Thursday, March 15, 2012

Healing Outside the Box

March Madness entries must be made by 12noon ET today!
password:  theburrow
Andrew Weill told me to make a list of things that make me happy over the course of a week, and then to read that list every night, before I go to sleep.  He says it will make me happier, and that that happiness will last for six months.  I just might give it a try.

I'm not the kind of person I seem to have become the kind of person who takes advice from a speaker at a book festival.  I am opening myself up to all kinds of interventions these days.  Making a list and checking it twice doesn't seem all that ridiculous right now.

Having determined that stress and anxiety and fear cause inflammation, I began to take glucosamine and turmeric, two natural anti-inflammatories.  I allowed myself a moment of self-congratulation when Dr. Weill included them, along with melatonin, as the only supplements he would recommend.  After listening to him talk about just how much Omega 3's he thinks I should ingest (2-4 grams per day) I can't call it a supplement; for him, it's a food group.

"Social connectedness breeds happiness," said he, as I looked at Elizibeth to my left and Ms. Rochester to my right, the three of us in a room of hundreds of like-minded people.  Typing it to you, now, sends a warm rush down the center seam above my sternum..... I'm sharing that muffin as you're reading these words.  Are you smiling as much as I am?

My acupuncture studio separates the treatment areas with sheer drapery, not opaque walls.  You are on the table alone, but the energy of the room washes over each and every client.  It might feel creepy, but considering the fact that the treatment involves hammering steel pins into your head, "creepy" is relative.  For me, there is something wonderful about the communal aspect of the healing.

Ms. Rochester and I went to a restorative yoga class last week.  We were 20 strangers in a too small room but somehow we made it work.  The postures were seated or flat on the mat, with bolsters and eye cushions to soften the tensions of the day.  Part of the joy was the rhythmic breathing I began to notice about halfway through.  Without direction, we were inhaling and exhaling as one.

Today I tried a new modality - Chi Nei Tsang (CNT).  As with most Asian healing practises, the explanation doesn't leave you much closer to the experience than you were before you read the words.  For example, this is how my practitioner describes it: CNT... helps bring all the major systems of the body into balance through focused work on the belly...(i)ncorporating breath, touch and Chi Kung.

No, I do not know what Chi Kung is.

I do know that lying on the padding on the floor, close to the earth, feeling her fingers following my meridians, I began to relax and let go of tensions so familiar that I kinda miss them now that they are gone. There were hot stones and gentle tuggings but mostly it was two people focused on healing the damage that bullets had caused.  We were strangers, but we were entwined.

Dr. Weill is right - social connectedness does lead to happiness.


  1. Ahhhhh, love the hot stones. They are awesome and help me relax too. I've never tried acupunture, but my doctor has suggested it for sinus headaches I get. My insurance covers it too! :)

    I've always liked Dr. Weill's advice. I need to look up more of his advice. I've always found it quite refreshing.

    I'm a strong believer in eastern healing practices.

    Sending hugs,

    Megan xxx

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