Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! - Getting Reacquainted -- "It's all so natural.."

"It felt so natural didn't it?" Jeffrey Spratt,MT, commented after my treatment today. As we did our pre-treatment check in he was quick to point out that while there is still some residue from the effects of paralytic polio and trauma that I experienced, I am also tight and sore because I am working so hard both in my role as Communications and PR Director for Spratt Muscular Therapies and co-creating this innovative massage therapy practice and reclaiming my health and fitness. I said to Jeffrey, "Well isn't it fortunate that I work for someone who can help to relieve the aches and pains and stress that come with working again." "Yes so I need to do my job now." We talked about how this is a "good kind of beaten up feeling" rather than the excruciating pain of the effects from trauma and paralytic polio.

When I woke up this morning, rather than going to my usual strength training regimen for Wednesdays, I felt a burning desire to do a cardio work out. What a strange yet exhilarating experience for me to feel the urge to move, to sweat, to get my heart rate up and to switch up my training plan.

I packed up my gym bag and off I went to Wave Health and Fitness.

It's still somewhat surreal to me that I am back at work and when I walk through the lobby of the Seaport Boston Hotel, I exchange greetings with staff. I still pinch myself to realize that I get to work in this amazing environment and yet, when I did my 30 day journal as I was preparing to leave the VA imagining what life would be like after I retired, it included lush surroundings, health and wellness and having wonderful meetings with the purpose of growing a business. Initially the business was my greeting card business with original poetry for every occasion but as Dr. Joe Dispenza is quick to point out, the Universe understands energy and intention not words.

I worked out on the Arc Trainer for 20 minutes and then on the bike for a half hour. It felt amazing to pour sweat and then to be able to luxuriate in the showers in the locker room. After a healthy salad for lunch sitting in the sunshine in the Plaza Level Garden, I went inside for my massage with Jeffrey.

I've been doing a lot of meditation about letting go of the beliefs of the past now made much easier because we have cleaned out so much of the trauma from the fiber of my body and Being. It paid off huge dividends as I was able to experience the goodness, kindness and compassion of the power of Jeffrey's positive touch through the Spratt Method.

I was able to notice when I would tense up and as Dr. Joe Dispenza would say, "break the habit of being my old self."

As memories surfaced at the back of my neck I kept having the repeated thought and finally said out loud to Jeffrey, why didn't I just give up? I said you know how much they hurt me don't you? I cried but nothing like the searing pain of previous sessions. And then as Jeffrey worked on my left leg I had this smile come over my face, my body and my Being. "You know why I didn't give up?...because The Force is too strong within me." I felt a powerful connection to Rey from the recent Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens.

I shared with Jeffrey how sometimes the parentified child gets weary and didn't want to do all of the detail oriented work that goes into growing a business. I had two epiphanies by giving her this space to speak. 1. All I wanted to do as a little girl was to go out and play. I didn't want to have to spend my childhood in physical therapy sessions 5 days a week learning how to walk again. I wanted to be a child and then I certainly did not want to take care of parents who were out of control addicted to alcohol and drugs who turned everything into sex and violence. And then 2. "Don't ever let the past rob you of the joy of the present." I shared with Jeffrey the absolute joy I feel in being able to share the work he does and the amazing practice he has built with an all star team of massage therapists. I get to work, work out, play and receive the most incredible massage therapy I have ever experienced in my life and believe me...I have had a lot of them.

I am reclaiming my advantage and reclaiming my life as I am more active, healthy and fit and busier than I ever have been before in my life; not only with work but in my involvement with the Boston Bulldogs Running Club (to be continued in a future blog post). I am also becoming reacquainted with my body, mind and soul as it was always meant to be. I allowed myself to experience the timelessness and space and Oneness with all that is during today's massage.

And the most remarkable thing happened as Jeffrey did a stretch on my right leg.

"Oh my you know that I used to be able to bring my foot to my head when I danced ballet?"

We talked about how, with the traumatic memories moved out, the power of positive touch can trigger positive memories. I can now remember and feel happy memories about being in my body. I can feel safe and warm, allowing myself to be nurtured and cared for through the power of positive touch and you know what? It's the way it was always meant to be. I have moved out of the war zone into the comfort zone. It's all so natural now!

To your health and wellness,

Monday, March 28, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! It's All So Possible....

It was just about this time one year ago that I began reading Dr. Joe Dispenza's book, "You Are The Placebo." For the previous 8 years following the diagnosis of post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease, I was writing poetry visualizing myself as healthy and whole, free, reclaiming my life and running unencumbered. I've been on a mission these past 9 years to heal the effects of paralytic polio and childhood trauma.

