Friday, July 17, 2015
Feel the Heal: BELIEVE - It's all so Possible!
My treatment with Jeff, Principal of Spratt Muscular Therapies, LLC started out with wonderful bantering and a great sports massage as I train for the Bermuda Half Marathon. There was one moment when Jeff hit a tender spot on my left mid-upper back. He said, "Oh I'm so sorry." I told him "It's okay." And it was. I don't have to be afraid or ashamed of how my body may be in any one moment. I could feel the heal happening as he massaged my back using what he calls quality positive touch that you have to experience to know what it means to feel the heal through touch. I told him that it hurts so good as he worked on my legs doing deep tissue work and stretching. He said with a smile in his voice, "Yeah you runners..." I felt joy overflow as I claim my birthright to run and run free and unencumbered; an intention Jeff set for me after our first treatment but as important, an intention I set for myself as I read through my collection of poems that I have written during my healing odyssey (which are a part of the soon to be released: Feel the Heal: An Anthology of Poems to Heal Your Life.) We paused in our conversation as we focused and Jeff did energy work on my left knee and leg. In my meditation I can experience my left leg as though it never had surgery. Each week there is greater range of motion and I get very excited to experience the melting of scar tissue and creating a healthy knee joint.
As Jeff worked on the front of my legs, I said to him that this year, August 1st is going to be a time of celebration. I reminded him that August 1st is the anniversary of my dad's suicide. "How old were you?" Jeff asked with such tenderness and compassion. "I was 17." "And how old was he?" "He was 50. He was a tortured soul. This year I am celebrating the liberation of two souls." And as I said that, I felt this feeling deep in my soul that healing the violence - 9 years of unrelenting abuse and torture - was over. I had processed everything I needed to process about it.
Many people have asked me how could I forgive? How could I forgive my mother who glared at me while smoking a cigarette when I contracted paralytic polio or watched smoking a cigarette while my father beat me within an inch of my life. And how could I forgive my grandmother and father for all they put me through. It's easy now. As Nelson Mandela said:
After working with me as a runner, Jeff moved into craniosacral work. Last week we could feel how it "triggered" me but I also experienced a wonderful release in my thoracic spine. As Jeff held my lower back and gently and tenderly massaged my belly, I felt myself surrendering to the Divine Intelligence within me and felt Love flow. I had this realization that Jeff and I did not need to "do" anything. "Let the Source of all Life take over now," I heard. I allowed myself to experience the energy of Jeff's touch and ministrations
I settled into the hold letting go of any conscious thought. I was in a state of nothingness - just being present in the moment. Unlike last week I wasn't triggered. I was allowing my body to be as it needed to be to heal.
I have often said that my body knows exactly what to do to heal if I just get out of the way. Jeff has told me on several occasions that he is very aware that he is the messenger and reminds himself to get out of the way to allow the healing to happen.
Having healed the vigilance, feeling safe and being able to trust Jeff, and having healed the layer of trauma, I let go as Jeff held my head and tremors intensified. I smiled. "It's all draining," I said. "It's losing strength," Jeff said to me. I could feel the residuals of the polio virus draining from my spinal cord and my brain. I felt my spinal cord working and reaching out to grow new pathways that had been damaged by the polio virus. I felt this overwhelming sense of a Divine Presence that is Pure Love flowing within me making everything new. I used to talk about breaches in connections but now I reframe everything to the positive. My mind/body is doing what it wanted to do shortly after I contracted the polio virus but because of the constant assaults for 9 years, it couldn't regenerate and grow. All of my resources were going toward survival. (For more on this please read "You Are the Placebo" by Dr. Joe Dispenza)
But now - now my body is growing and healing and I cry as I write this; tears of gratitude and grace that what I set out to do 8 1/2 years ago is now manifesting in my physical reality. As Jeff said after our treatment, "It's a vessel. We clear out the bad to make room for the good."
When I first wrote poems about total healing and freedom and joy and wholeness and well being, I had no idea when or how that was going to happen. I felt joy and healing when I wrote and when I still write poetry. It stimulates my mind, body and Spirit to do what it needs to do to heal, to transform and transcend the bounds of my humanity.
After I made the initial call to Spaulding Rehab's International Rehab Center for Polio, they sent me the book, "Post Polio Syndrome" by Dr. Julie Silver. In it she explains with great authority what happens to polio survivors as they age. If you use it you will lose it because as we age our nerves and cells are dying and don't regenerate. A polio survivor's body is already compromised and hence the degeneration and deterioration happens at a faster pace. She goes on to give advice for energy conservation and ways to try to halt the progression of the disease but it was based on fear and caution.
Part of me had to walk down the path of using a wheelchair and using Western Medicine as a first step to get myself out of the mess I was in but two months after diagnosis, my Divine Mind, through my divining rod of my pen, began creating a very different future from the one that the doctors predicted for me.
I also had the blessing of my physiatrist, Dr. Eugene Moskowitz (who died in 1990) who cared for me after I contracted polio.
As I was doing research on post polio syndrome, I came across this op-ed in the New York Times from March of 1985:
Caution and Hope On Polio 'Signs'
Published: March 3, 1985
I read with interest the article entitled ''A Group for Polio Survivors Who Have New Symptoms'' (Feb. 10).
Having supervised the rehabilitation of poliomyelitis patients at Grasslands Hospital during the epidemics of the 50's and 60's, probably including the ''then'' infants mentioned in the article, I would like to add a word of caution and even hope as an afterthought.
Firstly, there is no reason to suspect deterioration in the nerve cells in the spinal cord. After 30 years, one must accept some loss of endurance, increased fatigue and even some discomfort induced by other unrelated medical problems. This is true in the athlete with repeated injuries, in the obese person with back problems and even in the jogger with foot ailments.
Any individual with paralytic disability in an extremity will experience the normal process of ''wear and tear'' except that it may be more difficult to adjust to it. Just as one learned to compensate for the initial impairment so must one adjust to the later, more subtle changes rather than develop an emotional hangup of being a ''polio victim.''
EUGENE MOSKOWITZ, M.D. Mount Vernon
It's been a long and winding road that led me to the doors of Dr. Ryan Means, a chiropractor who asked me the critical question of "Why set limits?" He worked with me to rehab my left knee, supported me in growing a new gastroc muscle and helped to release and heal trauma through spinal adjustments. And it was a long and winding road of several bodyworkers of all kinds that led me to the door of Jeff and Spratt Muscular Therapies.
I'm here now and that's all that matters allowing the power of Divine Love and the Greater Mind within me flowing through Jeff's heart and hands to evolve and transform beyond the experiences of my past.
I feel the heal and because I held onto hope and faith and belief, I can tell myself and tell you that it's all so possible. There are no limits in this miracle of life. I believe that for the second time in history, we discovered fire!
Cheers! To life! Feel the heal and love yourselves well!
I chronicle the first 7 years of my healing journey after being diagnosed with post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease as a survivor of childhood paralytic polio and 9 years of childhood domestic violence in Coming Home:A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility.
In Journey Well, the journey continues in the wake of my nephew's suicide on 3/4/11 and the events of 4/15/13. Through my journey of healing and transformation, we learn that no matter what life circumstances happen to us, we can always find a way to journey well.
Be on the lookout for "Feel the Heal: An Anthology of Poems," available soon on Amazon
I am writing "Going the Distance," chronicling this miraculous phase of my healing journey on the road to the Bermuda Half and the Newport Marathon 2016.