Chicken Pox and Shingles

The mind-body relationship always fascinates me.  It’s not just that I ask my fingers to type these symbols that represent letters, that form words, that I shape into sentences to convey the ideas in my head – it’s that it’s automatically understood by my arms and fingers to do so.  I don’t have to expend any energy thinking about how to type, where once it drove me crazy to do both.  There was a time when my hands couldn’t keep up with my thoughts… 

Last fall, I began to get shingles. I had had chicken pox as a kid, and I knew (thanks to the drug company commercials) that if I’d had chicken pox, the likelihood of me getting shingles was high.  Also, because of those commercials, I knew it was a painful experience and to be avoided if at all possible.  I’ve only known one person who had had shingles, and they described it as “my skin is on fire and acid is thrown on it to put the fire out.”  Yeah. I absolutely never wanted that experience. 

So, the rash showed up on my torso, just like the CDC describe it.  It was small, and I didn’t have the pain described above.  To be on the safe side, I thought I’d push my comfort-zone of hypnotherapy.  I’d heard, as one does in training, that hypnosis can be utilized to help the body heal itself. 

I was skeptical when I heard this, but open-minded when I did a self-hypnosis to discover why I had shingles. 

When I had chicken pox as a child, I was treated like royalty.  The only TV in the house was moved into my room, my parents checked on me, read to me, spent time with me.  I was allowed to have baby bunnies to play with, since my friends couldn’t come over.  I could have whatever I wanted to eat and drink… there was a LOT of ginger ale and cookies in my life during that time.  I felt so special.  I felt loved.  I had back-talked my parents at breakfast which is how they discovered I had chicken pox.  It was the first time I had stood my ground, and wasn’t in trouble for doing so.  I felt empowered. 

The shingles showed up when I started the paperwork for my business.  The virus is the same for both shingles and the chicken pox and can lay dormant for decades before it reasserts itself in a very painful way.  I was feeling empowered, I was being validated for knowing how to set myself up for success!… that was my connection, my trigger.  I wanted the recognition and love that went along with my previous experience with the virus. 

My body remembered a time of validated empowerment, and recreated that physical expression by activating the virus.  During my session I directed my body to let that paradigm go.  There was no reason to indulge that disease.  I reminded myself that I would still have to work, my cat would be cruel to bunnies, and I’m not 7 years old. 

After the session, the rash was less.  Over the next few days, the rash completely disappeared.  Was it hypnosis?  Was it a great immune system doing a kick-ass job?  Was it a combination of the two? 

Honestly, there’s no way to know for sure.  And I don’t think I care either way.  I don’t have a horridly painful skin rash, and I’m very happy about that.