I hope this isn't TMI but I really have to share this...

One of the issues I have dealt with for years and especially the last 9 years and one of the "hallmarks" of post polio syndrome is difficulty swallowing. At its worst, I would aspirate food and back in the day was on a semi soft diet and drank liquids through a straw and used a chin tuck per the instructions of the Speech and Language Therapist at the Spaulding Rehab International Rehab Center for Polio. I experienced what was called "pooling" of food because the left side of my esophagus had weakened to the point where it couldn't push food down. Once I realized what was causing the sensation of always having a lump in my throat, I got to work on visualizing strengthening my muscles. I was able to ditch the semi-soft food diet and drinking through a straw but I have to be mindful when I eat. Well we all should be mindful when we eat. It is easy for food to go down the wrong way with me and foods like carrots, spinach, arugula and sprouts can get stuck. When they do I have to gargle and then well you get the idea....

Last week I was having an issue with carrots and I imagined the warm hands of Jeffrey Spratt,MT, pioneer of the life saving Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy gently massaging my throat area. One of the things that has happened in the treatments recently is that I can re-experience the trauma in the safety of Jeffrey's treatment room and have him "come back" with me to heal whatever happened. We can't change the events but we are changing the outcome through the power of positive touch as I receive the healing, love, support and comfort after the traumatic events I experienced. I was orally raped at the age of 8 just 3 years after contracting paralytic polio so it is no wonder why my swallowing muscles could not regain their strength after polio. In last Thursday's treatment, after I told Jeffrey how I imagined him massaging my throat telling me it was okay and I was able to relax the subtle body muscles in my throat and could complete the swallowing of the carrots, he spent time working on my throat even making a ring around my throat with the warm energy from his hands being a conduit for Divine energy to spring forth from within me to meet the energy of the Divine flowing through him to heal this crucial chakra in my body.

This evening we had a wonderful salad with dinner complete with sprouts. I could feel the sprout get caught and rather than needing to go through what I usually have had to go through to dislodge it, etc. I harnessed the power of my mind. I reminded myself that I am healed and that I am, "factory new" - the phrase that Jeffrey and I came up with to describe my journey of transformation and healing.

I sat quietly and with very little effort was able to swallow the sprout that had gotten caught in my throat.

I can feel how every day in every way my mind, body and soul heal and transform.

The prognosis for healing the effects from trauma and coincidentally the prognosis for post polio syndrome were very similar. The best "we" could "hope for" was to stabilize the symptoms and find ways to cope and manage rather than go for complete healing.

But you know what? There IS complete healing -- it's all so possible and I am so blessed that I found my way to Jeffrey's table where we partner to reverse the effects of trauma and paralytic polio. I am living proof that when you fall in love with process, the results will come because we do live in a world of infinite possibilities!

To your health and wellness,

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! I've Come a Long Way Baby!

After the intensity of last Thursday's treatment followed by incredible release and relief and an amazing full day on Saturday, my husband Tom was wise to notice that I needed a ShakeOut (TM) today.

After my ShakeOut (TM) massage this morning with Jeffrey Spratt,MT, pioneer of the life saving Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy, I had few words to express to him just how deeply grateful I am to him and the work we have done during this past year. He barely knew me and my struggles a year ago. I lived in chronic pain and experienced chronic fatigue. While I was fiercely working to heal and get traction on my healing journey, I was struggling, suffering and enduring the effects of paralytic polio and violence.

When I woke up yesterday morning I felt that familiar solar plexus clutch and was very anxious about our upcoming event at the Boston Marathon (R) Adidas RunBase store. But unlike a year ago if something like this would be coming up, I realized during my meditation, that I had the power to create and visualize how I wanted the day to go. It met and exceeded our expectations. Here are the photo highlights:

I loved meeting and greeting the runners as they returned from the Run Club or were returning from their last long run before the Boston Marathon and talking with staff about the work we do at Spratt Muscular Therapies. Their joy was evident on their faces as they were asked if they would like a complimentary massage and the relief they experienced after Jeffrey's work was palpable. One of the staff posted this on Facebook:

"Come into the store from now until 1pm for a COMPLIMENTARY runner's ShakeOut (TM) treatment by the one and only Jeff Spratt. He developed his own approach to bodywork using principles of massage and body awareness as well as body manipulation. IT IS AMAZINGGGG!!!"

