Matthew Onyschuk

Certified Reiki Master

For 40 years I happily lived a sedentary North American lifestyle thinking I knew who I was and what brought me joy into my life. I lacked any consistent form of exercise and fed my body whatever I desired. This included high fat, processed products along with a low inconsistent intake of natural whole foods. I shunned drinking water, as I enjoyed fruit drinks, soda and alcohol. I enjoyed frequent visits to Kentucky Fried Chicken or McDonalds often stopping for quick snack as I drove home to my wife’s perfectly home cooked meal – hiding the take out bags in the trash so she wouldn’t see them.

You’d never have known the extent of my decline (and neither did I), because externally, my body didn’t show the adverse conditions I was bringing upon myself.  At the time I was 6 feet tall and weighed 195lbs, so aside from a small “daddy tummy” I otherwise looked good. I even had low blood cholesterol thanks in part to the prescription statin drug (Zocor) which I was taking, knowing full well that I was using it as a cushion to shamelessly eat whatever I wanted.

I gradually started experiencing various health issues which I either chose to ignore or use off the shelf remedies to mask the symptoms so I could continue on my familiar path. For years I had been suffering from severe acid reflux along with painful stomach bloating, gas and cramps resulting from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). I would medicate with Rolaids – another cushion. It got to the point that the 80 or so tablets I would ingest in a given month were no longer working; so I turned to a prescription antacid drug, Prevacid.

In addition, I was struggling with plantar fasciitis which was a painful muscle inflammation in both of my feet that had started a year earlier.  On the worst days it was like walking on broken glass.

Compounding all of this was a daily ritual of waking up each morning to chronic fatigue and a foggy brain, even though I made an effort to get  8 hours of sleep each night.

As strange as it may seem, I never considered myself to be in overwhelming trouble. I was able to ignore each malady, with the help of convenient, over the counter pills, creams and devices. Making personal changes wasn’t even on the radar screen, because the causes of those maladies were the exact things that I “felt” brought me joy in my life.  At the time, chicken wings and beer were at the top of my joy list.

Everything changed at the beginning of 2009. I started to notice muscle twitches happening all over my body. These ranged from small muscles in my face, to the involuntary flexing of major muscles in my arms, legs and torso. They were random and consistently happening throughout the day or evening. My nervous system was so traumatized that at night I would lie on the mattress, my body trembling for hours as if someone was shaking the bed. This progressed to my hands shaking uncontrollably after any sort of activity such as playing with my kids, raking the leaves or cleaning the house.

“Deep down inside
something told me I could no longer ignore this.
My wakeup call had arrived!”