Not long ago, while working at a spa that overlooks a beautiful expanse of sea, an older woman called asking for special assistance. She said she had been interested in a session, but was so overcome with chronic pain she could not make her way even to the spa. She wondered if I would be willing to assist her in her villa instead.
At first look, it was clear how much this woman suffered. Her spine curved strongly, making it impossible for her to raise erect. Yet, she maintained a youthful gleam in her eye as she declared her love for walking at least one hour per day. The good shape and muscular tone of her legs proved her assertion.
The history of her back is apparently signed by a strong osteoporosis. Her xrays displayed very low density in her skeletal structure.
When we met, I guided her through very a specific breathing technique while lying on her back. This technique is aimed at relaxing both the abdominal and the back muscles simultaneously. In less than half an hour, her body had absorbed the approach - and the pain was gone. Suddenly her eyes were luminous with that of one released from years of constraint.
Despite her excitement though, I knew this only a small step into her process of healing.
Often those suffering have tried every remedy under the sun - to no avail. Thus, when someone comes along, seemingly out of the blue, and presents simple and immediate relief, the moment can feel like nothing short of a miracle.
Gravity always plays a fundamental role in physical pain. Once the basic techniques are mastered lying down, it is important to insert gravity back into the equation in order to learn how to use it in ones favor instead of struggling against its ever present pressure.
She called me again two days later. She expressed how much she enjoyed her newly acquired mobility. Like a child with a new toy, she could hardly help testing it out, so she took her new spine out on a long walking excursion. Her joy was quickly ruptured however, for while climbing a steep set of stairs, like lightening, the pain had her in a vise again.
It’s very hard for me to ask people to restrict their mobility. I might advise them, as I did do with her, but I cannot bring myself to tell them "do not do." I know I, myself, would not like to restrict my own mobility so I do not like to impose this restriction on others. Additionally, life is guided by and full of movement - big and small. Thus, it is more practical to teach someone exquisite recovery techniques rather than to force external restraint. And anyway, this sort of external demand engenders a similar tension that we have been working to release.
So, during the second session together, we applied the whole process again. As before, the pain faded and she started noticing her back becoming longer and less curved.
We booked one final session together before she flew away to ensure that her body had integrated as much of the work as possible.
Two days later I meet her in our last session together. Her eyes sparkling she told me that the night before she could not help but wash some dishes. Suddenly, while rinsing a plate her body maintaining a strange forward position, she felt the seizing of her back return. At first she was afraid. Now she was alone to solve this. How could this happen? All this time time spent together, and yet her body is still so fragile as to be destroyed while washing a simple dish?
Finally her mind calmed. She knew could take herself to the floor and practice the supine work, but she felt strongly that she did not want to stop what she was doing. So, she paused and focused herself. She closed her eyes and dove back into her body. She applied the standing practice we developed together.
With the most profound pride, she told me that when the first few breaths did not actually help, she was worried. Despite her fear however, she continued to breathe in the way we had practiced and suddenly the pain started fading.
Even alone in her kitchen, her hands covered in soap it took her less than a minute to neutralize her pain - all by herself. Now she was standing, her spine was long and straight, her pain was gone and she could finish her task.
When a client realizes that they can - and want to - integrate this work into their lives, and that this work can relieve them of suffering without the assistance of anyone else - this is the most exciting moment for me. This is real freedom after all. And it is only real freedom that lasts.
The body is the first prison to escape. The second is to learn to free ourselves from the belief that we cannot liberate ourselves. When a client realizes they already contain all the tools of their own salvation, this is true success.
I am still receiving messages from this lovely woman. In them she describes all of the beautiful places where she loves to travel and walk. Her spine, she says, is gradually becoming straighter. She tells me she laughs every time at the surprise of her family and her doctors.