The store manager, Rafer was showing visitors to the store how they could look up a Boston Marathon finisher in their data base. I explained to him that the clock was turned off just a few minutes before we came into the finish line after having an early start. We never made it into the finisher's book. We looked up our names to find out they were not in the data base. I said it was fine because we had our medals

and our finish line photo:

But Rafer took down our names and our finishing time and said the next time we come into the store, we would be able to look us up and see our names as Boston Marathon finishers!

After the event, Tom asked me if I still wanted to go on our four mile run. Usually a 3 hour event in which I am on my feet (although I did take a few breaks to sit down) meeting and greeting people would have wiped me out if I would have been able to do it at all!

We had lunch at Pizzeria Uno. A power salad and a small slice of Tom's deep dish pizza and being around all that running energy and remembering our own Boston Marathon run fueled me.

While I was doing the event, Tom went on a run with the Boston Bulldogs Running Club. He picked up my Club jacket which was perfect given the conditions of a strong headwind. Fortunately the sun had come out to add a little warmth to the day.

I was energized and so needed to get out to do a four miler after my last four mile run that I barely made it through. I used to stop at every mile for a sip of water or just to catch my breath. I now go once around the Reservoir 1.6 miles without stopping! Tom and I were trying to figure out the best way to avoid a headwind but it didn't matter which way we went. I was so energized by the morning's event that I powered through the run.

Before I signed off from Facebook last night I wrote this post:
What a most amazing, blessed day this has been! It's days like these that remind me how far I've come on my journey to health and wellness. Spent the morning at the Boston Marathon adidas Runbase store having a great time greeting runners after their last long run and getting them on Jeffrey Spratt,MT's table for complimentary ShakeOut (TM) massages. I loved the look on their faces when I asked, "Would you like a complimentary sports massage today?" "Seriously?" they'd ask and afterwards their relief was palpable. So amazing to meet the crew at the store making wonderful connections. And then I went on a four mile run, came home and did some more work and now I am so ready for meditation and sleep. But you have to realize where I was even a year ago as chronic pain and fatigue were my norm. But all that's behind me now and I feel so blessed that I have reclaimed my advantage and reclaimed my life through the power of positive touch and the Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy. It's awesome to share the pioneering work that Jeffrey does and to uplift and inspire others with my journey. So I'm signing off for tonight with a full and grateful heart...sending out love, peace and comfort and ease to all! Until tomorrow dear friends....have a wonderful night!

I no longer call it my healing journey but rather my journey to health and wellness.

I needed to recap the day and notice how I've come a long way during these past 9 years since being diagnosed with post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease, with most of the healing happening since I started working with Jeffrey on 4/19/15.

Sometimes you just gotta look back at the past and smile and see how far you've gotten.

To your health and wellness!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! A Warm Hand to Guide Me Home

The title of my memoir that chronicles the first seven years after the diagnosis of post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease by Western medicine standards is "Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility."

"Wait, I have one more goal," Mary McManus told her personal trainer in February of 2008 shortly after coming out of her toe up leg brace. "I want to run the Boston Marathon for Spaulding Rehab Hospital." Mary traded in her polio shoes for running shoes and embarked on the journey of a lifetime.

Mary McManus was at the height of her career as a VA social worker when she was told by her team at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital’s International Rehab Center for Polio in December of 2006 that she needed to quit her job if she had any hope of preventing the progression of post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease.

In “Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility” Mary takes you on her seven year healing odyssey as a survivor of paralytic polio and trauma from her diagnosis, to taking a leap of faith to leave her award winning career at the VA to heal her life and follow her passion as a poet and writer. You’ll experience her trials, tribulations and triumphs as she trains for and crosses the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon and discovers the opportunity for healing in the wake of new trauma: the suicide of her nephew in 2011, and the aftermath of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.

This is Mary's journey of coming home to her human form free from the influences of the ghastly ghostly invaders who had invaded her sacred earthly home. Her memoir includes journals and blog posts from her seven year healing odyssey. This is her journey of transformation and her message of healing, hope and possibility.

I knew there were more miles to travel and more of a story to write. I recently edited the Epilogue:
After a serious knee injury in December of 2014 that the massage therapist I was working with at the time, Dr. Rosenberg, the staff at Spaulding’s Aquatics Therapy Center and the physical therapist Dr. Rosenberg referred me to all said that I would be sidelined as a runner and probably in need of a total knee replacement, I put out the call to the Universe for someone who would partner with me to go the distance on my healing journey.

