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“Hello, hello … ”


“I’m at a place called Vertigo.”

How often can you sing the opening lines to U2’s “Vertigo” and actually mean it? I was at a place called Vertigo two days ago. I woke up there. Oh-la! I turned my head on the pillow and the room spun. I’ve never had the bed spins before, but I now know the feeling of the woozily hung-over. Only I hadn’t been drinking the night before. (Those who know me know I don’t drink alcohol.)

Along with the spinning, I also felt nauseous, way too warm, and a tad panicky. My heart raced. Thing is, this was not the first time I’ve had serious vertigo. A number of years ago, when my Grandpa Jens was still alive and living in his house in Siren, Wisconsin, we paid him a visit and went to a local lake, where we went swimming. After the swim, I developed vertigo that lasted for a couple of weeks, subsided, then came back, in a cycle that lasted for a few months. I had all kinds of tests, including some sort of brain scan to make sure I didn’t have a tumor. Doctors couldn’t find anything and kept telling me it was in my ears, but there was no sign of infection. In fact, my ears felt fine, but the vertigo persisted.

One day I mentioned the vertigo to a friend in church and she said I should pay her a visit at home. She was working on her certification for reflexology and thought she could help. I took her up on the offer and she gave me a fabulous, therapeutic foot massage. She pointed on the¬†acupressure and reflexology spots I should work in order to alleviate the vertigo and turned me on to Laura Norman’s “Feet First” reflexology book and Cathryn Bauer’s “Acupressure for Everybody.”

Within a day of her treatment, vertigo and nausea grabbed hold of me and shook me for all I was worth. With natural remedies, it is not uncommon to have a “worse before better” reaction, so I called my friend to see if that was the issue. She thought so, but told me to return in a week for another treatment.

After the second treatment, the vertigo completely evaporated and had not made another appearance until two days ago. This time, I could feel that my ears were blocked. I pulled out my trusty “Feet First” and “Acupressure for Everybody” and looked up the relevant spots (primarily the toes, especially a spot on top of the foot at the base of the second and third toes – kind of between them – that’s the inner ear spot). I gave myself a quick foot rub before work and managed as best I could.

When I’m walking around with vertigo, my head feels like a sail. The act of moving creates a wind that catches the sail, making my body feel like it’s floating around. I kept grounding myself by moving slowly and touching things (tables, door jams, desks) with my hands. As long as I kept my head in a straight-forward position without tilting it drastically, I kept most of the dizziness at bay.

That evening I asked Hubby for a thorough foot rub concentrating on the spots for relieving vertigo. The next morning I awoke with nary a woozy-wooshy feeling. Thank goodness! I thought I might have a touch of it this morning, but I rubbed my feet before leaving bed and that took care of it.

I still feel some blockage in my ears, but hopefully I can avoid visiting Vertigo again.