How I healed from chronic pain and technology sensitivity

There are two things I want to say to start: First, the journey of of healing my body was one of the greatest challenges AND greatest gifts of my life. Second, there are 3 key pieces that helped me throughout the journey – utilizing the power of my mind and heart, determination, and listening to and trusting my intuition.

If just one of these pieces were missing, I wouldn’t have healed. I know this.

The back story

For several years I had experienced off and on hip bursitis. It would flare up, I’d rest, get a cortisone shot and all would be well. I stopped running many years ago as it would cause it to flare up. The doctor said it was common for women athletes to get this from exercise. Hmmm…

So I accepted and went on with life adjusting to what my hips could tolerate or not tolerate. I gave up running and enjoyed the hiking (there ARE some positives about slowing down :).

I had also noticed a steady decline in my energy of the last several years. I thought it was due to “aging combined with a virus I had 10 years ago that I thought I had “permanent” damage from.” I thought hat that’s what happens when you get into your 40’s – you become increasingly more tired. Hmmm….

I adjusted to that too – shorter hikes, less strenuous hills, so I’d have energy to do the other parts of my day.

I had various injuries from my years playing and working in the mountains that were becoming more apparent – a shoulder that became more painful when sleeping on it, a foot that needed really good shoes or I’d have pain walking…that kind of thing.

Then September of 2015 comes. I was writing new content for my revamped website. Time pressure, extra time on the computer, and a dis-like of technology in the first place, and WAM, overnight, I couldn’t be on technology anymore without getting sick.

It took a couple of weeks to realize what was going on. I’d feel nauseous, weird sensations in my head, trouble focusing, pressure around my head, my nervous system would be shaking – like I was being electrocuted, my heart rate went up to 80 bpm, fatigue, and tingling and pain around my lips and teeth. Just one minute on the cell phone or five minutes on the computer would cause this reaction.

Life was becoming smaller version from what I’d known. I had to choose every day – my health or connection with others. My health or my business. Sometimes I chose the former, sometimes the latter. I spent every weekend recovering from the week, turning off my phone and computer so I could feel “normal” again. And that was just from using the computer for 30 minutes on Monday, 30 minutes on Wed. and using the phone a tiny bit here and there.

Everything at that point revolved around how I could NOT be on technology and still live in the world (talk about a challenge in this day and age!).

My mom was an angel through this (and through all my of my journey). She got on the computer for me and helped me unsubscribe from the emails lists I was on (to reduce emails I received), and helped me research what was going on and what to do about it. Thanks also to the friends that sent me information!

After trying the “beads” that you wear or put on your devices (which I now know don’t do anything), I listened to my intuition that said, “get distance from the computer.” So I bought a screen magnifier. This helped me sit 3 to 4 feet from the computer and use it without feeling as sick. I also found an EMF (electromagnetic field) free headset that I could use so I could have the phone far from me when I used it.

Both of these helped immensely. It didn’t stop the sensitivity but lessened my symptoms and allowed me to function in the world to a certain degree. To write my newsletter for my biz, I hand wrote it on paper and then read it over the phone to my assistant and she would type it up and send it out. I found ways to adapt to what was unfolding.

Fast forward 6 months after this began – March of 2016, and I’m starting a one month silent self retreat. A calling that was so clear to do that every cell in my being said, “Yes” to being there. I’m in a remote part of Big Sur at a meditation cabin in the redwoods, when, on the second day, I wake up with pain in both hips. Uh oh, I thought.

I’ll slow down, take it easy, it will be all good.

A week later the pain had increased to a 4/5 (on a 1-10 scale), and I began to feel scared and angry. “I’ve come to be in silence for a month, to connect with Spirit, and THIS happens – are you fricken kidding me?” I thought. (How funny is that?!).

That’s when the back pain started. Now it’s really funny (I can say that now :).

I’d never had back pain before. This was a new one. After two weeks at the cabin, and many tears later, I knew I needed to leave and find a way to heal. Spirit or no Spirit.

I got more cortisone shots (which did very little) and I was down to walking about 200 feet before the back spasms would cause me to lay down.

I worked on “acceptance” of what was. Oh, the path of acceptance. HA! I was pretty good at it sometimes, but definitely not all of the time. This wasn’t one of those times.