Unlike the other therapists I worked with, Jeffrey pioneered his own method of muscular therapy, the Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy which is an innovative, highly effective approach to healing the body and restoring balance and wholeness and integration.

We will be writing two books about the Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy; one for professionals and one for lay persons to continue spreading the message of healing, hope and possibility.

I am in awe and feeling overwhelming gratitude for the healing that is happening mind, body and soul as I partner with Jeffrey. A remarkable shift happened in yesterday's treatment.

Jeffrey has been holding the space for me to do whatever I needed to do as I went back in time to relive and transform and transcend the trauma. In yesterday's treatment I cried for myself and allowed myself to cry the tears that I was never able to cry during the original traumatic events while Jeffrey worked to both provide comfort and facilitate healing through the power of positive touch and the Spratt Method. "Brave girl. Strong girl. Invincible girl," were the words he spoke to me.

Because I was initially paralyzed from the neck down, the neuromuscular connections to my arms all the way down to my hands was compromised. While the body has an enormous capacity to heal, it can't heal when my 8 year old body was being sexually assaulted for 3 years and then beaten "within an inch of my life" until I was 17.

Jeffrey paid special attention to my arms and hands yesterday. I mentioned to him before the treatment that "last week you didn't have a chance to get to my hands and arms. Because I'm such a mess you can't get to everything in every treatment." "I'll start there today," Jeffrey said.

As Jeffrey unstuck areas that had held the trauma in the very fiber of my body and Being I was able to let in his touch rather than relive the assaults. As he worked on my right shoulder and down my arm he said, "There's nothing but goodness now," which was so powerful because I had that thought as I was saying affirmations during my treatment. He said, "feel how good this feels."

And with that I could feel the little girl within me rear up in rebellion. "Oh don't you trust him. He's going to turn on you." Often times when she has presented herself during treatment I can quell her fears and in one treatment I even pulled down the shade and gently tucked her into bed thanking her for all she did to protect me. In other treatments, Jeffrey has spoken to my little girl telling her what he would have done had he been there to care for me. As I shared with Jeffrey how I could distinguish between the little girl and being present as a 62 year old woman, I also let him know how I was feeling. "Totally understandable," he said. "There's no judging."

I was able to experience Jeffrey's touch and allow it to heal all the horror. At one point I commented to Jeffrey, "You are so kind." "This is what you deserve," he responded with words and touch.

After the treatment I mentioned to Jeffrey my experience of him working with my hands. In a previous treatment, Jeffrey shared with me that he took theater in college. One of the exercises involved exploring the arms and hands wondering how does this work. I told him that I felt as though he were doing that exercise with me only he was wondering, "What can I do to fix this?" referencing the energy breach down my arm to my hands that results in hand tremors. He reminded me about the intention of the exercise was to gently explore and be inquisitive about the human form and not to fix anything. "I'm just providing a warm hand to guide the healing."

...a warm hand to guide me reclaim my advantage and reclaim my life...and shed all those beliefs of being unworthy of being cared for, unlovable, untouchable, disgusting, filled with shame and guilt and transform coming home to the beautiful woman I am today.

And this was in my Facebook feed last night from Louise Hay:

To your health and wellness!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! Transformation and Throwback Thursday: Look at me look at me look at me now!

As I was meditating and I was feeling creative urges flow through me about today's blog, it was only fitting that the image of The Cat in the Hat came to mind. As I recovered from paralytic polio in 1959, my wise earth angel physical therapist, Miss Holly read Dr. Seuss to me in the waiting room before bringing me in for the grueling regimen of physical therapy to help me walk again and regain use of my body after collapsing from polio. To distract me from the pain of those sessions, she would have me recite Dr. Seuss back to her in tandem with her.

Here I am in December of 2007 after being diagnosed with post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease but slowly finding a healing path through writing poetry and partnering with a personal trainer. One picture is worth a thousand words:

These photos capture the beginning of my running career - a feature in the Brookline Tab and my first 5K, the Corrib Pub Run in June of 2008:

On April 20, 2009 I am coming down Commonwealth Avenue toward the finish line of the 113th Boston Marathon:

And then it was an up and down and all around the Mulberry Bush course on my healing journey....until I partnered with Jeffrey Spratt,MT, pioneer of the life saving/life changing Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy. I started working with Jeffrey on 4/19/15.

My heart overflows with gratitude for where I am today in my healing - my health and wellness journey.

Even a year ago I was unable to do:
Squats - and now I do 25 with a little support at the wall

Push ups - I can do 5. A year ago I didn't even have the ability to propriocept bending my arms to go down for a push up. They are not very deep yet but just the fact I can do a little means a whole lot!

