Is Your People Pleasing a Part of Your Chronic Illness?

Is Your People Pleasing a Part of Your Chronic Illness?

I’ve noticed a pattern over the years in many of my clients with chronic illness, especially those with autoimmune diseases like MS, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and IBS. Most of these clients have strong “appease” or people pleasing nervous system responses in times of stress or conflict.

The appease response is about avoiding or defusing a potentially dangerous situation. When you grow up in a household with a lot of unpredictable anger, you develop the appease response as a way to avoid the anger (an attempt to keep the other person happy at all times) or defuse it (calm the person down before the anger reaches the lashing out stage). 

When this becomes integrated into our nervous system, we become appeasers all the time, even when we’re no longer in the dangerous situation. In day-to-day life, this looks like making everyday decisions based on what will make others happy, choosing your words and actions to avoid making other people uncomfortable, or making sure everyone is happy and has what they need before you tend to yourself (if you ever even get to yourself!)   

This is especially true for women, because a lot of the “appease” response looks a lot like what’s expected of us culturally: be a selfless mom, loving wife, supportive and agreeable employee. We get treated more favorably by society if we do these things and punished if we don’t. (See Kate Manne’s brilliant Down Girl if you want to know more about how this works.) 

When the appease response becomes a constant way of being, we’re constantly focused on the needs of others and lose track of what we need, which creates “messy boundaries.” Boundaries are a form of self-care that helps to create clear guidelines, rules, or limits of how we’d like to be treated. But if you don’t ever focus on yourself, how do you even know how you want to be treated? How do you even know what’s truly important for you to be happy? To feel safe? Or fulfilled? 

One thing I knew for sure after helping hundreds of clients is this: our physiology mimics our belief systems. If we have messy boundaries in our minds, then we have messy boundaries in our bodies, as well.  When we’re in appease mode, we have a hard time knowing where our needs start and others’ needs end. We’ve convinced ourselves that making other people happy IS what we want, even when that leads to self-abandonment of our own needs in small ways, every day. 

How does this relate to an autoimmune condition? Autoimmune conditions are where your body gets confused about what is “self” and “non-self” and your immune system starts attacking your own cells rather than invaders like viruses. It’s basically messy boundaries in our body’s physiology. We don’t know where we end and others start, and our immune system starts to develop self-abandonment on a cellular level, attacking ourselves out of confusion and messy boundaries. I see this time and time again in the clients that I treat – the folks that come in with chronic autoimmune issues are almost always the people pleasers. Once we work on releasing that trauma from their nervous system and releasing or replacing the appease-based belief systems, they are finally able to heal. 

If you want to start healing this in your own life today, it’s important to start centering yourself and your own needs. This way you’ll start to learn what healthy boundaries look like for you, and your body will learn the same. Asking yourself, “Who am I and what do I want?” can be the most important question on your road to healing your illness.

Case Study: Julia

Case Study: Julia

One of the most common questions I get from potential clients is “Can you help me with X condition?” and the answer is most often, “Yes, I can!” The medical intuitive healing system that I’ve created works with your body’s own healing systems on all three levels of body, mind and soul. I meet you at the healing edge of what you’re ready to balance, release or heal next on any of those three levels, and we move forward from there. 

Over the next few months, I want to share some case studies with you so that you can understand the power of medical intuitive healing. I’ve changed the names and identifying details of these clients for privacy purposes, but the symptoms, treatment and results are all directly from my client notes. 

Julia came to me with severe food and environmental allergies. For years, she’d become increasingly unable to eat any foods without breaking out in a rash or having shortness of breath. When we first started working together, she was down to only being able to eat 5 foods. She couldn’t eat out or to a friend’s house for dinner without bringing her own food. She also was suffering from environmental allergies and sensitivities that made it difficult to be in many public places without developing shortness of breath and headaches. 

When I asked what she most wanted from our sessions, Julia said that she wanted to be able to go to her daughter’s house and babysit her young granddaughter. In the past, Julia had been her granddaughter’s regular afternoon babysitter, picking her up from daycare and spending the afternoons with her while her daughter and son-in-law were still at work. In the last 12 months or so, Julia’s environmental and food allergies had become so severe that she hadn’t been able to be in her daughter’s house or prepare the foods her granddaughter liked to eat for afternoon snacks. 

Julia and I worked together for about 4 months, slowly bringing her digestive and immune systems back into balance and addressing trauma held in her body from both her own experience of childhood emotional neglect and her contentious divorce 10 years earlier. We worked on everything from her gut microbiome to past life karma, and even epigenetic changes that were causing her allergies. 

Slowly, she began to eat more foods. Slowly, she began to be able to go to shops and restaurants without allergic reactions to the chemicals in the environment. 

By the end of four months she was ecstatic — she could order food off of a menu and eat without fear! And she was able to prepare snacks for her granddaughter without getting a rash. 

And best of all, Julia was back to babysitting again several times per week. I could hear the absolute joy in her voice when she told me about the games she and her granddaughter had played together that week. Julia was finally able once again to do the thing she loved the most, those things that brought so much meaning and satisfaction to her life. 

