Category Archives: Healing The Body

Three zebras to symbolize EDS

May Awareness Month: EDS and my life

May is national Ehlers Danlos Syndrome awareness month. EDS is a genetic connective tissue disorder that affects many different body systems. The international symbol for EDS is the zebra. EDS is a rare disorder, like a zebra is rare compared to a horse.

I struggle with a hypermobility syndrome, most likely hypermobile EDS. Most of my joints move beyond a normal range of motion, causing injury and chronic pain. I also have gastrointestinal symptoms, respiratory symptoms, and eye problems. I have made a list of some of the ways EDS affects my life. I especially struggle with severe chronic pain. I want to help raise awareness of this syndrome for better medical treatments and public understanding.

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Crutches with a butterfly perched nearby

Healing Is So Much More Than Medicine

I am on crutches. Again.

I want to walk, to dance, to run. I want to count my steps in miles run through forests of moss and mist, not in painful hops from my couch to my car.

Healing is so much more than medicine.

“The X-ray shows a distal, non-displaced avulsion fracture of the 5th metatarsal,” the medical report says. “You tore a tendon and broke your foot,” the doctor explains to me.

Breaking is so much more than medicine.

Yes, I understand the medical jargon. I have done this before. I know that the X-ray means weeks of bone healing, months of soft tissue healing. Hopefully I can at least walk soon. Crutches are never easy. I have used them through so many sprains, fractures, joint surgery. But they never become easier. I don’t want the crutches, I want to run, I silently plead with the doctor. But the X-ray, and the pain, tell the truth.

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Roses, Peace, and Good Vibrations: Healing at the Park

I had a fun time with my son on Sunday. The weather was perfect; summer is such a beautiful season in Minnesota. Somehow my cares, worries, and burdens seem to melt away as I enjoy the warm summer sun and cool northern breeze. I spend so much of my time and energy advocating for the poor and oppressed and worrying about peace and all the greed and problems in the world. Taking a day playing outside with my son refreshes my soul from these burdens.

The Rose Garden

First we went to the rose garden. We looked at all the beautiful pink, reds, and goldens made even more vibrant by this record wet summer. I taught my son how to breathe in the fragrance of the roses, to slow down for a quiet moment and learn from the unpretentious gift of the flowers. The roses do not struggle and compete with each other in ego shows of pomp and beauty; each bloom is crafted by the hands of fairies and nature spirits guided by the love of the Creator. Each bloom contributes its own unique color and fragrance to create a rainbow garden of one. If only we humans learned to live in contentment and oneness like the flowers. Peace.

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Reiki: Realigning the Spirit Body and the Physical Body

Every person, indeed every living thing on this planet, is surrounded by an invisible energy body. (Actually, you can train yourself to see this energy, the aura, through your spiritual eyes, but most people still rely only on their physical eyes). This energy body also surrounds the spirit body, connecting the physical realm and the spiritual realm.

I am often asked, what is the spirit body? The spirit body is our invisible consciousness, our higher thinking self, the body we exist in both before and after our earthly journey. Too many people foolishly waste too much energy focusing on their physical bodies, chasing after youthful looks, and even undergoing surgeries to try to look more beautiful, which is itself only a definition invented by one’s society.

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Gaining New Sight

Photo used freely, courtesy of Brybs on stock.xchng

Photo used freely, courtesy of Brybs on stock.xchng

I have often said that I am a healer in need of healing. All of the best spiritual healers in the world have suffered many ailments. It takes deep empathy to learn the art of healing. I often pray to walk a mile in another person’s shoes so I can change my world.

Right now I am in great need of healing. I have developed a cataract in one eye that is progressing very rapidly. The diagnosis shocked me, because I am only 32 years old. As much as I know about medicine, I always thought of cataracts as only a disease of advanced age.

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Can Pain Be My Medicine?

pain as medicine

Photo by kaniths, used freely on stock.xchng

Is pain something to be avoided at all costs? Or can pain be my friend, my teacher, my companion on the spiritual journey?

Where does pain come from? This is a deep question that neither doctors nor philosophers can adequately answer. If I cut my finger or place my hand on a hot iron, my nerves fire lightning-speed, and my brain tells my muscles to withdraw. This is a natural protective response in our physical bodies to protect us from physical harm. Scientists call it the sympathetic nervous system.

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Running Shoe

Photo used under creative commons license by Sharon Drummond on flickr.com

Photo used under creative commons license by Sharon Drummond on flickr.com

This is a story that I created for a writing class that I am taking. The teacher challenged us to use a shoe as metaphor, and this is my response. Several years ago, when I was a music student in graduate school, a marathon runner, and a wounded soul just beginning to discover my path of healing, I experienced a brutal ankle injury. Here is my memory of that time.

***

The shoe sits by my door, new dust of neglect mixing with the old dust of races won and lost. The shoe looks lonely, like a puppy waiting by the door, leash in mouth, looking for her owner to come home for a walk. But the outing will have to wait for a brighter day.

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Child Vivid Joy

The Joy of Life

I have a serious personality, too often expressed through the tears falling on my pillow. I feel the pain of others wherever I go, and I am so connected to the spirit realm that I can sometimes feel the pain of those who have crossed over. All of this is a weight on my body, and is connected to my own issues with chronic joint pain.

I am a healer in need of healing.

I am in good company. Hildegard von Bingen, a vibrant Catholic mystic, struggled with migraine headaches, violent, painful auras in which she learned deep spiritual truths. Two of my favorite authors struggled with pain and despite this, or more likely, because of their pain, they wrote deeply and brilliantly about the human condition. Fyodor Dostoyevsky, had epilepsy, perhaps due to his violent encounters with a government who tried to kill him and silence his work. Ernest Hemingway struggled with chronic pain, emotional and physical, so severe that he eventually committed suicide. Even Jesus often went away to silent places to pray, and I imagine he had great emotional and even physical pain. He was certainly an empath, and the Bible says that he bore the weight of humanity on his body.

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Broken Glasses, Body Memories

broken glasses

Photo used freely, courtesy of jfg on stock.xchng

Healing is a journey taken deep within. Your body holds the memories of all the pains and injustices felt throughout your life. Pain can be covered up by a pill or bandage, but to get rid of pain completely, you must do the hard work of processing and forgiving traumas.

Sometimes the healer needs healing. This is the case in my own life. Although I do Reiki over others, I need its power for myself as well. Today on the 4th of July, I woke up with a swollen, droopy, teary eye. It is painful, but more annoying than harmful. Still, my eye is trying to tell me something. I placed a cold compress to ease the pain, and I sat down to meditate. I thought back to last year on the 4th of July.

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Heart Disease

heart disease reiki

Image used freely, courtesy of spekulator on stock.xchng

We are a society at dis-ease. According to the CDC, The number one cause of death in the United States is heart disease. We are a heartsick nation.

We are a nation of fast food, fast appointments, and fast lives. We have Fast Company magazine, touting all our latest and greatest productivity. We rush past the homeless man on our 30 minute lunch break, so as not to disturb the almighty production. We are too busy to help the single mom struggling to get her baby and her groceries on the bus as we rush to our next appointment and our kid’s soccer match. We are too fast to care. We leave behind the helpless and the hurting, and we leave behind a vital piece of our heart.

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