Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Going the Distance: Celebrating Ten Years of Healing: My Hero Healer - Dr. Ryan J. Means
Don't let pain or fear of pain slow you down. ~Dr. Ryan J. Means
I marvel at the confluence of events that brought Ryan J. Means, DC into my life in early 2015. He was renting space for his practice at the same place where I was going for weekly massage therapy sessions. Although I was complaining of knee pain to the therapist I worked with at the time that eventually resulted in a serious injury in December of 2014, he had never referred me to Dr. Ryan for care. However, when the Universe has a plan, things eventually do come together.
We met at the book release party for a book I have since unpublished and taken the best nuggets from that book and incorporated it into "Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance." Because the Patriots were in the playoffs and the weather was lousy that evening, there was a very small turn out at the party. Towards the end of the evening, I found myself standing in the presence of this tall, blue eyed individual whose eyes sparkled and soul shined through when he talked about chiropractic medicine. I had encountered the physical therapist from hell and things were not going well the massage therapist I was working with at the time. I knew that I needed someone to partner with me to go the distance and to bring into physical reality all that I had written about in my poetry for the previous 8 years on my healing quest.
I asked him if chiropractic care could help with a knee injury. He was enthralled with my journey.
He asked me if I'd meet him for coffee so he could learn more about my healing journey. The time flew by as we had coffee at the Diesel Cafe in Somerville not far from his office.
I interviewed him for my blog. I told him I did not need a complimentary consultation. I knew I needed to work with him!
He told me about a book he was reading, "You Are The Placebo" by Dr. Joe Dispenza. He sent me a photo from the book, "Changing the body by thought alone" that I still have on my fridge today:
From "Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance":
At Monday's appointment with Dr. Ryan, I told him how running is in my blood. He gave me tips on what to do before and after a run to manage any swelling and to be diligent in using Theraband stability trainers to strengthen my core and help with balance and agility. I decided to go in for a taping yesterday to support me for today's run. As soon as Dr. Ryan finished the taping, I could feel the healing happening on my entire leg especially on the site where I had the incision for the reconstructive leg surgery over 20 years ago. A year after the surgery, I had the hardware removed....
In Friday's KT taping session with Dr. Ryan I told him that I was so happy to be working my way back to a 5K and I would cap off my distance at 5 miles for the Ogunquit Beach Lobster Dash, a race I ran with my Merrimack Valley Striders family last year. He didn’t miss a beat! While Dr. Ryan performed the Graston Technique on my feet to help my body to move out of old patterns and allow my body to find its way to its natural state of wellness and goodness he said, "Why set limits?"
We are each devouring "You Are The Placebo.” It seems that I need to keep reminding myself over and over and over again about my body's tremendous capacity for healing. I shared with Dr. Ryan that on MRI, the polio virus took out the medial gastroc muscle on my left calf and that I was working on visualizing a new one. "If I could dissolve a breast tumor, why can't I grow a new gastroc right?" Dr. Ryan suggested that we tape my gastroc because the KT tape can be used to decrease inflammation (and by the way the swelling is gone from my left knee using icing before and after exercise and with the taping for runs), to brace a joint and also to activate and stimulate the muscle. Mary Mary quite contrary how does your gastroc grow? Contrary because I have "gone against" much of the advice I received from the medical community as a polio survivor which involved setting limits with the caveat, "If you use it, you will lose it."
As Dr. Ryan worked on my feet I said, "Wow." He asked me if the pressure was too much and I said, "Oh no. I just went to that place within me that ran the Boston Marathon." I told him there is nothing in the world like training for and running a marathon. As I thought about it, I felt exhilarated and then had a moment of "I can't run another marathon." I realized that I was remembering running a marathon in my body as it was then not the body I am today and certainly not the body that keeps changing, evolving, getting strong and healing all that went before. Dr. Dispenza cites with case studies including his own healing experience, proof that the body has tremendous capacities to heal. Dr. Ryan planted the seed for going the distance again as he asked the question, “Why set limits?” Why set limits indeed. I decided to ditch all the negative self talk, the naysayers who encourage me to set limits and to only take yes for an answer!
It was a tearful goodbye lunch at Boloco as he left for China but I knew that wherever Dr. Ryan went he would bring the gift of his healing.
He's done long distance healing with me, loving, encouraging and supporting me on every step of my healing journey. He was cheering me on in cyberspace as I went the distance for two CONSECUTIVE Bermuda Half Marathons and is over the moon excited that I am going to be training to run my third CONSECUTIVE Bermuda Half Marathon.
What a special weekend we had in New York City last year! He brought KT tape and I'm sure we were quite the spectacle to behold doing a taping in a New York Deli. Oh how I'd missed his healing touch!
Here are photos from our magical two days in New York City:
We saw Tony nominated Nathan Lane in "The Front Page." We ate delicious food, walked arm in arm through Central Park and Bryant Park and celebrated my healing reminiscing about our work together.
On Thursday I am so blessed to be celebrating 10 years of healing from the day I left my award winning career as a VA social worker to heal my life from the effects of paralytic polio and trauma.
Thanks to my Hero Healer, Dr. Ryan J. Means, I am able to celebrate this anniversary feeling healthy, whole, vibrant and healed.
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):