I’ve had so many clients like this, who have suffered for years with unexplained allergies or sensitivities, which really can keep you from doing the things that bring you meaning and joy. If this sounds like you or someone you know, don’t give up hope! Energy healing can bring about healing that sounds miraculous, but is really just your body tapping into its own natural desire to be balanced and joyfully whole. 

Xo Megan

What Your Doctor Doesn’t Know About Your Autoimmune Illness

What Your Doctor Doesn’t Know About Your Autoimmune Illness

If you have an autoimmune illness, there’s an important emotional connection you need to know about. In my years of work as a medical intuitive healer, I’ve seen hundreds of cases of autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, leaky gut, endometriosis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, MS and more. Over time, I’ve seen the same emotional pattern playing out in all of these diseases. 

Most of my clients that come in with autoimmune issues are women, and the one thing they have in common is their stress response type. The way they respond to stress almost always includes the fawn/appease reaction. (If you want to know more about the different types, head over here.) The fawn/appease stress response type develops from growing up in a family where the emotional needs of the parents were centered over those of the child. This could be a result of parents with emotional immaturity or numbness (aka never went to therapy to deal with their s&*t), narcissism, BPD, or autism. In addition to family dynamics,  women also tend towards this response type because we live in a patriarchal society that centers on the emotional needs of men, so women learn to fawn/appease in both family and in the culture at large.

You might have an appease response if any of these sound familiar: If your boss/child/partner/friend isn’t happy, is it because you didn’t do enough? Do you feel like you need to show up as your best self all the time or you’ll disappoint people? Do you feel extra good when everyone around you is having a good time but you’re not even aware if you’re having fun? 

In other words, people pleasing and unclear boundaries. 

Appeasing, fawning, and people-pleasing are chronic conditions of self-blame and self-abandonment. Like any other trauma or stress response, what starts out as a very clever adaptation to stay emotionally or physically safe ends up being an unhealthy emotional pattern over time. At its core, the appease response is about trying to manipulate the situation so that other people are happy and see you in a good light, so that you can stay safe and remain valuable in their eyes. 

So, how does autoimmune illness arise from the appease response? Our immune system is all about what is “self” (our own human cells) what is “not-self” (like bacteria, viruses, etc) and what we should do about it. This determination of self and not-self and how to approach it is the essence of boundaries. And if you have unclear emotional boundaries, you very well might have unclear immune system boundaries, as well. 

For example, let’s say your immune system encounters a bacterial colony. It first identifies it as “not-self” but what kind of colony is this? Is it a helpful bacteria that is part of a healthy microbiome? Is it a harmful bacteria from eating that cheese that was just past its expiration date? Our bodies need clear ideas of not only what is self and not-self, but what to do about it.  

If our default fawn/appease reaction is to blame ourselves, then that’s exactly what our immune system does, as well. Autoimmune illnesses are errors in identifying which cells are self vs not-self. Our body attacks itself, “blaming” the self cells, labelling them as harmful, and sending other cells out to attack them. 

Over time, our fawn response and our autoimmune response become one and the same, and that’s when physical illness emerges. 

If you want to break this cycle, especially if you’ve been working on your people-pleasing tendencies but still have autoimmune symptoms, then I’d love to chat with you. This is exactly what I do as a medical intuitive healer, I find where your body is storing emotions, belief systems or other blocks and help work with your whole system to bring you back to health in body, mind and spirit. 

5 Limitations of Western Medicine

5 Limitations of Western Medicine

Before I became a medical intuitive, I was on my way to becoming a doctor. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that western medicine was lacking in some way, and it wasn’t until I found energy healing that I could see why. Now, don’t get me wrong, I use western medicine all the time. If I brake a bone, I’m heading straight to the ER and not to my acupuncturist. But you’d better bet that after the bone is set and the pain medication is in my system, my follow-up is going to be with alternative health practitioners who work with the body to help its natural healing process. 

Here are 5 limitations of western medicine that I see after a decade of experience as an alternative healer: 

  1. There’s very little awareness of the mind-body connection

It’s only been in the last 10-15 years that western medicine has got on board with what other medical and healing traditions have known for centuries — your mind and body are part of one system, and they can’t be treated as separate. For example, we now know that a great deal of our emotional regulation is done by the microbiome in our gut, and that the health of that microbiome can be a large part of our sense of well-being. We also know that when we dull pain receptors (with Tylenol) we also dull our ability for empathy. Mental and physical health are one and the same and separating them makes western medicine less effective. 

  1. Only treats what it can observe

Western medicine relies solely on the scientific method and the scientific method is limited by what we can observe and measure. What this means is that if we can’t use a scientific study to observe and measure it, then doctors aren’t trained in it. For example, it’s hard (but not impossible) to observe things like meridians, chakras and other aspects of the energy body and so these are often dismissed by western medicine as “unproven” ways of healing. I don’t have any problems with scientific methods, but it often misses out on methods of healing that can’t be easily observed and measured. 