In Bozeman, lying on my living room floor, I became more and more angry. I didn’t know where the anger was coming from. I didn’t know why I had such rage going on in my head. Tears would stream down my face, thinking, “what is the point of living when life is reduced to this?”

The one thing I found helpful during this time was having self-compassion. For the pain, the anger, the self-pity, the frustration. All of it. I could give myself some loving kindness if nothing else.

One morning I woke up and had gunk in both my eyes. I could barely see, they were swollen and red. It wasn’t pink eye, just an overreaction of the immune system. Hmmm… I looked in Louise Hay’s book, You Can Heal Your Life, and in relation to this, the emotional component was, “Anger with what you’re looking at.” Okay, how funny is that?!

You can’t separate the mind/body connection.

I sarted going to physical therapy – 4 days a week. I was so grateful to be getting some help. I also began to go to counseling to work with the anger. I needed a support team. Intuition new this and guided me in this direction. I noticed some minor changes over 6 weeks. I could walk for 20 minutes now instead of 3 minutes – it felt like there was some progress.

But I was still in that dark place in my mind. Negative, angry, irritable (I later learned are symptoms of chronic pain). I avoided going anywhere social because of the need to lie on the floor. I was in fear and a protective state of mind – how to keep my body in the least amount of pain possible – and away from technology that other people had like cell phones so I didn’t feel sick from that too.

My world had become even smaller, with some weeks my only human interaction was with my physical therapists. Every visit was a gift just for that human connection, whether it was doing anything or not for my body.

At 3.5 months of pain, I finally went the drug route. I’m not into taking drugs, but at that point, I didn’t care anymore. If someone had told me to lie down in a bed of red ants to heal the pain, I would have.

I totally get now why people get addicted to pain meds – it’s way better than being in pain. And I have deep compassion now for those in pain. I’ve had intense pain – 2 kidney stones at a 10 on the 1 to 10 pain scale, but having long term/chronic pain is a whole different experience. Hands down.

The drugs felt like a breath of fresh air. They dropped the pain down a notch to where I could bring my “head above water” and start to see life again. It was still limited, but it gave me a sense of hope and a little more movement, which was much needed.

A new way of thinking

Then intuition kicked in again. It is now the end of June 2016, 9 months after the technology sensitivity started, and 4 months after the pain started. A friend had told me the year before about a book called, You are the Placebo, by Dr. Joe Dispenza. I’d never had an interest in healing, but now, the tables had turned. It was time to learn more about it.

The first chapter starts with Dr. Joe telling his story of healing his broken back through just his mind in 9 weeks. I was floored. How could that be possible. With his mind??? Really???

He talked about how 95% of all ailments/diseases/illnesses are due to chronic stress, enviornmental toxins, or lifestyle choices or some combination of. And even the remaining 5% from genetics can be changed – including your DNA.

It planted a seed. I read on. He had science to back it all up (isn’t it interesting we find something more believable when science is involved instead of faith?). I learned that I could actually rewire my brain and change my body on a cellular level.

My jaw coontinued to remain on the floor as I read story after story of people healing through the power of the mind – combining a future visualization with an elevated emotional state. People healing from Parkinson’s, cancers, broken backs, heart disease, and more. It went on and on. The proof was in the pudding.

My mind began to shift. It started to come out of that dark place. It started to think in the realm of possibility. What if I COULD run again? What if I COULD bike again? I began to do hour long meditations imaginging myself healed, running on my favorite trail, or biking, seeing the flowers, the trees, smelling the fresh air.

Life had a new look to it and I began to move past hoping, into believing it was possible to have my life back.

Then in August that summer another friend, who knew about my technology sensitivity, recommended a book called, Wired for Healing by Annie Hopper.

Annie had healed herself from chemical and mold sensitivites, chronic fatigue, and fibromyalgia. She used a similar method Dr. Joe did – a future visualization combined with an elevated emotional state (along with other key pieces she developed).

Annie talked about the Limbic System Impairment, where the feeling part of your brain (the fight and flight center, emotions) gets stuck in overdrive. It doesn’t know how to be normal, so the symptoms appear as a warning from the limbic system to flee. It made total sense to me.

In her book I read about people who healed from what she healed from along with people who healed from technology sensitivity, lyme’s disease, PTSD, OCD, depression, anxiety, auto-immune diseases, adrenal fatigue and more.

