I have always enjoyed learning about my body, my mind, and the bigger why of life. I am more of a "recombinant" self-healer–combining philosophies, methodologies and sciences, than a believer in just one way of doing, thinking and being. Neil Donald Walsch once wrote (and I am not religious) that, "God wants to know himself in MANY ways." So there isn't one way for all, there are multitudes of ways to explore your life, and discover what works for you.
I came back from a ten day educational course in Houston, Texas by Dr. John Demartini (Empyreance I). It was 13 to 15 hour days of sitting in a chair (my choice), learning about the mysteries of the Universe with over 250 'ologies' revealed, such as, geology, astrology, astronomy, theology, etc.
Into the second day of the course, my chest felt like I had a dagger going through it, I could barely sit in the chair upright without feeling like I was going to have a heart attack. (I had experience this discomfort weeks before the course, but thought it due to stress.)
The overwhelm of the long days was taking its' toll on my body as my physical discomfort of irritation, lack of focus, not sleeping or being able to relax continued. I thought to myself that the reason for my pain was more about the emotional aspects of how long the days were. Even though the subject matter was interesting, I wasn't getting that normal mind expansion high you feel when learning new and interesting things that are meaningful.
How was I going to get through the next nine days? Was I going to be the one who got up and left the room because it was too much? No. No. I was going to tough it out, and not listen to my body. "I can do this" I told myself. I love learning, and here is the mack-daddy of all courses–I wasn't going to miss a thing.
I decided to ask one of the chiropractors in the room to help fix my imbalance as it was impeding on my learning and staying focused. He concluded that my rib was out of place and thus was putting pressure onto my organs. He very beautifully corrected it. I also let him work on my neck and lower back for the remaining of the course.
What I didn't realize was that the stress of the course, the sitting and the correction actually wasn't so perfect for me. I came back to Calgary, and within two days suffered from the onset of Tinnitus, headaches, insomnia and a depressed outlook on life. I went into the hospital twice as the pain was unbearable, and the thought of this ringing in my ear–never stopping I was told, was going to drive me crazy.
How can I been this unhappy and have my body this out of sorts? My friends reassured me that the stress of losing my job the month prior in a depressed economy was the main cause for my stress. I agreed it had been a big blow to my self-esteem and it was hard considering my circumstances.
My repeated visits to my home chiropractors, yes I tried two different modalities, did not work for me at that time, if anything my headaches got worse and my symptoms reoccurred after some of the treatments. (Note: this isn't a blog about chiropractors as they do tremendous work, the idea is to listen more to the body and what it needs, and to slow down and "feel" what your body is sensing and communicating to you.)
Big lesson to learn. Who said I had to sit in the chair? Who said I couldn't stand and follow along? Who said I had to stay in the room for the whole time? I wasn't taking care of what I needed NOW.
Eight months later.
I was listening to a radio podcast on Dave Asprey's site. I was intrigued by the interview with Anat Baniel who is an expert in the field of Neuro Movement© and who has had much success treating children with disabilities, and adults of all ages. I ordered two of her books and went to work on the methodologies about slowing down the body, feeling, and sensing with attention, and using variation. I also looked up videos about the Feldenkrais method (in which Anat gained her initial training), and I found some YouTube Videos by Alfons that made sense to me to start with the basics of the Feldenkrais Method.
Well I fixed my neck and headaches. Completely. And it gets better. (Then worse, but I'll save that for my next blog.) I felt this freedom in my body to express itself, and actually felt joy walking and moving about. Everything seemed to move with more ease and flow, and it was all because of slowing down my body, and feeling each and every fibre move as I focused intently on what I was sensing as I was being instructed through the lesson.
This is a magical self-experience. To feel freedom in the body. To feel more youthful, spry and alive is everyone's birthright, no matter what age you are at.
I went out dancing the following weekend. I couldn't believe how easy, and effortless it felt to move around the dance floor. I hadn't been dancing in years. I forgot how much fun it was to feel like I was floating as if I could be Ginger Rogers, and those women in the 1950's musicals I use to watch with my mom. I was in a cashmere sweater in a crowed place. I wasn't out of breath, I wasn't sweating, it was just easy. It was a very beautiful night of flow, expression and freedom in my body.
From the website of: Anat Baniel:
"Did you know that your level of energy and vitality is directly connected to your brain? When your brain thrives, growing and creating new connections, you’re invigorated, your body gets stronger and more flexible, and your mind becomes clearer and more supple. If you’re asking yourself what to do to get more energy and vitality, the answer is: wake up your brain to resume creating new connections and possibilities.
This is what the NeuroMovement® approach of the Anat Baniel Method℠ can do for you. Gentle movement exercises and the Nine Essentials of the method will wake up your brain to create new connections and patterns that will eliminate back, neck and joint pain,and increase your strength and flexibility. With this cutting-edge method, no matter your age, you will begin moving into life more fully and infuse your life with greater energy and joy."
I belive in Anat Baniel's theory of awakening the brain and transforming the way we move the body. I know there is great wisdom in allowing the brain and body to reorganize itself to become the most efficient, optimal, and fluid self that it can be. I look forward to learning more about the physics of our body and how our brain can grow new connections when given the opportunity.
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