  1. Medical science is evolving, and sometimes the treatments can do harm as well as good

In the last 170 years since the age of scientific reason started, science has “proven” a lot of things that have later been disproven or shown to not tell the whole story. For example, once antibiotics were discovered, they were given to people all the time. Twenty years ago, it was common to take a course of antibiotics 3 or 4 times per year for various infections. We now know that these antibiotics harm the delicate balance of bacteria that keeps our digestive system, lungs, reproductive systems and even our skin in healthy, working order. 

  1. Western medicine operates within the limitations of the imagination of the human mind

One of my favorite quotes is from Hamlet, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in our philosophy.” Our human minds can’t possibly understand all the intricacies of the universe. Just like it would be impossible to teach a hamster calculus, there are things our human minds just can’t conceive of. So, if you’re relying on only your human mind and its ability to reason, then you’re missing out on a LOT of possibilities. Healing traditions that know this and defer to the body’s wisdom for healing, like energy medicine, acupuncture or craniosacral work to name a few, can achieve results that would be considered impossible for western doctors. But your body has knowledge that your brain does not — it’s connected to “all that is” and can operate with wisdom beyond that which our brains can conceive of. 

  1. It has a one size fits all approach 

If three people walk into a doctor’s office with gastric reflux, there could be three different reasons why. One may be an epigenetic issue causing too much stomach acid. Another may be anxiety causing peristalsis paralysis in the esophagus. And the third could be a malformed esophageal sphincter. But most often, the doctor will send all three away with a medication that reduces stomach acid. There’s a reductive approach to western medicine that says “If symptom A is occurring, then do treatment B.” But the complexity of the human system is too great for a reductionist model— it needs a model of emergence and constant change. This rigid reductionism too often fails the patient, and leaves them feeling like there’s no treatment option for them.

Let Me (re)Introduce Myself

Let Me (re)Introduce Myself

Hello! There have been quite a few new folks joining us lately and I think that means it’s time to do a little intro/re-intro post and let you know who I am and what I believe. 

I’m Megan Caper and I’m an intuitive who works with complex medical issues, healing trauma, and supporting people in doing shadow work so they can find happiness, connection, and meaning in life. 

I offer a few ways to work with me – medical intuition sessions, intuitive shadow work coaching, and group workshops and classes. Let me know if you have any questions about how I can support you in any of these ways. 

I came to this work through my own life experiences of both emotional and physical trauma and healing, and along the way realized I have psychic gifts that most people don’t naturally have (although I believe everyone can develop this with practice!) 

Here’s what I want you to know – all of us are worthy and whole already, there’s no such thing as a person who “will be good enough once they do X” or who is broken in any way. Being in process and figuring it out is not a prerequisite to being worthy and adored. You are already where you are supposed to be. My deepest desire is to help others have those lightbulb moments where they realize they are worthy and good now, and they don’t have to do anything to be deserving of love right where they are. 

I want you to know healing is not a linear process. It’s more like a spiral where we work on the same lessons or issues for years by revisiting them again and again from a place of greater and greater wisdom and compassion. 

I want you to know that your physical illness is complex and multifaceted and involves physical, emotional, and spiritual issues. Treating symptoms through medication or surgery doesn’t get to the root of the problem and won’t bring balance or harmony to a system, it will only cover up the issues temporarily. 

I want you to know that all of your fears and doubts are because of stories that you’ve absorbed about yourself, oftentimes to keep yourself safe and well, but that your true nature on a soul level is someone who belongs completely and does not know anything other than love and acceptance. 

I want you to know that it’s not your fault that f*^%ked up shit happened to you, but that same shit is also your doorway to find out how to build compassion and deep understanding of both yourself and your fellow humans. We all suffer in similar ways, it just looks like different circumstances. 

I want you to know that I don’t believe in spiritual bypassing, and that you can’t heal solely through being in a place of love and vibrating at a high frequency. I believe we feel happiness and joy as a natural byproduct of doing shadow work and looking at where we can break down barriers inside and outside of ourselves. These barriers once kept us safe like high castle walls, but now they wall us off from connection and love in all its multitudinous forms. Break those walls down in a compassionate and caring way and you will come back to your natural state of love and joy. 

I want you to know that there is no “one size fits all” approach for how to heal or how to live a good life. We are all different for a reason, we have different life lessons to learn and different ways of expressing how we are a creative expression of source energy. My job is to help you find your way back to that place of love and acceptance, in whatever form that takes for you. 

Hopefully some of this resonates with you. And if not, that’s fine too. We each need to hear different messages of healing and spiritual growth, and I’m not the right guide for everyone. 

And please let me know what parts of this made you stop and think and what it is you thought. I’m no guru, I’m learning as I go, as well, and this is a two-way conversation. You are my teacher as much as I am yours. 

You are already worthy. You are already a good person. You are in the process of figuring some shit out, which is exactly where you should be. 

Xo Megan