Spreading toes on my left foot - I used the method Dr. Joe Dispenza's described for how survivors of a stroke with a paralyzed arm regained movement through the use of mirror neurons. I love the feeling of spreading my toes wide on my left foot and the connection going down the outside of my leg to my foot getting stronger and stronger. I can also straighten out the big toe on my left foot.

I can get off of the floor with ease - I have upper body strength and feel an incredible lightness of being in my body. It's fun to go down on the floor using one arm and being able to get up without a struggle.

Swimming - oh my gosh a year ago I was still at Spaulding Rehab Aquatics Therapy program. I am so grateful for the foundation I built while I was there and it definitely served its purpose. I still use some of the exercises I learned there for my strength training portion of my pool workout. I am so blessed to have the beauty and spaciousness of the pool at Wave Health and Fitness. I can do all four strokes with laps. I feel the exhilaration and unbridled joy of moving through the water.

In December of 2014, I thought my running days were over. An MRI revealed a pretty messed up left knee. I started out with the Western medicine model and then was blessed to find my way to Dr. Ryan Means in February of last year.

I was just venturing out on the roads this time last year with Dr. Ryan's. He turned me onto the work of Dr. Joe and used taping, the Graston technique, spinal adjustments and every tool he had his in his healing bag of tricks to get me back to running.

Perhaps the greatest gift he gave me was reminding me of my body's incredible capacity to heal!

"What leg are we rehabbing?" Jeffrey asked me in my first treatment and went on to say at the end of the treatment, "I want you to run unencumbered."

And with that we embarked on this wonderful partnership of healing.

I went on to run the Bermuda Half Marathon in January:

And after a 5 year hiatus, the Hyannis 10K in February at a pace just 4 minutes over the 2014 Tufts 10K:

While there are whispers of those nagging voices inside my head - all the naysayers, those who abused me and demeaned me wanting me dead, I get to reclaim advantage and reclaim life with a resounding voice saying, - Look at me - look at me - look at me now....But that is not all - oh no that is not all!

A little over a year ago I thought that I was destined to settle for mediocre massage therapy, being a chronic patient of the health care system, and having to endure and suffer and struggle with the effects of paralytic polio and violence. Please remember to not give up and to believe in what is possible and what is every person's birth right to be as healthy and vibrant as we can possibly be. And above all...

To your health and wellness!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! - On Determination, Process, Progress and Meeting My Threshold

Before I partnered with Jeffrey Spratt,MT, pioneer of the life saving Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy and creator of Spratt Muscular Therapies, I felt defeated on some level. While I was working so very hard and was determined to move beyond my past, I was tethered to the conditioning of my past.

After my first treatment with Jeffrey he looked deep into my eyes and said, "I want you to run unencumbered." I had been writing poems about running unencumbered and free and asking how would I ever reclaim my life?!

I have the Bermuda Half Marathon and the Hyannis 10K in the books, running those races despite warnings from the medical community in December 2014 that I should not run again, that I would need a total knee replacement in a few years and maybe if I did run (which they knew I was going to do anyway) I should not do anything more than a 5 mile race.

First I found my way to healer, chiropractor Dr. Ryan J. Means who reminded me that I AM the Placebo and turned me onto the work of Dr. Joe Dispenza and teachers from What the bleep do we know...

Within a month after working with and meeting Dr. Ryan I found my way to Jeffrey!

Jeffrey reminded me that this is my off season and a time to build strength and cross train. Last week I worked out on the Arc Trainer for 30 minutes and spent 30 minutes on the bike.

Given my body's response to that workout, I realized that I'd gone over my threshold...but...

This week I decided to do 20 minutes on the Arc Trainer with maintaining higher settings and did about 35 minutes on the bike. I am tracking my settings and being extremely mindful of going right up to my threshold and not going over it. I feel challenged, sore and strong but not over the top uncomfortable after this week's workout. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the pool this week doing two laps each of the four strokes of the distance medley and doing a repeat along with laps with kickboard, noodle, jogging in the pool, side steps, lunges and strength training in the pool. It's incredible to feel the progress in my strength and my endurance finding both ease and joy and the challenge!

Several weeks ago, Jeffrey was showing me a way to get a deeper calf stretch that I could share on our website blog. When I tried to do the stretch with knee bent on my left leg I could only feel the stretch in my hip and could barely bend my knee. Jeffrey tried to help me propriocept my calf and as he cued me with his hand he said, "Is this the polio..." and interrupted himself mid sentence and asked, "Is this the factory new left leg?"

