Without a submission for Natural Massage Therapy Pay It Forward* in December, I decided to work with my close friend, Charlie. Due to a blood clot released from his heart, Charlie suffered a stroke in August.
When I first heard about Charlie’s stroke, paralysis instantly popped into my mind. I tend to associate paralysis with strokes. However, with medication as well as a timely response, paralysis may be avoided. Thankfully, Charlie escaped immobility.
After learning about Charlie’s condition, I went to the healing circle near my house and thought of my friend. Rather quickly, I felt pressure on the left side of my head. Generally, when I work with someone I feel things in my own body. To know what is mine is key to recognizing what belongs to the other person, even at a distance. Simply tuning in to Charlie allowed me to sense his injury.
Prior to the Pay It Forward session, I inquired how Charlie was feeling, “I feel off today, nothing in particular, just off.” As Charlie continued to talk, I requested he get on the floor and crawl. Most adults could benefit from crawling, however, few consider being on all fours. Crawling integrates the two hemispheres of the brain and with a brain injury it is a favorable practice. Fortunately, Charlie was game.
Watching Charlie crawl, I was reminded of an elephant slowly trekking across the African savanna. Charlie’s head hung heavy like a large still trunk between his shoulders. The movement of his cranium was barely detectable. After a few rounds, I stopped Charlie, “Please sit and watch me.”
Motion in my cranium escaped Charlie’s view. “As we crawl, the head actually travels side to side. This rotation is really important.”
Charlie practiced while pivoting his head. When he stopped I said, “Now call your spirit home and breathe.”
After a few breaths I asked, “How do you feel?”
“Let’s do some table work.” A BIG smile appeared on Charlie’s face as he followed me to the treatment table.
Upon placing my hands on Charlie’s body the first thing I noticed was excess tension. Charlie is long and lean, somewhat wiry. Compression of the muscle tissue along his spine was apparent. As a matter of fact, most of his tissue felt hard. The human body has a tendency toward rigidity when faced with trauma, which is in survival mode. All of the cells have lined up to charge into battle and they don’t retreat even when the battle is won.
Due to Charlie’s head trauma, stroke, I felt that it was necessary to work with the energy in the lower half of his body. Polarity teaches that the top effects the bottom and the bottom impacts the top. Charlie’s energy was centered in his head where all the positive energy resides. Although that may sound great, without negative energy the system can’t neutralize. Too much positive energy can make our heads spin. It’s all about balance. In Charlie’s body, opening the legs while stimulating the sacrum and the tailbone invited the energy downward by arousing the negative energy. In addition, I concentrated on ether, the neutral energy in the body which includes the spine and joints. Thinking of space created more space. It all worked beautifully.
The temporal bones, located around the ears, are sometimes referred to as the “crazy bones,” as they are easily thrown off. Charlie’s temporal region kept calling to me so I gently palpated them from the posterior as well as the anterior. Charlie commented, “I liked the work you did on my head.”
With the left side of Charlie’s head tense in my cradled hands, I asked him to follow my words. “Feel your tail, it wags just like a dog. The tailbone is made up of small bones at the end of your spine.” Charlie acknowledged my words. As Charlie tuned into his tail I felt the head adjust slightly. Slowly, we worked our way up the spine focusing on the energy of ether or neutral energy.
Evident in crawling, Charlie was lacking a well functioning cross current pattern of energy. Cupping the shoulder to the opposite hip, I held the cross current patterns in his body. Charlie’s tension noticeably eased.
It took Charlie a few minutes to open his eyes. When he did he smiled at me. “How are you feeling?”
“Good, really good. That was beautiful.”
I agree. Be well… Nancy T
Thank you to the 2014- 2015 recipients. The next deadline for Natural Massage Therapy Pay It Forward is March 15, 2016. Please submit your story asap.