of three nights.
It’s now Sept 1, 2014.
First things first… What is Hives?
According to WebMD, Hives (also known as urticaria), are an outbreak of swollen, pale red bumps, patches, or welts on the skin that appear suddenly — either as a result of allergies, or for other reasons.
Hives usually cause itching, but may also burn or sting. They can appear anywhere on the body, including the face, lips, tongue, throat, or ears. Hives vary in size (from a pencil eraser to a dinner plate), and may join together to form larger areas known as plaques. They can last for hours, or up to several days before fading.
How Bad Was It?
In my case, hives would appear along the gathers of the clothes I am wearing e.g. waist band; my inner thighs; my shoulders; neck; elbows; and arms nightly – right around the time when I would have been in deep sleep at 12 – 1a.m. The outbreak would result in me either scratching through my sleep, or forced to wake up looking for some respite – but there was none to be had because I refused to use western medication through this entire battle with hives (I’ve had previous episodes).
The outbreaks would usually subside one hour upon first appearing, but the worst attacks carried onto the next day. One particularly bad attack on Aug 18 left me in tears, as the onslaught of itchiness made me sink into despair. This disruption to my sleep would leave me feeling exhausted the next morning – longing for more sleep, feeling listless through the day, and invariably deciding to skip my usual morning meditation and exercise. It affected my productivity, positivity and robbed me of my zest towards life. As hives continued through the weeks onto months, I went through different phases from denial, puzzlement, frustration, sadness, bewilderness, anger, acceptance, to finally helplessness and despair.
What Did You Try?
- Essential oils – I first tried Young Living Inner Defense because the last time I had hives, the oil capsules seemed to bring hives under control which led to hives disappearing for good within a week. The last time I had hives (2.5 years ago), I was distressed due to a bad emotional breakup. Western medication did not help but instead the side effects of the pills actually tipped me over the edge to depression. This time, however, Inner Defense helps but did not get rid of hives.
- Ayurveda – During a particular bad afternoon where my hives were physically evident, I mastered my courage to ask my yoga teacher what I could do. He suggested drinking honey, addding black pepper to my diet, applying turmeric to my body where the outbreak is. I added the three together and drank the mix for three weeks. No effect whatsoever.
- Chinese Remedies – I next tried drinking boiled red dates (1/2 hour in water brought to a boil) because a friend swore it worked for him and another friend of his. Apparently my body was too “cool”. I had the unfortunate incident of trying to be smart and adding Chrysanthemum (“cooling” vs the “hot” of red dates), and ended up with the worst diarrhoea ever. My BFF Pearly brewed me two more big bottles. That’s two weeks of dating red dates without any success.
- Homeopathy – I went for homeopathy treatments and the remedies seemed to alleviate the symptoms, but again, did not remove the outbreaks. It was after the second visit that the hives stopped for three consecutive evenings (how nice to have a respite!), giving me some hope – only to return. The outbreaks continued coming up nightly. I was told to avoid bananas, mangoes, dairy, and payaya.
Scroll down to the end to see what WORKED for me! You’d be surprised! I was!
Comments in “” extracted from my Facebook posts.
May 12 – Hives attacks started.
June – Took Young Living Inner Defense without success.
June 4 – 13; 14 – 17; 19 – 29 – Skipped gym due to lack of sleep.
June 19 – First recommended by my friend Dave Rogers to ask hives what it’s telling me. Dave also suggested that I take pictures and document my journey. I wrongly assumed that it had to do with my resistance and fears with releasing my Sex Possible program.
June 22 – Picture of hives on my torso. A very bad night.
June 30 – July 8 – On retreat. Hives was still coming up nightly but minor. One month on, it was beginning to take a physical toll on me.
July 8 – Homeopathy was suggested to me.
July 15 – 1st homeopathy consult. Went with my friend Dr Yvonne Looi the Joyologist. A homeopathic health practitioner (homeopath) uses pills or liquid mixtures (solutions) containing only a little of an active ingredient (usually a plant or mineral) for treatment of disease.
July 24 – Hives attack as I was on the way out to meet a friend in the afternoon!
July 28 – Started boiling and drinking red dates. Two weeks. Did not work.
July 31 – “Beautiful day. Minor hives. 5a.m. Meditation. 6a.m. Gym. 7a.m. Sky turning light.”
Aug 5 – “2nd homeopathy consult. With Dr Yvonne Looi the Joyologist because we are natural babes.”
Aug 7 – My friend Dave Rogers suggested again to ask hives what it’s telling me.
Aug 11 – “It’s 8a.m. I’ve cleared my emails, meditated, been to the gym, breathed through another hives attack, danced then celebrated being alive infront of the mirror and just about to shower – aaand it’s my off day! What have you accomplished this morning?”
Aug 14 – “It’s a rainy day and I’m going back to bed for the fifth time today… and it’s 1:46p.m.” I was sleeping more in the day anticipating that I would have a bad night’s sleep. A friend asked if I was depressed. I began to worry that I might be.
Aug 15 – First of the three days of my worst attacks. They happened just before my one-week trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Aug 16 – “Another hives attack.”
