Thursday, May 18, 2017
Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! Celebrating 10 Years of Healing: Don't Stop Believing!
I fervently believe that I would not be celebrating 10 years of healing from the effects of paralytic polio and severe childhood trauma had I not been blessed to find my way to Jeffrey Spratt, MT - pioneer and trailblazer in the field of muscular therapy.
Before partnering with Jeffrey in April, 2015 I kept hitting a wall in my journey to experience health and wellness; to experience the fullness of life and a sense of vibrancy mind, body and soul.
It was eight years of working to heal virtually on my own before I was blessed to first find my way to Ryan J. Means, DC, a chiropractic healer who primed the pump for me to be able to receive the power of positive touch with Jeffrey and the Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy.
While I was passionate, determined and strong willed about healing the effects of paralytic polio and trauma after I took a leap of faith on May 25, 2007, leaving my award winning VA social work career just 3 years of shy of when I was eligible for retirement, I could not get momentum on my journey to health and wellness.
So what happened? So what's the difference?
The body workers that I found my way to were, with one exception, ineffective and in some instances, created more harm than healing. They followed the techniques of "gurus" and were concerned with following protocols, maintaining "boundaries" and believed that they were the ones who would and should dictate what happens in the treatment room.
When I reflect on the modalities that the other people I saw used, I realize that they are based on power and control, imposing their view of what is needed onto the client. They are the experts! Of course I was drawn to these other people because that is all that I'd been conditioned to experience. What really strikes me is how they talk about distancing yourself from the client.
KMI Structural Integration and Rolfing involve the body worker knowing what is right for the client to "heal" them. There is a smugness among the "providers" in the community along with an arrogance that they are the ones who can fix what is wrong with the client.
I read Fritz Smith's book about Zero Balancing and was struck by the terminology he used. Fulcrums, maintaining an optimal distance from your client to keep the energy fields clear, verbal fulcrums that you can learn to stimulate healing in your client.
The words and techniques of both KMI and Zero Balancing involve edges and bones and either aggression or passivity and leave out a key component in the work - the power of being a compassionate presence with another and opening their hearts to bring comfort and relief.
I was incredibly vulnerable to those using KMI and Zero Balancing given my trauma history. Every day I thank the Universe I found my way to Jeffrey which was no accident. I was writing about running unencumbered and free and reclaiming my life in my poetry. Jeffrey was creating Spratt Muscular Therapies whose motto is Reclaim Advantage. Reclaim Life. In my first treatment with him he set the intention for me to run unencumbered knowing very little about me. Jeffrey literally and figuratively dives right into the work with heart, hands and soul to bring relief, comfort and healing. He is a humble healer and while he is the "expert" in the room he loves to say that he is providing warm hands to allow the body's natural capacity to heal to be released!
Jeffrey exudes passion about his work and his dedication to the practice and profession of Massage Therapy is second to none.
Jeffrey and I are both fans of The West Wing. We often talk about this scene in reference to what makes muscular therapy effective:
Okay, let's get on coming up with a language plan for talking more
realistically about the economy. That session this morning with the advisors;
everybody's got a magic lever they want you to push. I studied economics all
my life but in this job only a fool is ever certain. You don't push any one
lever; you wanna push a little on them all.
From every theory in moderation...
While Jeffrey has a specific framework he uses in the Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy that he pioneered, it allows him to bring in whatever techniques and modalities are going to be most effective during any particular treatment session.
He listens deeply with his hands, his heart and his soul and gets out of the way to allow the Divine which we also like to say is The Force to work through him guiding the work.
In March of 2015, I had just about given up on having anyone who could partner with me to go the distance.
I did not, however, stop believing and Dr. Ryan and Jeffrey came into my life.
I'm getting ready to train for my 3rd CONSECUTIVE Bermuda Half Marathon after being told in December of 2014 that I needed a total knee replacement and should not/would not/could not run any distance again. It was also suggested to me that I go back to the Post-Polio Clinic for a reevaluation because after all, it was only a matter of time before the symptoms of Post-Polio Syndrome returned. It was, after all, a progressive neuromuscular disease.
I am grateful for all the lessons I learned and the people I encountered on this almost 10 year amazing healing odyssey but I am especially, deeply grateful to Ryan and Jeffrey for partnering with me, believing in me to go the distance in healing the effects of paralytic polio and trauma!
To anyone dealing with any physical or mental health challenges I have one thing to say -- Don't Stop Believing and don't quit before the miracle happens!
To going the distance with strength and courage!
Be sure to visit my website by following this link.
My books are available on Amazon.
Feel the Heal: An Anthology of Poems to Heal Your Life
Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing Hope and Possibility that chronicles the first 7 years of my healing journey:
And my latest and greatest book - Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance (With a Foreword by Jacqueline Hansen):
Mary McManus, MSW knew challenges since she was five years old beginning with contracting polio followed by enduring nine years of violence at the hands of family members. Those early challenges prepared her for taking on the challenge of the diagnosis of post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease in December 2006 when she was at the height of her award winning career as a social worker at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Asking for Divine Guidance as she had throughout her trials and tribulations, she discovered the gift of poetry in her soul. Her first poem, “Running the Race,” foreshadowed her 2009 Boston Marathon run. “Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance,” chronicles Mary’s journey as a survivor of paralytic polio and trauma, as a runner and a woman who refused to quit. Eight years after her diagnosis, she was finally led to two healers, a chiropractor and a muscular therapist, who helped her reclaim her life and go the distance, a woman transformed who embodies the power of endurance.