I was stunned with all that I was learning. I knew if they could do it, I could do it (there’s the determination coming in).

BUT. Here’s the big but. The fear. It was a lot of money to go to Annie Hopper’s training. How could I justify spending thousands of dollars when I wasn’t working much? It made NO rational sense to my mind.

The turning point was when I was down to the wire. I had 24 hours to decide to take Annie’s training or they’d give my spot to someone else. It was a Friday (when I felt most sick after the week using technology). I went to a friends house and when I sat down on her couch, she said, “You look like my son when he’s on heroin.”

Oh my gosh, I thought. That’s the state of my health. My life energy was gone and I needed it back.

I went for a walk. I walked and I walked (I could now walk for an hour on flat terrain) until the answer was clear (thank you intuition for helping me see past the fear). I was going to the workshop.

I wanted to heal from EMF sensitivity I’d had for the last year, and I knew this program could help me with it. I had no idea if it would heal the chronic hip and back pain I’d been experiencing for the last 6 months. In fact, that was secondary and a side note in my mind at the time.

Miracles happen

At the end of September of 2016 I went to Santa Fe for the training and had one of the most moving, miraculous experiences of my life. Not only with what I witnessed, but in my own body.

I arrived with my thermarest (to sit on for the back and hip pain), a heating pad, ice packs, prescription anti-inflammatory meds, and supplements for inflammation, while reading another important book in my journey Healing Back Pain by Dr. John Sarno. Another book that blew my mind and helped me along.

By Wed. of the training, I went out for a walk in the sandy wash and ended up running 200 feet! I never thought I could run again – I hadn’t run in over 4 years. By day 4, I went out for another walk in the wash and up on a trail and ran ¼ mile! I was ecstatic.

I stopped sitting on the thermarest and using the heating pad and ice packs that day. I also stopped taking the prescription anti-inflammatories drugs that day.

I returned to Montana and within a week of the program ran 2 miles, two weeks later I ran 5 miles. It kept increasing from there. At 4 weeks, I was running 3 to 4 hour mountain trail runs!

I had inredible energy and still do to this day.

It’s also important to note that the week after I went to Annie’s workshop I also stopped eating wheat and dairy as I was learning they are inflammatory foods (not easy for someone who’s LOVES bread and cheese!).

I went back to the two physical therapists I’d been seeing for 6 months and told them I didn’t need to come in any more. They were aghast. They couldn’t believe it until they felt my healthy, healed back muscles and strength and knew it was true. I was healed of all back and hip pain in 4 weeks, running and biking as much as I wanted – incredible!

Over 2 months, the EMF sensitivity decreased by 50%. I could be on the computer for 2 hours a week and have less symptoms than before.

I also experienced these changes in my body in the first 3 months of Annie’s program (rewiring my brain):

  • Foot pain I’d had for 3 years went away (I can walk barefoot and dance on a concrete floor for 2 hours if I want!)
  • A shoulder injury from 20 years ago became non-existent. The pain disappeared and I can throw a ball again!
  • A large mole on my chest I’d had for decades dried up and fell off; and another one on my back did the same at 4 months of the program.
  • My skin became softer – to the touch and visibly.
  • My focus and concentration increased (and has since exceeded “normal”).
  • The dizziness I felt when I turned my body I thought was permanent damage from the virus in my head ten years ago vanished.
  • I felt extreme gratitude and joy on a daily basis (yes, some from my health returning, but a lot of it because of the elevated emotional state the program brings you into everyday).

I traveled to Costa Rica for some warmth from the Montana winter, and continued my practice, totally committed to the program and recovery.

The unexpected

At 5 months I made a decision that would alter my upward recovery (at least how I was expecting it to be) – I slept 6 feet from a wifi modem while in Costa Rica (my limbic system was not healed enough yet). I hadn’t been sensitive to wifi until that point. After that, I couldn’t sleep with it without feeling the effects when I woke up in the morning.

Thus began a 7 week journey of survival, sleeping in moldy, dirty places that didn’t have wifi. I would run from place to place with my cell phone doing a “wifi” check trying to find a place with no wifi. I became physically sick from the stress of survival and environment of accommodations. I tried convincing myself it was temporary and went to Mexico thinking I would heal there – who was I kidding!?