Aug 18 – “Re-asking hives what it’s been telling me…”
After this particularly frustrating morning (I only managed to sleep at 4:30a.m.), I stumbled upon this and reposted this on my Facebook wall to remind myself to reexamine all angles.
It was my third homeopathy visit and I showed my friend Dr Yvonne Looi the full extent of the attack through the photos I took on my phone that morning. I started to cry, and so did she. I was scheduled to attend Toastmasters Convention, then speak at the 3rd Regional Conference of Nutrition in O&G in Malaysia. I was leaving the next day and was scared because I still wasn’t feeling 100% well.
Aug 19 –
Went up to K.L. Caught up with my friend Chim Li Yen, who also asked me if I asked hives why it was coming up. When I told Li Yen, I thought it had to do with my resistance and fears with releasing my Sex Possible program, she disagreed. Her intuition told her it was something else.
Li Yen: “Come on, Martha. Think harder. What happened during the time when it first started to come up?”
Me: (Really thinking hard) “I know… it was the time when I started to make myself date again…”
With that revelation, I begun doing releasing on my fears of getting hurt emotionally, and my disbelief of not being able to find love in a good person that very night. You may wish to watch this video I made explaining what Releasing was. I slept through the night with LESS hives, and they continued to lessen over the next few days. I felt well rested enough for the entire duration of my K.L. stay to exercise everyday.
Aug 20 – “In KL and I think I broke the hives code, at least what hives has been telling me! Will be sharing my journey through my blog soon. Watch this space! — at The Prince Hotel & Residence KL”
Aug 25 – Back in Singapore.
Aug 26 – My email to a friend: “I haven’t had any outbreak for three days. I now know what was wrong – it had to do with the emotional distress of pushing myself to date again, but yet not believing I can/ will find love/ a good guy. I did lots of inner healing while I was in KL and after three months, it is finally under control. I’m exercising again and feeling my sanity and strength is returning..”
Had a hives attack that night. Did more releasing immediately.
Aug 27 – Got aircon serviced just in case.
Aug 29 – “I just had my third night in Singapore since KL where I slept through the night soundly without a hives outbreak. I am well on my way to recovery and sanity. Once I knew what caused it in the first place, it just got better and better! Thanks for that conversation we had, Li Yen! X”
Sept 1 – “… after three months of disrupted sleep due to nightly hives breakout has affected my meditation + exercise routine, not to mention sanity. My hives is finally gone, and I am feeling stronger and better by the day!”
What is Releasing?
Releasing, more accurately known as Lindwell Releasing, is a technique where you can consciously “let go” of your fears, anxieties, inhibitions and/ or any other blocks in your life stopping you from moving forward. Releasing statements usually begin with “I release…”
In doing my releasing, (miraculously) reducing and overcoming hives quickly, the key was knowing WHAT to release. Once you know the WHAT, the HOW is easy with Releasing.
Examples of Releasing Statements I came up with:
- “I release my belief that there are no good guys out there, and that I will get hurt.”
- “I release my anxiety that because I had made choices about men I regreted in the past that I will continue make choices I will regret again later.”
- “I release my fear that if I get hurt again, I will not be able to take it and not be able to pick myself up.”
- “I release the need to close up my heart in order to protect myself. I am older, wiser, and I am safe to pursue love now.”
This below video will explain more about Lindwell Releasing.
Try Releasing. Simple works! It can change your life. It did mine!
A Very Happy Ending
Like every good story, there should be an ending with a morale of the story.
This has been a very long post which has taken me three hours (so far) to draft and edit – including pulling all the dates together. You see, the cause of my hives was emotional. I looked everything, tried many things, which by right should have worked – but they didn’t. In the end, I had to return “home” (to myself) and seek the answer from within.
I am a sexologist and coach. I should have know better? I was embarrassed to post this very personal story of my three-month (some people might say unnecessary) struggle with hives, but I am doing so with the hope that you, dear reader, can recognise that in my sharing, I am revealing my humanity to you.
If only, I asked deeper and harder questions, then perhaps I wouldn’t have suffered physically, emotionally, mentally and financially (too) for so long. If only… If only…. Are the life lessons we are supposed to go through measurable in (wasted) units of time? Do lessons need to keep repeating themselves until we get it? The clues were there all along for me. I just kept missing them!
I choose, however, to focus on the positives. I am reminded, once again, of the…
- Importance of going within,
- Love, support and compassion of humanity – through my family and friends,
- Beauty that exists all around me,
- Joy and celebration of life and being alive,
- Need to stay humble and grateful for the work I am able to do,
- Remain open and vulnerable,
- Desire to share with the intent to do some good.
I leave you with a quote:
“As long as a woman is forced into believing she is powerless and/or is trained to not consciously register what she knows to be true, the feminine impulses and gifts of her psyche continue to be killed off.” – Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Do remember, ask questions…. then listen…, listen…, and listen… some more.
Who is Martha?
Dr. Martha Tara Lee is Founder and Clinical Sexologist of Eros Coaching. She is a certified sexologist with a Doctorate in Human Sexuality. She provides sexuality and intimacy coaching for individuals and couples, conducts sexual education workshops and speaks at public events. For more, visit www.ErosCoaching.com or email email@example.com.