Confessions of a Body Worker:
This I believe:
I believe the body wants to heal. It may not know its own cure, but it has the resources to move away from the pain, away from the limitation, away from the prognosis. The human cell bank has deposits that repair, regenerate, reroute, nourish, do battle and the lymphatic system even has a dumpster for unwanted microbes and molecules.
As an alternative body worker, my clients appear before me with a condition, a syndrome, an injury, a disease that cannot organically or medically be eradicated. I tell them I can not cure them, so why have they come? I tell them I can increase their range, minimize their symptoms and do no harm. This makes them happy. The first question I ask is “Where is the source, the root, the fulcrum of the dilemma?” My teacher once said, “There is a reason for everything.” I know the body is in response to something when all is not well or the best it can be. I can increase the options to the body and I can give alternatives to the tissue using movement, touch, words, reflexes, motor patterns, stimulation, release and intention. The body will make the decision as to whether to recognize the new information or whether to respond to what I have offered.
“Oh”, I said to the injured brain that lay in my hands as I held the head of the boy who could not walk or talk or eat on his own. “I see that you were denied oxygen at a critical juncture in your life. Perhaps together, we can learn new ways of being. Ways that make you more comfortable, more aware of the world around you, more available to yourself and others. So yes, you are relaxed now. Before you were tense. Oh my, how nice; your breath is slower and calmer. Are you laughing at my joke? You are so silly. I see your hands opening like a flower, that fist was way too painful, don’t you agree? Do you hear the school bus dropping off your brother and sister? Perhaps today they will come in and say hello and see you standing on your own feet as you walk in my arms. Won’t they be surprised how tall you have become? Last year you fell over, this year, you can sit up. Last year you were sick all winter, this year you were healthy. Last year your eyes could not see me, this year you track my every move. Last year you could not communicate. This year your eyes can say yes and no. Mommy loves you, Daddy too. You are the center of this family. The one who holds everyone together. The one who defines the reason for this home. Oh powerful one, walking and talking are minor. Your existence is what matters. Let us get back to work. Today we will learn to turn our head from right to left and bring our hands together as one. No we are not praying, we are simply giving the body that which it cannot do on its own. That which it forgot or never knew to begin with. I love it when you laugh as I roll you on the blanket. Your hilarious response is my que, that yes, what we did together matters and may be available to you when I am no longer at your side.”
I open my calendar and see the names listed sequentially on each day. The names are not important, the diagnosis is “only information” as my teacher says. Tennis elbow, Downs Syndrome, Leukemia, back pain, stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, Depression, trauma, Chrones, paralyzation, stress, fancy terms like Arnold Chiari, Mononucleosis, Fibromyalgia. The only thing that does matter is that a relationship between myself and other creates an opening, a window, an opportunity, an initiative for the body to shift, to be more well, to widen its interface with the world, to remove a symptom or defy the odds and produce a change.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.