I've been working on this stretch using mirror neurons as a cue from my right leg. What excitement I felt this morning when I was able to bend my left knee and experience the calf stretch.

I am totally in love with this process of healing now. There is moving forward and progress and sometimes I meet my threshold and then have to back off a little to find the balance between feeling challenged but not risking injury or too much discomfort.

I feel the determination and the fire in my soul to go the distance. I know that partnering with Jeffrey I can now at last reclaim advantage and reclaim life and am so blessed that the Universe has delivered to me all the resources I need to heal from the effects of paralytic polio and violence.

To your health and wellness!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Countdown to Boston: Let the Excitement Build - A Review of the Boston Marathon Adidas RunBase Store

It was a soaking wet day for the BAA 10K in October. Through the winds and rain, I heard BAA announcer Tom Grilk say that later that afternoon Boston Marathon champions Caroline Kilel and Geoffrey Mutai along with the BAA 10K winner Daniel Saleel were going to be at the Boston Marathon Adidas RunBase store.

We were going to visit the store last April when it first opened but there were throngs of people waiting to get in over Marathon Weekend.

A rainy day after Tom had a great run sloshing through the puddles in the BAA 10K was the perfect time for us to visit.

Imagine walking into a place that is all Boston Marathon; its history, its magic, its wonder and awe.

I got goosebumps seeing the Boston Marathon memorabilia and the mighty Unicorn remembering our 2009 Boston Marathon run.

Running is the only sport where you can stand side by side with Champions and they are delighted to sign autographs and talk about their Boston Marathon runs:

And what a thrill to be returning to the Boston Marathon Adidas RunBase store this Saturday from 10am-1pm as Spratt Muscular Therapies Communications and Public Relations Director to work with Jeffrey Spratt,MT, pioneer of the ShakeOut Massage as he provides complimentary massage to patrons of the store that day.

It's an exciting time in Boston as we count down to the 2016 Boston Marathon. I have so many friends running Boston this year and have friends coming in from out of town. Everyone should make time to make their way to the RunBase store during this final countdown to Boston and if you happen to be around this Saturday, we'd love to see you!

To your health and wellness!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life: From Horror to Healing; From the War Zone to the Comfort Zone

It's true - it's true - the crown has made it clear..the climate must be perfect all year...

It's true - the injury from trauma heals!

When I worked at the VA as a social worker back in the 80's,90's and even early 2000's, there was a grim prognosis for trauma survivors. Even the diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder spoke to the effects of trauma being a disorder. But the new thinking is that trauma creates an injury and like any injury it just needs time, love, compassion and patience to heal.

It took me 9 years before I finally found my way to Jeffrey Spratt,MT, pioneer of the Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy that is a powerful method for healing the injuries from trauma. Through the power of positive touch, like an explorer, Jeffrey and I partner together to find those land mines of trauma triggers that were held fast in the fiber of my Being and in the very cells of my body. What is so exciting for me is that I am moving from re-experiencing the horror so it can heal to experiencing the healing. I am building new memories, new neuromuscular pathways that were short circuited by the one two punch of paralytic polio and violence and I am beginning to experience comfort - even when I experience discomfort!

There's no two ways about it. I grew up in a war zone. And for decades I lived my life as though I were still living in that war zone. Through meditation and partnering with Jeffrey, I am able to sort out the conditioned responses and even ask myself, "Is this a war zone response?" "What can I do to gain clarity and see things as they are right now?" It is incredibly liberating to not be a slave to the conditioning from my past.

I cherish each moment of feeling free with creative energy flowing. With clearing out and cleaning out the debris from the past through the Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy I have space to build strength, prevent injuries and dis-ease and enjoy the comfort of the skin that I am in.

I am very excited to be writing my next book "Going the Distance" in which I chronicle my journey after where my memoir, "Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility" ends. It is exciting to be able to send a message of healing, hope and possibility to trauma survivors and for people to know that one can heal and move forward from whatever horrific circumstances life may throw our way.

It's true - it's true - the crown has made it clear...trauma heals. One can go from horror to healing and restore peace, equanimity, comfort and ease to the land!

To everyone finding their Camelot!

To your health and wellness!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! Endurance

The Boston Marathon is one month from today and today Boston celebrated the traditional rite of Spring and getting ready for Marathon Monday with the unveiling of the Boston Marathon banners at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

This year's themes include gratitude, passion, pride, dedication, inspired, drive, psyched, believe, heart, strength, glory and spirit with an over arching theme being endurance.