I knew I couldn’t return to my home because of the surrounding wifi of other homes, so I flew to California to go camping with my mom (thinking campgrounds were a “safe” place), and found most campgrounds have wifi towers or wifi coming from the RV’s – how funny is that? I walked into the forest with my pad and sleeping bag on many occasions to find a place to sleep out of the “wifi zone.”

There were times I felt like I was going crazy. I didn’t know if I could live in this world. Wifi was everywhere. At one point when I was out by myself in nature I just began to scream at the top of my lungs – a primal scream from the bottom of my gut. A scream of anger and despair, a scream of wanting life to be different than it was, a scream to let out all the craziness I was feeling inside. It wasn’t short either – a good 5 minutes of pure screaming, with every breath that came out. I screamed until my voice gave out and then cried.

At that point I decided to go to my sisters in the desert of Joshua Tree. I thought, “she lives in the middle of the desert, I’ll be good there.” The cosmic joke was when I got there, my brother-n-law said, “I just installed a really super powerful wifi modem that spans the property!” (That’s seriously funny).

The doutbts that I could heal were strong and running rampant in my mind at that point, “Maybe I just need to go live by myself in the middle nowhere. Maybe I’m not meant to heal. Maybe, maybe, maybe…” But intuition would quietly whisper, “You can heal. Don’t give up.” It also reminded me of two truths, which I leaned on heavily during this time to not give into the doubts: That I had been healthy in the past (so I knew my body knew how to be healthy), and that others had healed from EMF (electromagnetic field) sensitivity.

I set up my tent 1000 feet from the house on the private land next to them (beyond the wifi from their house) and that’s where things began to shift for the better. I entertained the idea of getting a canopy for my bed that would protect me from the wifi signal, but intuition guided me not too. It knew that would lead to accepting the sensitivity long term instead of working toward healing it.

Clearly I needed some help to get my mind out of the thougths patterns that were keeping me stuck (and I knew deep down that intuition was right.”

The turning point

I met with one of the program coaches for some much needed guidance to get back on track and move beyond the doubts. I’d been doing the rewiring practice the entire time, but needed some outside perspective to help get out of survival and back into recovery.

I was reminded of the key components of healing – stop focusing on the symptoms, imagine yourself healed, elevate your emotional state, train a little every day to be on technology, give no attention to the story of illness in my head or when I was talking with others and more.

After a month at my sisters, my strength returned. I was determined. It was also a special month for us spending time together and getting to know each other better. There were many hidden gems along this journey.

At 7 months of the rewiring program (spring of 2017), I went back to Montana, stayed at a friends house in the countryside at night (thank you to my friends for hosting me!) where there was no wifi and spent time in my house during the day to tell my limbic system that wifi was okay.

It was a perfect set up for healing. I became very focused on recovery continuing my commitment to Annie’s program every day.

I read a fourth book that was imperative in my healing, The White Book by Ramtha. It was recommended by Dr. Joe as it helped him immensely in his healing of his back.

It’s a different sort of read – it’s written from the spiritual realm. When I got to the part I knew I needed, I KNEW it.

It talked about how when we hope, there’s still a lot of room for doubt, and doubt has a low vibrational frequency. It then goes on to say when we believe, it’s at a higher frequnency, but there’s still room for doubt, so healing may not happen. But when there is a KNOWING, it removes all doubts from the mind and body and raises the vibrational frequency so high that the body can actually heal in an instant.

Really? Wow! I thought. I’m in.

For the next four days, I focused intensely during meditation. I removed all doubts from my mind. I focused only on being fully healed, fully healthy. I told myself I was healed and that I could use the cell phone and computer whenever I wanted over and over and over again until all doubts were gone. I had points in meditation over those four days where the experience was so real, that I felt an incredible sensation, and energy, eminating from my heart. It’s beyond words to describe.

At the end of those 4 days, I could use the cell phone and computer a little every day if I wanted with very little symptoms – for the first time in 1.5 years. Holy smokes!

I was so excited, I stayed awake until 2 in the morning just thinking about the new possibilities I now had with the ability to use technology again (and how powerful my mind is!).

I also focused every day on changing my association with wifi as I had done with computers and cell phones (I told my limbic system it was the best invention EVER).

