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.

I am terrible at sitting still. Crutches make me slow down and sit still. Just be. Listen inside to who I Am. To learn that there is poetry even in the pain.

I found my way into Reiki and natural healing through my earthly body which bends and breaks easily. Joint Hypermobility Syndrome. Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. Connective tissue disorder, the doctors say. So many labels for my lifetime of strains, sprains, tendonitis, and fractures, the constant chronic joint pain that has accompanied me since childhood on this earth journey.

But the modern medical system can’t put a label on the spiritual parts of my aching body. How do you label a spirit stronger than its earthly body? I don’t want to break, I want to fly. Reiki helps me to find balance. The splint holds the bones in place while Reiki and prayer hold my spirit in place.

The hardest part is drowning out all the noise of the world around me, and my own inner chatter, to listen to the healing voice of the Holy Spirit. I hold my broken foot in the healing power of Reiki. I gently massage the joints, feeling the heat flow through my hands, and the healing blood flow through my veins. I hear the Holy Spirit singing healing over me. I remember the songs I have learned from the trees through the years.

Healing is so much more than medicine.

Breaking is so much more than medicine.

I was a serious runner when I was younger. I smashed 5Ks, 10Ks, and half marathons as I pressed toward the legendary 26.2 miles. I celebrated a 25 mile training run through immense pain. I ignored my body’s cry to stop. I tried to outrun the pressures of grad school. I ignored my spirit’s cry to stop. My ankle quit completely as I limped into a first aid tent, not able to complete the marathon.

I spent eight years healing from ankle injuries after that. I tried so hard to run, but there were times I couldn’t even walk. Months of crutches. Years of heartache. Breaking.

There were doctors who told me I would never run again. I did not believe them. I used Reiki to heal my spirit. I used lavender and Epsom salts to heal the physical pain of walking. I kept pressing on toward my goal.

Then last January, God sent me to a wise physical therapist. She helped me take one pain free step, then another. I worked hard on the exercises she assigned, months of baby steps back to running. Soon I ran for one minute. Then five minutes. Then a half mile. Finally the mile.

The mile! My spirit was flying. Oh how I celebrated that moment. Healing is so much more than medicine.

In my excitement I took things too fast. On New Year’s Day, eight months after that first mile, I ran a 10k. I celebrated the accomplishment, but my feet ached from the effort. That week, I stubbed my toe and my battered foot bone cracked. My will to reach my goal was yet again stronger than my joints. Mind over matter rarely works out well for me.

So now I am enjoying time in the pool. I can still walk in the support of the water, still swim, slowly. People say that swimming is the closest human movement on earth to flying. Water is spiritual. I think of all the stories of healing water in the Bible. The angels stirred the healing waters at the pool of Bethesda, the house of grace. Jesus healed a paralyzed man there. I listen inside to the Holy Spirit as I swim and move and fly. I pray for the water to heal me.

Healing. Slowly.

I listen to the wisdom of my body, the wisdom of I Am, the healing that is more than medicine. Through Reiki and the healing of the Holy Spirit, soon enough I will run. Again.

 

 

Image Credits: Heather Katsoulis, "Cora's Friend".

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