It’s curious that Cardozo, my able assistant, was working on yesterday’s “Conversation” whilst I was out looking for some healing. Specifically, what prompted me was the diagnosis of spinal stenosis that I received from my Kaiser doctor a few weeks ago (did I mention this before?) A good friend mentioned to me at the time that she, and others of her acquaintance, had tried something called Network Chiropractic, with excellent results. It turned out, by one of those “no accident” coincidences, that I had met a practitioner of this form of healing in connection with my other blogging work, in the art world. It still took me (no accident!) a good month or two before I actually did something about it, but I met with him for the first time yesterday.
Turned out that he had actually read my entry from the day before—the poem that I called “The Aging Suit;” and Cardozo, as I say, was busy putting together some pieces on aging and physical debility from other web sites for The Buddha Diaries. I heard, from my healer, a lot that I am philosophically, intellectually and spiritually in tune with—about the integrity of the systems that manifest in our lives, the interdependence of mind and body, the way that phenomena that might appear “accidental” can prove to be the effects of demonstrable and necessary causes, the body’s ability to secrete responses to sometimes very old stimuli… The only surprising thing is that I can know and understand and agree with all of this, and yet allow my body to absorb the suffering that results.
My friend and healer—okay, Dr. Steve—did none of those things that chiropractors do. No bone-cracking, no excruciating twists and turns. Oh, and best of all, no x-rays, none of the sales pitch that too often comes with this territory—the nutritional supplements and the long courses of treatments. Instead, we talked for a good while before I got near the table, and his gentle probing evoked the memory of several painful experiences from the past. He gave voice to his observations of the changes in my body as I spoke, and I could actually feel the effects as he spoke about them.
Once on the table, it was a touch here, a touch there as he worked on the flow of energies—not primarily in those areas where they were blocked and causing pain, but where the flow was good and strong, diverting into channels where it found new vigor. I had been writing, in that poem, just the day before, about the “aging suit” I felt condemned to wear. Well, after this hour of quiet and effective treatment, I walked up the street with the feeling that I had shed that suit: I felt lighter, more in touch—and more in tune—with my physical body than I have done in years. Steve suggests—and I know he’s right—that we create self-fulfilling ideas and images of ourselves that the body will readily conform to: that it’s not the “spinal stenosis” that’s the problem so much as what I do with it in my beliefs and expectations. Change your mind, and you often have the power to change your body.
I slept well last night. I have become used to being awakened with pain in my hips and thighs--the pain that my Kaiser doctor calls sciatica, resulting from that spinal stenosis. Maybe. But last night, remarkably, I experienced none of that familiar pain... It will be interesting to watch my right leg today: I have a couple of hours' driving to do, and the other major symptom of what has been ailing me is a tingling and tightening of the right leg as I drive. As the Germans say, 'mal sehen. We'll see. (Interesting, too, that the German phrase comes back to me, seemingly out of the blue: this whole thing may have its origins in an accident I had in Germany, aged seventeen. More about this, perhaps, another time.)
So, well, I take it all back. I’m not condemned to wear that aging suit unless I choose to do so. That feels better already!