Tuesday, July 8, 2008

What my body said

I love PBS auctions. It’s the one time of year when I get to spend money doing a good deed with no guilt over ending up with crap I don’t need. And sometimes, ever so often, I end up with some good crap. One year I got a beautiful signed lithograph. Another year I got a pair of lovely vases. I’ve even won a gym membership.

Most times I end up with crap – but it’s all good because we need PBS to remain on the air. I mean where else would children learn how to count to ten and say the alphabet if folks like me did not hand over our hard-earned money to fund shows like Sesame Street? See, this is how I justify my annual splurge.

Well this year I could not afford to splurge. So I placed my bids most carefully. I decided that I was going to bid mainly on alternative therapies, you know stuff like Rolfing and Reiki and Acupuncture. I ended up with two sessions of a treatment approach called “Body Talk”. I had never heard of it before but was certainly open to the experience.

I called up the Body Talk specialist. Her voice on the phone was very soothing. I explained that I had won the session with her from PBS and she seemed genuinely thrilled at my success. We confirmed an appointment.

The waiting room was not sound proof. I had arrived early and could hear her consulting with the client before me. I felt uncomfortable. Trained in rigorous respect for client confidentiality, I was uncomfortable with anything less. A tall gentleman came out. He did not seem dissatisfied.

She asked me to give her a few minutes to change the sheets. That made me feel good. About three minutes later she returned and we went inside. She gave me a quick explanation about Body Talk while looking at my paperwork. I had indicated that I had no real problem but that I had simply come for the experience. She seemed a bit taken aback. I would be too if someone had made an appointment to come and see me and then said that they didn’t really have anything to talk about. Having read her body language, I decided to come up with a problem and mentioned my old rotator cuff injury, which had indeed started acting up again thanks to playing a lot of tennis. I gave her the history of the injury – which had actually happened in the gym and had been exacerbated on the tennis courts. I made it clear that I was not open to being told to quit playing. I was all up for grinning and bearing it. She grinned, and escorted me to the massage bed.

I lay down on my back as instructed, fully clothed. She held my wrist and started tapping it. She told me to relax. I breathed deeply and let my body go limp. She tapped again on my wrist. And then again. After about five minutes of apparently useless tapping, she elected to place my arm across my body and instructed me again to relax. I realized that she meant to specifically relax the arm, so I made it heavy across my stomach. That did the trick.

She said that she would look first for blockages. I said OK. Tap tap tap. Tap tap tap. Apparently I was blocked. She unblocked me by tapping further on my wrist. I unblocked myself by trying genuinely to acknowledge and then remove any attitude of skepticism towards the experience. Thanks to our joint efforts, my portals apparently opened. She instructed me to take two deep breaths while she tapped my forehead and my sternum. Except that I am inclined to be somewhat boobalicious so instead of my sternum she caught the top part of my breast and tapped away. It didn’t feel too bad to be honest.

Back to my wrist. Tap tap. Tap tap tap. She “saw” an experience that had happened to me between the ages of 12 and 18 involving my parents. Not possible I thought. My mother was long dead and my father long disappeared. Oh really, I said, that is interesting, hmmm. More gentle taps. Nothing that bothered my wrist, or that irritated. Tap tap tap. Could I think of something that had occurred between those ages?

Is it connected to my rotator cuff, I asked? I wasn’t kidding – I wanted to know if she was trying to say that I had actually injured myself earlier in life. It wasn’t unfeasible – I had been a table tennis champion.

Oh no, she reassured, the messages I get are usually emotional, something to do with your parents between ages 12 and 18. I pondered if to tell her my truth. In the end I gave her half of it and told her about my dead mother. Could it have been my grandmother, I asked, she was certainly as much of a mother to me after my mother died. No no, it involves your parents, something to do with the both of them. Well I was definitely stumped.

She continued tapping. One of my “should” statements was coming up. Was there something I felt strongly should or should not occur? Creeps, I thought, I am a fricking psychologist. I know better than to be shoulding myself all over the place. I did not say that but instead adopted a pensive air. Tap tap tap. I thought of the boyfriend I had dated between ages 16 and 20. He had dumped me for an older woman, who had found me where I was living, blissfully ignorant of being cheated on, and had taken me to her apartment to show me his clothes hanging up in her closet.

I replied that I felt that relationships should be ended honorably. Tap tap tap. Yes, that was it. Tap tap tap. My body spoke to her. She listened and but did not speak back much. I was there for an hour and a half. What she said altogether could fit in five minutes. Periodically she asked for us to take two breaths together, and tapped me on the forehead and upper breast. At one point I may have napped. Whenever I drifted off the tapping would bring me back.

Afterwards we aligned my cortices. She taught me how to hold my head with one hand and tap forehead then sternum with the other. I didn’t have the heart to ask what the heck cortices were and why they needed to be aligned. It didn’t matter. My body had spoken. I had an old rotator cuff injury that may or may not be related to a psychological trauma I had experienced in teenage hood involving my long dead mother and long disappeared father, the result of which was that I believed that something should or should not occur. But the Body Talk specialist reassured me that within seven to eight sessions, at $100. per session, cheaper if prepaid, she could get me realigned again.

I have a free coupon for anyone reading this blog.

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