How it All Began... (Continued)

The Longer Story...

This is an email I wrote to a customer who has Fibromyalgia. I share it here simply to help explain how our products could help you find your path to recovery from this and other disabling syndromes.

I believe that my fibromyalgia was brought on by a repeated-use injury and the subsequent "treatments" that were meant to "fix" what was wrong. Unfortunately, no one knew what was wrong, so it became a matter of trial and error. I had two surgeries that, as it turns out, I didn't need. These surgeries (one major, one somewhat minor) were done within 3 months of each other, neither gave any relief to the original symptoms, and in fact increased the chronic and acute pain, and have left residual complications that I now deal with, in addition to the Fibro. After four years of trying to convince the medical community that I was not a malingerer or a candidate for yet another psychiatrist, I was finally diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (which was the problem from the very beginning!). I had the surgery, and within 30 minutes of that surgery, I was free of all the pain associated with the original symptoms. I still had chronic pain however, and it was very different from my original symptoms.

I finally found my way to a Sports Medicine doctor who diagnosed me with Myofascial Syndrome, and Fibromyalgia. She explained to me that I needed to have Myofascial release work done. In simple terms, this is the tearing away of all that scar-tissue-type gunk that builds up between the fascia and the muscle tissue. It is excruciating, and my chronic pain was so severe, I could not stand to let a massage therapist touch me, let alone proceed with this sort of deep-tissue work.

My major symptoms at that time were muscle spasms in my upper back and shoulders. Additionally, I could barely walk. I crawled on my hands and knees much of the time. Trying to do things as simple as holding a book to read, or trying to cut a tomato would bring on muscles spasms. Once the spasms started, they would move down my arms, to my hands, up my neck and to the back of my head (migraine), face (TMJ), then down my back all the way to my legs and feet. Within just a few minutes I could be in a little ball on the floor, crying with pain. It seemed that every time I would exert my muscles, another wave of muscle spasms would take over and I'd be down again.

It was at this point that I began to hear about aromatherapy for pain relief. Nearly everyone I knew had given up on me by this time, except for my dear sister. She encouraged me to investigate aromatherapy. All of a sudden I was bombarded with aromatherapy information. My biofeedback/massage therapist was beginning to learn about it. Then I saw a short clip on TV one day that stated, "Aromatherapy isn't just bubble bath any more, it has very scientific reasons why it works, based on body chemistry, and the molecular structure of the essential oils". This appealed to my "Left Brain" method of sorting things out, so I bought a book and read it in three days. I bought five more books and read them in three days. I was fascinated. I began working with essential oils that I was able to find locally, and while they smelled good, I did not get much pain relief.

I finally studied enough to realize that I needed better essential oils. I then began to buy essential oils from dealers who sell what I now call therapeutic quality essential oils. These eo's have been distilled to maintain the full array of molecular constituents from the plant part being distilled. Once I began working with this quality of eo's, the first formulation I made gave me more pain relief than anything I'd tried for over four years.

The products that I make truly brought me back to the living. I was on so many medications that I was getting ulcers, I knew my kidneys and liver were being compromised, I had gained 25 pounds, and mentally I was in LaLa Land much of the time.

The first successful product that I made for myself was Muscle Relief. I put the concoction onto my skin where the muscles were cramping and the most amazing thing happened -- the muscles relaxed and the pain went away. It sounded too simple. Perhaps I was crazy after all! -- how could anything possibly work so quickly? The pain relief lasted about 20 minutes or so. I reapplied the lotion, and, sure enough, the spasms and pain were again relieved for approximately another 20 minutes. I began using it more often, and was finally convinced that the lotion was actually relieving muscle spasms and pain!

Once I had an alternative for the muscle spasms and the resulting pain, I began to take fewer muscle relaxant and pain medications. As I had fewer migraines (which were brought on by the muscle spasms) I found I didn't need to take Midrin for migraines every single day. The insomnia continues to plague me, but not as much as when I was awake all night, every night, with pain and muscle spasms everywhere. Over the years I have developed a few sleep aid products that work for me most of the time. I rarely need to resort to any medications to help with sleep.

As the pain continued to diminish, and the nerve receptors were not triggered to set the muscles into spasms so often, my range of motion began to improve -- simple things like again being able to comb my hair, bend over to put on my shoes, and turn my head. Then I began to be able to walk more, hold my arm out in front of myself, and to the side, with less muscle and nerve pain. At this point I was able to let my massage therapist touch me and begin the work of the myofascial release.

I continued to experience relief by using the lotion, and found that over time, I needed it less and less to control the muscle cramping and pain. It was not till after I met Dr. Christoph Streicher that I learned why. Dr. Streicher is a biochemist and a physiologist. He resources all over the world for therapeutic quality essential oils, and one of his passions in life is teaching true aromatherapy. I attended one of his 2-day seminars regarding how essential oils work on neurotransmitters, and I was completely overcome with amazement. Once I really understood and learned the scientific basis for aromatherapy, I knew I could go forth with my own experiences and possibly help others with pain issues of their own. I have since taken many classes from Dr. Streicher, as well as others in the field. Additionally, I have compulsively "home" studied and researched through my ever-expanding personal aromatherapy library.

The biggest surprise of my life is that O'Malley & Potter "Feel-Good" Product has become my business. When I began to find my way to my own relief from pain and other symptoms, it never occurred to me that these products would touch the lives of so many others. I get phone calls, letters, and emails every week from folks thanking me for making these products available to them.

Now when I do lectures or classes my message is that of education, inspiration and encouragement. So often I meet people who have "tried everything, and nothing helps".

Don't be afraid to explore, experiment, and educate yourself. The quality of our life is a precious thing, and any improvement can make a huge difference. It all begins with one positive step -- one minute, one hour, one day with less pain or fewer symptoms.

If it can begin today it can roll over to tomorrow, and into the years to come.

My best to you,

Claudia O'Malley

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