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 home...to 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!