After 2 weeks of returning to Montana (it was now May 2017), eliminating the doubts, and staying fully committed to rewiring my brain every day, The miracle happened!

That was at 7.5 months of retraining my brain. At 9 months I was able to sleep with wifi with no problems and moved back into my house – yay! At 10 months I was completely healed of EMF sensitivity, able to choose when I wanted to be on it (July 2017).

I went to a Michael Franti concert at the end of July (he’s one of my favorites), and cried tears of joy as I stood in the front row because I could not only dance my heart out, but I could listen to music again! My nervous system was back to normal and the sound actually felt like pure joy instead of alarming to my system as it had for most of the last 2 years. What a gift – music!!!

I now feel the most alive, vibrant, healthy and energetic I’ve felt in the last 15 years! I have incredible energy – like when I was in my early 30’s (I’m 48). I go on 2-3 hour trail runs, 5-6 hour mountain bike rides, I tango dance to my heart’s content (often running and dancing in the same day :), and don’t need to take rest days (at all) and my creativity and life spark has returned and I feel happy and grateful every day.

The whole thing about getting tired as you age is a belief – that’s how powerful the mind is. What you believe is your reality. I now know.

Oh, and the other thing – my eye sight has improved too – I’ve gone from needing a magnification of -5.25 to only needing a -3.75. WOW!!!!!

I remember when one of the trainers in Santa Fe said, “You’ll feel better than before all this started.” And she was totally right.

And remember the Spirit part (doing a one month retreat wanting to connect with Spirit when the pain began)? Well, I now feel the closest to Spirit I ever have been in my life. There’s the gift of the pain. As Rumi says, “The wound is the place where the light enters you.” (I sure wasn’t thinking that at the time). Answering the calling of our soul isn’t always the path our mind lays out to get there…

Was spending the money worth it for Annie’s program? Beyond words a HELL YES and then some. As they say, health is everything, and without your health most anything else is not possible (or at least a lot more difficult).

Here’s what I learned in this journey and what I pass on to you:

  • Your body has infinite intelligence and has every thing it needs to heal itself.
  • It’s imperative you listen to your inner guidance to heal. One method isn’t right for everyone. It could be a combination of different modalities or it could be one. Your intuition knows. Western medicine is one perspective, be open to others and don’t believe everything your doctor says (I was told it would be best to not backpack anymore – ha! Not true!).
  • Read as much as possible about people who have healed. Stop listening to the statistics – those are created by western medicine and the mind of limitations. You need to think in the realm of possibility to heal. Anything is possible. Anything.
  • When you’re in doubt, get help to move past the doubts. The doubts will keep you in illness/ailments. Start with hope, then believing, then knowing.
  • You must be 100% committed and make your health the #1 priority in your life to heal.
  • Every thought matters. It’s either taking you toward healing or away from it. That’s how powerful your mind is. AND you can learn how to create thoughts that heal you.
  • Technology is not inherently bad, but I learned it does have an impact on our health when not used properly and/or overused (addicted). You can read more about it below.

Check out Annie Hopper’s website here. This is the program I did to heal and I KNOW that is works. My body is living proof. If it speaks to you, go in person if you can. If you choose the DVD option, get coaching for sure or you’ll most likely give up on the program because the level of commitment won’t be there and you may be doing it incorrectly since you have no one to give you feedback or hold you accountable.


P.S. Please pass this on to anyone you know who may benefit from it.
P.P.S. Do you have questions about my journey or want to know more in regards to your healing journey? Send me an email. I’d love to connect.

Other blog posts and podcasts related to this are:

19 Miracles in Five Days. This is what I witnessed and experienced at Annie’s workshop.
4 Keys to breaking cell phone addiction. Find out if you’re addicted and how to create healthy cell phone habits.
Acceptance vs. possibility – can you have both?. My journey with both of these.

Listen to a podcast with me and Theresa G. where I share my story of healing (starting at 29 minutes into the podcast).



Categories: Health & Happiness, Inner Wisdom & Intuition

About the Author: Angela Patnode

My passion, my calling, is for you to be totally you. Through private coaching, in-depth retreats, and online group coaching programs, I help you tap into your intuition and clarify your desires and vision, I guide you to take active steps toward making your desires a reality.

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