Simple Definition of endurance

: the ability to do something difficult for a long time

: the ability to deal with pain or suffering that continues for a long time

: the quality of continuing for a long time

How amazing that in yesterday's treatment with Jeffrey Spratt,MT we were talking about endurance. In addition to Jeffrey being a brilliant muscular therapist in keeping endurance athletes at the top of their game, Jeffrey's Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy is a life saver for those of us who have experienced trauma.

Jeffrey creates a safe and trusting environment that allows me to bring the traumatic events to the surface and heal them mind, body and soul. The beauty is that now I no longer have to endure the suffering of those events alone AND through the power of positive touch, those wounds of the flesh, mind, heart and soul can now heal.

I endured decades of abuse but there is an amazing resilience of my Spirit that enabled me to go the distance until I could find someone to partner with who could make manifest the prayers of a little girl; praying for someone to help me heal, to protect me and to help me feel my wholeness and my holiness.

I went the distance in the 2009 Boston Marathon and despite advice to the contrary, returned to the roads to become an endurance runner once more in 2016.

What a blessing to be in sync with the Universe as messages of gratitude, passion, pride, dedication, inspiration, drive, heart, strength and endurance now line the streets of Boston as Boston prepares to run again one month from today. What a blessing that I was able to endure all that went before to arrive in my life today where through the grace of God I am able to reclaim my advantage and reclaim my life.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! #tbt Seven Months Ago Today-Believe in the power of your dreams!

It's hard to believe that it is almost a year (on April 19th) since I began partnering with Jeffrey Spratt,MT to get traction on my healing journey. From that first treatment with him I knew my life was about to dramatically change. Just how much it was about to change surprised both of us.

Experiencing Jeffrey's unique method of massage therapy I got curious about how he worked. It was as though something opened up inside of him that was just waiting for the right time to emerge and he told me about the Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy. He shared with me his dream for Spratt Muscular Therapies and the most fascinating thing happened to me. As he talked about his method and his dream for the practice, it facilitated my healing. I knew I had finally found someone to go the distance with me and there was a powerful connection between us. I remember one day when Jeffrey said to me, "I have no idea what is going on here but I do know it is bigger than the two of us."

One day, after a treatment, Jeffrey looked at me and said, "I need someone. I need someone to help me with all of this."
I looked him square in the eye and said, "Don't worry Jeffrey. The Universe will provide."
"I knew you were going to say that," he said to me.

Little did I know I was talking about me.

Seven months ago today on a beautiful summer's day in Boston, we sat outside in the Plaza Garden at the Seaport Hotel Boston where we are blessed to have our practice. I had told Jeffrey that we could meet and I could get a better idea of what he needed to help manifest his dream.

It was an amazing meeting. I usually am challenged with writing due to hand tremors but my hands were steady and strong as Spirit's presence was palpable. Everything felt so right.

Little by little I offered assistance with social media, crafting a message, and continuing to share his amazing work through my blog and through my social media channels which I'd already been doing.

By September, I signed my 1099, created a job description and the rest as they say is history!

We now have two rooms and a staff of 8 therapists who went from contractor status to employee status.

We have chair massage events lined up.

Jeffrey is doing his Rejuvenation Exercise at different conferences. He even received this testimonial from Dr. Sanjiv Chopra:
Jeffrey Spratt is a gifted Muscular Therapist. I have invited him to lead 500-600 physicians from throughout the United States and 40 countries abroad in a 10 minute Rejuvenation Exercise each day of a 7 day course. The course is entitled “Annual Update in Internal Medicine” and is the flagship course for the Department of Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. It is one of the most highly rated courses in the world and Jeffrey’s session gets very high marks and accolades. I am most grateful to him for offering this exercise for the last 15 years and ongoing.

We are applying for a grant to bring into manifestation Jeffrey's dream for deployment of massage therapists as part of Critical Incident Stress Management Teams.

We are going to start writing that book that Jeffrey has had in his head for all these many years about the Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy and while we have common law rights for the trademark of the ShakeOut our plan is to work with a Trademark attorney to get it registered.

You can check out our News and Events page and be absolutely wowed by what the Universe has conjured up for Spratt Muscular Therapies.

My breath catches in awe when I reflect on the synchronicity and coincidences that have happened during these past 7 months.

