Joanna McMahon

Joanna McMahon, 26, from Prestwick in South Ayrshire, was beset by painful bladder problems until a pair of healing hands removed her symptoms.

I first contracted bladder infections when I was two. As I got older, I couldn’t pass water unless my bladder was absolutely full, to the point where I looked pregnant. I’d pass blood and also I noticed what looked like flushed loo paper in the toilet bowl, which I later learned was part of my bladder wall. My GP was at a loss as to what was wrong and told my mum to take me to a specialist. Doctors said it must be a urinary infection, but tests always came back clear. Flare-ups were agonizing. It would feel as though my insides were on fire. Sometimes I’d sit on the toilet for hours trying to go, and I would constantly have a hot-water bottle on me to try soothe my symptoms.

I struggled on until, finally at the age of 16, I went to see a new specialist who carried out a cystoscopy (where the doctor looks into the bladder with a special telescope). He diagnosed interstitial cystitis –chronic inflammation of the bladder wall. Doctors don’t know what causes it. The specialist told me that the bladder should feel smooth, like the inside of your mouth, but mine was like the surface of the moon. He suggested injecting Botox into my bladder, but after a couple of sessions of that I was left unable to pass water and in terrible pain. Another treatment involved having my bladder injected with a product called Cystistat, a sticky fluid that is meant to coat the bladder walls. I was treated every five weeks for four years, under general anesthetic because it was so painful. I had to give up my job as a receptionist at a car dealership because it would take me a week to recover from the treatment each time. I felt miserable.

I went to see Michael in London last June. First I had to stand up while he moved his hands around me – it looked as though he was dusting me down but not touching me. Next I lay down and Michael put his hand on my stomach and I felt heat radiating through my abdomen. It was incredible. Over the four days, as well as this healing, he counseled me on diet, supplements and relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing from my stomach.

The transformation was amazing. After the first day, I passed water without pain and there was no blood or bladder wall. A couple of mouths later, in August I went back for the follow-up appointment. By that time, I felt fine, but a further session had been recommended because my symptoms had been so severe and prolonged. Since that I’ve had no problems. I haven’t seen a consultant and I’m not on any drugs. My life no longer revolves around a toilet – it’s brilliant. My family can’t believe the difference. I feel confident about going out and socializing and I’m working again. Everything’s changed for the better.

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