I had a powerful dream and intention to heal from the late effects of paralytic polio and childhood trauma. Jeffrey had a powerful dream and vision for the Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy and to use his gift of the power of positive touch and his incredible knowledge about healing mind, body and soul as well as working with endurance athletes--and might I say that his pearls of wisdom and analogies are spot on. I am a social worker by training who worked with veterans and trauma at the VA. Jeffrey works at On Site Academy using the Spratt Method to bring healing to those affected by on the job trauma as emergency responders. Because of the healing work I am doing with Jeffrey, I have the energy, the openness and the creative juices flowing that I allow Spirit to work through me to help Jeffrey manifest his dream. And in turn, Spirit works through Jeffrey as we heal the effects of paralytic polio and trauma. He is a vessel and as he says, "just an instrument of the Universe" as Divine Love and his powerful intention to help people reclaim advantage and reclaim life flows through him.

Before we met each other we were each stuck and did not know how we were going to move forward. Because our dreams were so powerful, The Universe conspired to bring us together for the highest good and while it all formally began 7 months ago today, it was in the works of the unseen for a very long time. We never stopped dreaming and we never stopped believing. I am so excited to see what the coming months and years bring!

To your health and wellness,

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life: Reflections on Strength, Muscles and Moving Forward

I always knew I had strength otherwise I would have "opted out" after contracting paralytic polio and having an out of body experience. I had to have strength in order to survive the childhood I experienced. After being diagnosed with post polio syndrome in December of 2006, I had to find the strength to realize I was at a crossroads in my life, find the strength to take a leap of faith and leave my award winning career as a VA social worker three years shy of when I was eligible for retirement and then find the strength to get out of a wheelchair and leg brace and go the distance of 26.2 to run the 2009 Boston Marathon.

After my nephew's suicide on 3/4/11, I had the wind knocked out of me and went way off course on my healing journey. And then there was 4/15/13 that shook us to the core. But I found my strength and realized that was a wake up call to get back on the roads and back on my healing path. It took me two more years of not giving up on finding someone who could partner with me to go the rest of the distance with me on this healing journey.

Interestingly enough, I met Jeffrey Spratt, MT on the two year anniversary of 4/15/13 now almost a year ago. I was recovering from a serious knee injury. It took tremendous strength to walk away from the medical team at Spaulding Rehab and my previous massage therapist but until I let go of what was holding me back from complete healing, I could not find the healers and resources I needed to move forward.

I found Dr. Ryan Means, a healer chiropractor who turned me on to the work of Dr. Joe Dispenza and Dr. Candace Pert both of whom were featured in What the bleep do we know? He reminded me to set goals not limits and prescribed exercises that would help me build muscle in addition to strength.

Partnering with Jeffrey has given me a whole new relationship with my body. After returning to endurance running in the Bermuda Half Marathon and the Hyannis 10K and feeling amazing having set and crushed those goals, I knew it was time to give myself new challenges in my fitness journey. As we clear out the trauma and I create a factory new body, conditioning my body to a new mind as Dr. Joe Dispenza so aptly calls it, I am able to build muscle in mind, body and Spirit.

As a survivor of childhood rape and beatings, I was afraid of what I might do if I were really strong. Couple that with having my neuromuscular compromised by the effects of paralytic polio and it was a real challenge for me to well challenge myself in ways that would build muscle, strength and confidence without fear.

Yesterday I worked out on the Arc Trainer and the upright stationery bike. Today in the pool at Wave Health and Fitness I challenged myself by increasing the aquatic weights I was using and continue to swim the butterfly along with the crawl, the breast stroke and back stroke. I am fierce in my off season training and I can feel muscles I haven't felt before. I am building muscle mindfully and with weekly massage therapy with Jeffrey, I am able to steadily build strength and muscle.

What is so remarkable about being able to build muscle is that I was told that I was going to experience a steady decline in my functioning due to muscles atrophying as a result of the late effects of paralytic polio. Before partnering first with Dr. Ryan and then Jeffrey and filling my mind with the teachings of beliefs that I've always known in my heart and soul to be true, beginning with Bernie Siegel, I could not get traction on my journey. When I reflect on the people I worked with before Jeffrey, the contrast startles me with how they worked with the body and how Jeffrey works with the body through the Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy.

It is exhilarating for me to feel a good sore and to know that even when I feel a not so good sore, Jeffrey and I will work together to fix it and get me back on track.

It's time for me to move forward; out of fear and beyond the terror of my past. It's time for me to build muscles and new neuromuscular connections and to test the limits of what this body can do.

I am deeply blessed and grateful that I now have everything I need...I always had the strength and now I get to feel my muscle and move forward.

To your health and wellness,